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TREKKING SOCKS: How to choose the right product

For a long time, trekking socks have been a secondary element in the hiker's, climber's and mountaineer's equipment. However, in recent years, manufacturers have understood the fundamental importance of these elements, making major investments in research and development of materials and products with differentiation of use, technical and less technical, addressed very precisely to specific mountain activities. Today on the market there are countless solutions to dress the foot in an optimal way, but there are some general indications that you must keep in mind when choosing the sock.

First of all, socks for summer use must be distinguished from those for winter use. The first are recognized for the lightness of the weft, which can be either of a synthetic yarn, of cotton and also of wool, and for the stated purpose of facilitating the transpiration of the foot and avoiding the accumulation of moisture in the plantar area, to maintain a state of well-being within the shoe. They are also shorter on average compared to the versions for mountaineering and winter hiking, which differ from the summer socks for the main functionality, which is to keep the foot, as well as dry, warm and isolated from the outside, in cooperation with the shoe. Often they are made using a balanced mix of natural and synthetic yarns, which give a very attractive look and, at the same time, a superior technicality. The sole of the foot is preferable in wool or cotton, natural materials that allow better breathability and greater thicknesses to increase thermal insulation from the ground, especially useful during mountaineering. In addition, the tubular structure is usually thicker than the summer socks, to protect ankle and calf from chafing and impacts to which the intensity and degree of difficulty of alpine hiking are more subject. 

Finally, in the last few years there has been a widespread use of compression socks, first in the trail running sector and then finding an increasing consensus in trekking and mountaineering. They are particular socks, very enveloping, which create a marked effect of pressure in the muscles, with benefits for circulation and recovery after physical activity. If in the case of trail running, this aspect is of fundamental importance, in the trekking field it seems more of an aesthetic and not functional tendency, therefore it is always better to choose a structured sock for trekking, than to use crosswise products projected for other uses.

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