How to Care for Your Wool Hiking Socks (when your hiking)

You might have assumed that your troubles with hiking socks are over once you picked the right one, but maybe not. As you already know, the kind of socks you use does affect the quality of the hike. However, if you do not look after them properly, you might find that your socks are worn out, or just not up to the challenge you are presenting them with.

caring for hiking socks

Many hikers face this issue, particularly when they are gone on hikes that are two to three weeks long. In this case, knowing how to look after hiking socks is important. If you’re not aware, you may find that you either did not pack enough socks or wore out your socks before the hiking trip even ended.

To help you out, we have created a comprehensive guide that will help you out here:

Make Sure to Get Quality Socks

First things first, you need to make sure that you are getting high-quality hiking socks. This is the number one reasons why alpaca hiking socks are a must-have. They are durable, hypoallergenic, moisture wicking have thermal qualities and promote good foot health.

Stay as far away as you can from fibers like cotton and most synthetics. Cotton is the most prone to pilling and synthetics can also be uncomfortable for the feet. A good second option to alpaca hiking socks are high quality merino. 

Pay Attention to Your Feet

When you are hiking, always pay attention to the health of your feet. Your feet will start giving you signals, particularly when it is time to change your socks. If you feel like there is too much moisture between your toes, take your socks off, dry your feet and change the pair of socks you have on.

Similarly, pay attention to piling, pressure on your nails and even friction that is irritating to your skin. A good pair of socks should fit you like a second skin. If the socks start to annoy you, it is a sign that you need to switch them up. Furthermore, examine the socks to evaluate their condition. If they are worn out, you may have to discard them.

Switch Them Out During the Hike

To stay on the cautious side, many hikers like to switch up their socks for every 4 to 6 miles. This ensures that the socks are in good health, do not get overstrained and your feet stay healthy too. This does depend upon the kind of terrain you are walking on the physical activity involved as well.

If the terrain is rough, up hill and challenging, sweat will collect in the feet, particularly if your socks are not moisture wicking. Make sure to change up your socks then. However, if the path is smooth, flat and there’s no tough terrain, you may not need to change up your socks at all.

Hand Wash Where Ever Possible

One of the most crucial things about hikes is the lack of amenities like access to a bathroom or washing machine. Most hikers do plan to rough it out and camp in the wilderness but you need to make sure that you wash your socks, particularly if you are planning to re-wear them throughout the hike.

The good news here is that alpaca hiking socks do not need to be machine-washed. They can be gently hand-washed in cold water and then left to dry as they are. This means that you can wash them with the help of a water bottle, a stream or even a lake. Keeping your socks clean is a must, especially for the health of your feet.

Place Them Outside the Pack to Dry

Never wear socks until they are completely dry. The excess moisture that damp socks have can be extremely unhealthy for your foot health. If you can’t leave them to dry somewhere, just hang them on the outside of the pack so that they can dry as you hike.

Alpaca hiking socks do not need to be tumble dried or machine dried either. You can easily let them air dry. Moreover, air drying socks is healthier because exposure to the UV rays can also help to destroy the bacteria that may grow in socks because of the sweat.

air dry wool socks when possible

Carry Extra Pairs

Always make sure that you have extra pair of socks for the entirety of your hiking trip. In fact, you should try to calculate how many socks you need and make sure you have one or two more than that. A good rule of thumb is to pack 4 pairs of socks, particularly if you are going for one week.

Consider the terrain as well as the kind of weather you will be facing and your foot health as well. Additionally, it is better to be safe than sorry, so if you are going for three weeks, then it might be a good idea to carry 12 pairs of socks.

Never Share Socks

Never ever share hiking socks with the other person that you are hiking with. If you’re lending a pair to someone, let them keep the pair for the entirety of the hike. It can cause an exchange of foot bacteria which can lead to a higher chance of one developing fungal infection.

Furthermore, socks tend to take on the shape of the foot of the wearer. Exchanging the same pair between two different foot sizes can distend them and make them difficult for someone to wear. It is a good idea to give the pair to the other person instead of sharing them on the hike.

Now that you know how to look after your hiking socks, particularly when you are on a long hike, make sure to get the right kind. If you’re looking for great alpaca hiking socks, shop with us! We have a wide array of socks that are designed for hiking, trekking and even in different styles like compression, ankle socks or more!