Really, how can I have so much to say about socks? Socks are just those things that you put on your feet that get eaten in the dryer. A friend told me lately that you can by socks in packs of three so that when the dryer eats one, you still have a pair.
Who would have thought that sock loss was so common? And where do those socks go?
As usual, I digress. This post is to talk about types of socks. Yes, there are many types of socks and you should wear the appropriate type of sock for your activity and needs.
There are everyday socks for men, women and children. Men’s socks include dress socks, athletic socks, work or heavy duty socks and casual socks. All these socks are made from different fibers and there can be great variety within each group. For example, there are athletic socks based on the type of sport. You don’t wear hockey socks to play volleyball. Nor are soccer socks for runners. One thing that all athletic socks would have in common is the need to cushion, support, and wick away moisture. The fibers in each of the sock types make a difference. Dress socks made of silk (a natural fiber) are very smooth but have a high tensile strength. They will not conduct heat and therefore can help reduce the dreaded foot odor. As I said before, you need to make sure that you are wearing the correct type of sock when you go shopping for shoes.
When buying socks, you will want to look for a high needle count which indicates high density. By density, I do not mean thickness. I mean the closer woven or the closer the threads are to one another. The denser the socks, the more they will wick away moisture and the longer they will last. Their cushioning effect will last longer also.
Women’s socks are not quite as interesting as men’s socks. It could be because women are far more into showing off their shoes than their socks. The sock for a woman is just background. That is why so many of the socks for women are made from nylon. Think footies (we used to call them peds), hose, tights, nylon knee highs. The athletic sock is one area where women and men share the same variety for the number of sports but may beat the men in the area of color choice.
Socks come in different lengths also. Think of the choice when you want to buy the common white sock. You have a choice of no-show, low cut, quarter length, crew length, and the ever present tube sock. I have heard that the length of your sock should depend on the size of your ankle. The smaller the ankle, the taller your sock you should wear.
There are two types of specialty socks that I would like to bring to your attention. There is the diabetic sock and the compression stocking.
Diabetic socks are roomer than normal socks so that they do not constrict the foot in any way. The socks can also have fibers to control moisture to wick the perspiration away from the foot. This is important with diabetic feet because having the moisture stay to close to the foot can breakdown the skin. Skin breakdowns can lead to infection. The foot of a diabetic is so slow to heal that you should work to prevent problems from happening. Diabetic socks also have a seamless toe closure. This is to reduce the chance blisters forming from the seam rubbing on the toes.
Compression stockings are stockings made of stronger elastic then most stockings. They are made to exert pressure on the leg to ease problems associated with the veins in the legs. The stockings are generally tighter at the ankle and then less constrictive as they move up the leg. The idea is that the stockings compress the circulatory channels and therefore more of the blood returns to the heart rather than pooling in the feet. The stockings can be knee high, thigh high, or pantyhose. Depending upon your situation, you may just purchase compression stockings as “support hose” or you may have to purchase stockings that your doctor recommends that are specifically fitted for you and have stronger compression.
There has been some debate in the running community about using compression stockings as a way to increase the efficiency of the muscles. As with many theories in the running community, there are opponents and supporters. There are now many products available in various colors, styles and thicknesses. It is for you to decide if you feel it helps your performance.
For now, I am going to stop writing about socks but I do withhold the right to let you know more at a later date.
Have a good week!
The Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
Trivia Question of the week – What is the name of the show where the phrase “Sock it to me” originated?
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Follow us on twitter – @EvPodiatric and the answer will be tweeted on Friday morning as well.
The very nice doctors at Evanston Podiatric Surgeons have opened a new location! They are very excited to have an office on the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago. So, if live or work downtown, help is even closer! Stop in and say “Hello and Congrats”. They would love to meet you. They are really that friendly!
Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute
333 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1825
Chicago, IL 60601