Beginner Backpack Workshop – SocksBackpacking 入門講座 – 襪子篇

This article is based on what I presented in the Beginner Backpack Workshop held by Appalachian Mountain Club, Delaware Valley Chapter, April 22, 2006.

What are socks for?

For your feet – socks provide cushion and warmth, and help wick moisture out.
For your boots – socks block sweat and dead cells from getting into the boots which destruct the internal structure of the boots.

Modern hiking socks usually mix different materials, such as wool, nylon, spandex, etc. Based on the proportion of the blend of materials, they emphasize on different functionalities while still taking care of other basic requirements. For example, wool is good for warmth, and it provides excellent cushion and absorbency. Coolmax is a wicking material, and it keeps the skin dry.

Two Pairs or One Pair?

Traditionally we are advised to use the “two-pair” system in order to prevent blisters. The inner layer is a pair of liner socks, which are made of wicking material only. Therefore its main objective is to take moisture off the skin and keeps your feet cool and dry, which is the key to prevent blisters from happening. The outer layer is usually wool socks, which provide warmth and cushion.

However, as mentioned in the previous section, modern socks usually provide all the functions by weaving in various materials. More and more people have found that one pair is adequate against blisters.

You might want to experiment different systems to find out your preference. To me, both systems work fine, and I usually only wear one pair of socks.

Different Ways to Employ Liner socks

However, it doesn’t mean that liner socks lose their position. I still use liner socks from time to time, especially when I hike in sports sandals. Here I quote a paragraph from Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins’s The Complete Walker IV for some other ways to employ liner socks:

“They [liner socks] can reduce friction when breaking in boots or on sustained trips, add a wicking layer next to your skin, and boost the warmth of normal-weight socks. They also provide a nice pre-filter for organic crud – it’s easy to wash and dry liners on the trail, allowing you to change more frequently. Trail runners and the unbearably light may wear liners alone. I use them with sandals against sun and chafing. A clean pair at night can boost the warmth (and hygiene) of insulated booties and sleeping bags.”

這篇文章是根據我在四月二十二日,由Appalachian Mountain Club, Delaware Valley Chapter 舉辦的Backpacking 入門講座的講稿寫成的。


保護雙腳 – 襪子具有保暖性、提供緩衝,並且協助腳上濕氣蒸散。
保護登山鞋 – 避免汗水以及死細胞組織侵入登山鞋,造成破壞。







只是,這代表內層的排汗襪已經退出襪子界了嗎?不然。個人還是常常穿著快乾的排汗襪,尤其是在只穿運動涼鞋健行的時候。以下引用Colin Fletcher和Chip Rawlins撰寫的The Complete Walker IV中的一個段落,以介紹排汗襪的多項功能:

「它們可以減少長途旅行或是和鞋子磨合期間的摩擦,提供雙足多一層排汗層,也為普通厚度的登山襪增加些保暖性。同時,它們過濾一些雙腳產生的有機廢物 – 在旅途間,排汗襪容易清洗、快乾的特性,讓你可以更頻繁地更換。越野跑者更是喜歡排汗襪的輕量,常常單獨穿著。我使用它們來減少穿著運動涼鞋時的摩擦,以及雙腳曝曬在陽光的機率。冬天在營地穿著羽毛保溫鞋或是平常睡在睡袋時,乾淨的排汗襪也讓鞋和睡袋容易保持清潔。」

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