There are lots of ways to achieve foot comfort these days and they don’t always begin with your shoes. Socks are an affordable and easy way to enhance the comfort of your feet and legs, from therapeutic compression socks that enhance circulation in the legs to sport styles designed with underfoot protection when pounding the pavement.
Compression socks are garnering increased attention as consumers become increasingly aware of their health and wellness benefits. But, unlike styles of the past, today’s versions are available in trend-driven colors and patterns.
Typically associated with an older clientele or those with diabetes, compression socks are now attracting younger consumers who realize their wellness effects achieved through a strong elastic component designed to hug the leg the tightest at the ankle, then reduces pressure at the top in order to increase blood flow through the leg.
For those who spend long hours at their desk, compression socks can provide welcome relief from foot and leg fatigue. One brand updating the category is Vim & Vigr, with its line of novelty designs. And for those who like to walk on the wild side, online retailer Support Plus has printed mild compression knee-high styles in floral and paisley designs.
For active consumers participating in sports and hiking activities, there are socks with anti-microbial and moisture-management properties. Fox River socks feature a patented Wick Dry Health System designed to help keep feet dry in a range of temperatures by combining an inner layer of moisture-repelling yarn and outer layer of moisture-attracting yarn to wick away moisture. For a fun foot fact, the company’s website indicates feet sweat about 10-15 gallons per foot per year and 5-8 gallons of that perspiration gets absorbed by socks.
Sometimes all it takes are natural materials to take socks to the next level. Here, Farm to Feet steps in with its domestically produced collection made with American sourced merino wool that is produced with as little impact to the environment as possible, according to the company. Styles include those for the hiking, multi-sport and equestrian markets. The socks also feature increased compression from the Achilles through to the middle arch and are designed with seamless toe closures for added comfort.
For some instant gratification, try socks with underfoot cushioning from brand like Thorlo, which target the sports market such as running, tennis and basketball. According to the company, the padding density varies, depending on the part of the foot being protected during each activity. For example, in tennis, you may need extra protection for tops of toes, while for basketball, which have high ankle support, these socks have a protective padding that extends well up to the heel and Achilles.
Socks can even provide a spa treatment when infused with aloe and vitamin E. Worn in place of slippers, aloe vera offers a soothing and moisturizing effect for some at-home pampering. They can easily be found at drugstores, mass marketers and specialty retailers including Bed, Bath & Beyond.
When shopping for socks that deliver therapeutic and protective features, the internet is a good place to start. Here, brands get to tell their story in detail, so you can make a smarter choice.