If you have ever had a blister on your foot, you know how debilitating and painful they can be. Foot blisters happen when your shoes or socks rub against your skin. Blisters are basically a type of burn, and that means not only do they hurt, they can take a long time to heal too. That’s because, unless you can stay off your feet for a week or two, every time you walk anywhere you delay with the recovery process.
Because of this, preventing blisters is much better than trying to treat them.
One way to avoid blisters is to make sure you buy the best walking shoes – something I discuss in my walking shoe buying guide. You should also avoid walking too far too soon. That’s why I created a progressive walking program which you’ll find in my article Walking for Health.
Another thing that can help you avoid blisters is wearing the right socks for walking. Walking socks are designed to fit really well, are often padded, and made from materials that won’t rub. Regular socks often have seams in all the wrong places, so they are bound to rub when you walk. You might not notice these seams when you walk short distances, but they’ll soon let you know they are there when you walk further or faster than normal.
Here are three types of walking socks that can help prevent foot blisters.
1. Injinji Trail Midweight Crew Xtralife Socks
Made from lightweight, breathable CoolMax, nylon, and Lycra, these socks are very unusual in that, like the fingers of gloves, they enclose your toes and keep them separate. This is a good way to prevent blisters between your toes. Available at Amazon.com.
These toesocks, as they are known, are cushioned in all the right places to prevent blisters and have a mesh top to increase breathability so your feet stay cool. Hot, damp skin is more prone to blistering than cool, dry skin. They also have double-elasticated cuffs to keep dust, sand, and other debris out of your socks – another cause of blisters and discomfort.
Wearing toesocks can take a bit of getting used to, and they can be tricky to put on until you are used to them. But, once you are accustomed to them, they are very comfortable and will definitely help prevent blisters.
Available in a wide range of colors, Injinji Trail Midweight Crew Xtralife Socks are not especially cheap, but they are great socks for preventing blisters. Amazon reviewers give them a score of 4.8 out of five stars, with 84% of customers awarding them the full five out of five stars.
2. DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks
A lot of exercise clothing is made from artificial materials – such as Lycra and polyester. These fabrics are light, flexible, and easy to care for, but sometimes they don’t feel so nice on your skin. Some even make you sweat more than natural products.
That’s why I like these DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks. Available at Amazon.com. Made from 33% merino wool, 33% acrylic, 33% polyamide, and 1% elastane, these padded hiking socks are designed to be warm in the winter but cool in the summer.
This mixture of fabrics means that these socks fit really well, wick moisture away from your skin to keep your feet cool and dry and provide a nice layer between your feet and your shoes to prevent blisters even on the longest walk. They are also naturally anti-bacterial which should help keep your shoes smelling fresh!
Available in several different colors, you can buy single pairs of socks or save money by buying packs of three.
DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks score 4.6 out of five stars, with 79% of reviewers awarding them five out of five stars. These are good value socks that should make your walking workouts much more comfortable and enjoyable.
3. MIRMARU Men’s Outdoor Sports Crew Socks
While these socks are made for men, there is no reason that women can’t wear them too. In fact, the only thing that makes them a man’s sock is the dark, relatively plain design! Available at Amazon.com. Made from cotton, polyester, and spandex, these nicely padded socks are very breathable and also padded in the all the right places to minimize blisters.
I like these socks because not only are they padded and breathable, but because they also have padding on the front of the ankle and shin which can be useful if, like me, you sometimes walk in boots. I also like the fact they are made of cotton which helps keep your feet cool and dry.
MIRMARU Men’s Multi Performance Outdoor Sports Hiking Trekking Crew Socks come in packs of five pairs which means they are not only good value, but you’ll have enough socks for almost a whole week of walking between washes.
Available at Amazon.com. Amazon reviewers give MIRMARU Men’s Multi Performance Outdoor Sports Hiking Trekking Crew Socks 4.5 out of five stars, with 73% awarding five out of five stars. That’s a great rating for a value-pack of socks.
Which socks are right for you?
If you are looking for a quirky design that also works well to prevent blisters, but you don’t mind a more expensive price tag, the Injinji Trail Midweight Crew Xtralife Socks are a good choice, Available at Amazon.com.. They’ll take some getting used to but, once you become accustomed to their unique design and feel, you are bound to love these great walking toe socks.
If you prefer the feel and strength of natural wool, the DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks are a great choice,Available at Amazon.com. Mid-priced, especially if you buy a pack of three pairs, these socks are well padded and designed to make even the longest walk as comfortable as possible.
If you want your money to go a long way, a pack of five pairs of MIRMARU Men’s Outdoor Crew Socks is the way to go.Available at Amazon.com.. Made from cool, comfortable cotton, this pack of five pairs of socks costs about the same as one pair of the Injinji Trail Midweight Crew Xtralife Socks – depending on the size/color you buy.