What do socks do? They keep your feet toasty warm, right? That’s what most people would say, especially during these cold winter months. Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, our board-certified podiatrist at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center, absolutely agrees. But we also want you to know that, besides warmth, there are other things to keep in mind when you’re choosing socks.

What socks do

  • Well-made socks cushion and support your feet.
  • They help control sweat. The right type of material will keep your feet dry by wicking moisture away from your skin. In fact, if you’re very active, athletic, or have particularly sweaty, smelly feet, you might benefit from changing your socks once or twice a day.
  • They help prevent shoe odor. Ask anyone who regularly wears shoes without socks. Their sweat permeates their shoes, making them a dwelling place for dampness and a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. 

Tips for buying a great pair of socks

  • Look for socks that are made well. High-quality socks have a high thread count and reinforced toe and heel areas.
  • Better-constructed also means they will last longer than cheaply made socks.
  • Choose socks made of moisture-wicking material such as nylon, polyester, or merino wool.
  • Consider socks designed for your activity, which will offer stitching and cushioning in the right places.
  • Know that one size does not fit all. Make sure the socks fit well. Too small socks will restrict blood flow – bad news for anybody but especially bad for people with diabetes. Tight socks will also trap moisture and can cause blisters, calluses, and ingrown toenails. On the other hand, too loose socks can bunch up in your shoe or make your foot slide around.
  • Remember to replace socks regularly for growing children.

You can find more advice about socks, shoes, and every aspect of the foot and ankle care at our website. To visit our office in Centreville, Virginia, call (703) 996-3000. Or make an appointment online for outstanding podiatric medical and surgical care in Fairfax County.

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