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<p><span>It's safe to assume at this point (at least, we hope so) that you know the importance of picking the right shoes for the right occasion is very high indeed. This is doubly true when picking a sports shoe - almost any sport carries with it the risk of injury of some sort and making sure that your feet are snugly packed in appropriate footwear goes a long way towards keeping them healthy and your entire body finely-tuned and functioning. But what about what goes under our shoes - the underappreciated item of clothing that comes into direct contact with our skin, the middle-man between shoe and foot? What about socks?</span></p>
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<p>The importance of wearing appropriate socks when playing sports should never be underestimated. A good-quality pair of sporting socks will prevent blistering by neutralizing the friction of tough leather and synthetics rubbing against your skin. They'll also absorb and wick away the excess sweat that the two hundred and fifty thousand and more sweat glands on your feet produce, thus drastically reducing the bad smell caused by bacteria living there and multiplying in the hot and sweaty environment. The last, but definitely not the least, they'll provide adequate and much needed cushioning and softness to save your feet from the constant pounding they'd receive from all that running on hard surfaces. But how do we know which pair of socks to use for which sporting activity? Dress socks just won't do, and it's a lot more complicated than just grabbing the nearest pair of compression socks, pulling them on and calling it a day. We're going to help you with picking the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sockbin.com/store/men/sports-socks/c-58" target="_blank">right pair of socks for your sport and activities</a>&nbsp;- first by explaining exactly how socks do what they do, then by giving you a rundown of the materials most often used in their construction, and most importantly by telling you which models and styles are appropriate for which sport.&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="" src="http://workstuff.us/Files/Content/sport-socks.jpg" style="max-width:100%; text-align: center;margin: 0 auto;" /></p>
<h2>HOW SPORTS SOCKS WORK</h2>
<p>As we mentioned, there are a few major things that socks do to improve a person's ability to do sports in a more efficient and safe way:</p>
<p><strong>1. Taking care of sweat</strong>&nbsp;- it's been said before, but the feet produce a lot of this stuff. Gravity doesn't help either; thanks to this seemingly sadistic law of nature, a lot of the sweat produced by other parts of the body can easily end up dripping and pouring earthward, eventually accumulating on our feet, and from there (thanks to our shoes acting like a basin), there's just nowhere else to go. This is where a good pair of socks makes a huge difference. Thanks to the wick effect (so called because it mimics the way that a candle's wick funnels fuel to a flame and allows it to keep burning), almost any sock will absorb a good deal of sweat, but very quickly the production is going to exceed the capacity of what any sock can absorb. This is where the sock's material is crucial; a sock that is too absorbent (or hydrophilic) will simply absorb and hold onto a lot of sweat, until you're back to square one, squelching around in your own personal puddles. On the other hand, a sock with bad absorbing qualities, or even none at all (hydrophobic being the scientific term), will do too good a job: it'll push the water away from itself and right back at your foot. So the right combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties in the material, as well as the volume of the fibers and how much they can be compressed is what determines how good your socks will be at wicking. It's worth mentioning here that the right shoe also affects this a good deal; pairing your perfect compression socks with a pair of shoes with a breathable upper or partially hydrophilic lining that will encourage further wicking and evaporation into the air around you is crucial.</p>
<p><img alt="" src="http://workstuff.us/Files/Content/sport-socks2.jpg" style="max-width:100%; text-align: center;margin: 0 auto;"/><strong>2. Preventing injuries</strong>&nbsp;- A serious injury to the feet or legs can be enough to end an athletic career, and, what's more, any injury that affects your ability to walk can be the cause of some major lifestyle changes. Analyses done by physicists tell us that, when running, the pressure of an athlete's body weight against his or her feet can increase threefold; imagine standing perfectly still with two perfect clones of yourself on top of you, one on each shoulder. That's the kind of pressure your feet have to face. This frankly terrifying amount of force means that without proper care, injuries to that part of the body can and do happen, from painful blisters to joint and bone damage that accumulates over time. What socks like compression socks do here (in combination with an appropriately springy pair of shoes) is serve as shock absorbers, literally taking a lot of that pressure away and putting an extra spring in your step so that your bones and joints don't have to take it. The right choice of sock thickness and material also drastically reduces friction from the materials and seams of your shoes, which can mean avoiding the painful, almost crippling subject of blisters altogether. Sound attractive? We know it does.</p>
<h2>WHICH MATERIAL IS RIGHT FOR ME?</h2>
<p>So now that you know a little bit more about what sock materials need to be able to do, how do you know which ones do it best? Let's take a look at what's out there.</p>
<p><strong>1. Acrylic</strong>&nbsp;- This is a synthetic material used in everything from household ornaments to guitar picks (and even guitars, from time to time). It's also one of the most common materials used in the making of sporting socks, and for good reason: it does a frankly amazing job of wicking away any unwanted liquids away from the skin of the foot, it's unexpectedly light on the feet, it feels soft, and it's wonderfully durable - these are some compression socks which can truly take a punishment and withstand the rigors of playing and training sports, and come back for more time after time.</p>
