Before this, my boots chafed, had pressure points, and basically killed my feet. With the new socks, my feet have never been more comfortable. Full leather caulks all day in steep ground, no problem, no pain.
Highly recommend it. I notice that a lot of endurance athletes use them to prevent their feet from swelling up (causing pressure points). Figured it was worth a try. I know some people use nylons, but these are a bit more robust and provide a bit of padding. They also have a spandex woven in, so they allow the wool sock to slide against the boot, thus preventing the chafe.
Works well for me.
I fucking love those things. Here's the deal, you ever start a day with your feet feeling okay or good, and then you're limping along like John Merrick at the end of the day? One of two things changed through the day...your feet or your boots. Most likely, your feet became swollen, and turned into half-numb 5-tonne clumsy clogs of doom, dragging you down the hill. Compression socks help prevent the swelling from occurring. There's a bunch of fancy-assed circulation jibber-jabber I hear about them helping with blood return - I only know this: I have some wicked good hand-made leather caulks. They torture my feet like a bad Saw sequel. I started wearing compression socks, and I can wear them all day, skip and sing and dance (well maybe not quite that far), but no foot pain.
Part of this is wearing two layers. compression socks next to the skin, and a thin to medium merino on the outside. This brings about the second magical power of the socks- abrasion prevention. The compression socks have lycra, which slides nicely with the merino, which means I don't blister or chafe. It's like fabric foot lube...[insert comment here].
Here's my other pitch..if your feet are hurting, maybe you can take it. Most planters have inhumanly high pain thresholds. However, every ounce of energy and focus that is devoted to your stoopid boots is taken away from your production, your balance, and your energy reserves. If you have to walk funny because of your boots, what muscles are now taking on an unnecessary load, fatiguing more quickly, and not helping you reach your goals?
Compression socks are cheap. I think around $10 -$20 a pair, and they last a long time because of the synthetic materials. I bought mine from Chain Reaction Cycles (online bike retailer). Got a 2-pack. Best if they don't have big gnarly seams. I went for the ones that go almost to the knee...that's the way to go, trust me. Adventure athletes swear by them. I started running in them, and it took the pain away from jogging...now only my liver and my soul hurts.
Just my personal experience, but I really recommend compression socks for planting. I haven't seen very many people use them, but those that do, seem to love them. You ever hear of people wearing pantyhose socks? They're shooting for the same goal (and they're a lumberjack and they're okay!)
Edit- one drawback is that they get a bit warm...but that can be a great thing too.
I use the military socks that are quite similar to the compression socks, but way cheaper and more comfortable. There are verrry expensive compression socks out there that will run you 100$ a pair. Let the doctors sell them to other doctors and nurses to milk their publicly subsized insurance.
If you know somebody in the military they can order the thin socks for 5.19$ and the thicker ones for 6.94$ (plus 11$ shipping fee and HST). The thick socks are wool and nylon and are super comfortable. They work just as well (if not better) than any other combo you can get. It works out to 15$ per set after shipping and hst costs because you can only max 10 pairs per order.
If I were not limited by luggage constraints I would have a boxload of these things for people in camp every year.
As for prices on comp socks, here is a link to the ones I bought.
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ca/e ... -prod80222
I've had them for two years now, and they show no signs of wear. Works out about $21 a pair. You can use them for running and riding as well. The immediate fit difference here is that the Endura compression socks go all the way up to the knee, whereas the military ones seem to go mid-calf. I personally like the feeling of my whole calf in the sock, and also note I get a bit of scratch resistance and protection on that part of my leg.
I also reiterate the compression socks seem to work BEST when combined with another thin-to-medium outer wool sock, preferably merino. There is a distinct slippy-glide feeling that comes with the combo that I like.
Good to have options, find the one that works for your. But don't go on suffering with what you have if it isn't working for you!
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