It’s now fashionable to be a regular partaker in some sort of athletic activity, and you know how you feel when you’ve been slacking off in this regard. Now, we aren’t saying that you should get out there and start running, jumping or stretching simply because everyone else is doing it; we’re rather encouraging participation in physical activities because they offer both short and long-term benefits. Anyway, that isn’t our focus in this review; we’re going to discuss something closely related: athletic socks, an important but often neglected item.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a difference between socks for athletic activities and regular socks, a number of them in fact. The major one is that these socks are engineered to help you optimize your exercises, trainings or workouts. They provide cushioning for your feet and keep them dry, odorless and comfortable while you concentrate on building form and keeping fit. Now, when it comes to athletic socks, those for men are built differently from those for women. A reason for this could be due to the fact that the average woman’s feet are more slender than the average man’s; another reason is that the average height of each sex is also considered.
Athletic socks come in a slew of fabrics, from the classic cotton to high-tech (they aren’t called that because of any fancy buttons or LEDs, but because of the technology involved in the fabric development) socks. The features of each fabric determine how comfortable they’ll be; it’s also important to note that the kind of running shoes
you’re pairing the socks with will also determine how effective they’ll be. The fabric can generally be classified into natural and synthetic fibers. Let’s take a brief look at some of these fabrics, shall we?
- Cotton: this is one of the most popular sock fabrics around. Cotton is a natural fiber; it’s hydrophilic and absorbs the sweat released from our feet. It’s comfortable and also comes blended with other fabrics.
- Wool: another natural fiber. It’s super-absorbent, which makes it great for removing sweat from your feet as you work out.
- Acrylic: This is a synthetic fiber, and it’s great at wicking away sweat to be absorbed by the outer environment. It’s lightweight, soft and durable, which makes it a favorite option for athletic socks.
- Coolmax: This is a brand of fabric that has been specially designed with a 4-channel fiber technology that makes it better at wicking than other fibers. It’s comfortable and lightweight as well.
All of these fabrics, as well as others not mentioned here, have their high and low points.
At the end of the day, a man needs the best pair of athletic socks he can find, as they’re important for every type of athletic activity where shoes are worn. They’re just as important as climbing shoes
for climbers and, depending on the length, it complements the shin guard
in soccer; basically, if you’re going to wear shoes for any sporting activity, you’ll need this pair of hosiery.
You’re going to find men’s athletic socks in the neighborhood of $9 - $45, and the difference in the price range is probably due to the type of material, the size and length of the socks and the brand. Athletic socks come in different sizes, and the longer they get, the more the material that was used in their production, so they tend to cost more. Usually, the price difference isn’t noticed until you take successive lengths, put them side by side and compare – even then, the differences aren’t significant, thanks to economics of scale. Now, when it comes to brand, newer brands with their eyes on quality may sell their socks for higher prices.
You’ll find cheap men’s athletic socks, and when you do, our advice is that you walk away, as we don’t want your feet to endure the discomfort they’ll bring in the long run.
There are a number of factors you’ll have to consider if you’re going to end up with great socks for your athletic activities. We’ve taken the liberty of listing a few of them here for you:
- Number of Pairs
Construction and Design
Athletic sock materials vary; they include cotton, wool, acrylic, and a number of other materials. Men’s athletic socks come in different materials and lengths; the combination of these two is usually the basic determinant of the sock type. So, you can have ankle-length cotton socks, a no-show synthetic blend or a pair of acrylic crew socks. The choice of sock length is essentially dependent on your style and the particular activity you’ll be engaging in.
When it comes to sock material or fabric, the most important thing to consider is the moisture-wicking ability of the fabric. Moisture wicking is simply the absorption and transportation of moisture from the feet to the outer environment. Since your socked feet will be clad in shoes, it means that your shoes will have to be made of breathable materials for this feature to be maximized, and that discussion is an entirely different ball game. Cotton is a popular sock fiber, it’s super-absorbent but it retains the moisture for longer; there are, however, cotton fabric blends with 60% or less cotton; they are engineered to give you the absorption of cotton and the wicking function of the other materials.
Wool is another hydrophilic fabric; it can absorb moisture that’s about 1/3 of its weight and still feel dry. However, wool can be itchy – combine that with the absorbed moisture (the human feet can secrete over 200ml of sweat daily – that can overwhelm any wool sock) and we doubt you’ll like the picture, especially since you’ll be burning calories in them. Merino wool comes to the rescue with its itch-free fibers, temperature-regulating and wicking abilities. Other great sock fabrics are lycra, acrylic, nylon, etc.
Performance and Ease of Use
Your athletic socks should fit snug and tight against your feet; the sock’s heel should fit smack on your heels – the heel of a small sock will be under it, while that of an over-sized on will go past it. When socks don’t fit, it can be both awkward and uncomfortable. Sock sizes vary across brands, and it’s best to check their charts before choosing a pair or a set.
In the military, soldiers are taught to take care of their feet – an important lesson, seeing as their feet are always in shoes or boots. One of the ways this can be done is by changing socks twice a day or more. We know that you probably aren’t in the military, but we can take a cue from them, and buying socks in packs is an affordable way to do so. These socks can be bought as a single pair or a pack of two or more. The higher the number of socks in a pack, the more value for money spent. Plus, you wouldn’t have a reason to wear an unwashed pair of socks.
When it comes to the issue of colors for men’s athletic socks, unless you’re part of team for which a specific color is required, your options are limitless, from the classic white sock to different color combos.
There are many kinds of athletic socks out there, and it could be easy to get confused when you're out shopping. With the important stuff we’ve discussed in the guide, there’ll be no room for confusion as you read the review following this.
Dickies offers an excellent assortment of work wear, work shirts, denim jeans, work pants and even work wear for women. Over the years, it has experienced steady growth, expanding to international markets such as the Middle East and Europe.
The Dickies Dri-Tech Comfort Crew Socks feature a reciprocated toe and heel that give you excellent comfort. They are easy to clean, as they're machine washable. The socks come with an arch compression that holds them tightly in place. Their fabric is made of a combination of poly, nylon, lycra spandex and cotton, making them durable and long-lasting. At a cost of $14.99, these men’s athletic socks feature air circulation and moisture wicking that you cannot get in other pairs of their price.
You can choose from different size variations to get the best fit. You can also pick from a variety of colors and pairs, including 12, 18 and 5 pairs of black, gray and white.
We hope your athletic sock search is over, because this review definitely is, so go on and place that order, we know you want to!