<p><strong><img alt="" src="http://workstuff.us/Files/Content/sport-socks3.jpg" style="max-width:100%; text-align: center;margin: 0 auto;"/>2. Wool</strong>&nbsp;- If not the most widely used material in sporting socks, this is without a doubt the most famous one. And make no mistake, even that is a relatively recent change: before the time when synthetics came to dominate the industry, wool was king and was the go-to material for tough, durable, absorbent and comfortable compression socks. Wool has a lot of great characteristics, not the least being its inherent softness and comfort, but they are also very good at retaining their shape after repeated use and can wick moisture more than adequately - it's an oft-quoted fact that a pair of good-quality wool socks can suck up a third of their own volume in sweat and still feel completely dry to the feet wearing them. One thing to keep in mind is that they do not react well to being machine washed. The process can actually damage them and shorten their lifespan more than a little, so be sure to hand wash to prolong the use of your fuzzy socks as much as possible. We recommend Merino wool, from the famous New Zealand breed of sheep, if you really want the best of the best in quality and comfort.&nbsp;</p>
<p><strong>3. Nylon</strong>&nbsp;- Perhaps more famous as a material for ladies socks and hosiery, nylon nevertheless has its place in men's sports socks as well. It's another synthetic material that holds up well to repeated use and the stress that playing regular sports puts on it, and it's frankly excellent at retaining its shape (not a trait to be underestimated). Its wicking abilities are somewhat lacking, though, because it tends to absorb moisture entirely too much. Thus, 100% nylon socks are a possibility that exists but which you'd do well to avoid. However, nylon's performance when used in blends with other materials is stellar, so don't shy away from socks that the stuff is found in - they might be exactly what you need.</p>
<p><strong><img alt="" src="http://workstuff.us/Files/Content/sport-socks4.jpg" style="max-width:100%; text-align: center;margin: 0 auto;"/>4. Cotton</strong>&nbsp;- The fabric, the myth, the legend. Probably the most common material in the world for dress socks, slipper socks and the like, it might seem hard to believe that reliable old cotton is, in fact, lacking in the properties that make a good sports sock material. 100% cotton socks absorb a lot of moisture, and what's worse, they retain it really well too, meaning that wet sock feeling won't be leaving your feet any time soon once these puppies get some sweat in them. And while they're certainly comfortable when dry, walking around in a pair of wet cotton socks is an entirely different story - one involving blisters certainly, but all round increased friction and damage to not only skin but also your shoes and the socks themselves. When used specifically to make sporting socks, cotton is ALWAYS blended with other materials and never makes up more than 60% percent of the whole (the rest is usually made up of synthetics, but make sure to look at the labels before you buy them to know exactly what you're getting). Even the best of these can't offset the naturally bad characteristics of cotton in sporting applications, though, so these are socks you'll want to wear only for short bursts of physical activity, or when playing sports that are less strenuous or intense.&nbsp;</p>
<p><strong>5. Coolmax</strong>&nbsp;- The first of two branded materials on our list, Coolmax is yet another synthetic fiber that has a very unique four-channel design and is made from polyester. This design results in excellent wicking properties - better even than those of acrylic, meaning that not only are they lightweight, but are almost guaranteed to keep your feet dry for the longest possible time. It's one of the best materials out there for athletic and compression socks, is often used in different ratios in a lot of different blends, and is a big favorite among those who play sports like rugby. They also dry very quickly, can freely be machine-washed and are shrink resistant - feel free to toss them in the dryer to speed up the process even more.</p>
<p><strong>6. Lycra</strong>&nbsp;- The second branded material you'll be reading about here. Unlike the other materials we've mentioned, the shining trait of Lycra is its elasticity - in fact, it's renowned for it. It's never used by itself, but the elasticity we mentioned means you'll see it in blends sometimes because it compliments the properties of other materials quite nicely.</p>
<h2>WHICH ACTIVITY ARE THESE SOCKS BEST FOR?</h2>
<p>Different blends and kinds of sporting and compression socks are advertised and sold in different ways, meaning&nbsp;<a href="http://www.soccer.com/guide/guide-to-soccer-socks/" target="_blank">it can be difficult to pick out the right one</a>&nbsp;- after all, you'd be hard-pressed to find a store that carries "volleyball socks". But - hopefully - the information we've given you here will help you to make a more informed decision the next time you need to buy a pair of socks for any sport. Here are a couple of extra things to keep in mind when making your purchase...</p>
<h3>1. GET THE RIGHT SIZE</h3>
<p>No matter how well you remember the characteristics of each fiber, no matter how much time you dedicate to finding the perfect blend for the sport in question, if the size of sock you buy isn't just right for your feet... well, we're sorry to say it, but all that effort might have been in vain. It's vital to try on the socks to see if the size is right before you purchase them - if you're buying them for someone else, take that person with you. It'll save you the added hassle of having to go back and exchange them.</p>
<h3>2. FIT THE SOCK TO THE SHOE</h3>
<p>This is something that tragically tends to get overlooked when people are shopping and gearing up for sports season, and it can be a huge mistake. When trying on shoes or socks for sporting purposes, make sure you wear one that is appropriate to the same purpose when trying on the other - it's ludicrous to try on shoes you plan to play football in while wearing dress socks. Remember, socks alone won't save you from a bad shoe, or even a good shoe that's badly matched to you, so make sure you're making the correct decision.</p>
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<p><span>- See more at: http://workstuff.us/blog#sthash.jnZSaUtH.dpuf</span></p>
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