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CONSUMER NEWS

When it Comes to Socks, Think Synthetic



It seems the new high-tech synthetic socks do a better job of absorbing moisture, protecting your feet from friction and providing cushioning than socks made from natural fibers.

That's because cotton and wool tend to hold moisture against your skin and lose cushioning ability.

In natural fibers, your feet are also more likely to feel cold in the winter and sweaty in the summer. High-tech synthetic socks, on the other hand, "wick" moisture away from your feet to allow for evaporation.

Sports podiatrists offer this advice:

  • Wear different socks for different activities. For example, socks for running need extra heel cushioning while hiking socks should be padded at the toes. Extra padding helps with the stop-and-go movement in tennis and aerobics.

  • If you wear two socks in cold weather, try a synthetic sock next to your skin and a synthetic-and-wool combination outer sock to add warmth and padding.

  • High-tech socks cost more and require extra care, such as air-drying or machine drying on a low setting.

  • While good socks are helpful, wearing is much more important.



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