Socks are seen by many as mundane and inconsequential. Often not much thought is given to the type or quality that we buy or the long-term impacts low-quality socks may have. For the serious athlete, socks have become recognised as an essential component of footwear that can determine the difference between success or failure on the playing field.
After a hard day’s work outdoors, putting your feet up is usually the first thing you want to do when you get home. Your feet often bear the brunt of your hard work so it’s important to do everything you can to keep them as comfortable as possible. While many people stress the importance of a good pair of shoes, the importance of a good pair of socks should not be underestimated as they play a major role in keeping your feet warm, comfortable and protected throughout the entire day.
Most rail workers tend to think of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as the bright orange outer clothing, but socks are vitally important when working a full shift in all conditions. As the weather continues to grow colder, keeping your feet warm is a challenge, especially if you spend all day outside.
Amazingly, wearing simple cotton socks during winter has the real potential to make your feet colder than if you wore no socks at all. When a cotton sock gets wet, it loses all insulation value. The end result of wearing cotton socks during the winter is that as your foot perspires the sock absorbs the moisture and then holds it, thereby coating your foot with a slick film of water while losing all insulation value in the process.
Supermarkets and discount shops sell dozens of pairs of socks incredibly cheaply but these are usually not good quality and will not keep you warm and comfortable when working outside all day long. It’s often a good idea to invest a bit more in some good quality socks that are designed for all conditions with comfort and wearability in mind.
There are also many serious problems caused from the age old concern of cold feet, not to mention that freezing feet are painful and annoying. Having cold feet can limit mobility, lead to the discomfort of chilblains, and cause fatigue at work which may lead to lapses in concentration and accidents which could easily have been avoided.
Good quality socks use a combination of specially selected advanced fibres, technical knitting features and design techniques that work together to ensure that the socks are fit for purpose whenever they are called upon to perform the task they were designed to excel in. Any inserts or orthotics should be prescribed or recommended by a doctor or foot health professional.
When you are searching for socks, take note of the following: look for a high thread count, as denser socks repel moisture and protect the feet for longer periods, look for socks with a reinforced heel and toe, look for socks with cushion sole support, make sure to buy the proper sock size as your toes should reach the seam and the heel padding should hit your heel in the proper place. You can buy socks specially designed for use with steel toe-capped boots and shoes which are ideal.
People often do not realise the total protection that socks provide. Offering much more than just padding and cushioning, they provide a barrier between your shoes and your feet. As well as absorbing some of the daily pounding suffered by feet and ankles, socks reduce soreness and prevent foot conditions like calluses, blisters, and fungal infection.
Socks that are too tight often trap moisture which can lead to fungal development and conditions like athlete’s foot and toenail fungus while good-fitting socks keep feet cool, dry, and comfortable. Quality winter socks absorb far more moisture and dry themselves by simply being worn.
Hopefully, this gives you some useful information about the importance of a good pair of socks as part of your PPE. The right choice of sock can keep your feet warm and dry in challenging outdoor conditions which will certainly help you feel a lot happier as the chill of winter rolls around.
Get yourself a good pair of socks from the Workforce socks site: www.workforcesocks.co.uk