When it comes to picking hiking socks, you will often find that a lot of the public opinion is in favor of getting alpaca wool socks. In the past, this fabric type was usually not looked upon as a significant necessity among hikers. Many used to pick synthetic fibers or mixed fibers, particularly when getting socks.
Since the core criteria for picking hiking socks was something that is durable, usable and keeps feet healthy, alpaca hiking socks were usually considered a great material, but often too expensive or hard to find. Also most alpaca socks are not built with performance in mind, but that's changed!
As alpaca wool harvesting has become commercialized, people have found that alpaca wool is actually more durable and more available than previously believed. Comparing it to other sock materials easily highlights that these socks are among the best option.
Additionally, when used for hiking purposes, alpaca wool socks are the ultimate hiking socks. They are able to deliver comfort, durability and in short, happen to tick all the boxes that hikers may have. If you’re also among the few who are still skeptical about using alpaca hiking socks for hiking, we’re here to change your mind.
Alpaca wool socks are the perfect socks for hiking for a number of different reasons. The following are the primary reasons that show why these socks are a must-have for anyone who wants to go hiking:
The Best Natural Fabric
When it comes down to it, natural fabrics are the best for your skin. They are breathable, comfortable and do not have any other chemicals that can act as irritants. However, even in natural fabrics, you can find a significant difference in quality.
Cotton socks tend to be too delicate and are not suited for a lot of rough usages. Even when it comes to wool socks, this can be an issue that most hikers face with them as they will fray more easily if not constructed correctly with performance in mind. In fact, cotton socks are a huge no-no for hikers and many recommend that you should never opt for cotton socks...cotton is rotten as they say.
Cotton tends to retain moisture, is prone to pilling and ripping and contributes to causing all sorts of foot health problems. It also contributes to hiking foot problems occurring. Even when used for sports, these are not the best socks as the friction caused can make them more likely to cause blisters and skin irritation.
In comparison, alpaca wool socks are a great natural fiber to use. Despite being soft, the fibers are very durable to other natural fibers. They can be used without any issues and are known to hold up well, even when used under challenging situations.
Outperform Wool Socks
When it comes to performance and wear, alpaca wool socks can outperform wool socks. Wool socks are known to be suitable for hiking too but alpaca performs just a bit better in warmth and wicking.
Wool tends to retain more moisture than equal weight alpaca hiking socks. Even though wool is moisture-wicking, it holds around 30% more water than alpaca wool socks. This means that when a person sweats while hiking, their foot health can get severely compromised.
As compared to alpaca wool socks, there are no issues relating to moisture or bacterial growth in the feet. Furthermore, wool socks can’t be worn on hikes when there is rainfall to be expected. They tend to collect water and take longer to get dry.
Given these factors, when compared, alpaca hiking socks are more durable, healthier for feet and better for the person to wear. When going on a hike, alpaca socks tend to outperform wool socks.
For people with sensitive feet, picking the right socks is always a challenge, especially if the skin on their feet is exceptionally sensitive. For such people, natural fiber socks are the best option, but, if they use cotton socks, there can be an issue. Cotton socks are not durable and are not the best for hikes.
Similarly, wool socks are a huge no-no. Wool tends to contain lanolin, an oil that sheep secrete naturally. While this oil is responsible for giving wool a hue and keeping it clean, people can also have an allergic reaction to it. These allergic reactions can range from itchiness to rashes to red patches and more.
Additionally, this can also happen to people when they are using synthetic fiber socks as well. These often have trace amounts of chemicals that can be irritating for sensitive skin. There is a high chance of an allergic reaction with these socks as well.
In comparison to this, alpaca wool socks are the best because the wool is hypoallergenic. The fiber does not irritate the skin, nor does it cause any issues. It is light, breathable and also has does not irritate sensitive skin. It makes it the perfect sock to wear for anyone.
When picking any hiking sock, the moisture-wicking qualities of the shoe are extremely important. This is one of the main reasons why you need to pick your socks wisely. Moisture in the feet can lead to foot injuries, infections and skin irritation.
Exposure to moisture in the shoe can also make the skin become softer and more prone to getting blisters. The presence of the moisture and the humidity in the shoe also make the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to thrive in. This doesn’t just increase the chances of bacterial infections but fungal infections as well.
