We've already covered the importance of shoes, but socks can be easy to overlook. They're an integral part of your daily foot care routine. Not only do they protect your feet from wear and tear, they absorb and wick away moisture.
Most of the impact of walking or running is absorbed by a layer of fat in your heels. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, your heels might need some extra help. You can use shoe inserts, but a soft pair of socks can add some shock absorption as well. As you age, that fat layer gets thinner, so cushy socks becomes even more important. In addition, socks act as a barrier between your feet and your shoes, reducing blisters and calluses.
Socks also play a vital role in absorbing and drawing moisture away from your feet. For basic day-to-day wear, use socks made with natural fibers like cotton or wool. They're absorbent and will eventually wick moisture away from your feet to the breathable portion of your shoes (leather or mesh). For high-performance socks, there are synthetic materials made for athletes that are better at wicking moisture away because the material don't compress as much as natural fibers do when saturated with sweat.
For more information on foot care, see the links below.
- American Diabetes Association. "Foot Care." (June 14, 2010)http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-care.html
- Paddock, Catherine. "Three Steps for Healthy Feet." Medical News Today. (June 11, 2010) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161652.php
- Richie, Douglas H., Jr. "Socks: Hosiery - Essential Equipment for the Athlete." American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. (June 14, 2010)http://www.aapsm.org/socknov97.html
If you care for your your hands, you limit wear and tear and make a good first impression. See the five ways to care for your hands to get started.