What Material Makes the Best Socks for Sweaty Feet?
Got sweaty feet? Of course you do, we all do! In a lifetime, each person logs an average of 70,000 miles on their feet, and that means a whole lot of sweat. In fact, feet perspire about 20 to 30 gallons of sweat in total per year. Where does it go? Well, 5 to 8 gallons of that perspiration gets absorbed by each sock, and shoes get their fair share as well. We all know what sweat-logged shoes and socks smell like, so what's the solution? Let's dive in and find out.
Why We Sweat
Before we cover the best sock options for those of us plagued by foot sweat, let's cover some physiological basics. A human's core temperature is 98.6° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius). The body's mechanism for cooling is evaporation, so clothing - especially socks - must have good moisture evaporation ability to avoid odor or discomfort.
What's the Issue with Sweaty Feet?
Doing any activity with hot or cold sweaty feet is the worst; we all know that. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty, the truth is that sweaty feet can cause more than just a little discomfort. Here's why sweaty feet are such a drag:
- They Stink - Sweat is moisture, of course. And moisture can breed bacteria, which causes odor and contributes to the risk of foot fungus and other issues.
- They Hurt - The aforementioned moisture can hang out on your skin and create extra friction, which can lead to pain points, redness and blisters that nag you all day.
- They Get Cold or Hot - Sweat can cause feet to get too hot or too cold. While the sweat itself causes the body temperature to chill out, it can also heat it up if it lingers too long (which is especially likely if you're wearing the wrong pair of socks).
Under varying climatic conditions, socks help balance the body's temperature and manage perspiration, creating a pleasant feeling next to the skin while preventing odor and pain at the same time.
The Best and Worst Materials for Sweaty Feet
Fiber content does make a difference in your socks. When you're searching for the best socks for sweaty feet, the first thing you need to pay attention to is what the socks are made of. You always want to look for a pair of temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking socks to ensure that your tootsies stay toasty (or cool) without getting drenched in sweat.
The Worst: Cotton, Sheep's Wool and Acrylic
As you'll see below, there are a number of reasons why certain fabrics should be a no-go for people who tend to sweat a lot. Not only are they bad at regulating perspiration, but they all bunch, sag, create blisters and can even constrict blood flow in people with circulatory problems.
- Cotton - Avoid 100% cotton socks. Cotton is a great absorbing material, but then where does the moisture go? Nowhere! It stays right there against your foot. This moisture softens the skin, increases friction and, in turn, causes blisters. Cotton socks are like wearing a sponge that does little for breathability or insulating your feet.
- Sheep's Wool - This more common wool is a coarse fiber - about as thick as a human hair (80 to 100 microns or so) - that can cause itch and irritation because of that. It also absorbs moisture, as much as 30% of its weight. This moisture in sheep's wool has an odor all its own. Plus, it contains lanolin, which is a fairly common allergen. In the same vein, cashmere (a type of sheep's wool) may be soft, but it's also impractical from both a price and a durability standpoint.
- Acrylic - Acrylic and other synthetic sock materials may be great when you're trying to wick away moisture and keep your feet cool, but they're just not the best option for cold weather because they do little for improving warmth. You need a versatile sock that can be used in both cold and warm weather!
The Best: Alpaca
From kids' feet to aging feet, everyone has their own set of issues, and finding the right sock can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Most people settle for what is easy or close at hand and leave their feet to deal with whatever they put on. So what should you use to keep your feet happy and healthy? Pure alpaca wool socks!
What is Alpaca Wool?
Alpaca wool is shorn from alpacas and while it looks like wool, it feels like heaven. Here's why it's the clear winner in the race for the best material for sweaty feet.
- Alpaca wool is a natural fiber, free from lanolin and naturally hypoallergenic.
- Pure alpaca wool does not absorb moisture or odor, but wicks it away.
- Baby alpaca wool is a superfine fiber that refers to softness rather than age of the animal. With a far better fineness as compared to sheep's wool, it takes four or five strands equal the width of a single human hair! In other words, it is 25% of the size (or 18 to 25 microns) of sheep's wool while being just as warm.
- Alpaca wool is breathable, letting your feet stay at an optimum temperature so you can do the things you love no matter the weather.
- Baby alpaca wool is silky-soft and doesn't rub, constrict or bind. It doesn't cause blisters and won't irritate sensitive feet - it even reduces callus buildup and blisters.
- Pure alpaca wool is great year-round. Some may worry it's an unsuitable fiber for warm weather, but because of the natural thermal regulation that lets your feet breathe when it's hot and warm up when it's cold, it is actually very comfortable.
Alpaca + Cutting-Edge Microfibers = Sweaty Foot Savior
Pure alpaca wool combined with cutting-edge microfibers is a Warrior Alpaca Socks creation that keeps your feet happy and are easy to clean too. Just toss them in the washer and you're on your way. Made from 100% alpaca wool spun with the newest synthetic microfibers, these Warrior Alpaca Socks styles of are a gift to your feet and are unequalled in every way. Socks with an inner layer of microfiber transfer moisture away from the foot to keep it dry.
Here are some of our best socks for banishing sweat:
- Sylvan Camouflage Alpaca Wool Hunting Socks - The perfect choice for outdoor adventures, including hunting and fishing, these heavyweight socks bring warm terry lining and natural thermal properties under your boots. And they're still breathable and moisture wicking too!
- Long John Alpaca Wool Socks - Available in standard weight and heavy weight, these are the perfect long alpaca socks for both lounging and being active.
- All-Terrain Sport Socks - Coupled with our High-Performance Crew Athletic Socks, these are some of the best sports socks for people with sweaty feet. Get a full set so you always have socks on-hand with our Athletic Sock Gift Box.
- Non-Skid "Yoga & More" Alpaca Socks - These non-slip socks are your new best friend during yoga, barre, Pilates and more. Plus they make wonderful non slip slippers for seniors, providing traction on hard floors.
- Light Mini Crew Alpaca Socks - Lightweight yet warm, these are the ideal alpaca wool socks for daily wear no matter what you've got on the agenda.
The Most Versatile Socks for Sweaty Feet
Try our alpaca microfiber socks today and we are sure you will agree, nothing is so versatile! So go ahead: fish, ski and sled. Play the sports you love and finally take off those shoes in the house! Sleep comfortably with warm, toasty feet not plagued by smelly sweat. Love your feet with alpaca wool socks and your feet, no matter their needs, will love you back.