Too much moisture in feet is a known issue that is related to a fungal infection known as athlete’s feet. For this reason, having moisture-wicking socks is important because you need to make sure that any sweat or water does not collect in your shoes.
Alpaca wool socks are the obvious choice here because they do not retain as much moisture. Again, wool socks can hold as much as 30% moisture, whereas Alpaca wool holds only 5% of water according to research from the alpaca association. Given this, it is easy to see that alpaca wool hiking socks are more moisture wicking in nature and better for your feet.
Have Thermal Qualities
If you’re looking for socks that are good for any weather condition, you need to get socks that have thermal qualities. These naturally adjust, not only to the weather but also to the body temperature. If your body is warm or hot, the socks will help to cool it down. Similarly, if you are cold, the socks will trap the heat from your body to help you stay warm.
In adverse weather conditions, having a pair or two of thermal socks is a good idea, particularly if you are going on alpine treks. Even during treks to dry areas, the unpredictability of weather conditions can mean that having a pair of thermal socks on hand, just in case, can be a good idea.
Alpaca hiking socks are able to retain heat better than wool socks or synthetic socks. The dense fiber is able to capture heat and hold it close to the body. Similarly, it also traps in cold air and helps to cool down the body as well. Alpaca socks constructed correctly will keep you warm and dry without having to use a liner sock. Less fussing, more exploring!
Given this aspect, they are the perfect socks for an alpine trek. You also don’t have to worry about bringing two to three pairs of socks when you are going on these hikes. It saves you a lot of room in your pack to have a good pair of alpaca wool socks with you.
Provide Good Foot Support
Foot support is extremely important when it comes to picking the right socks. You need to make sure that the sock you get fits your foot snuggly while you are hiking. With an ill-fitting sock, you are more prone to getting blisters as the material will rub against your skin, causing unnecessary friction.
Similarly, if the sock is too snug, it will cause circulation problems. On long hikes, a tight-fitting sock is just as bad as a tight-fitting shoe. It can make your feet swollen and more likely to experience poor blood flow. Even nail issues can occur because of a sock that fits too tightly.
That’s why you need to get socks that provide you with good foot support. Our socks are a good option for you as they are designed to properly support your feet based on our seemingly endless rounds of prototypes with product testers, we think we got the tightness just right. Moreover, they are more likely to retain shape and support your foot arch better too.
Easy to Look After
Another reason why alpaca wool socks are the most comfortable option for hiking is that they are so easy to look after. This is a key aspect to focus on, especially if you plan on going hiking for a week or two. Washing and drying your socks properly and quickly is important when you are on the go as you cannot reuse the same pair of socks again and again.
Unfortunately, wool, cotton and synthetic fibers tend to need some extra care. Wool takes too long to dry, cotton has a tendency to shrink and synthetic fibers can just get damaged from the stress of hand washing, especially if they are not very durable. This often makes them the worst choice for one when you are on a hike.
In this case, alpaca hiking socks are the best option, they tend to be easy to wash, will dry properly and can be reused on hikes with ease.
You can also find alpaca wool socks in different colors apart from white and cream colors so as to not worry about stains. Nonetheless, it is easy and clear to see that whether you wear them on hikes or not, alpaca wool socks are rather easy to look after.
Very Easy to Buy
A common misconception is that alpaca hiking socks are extremely difficult to buy. That’s why many people opt for alternatives like wool or cotton, which are not as durable but more readily available. Since they are commonly available everywhere, they are often the first choice that people opt for.
Another alternative is synthetic fiber socks, these are also easy to find but they can be a costly option. In terms of durability, they are a hit and miss because some synthetic fiber blends can be very durable whereas others are not. In this case, you are better off opting for alpaca wool socks.
Luckily, today alpaca wool socks are easily available in local retailers and online as well. Unlike in the past, they are not as rare or as unattainable. In fact, as more alpaca breeders are establishing footholds on a local level, the cost of alpaca hiking socks has become more affordable too. But remember to find socks focused on outdoor performance, many alpaca socks are knitted poorly and will fail prematurely.
You can find alpaca hiking socks that are made in the USA, high quality, affordable and extremely durable - in fact, Follow Hollow socks checks all those boxes. Even if you buy from an international retailer, shipping is not an issue and you can easily get your hands on these socks for your hiking trip.