For most of us, socks are a must-have in our lives. They keep our toes feeling warm in cold weather and protected whenever we slide our shoes on. Socks are so commonplace and important, yet have you ever considered how a sock’s cloth material affects almost everything?
Perhaps you have been so used to cotton socks all your life that you have never discovered a better, more comfortable alternative. Or maybe you have tried other types but have failed to find the right one for you. Before you scratch your eyes out in frustration, we are here provide a deep dive into the different factors that are affected by different sock fabrics.
By reading this article, we hope that you will be able to pick up your next pair easier. We also hope that you can find a pair that truly fits your needs and lifestyle.
So without further ado, here’s how a sock’s cloth material matters:
Different cloth materials affect a sock’s softness significantly. Socks that are made with cashmere, for instance, are considered one of the softest socks one can ever buy. Compared to the ordinary cotton socks, wearing cashmere socks blended with other soft materials like bamboo would feel like walking on clouds!
Another reason to be picky with the type of sock materials you choose is durability. You don’t want to be blowing money on socks every year, do you? By choosing materials that are known for their durability, you are assured that your socks purchases are not going to be that frequent each year.
Some examples of highly durable socks cloth material include cotton, polyester, and nylon. However, these materials might not be the most comfortable on their own. So, make sure to grab ones that are blended to balance out their long-lasting qualities with comfort.
We have provided a different section for comfort, since being soft might not always give the wearer the most comfort. Wearers can easily sink into “soft” materials like cashmere, making it impossible to wear for the daily grind. If you need an everyday pair that remains comfortable for long hours, you can try out bamboo.
Cotton and polyester blend is also not a bad choice since it gives the most room for flexibility. You might find it helpful if you are especially active during the day.
Elasticity is an important factor to consider if you engage in sports, hiking, and other physical activities. That is why if you are going to have a busy day out, 100% cotton socks would be far from our list of recommendations. Contrary to popular belief, cotton socks actually get uncomfortable on its own.
Bamboo, nylon, and spandex have been reported as some of the most recommended sock materials among athletes. But of all three, bamboo heralded the top position as the material that led to the least chafing and burning even after long hours of use.
But if your plans involve formal occasions, we recommend nylon and spandex. These materials are sleek and chic, blending easily with any formal wear. But if you want to up the ante in streetwear, bright and colourful bamboo socks are available, too.
Many manufacturers have noticed how well bamboo socks hold dye. When washed, printed bamboo socks do not smudge as much as its cotton counterpart.
For people who need specialised socks, bamboo has shown to be the most versatile among all the other fabric types. This is can be attributed to its naturally thermo-regulating fibres. Diabetics who are especially vulnerable to moisture have a safe haven in bamboo’s moisture-wicking features.
A close second is a human-made fibre called rayon. Unlike other human-made sock materials, rayon is not considered synthetic as it is made from natural animal products and wood. It is designed to be blended with other materials like cotton and bamboo to achieve the highest level of breathability. Be careful though, as rayon tends to shrink in the washer or dryer. So, choose garments with at most 30% rayon.
Do you suffer from a skin condition? Then you know just how hard it is to find garment fabric that will not irritate your skin. We would suggest staying away from materials like spandex. Cheaper wools also tend to be scratchy. Opt instead for naturally soft fibres like high-quality merino wool and bamboo.
Silk socks have also been dubbed as the best by those that can afford it. Though, fair warning, you might want to anticipate for a bit of handwashing if you want to own a pair or two.
Ease of Cleaning
Some socks require multiple washes just to take the stink off. Luckily, you won’t have to do that with fabrics like bamboo and cotton. Tencel and rayon blends also hold well as they are well below 30% of the overall materials used.
You might have a harder time cleaning silk socks since they require gentle cleaning. Cashmere and wool socks fall under the same cleaning challenge too.
Effects to the Environment
No matter how much we want comfort for ourselves, it is also important to consider what’s best for our environment. Spandex, polyester, nylon, and other synthetic materials are the hardest to recycle and dispose of. They do not decompose easily, but they do get holes easily with friction and wear and tear.
If you want to experience comfort without compromising the planet’s health, you can try out bamboo socks. Bamboo socks are very easy to recycle. They decompose easily and their manufacturing process leaves a very minimal carbon footprint. Compared to other sock materials, bamboo fibres are so much better in the long run.
If getting the best value for your money is at the top of your mind when it comes to sock shopping, then you should choose the material that boasts the features we listed above and a also fair price tag. If you have been reading along, then bamboo is easily the top candidate for this category.
We hope you learned more about the importance of a sock’s cloth material in this article. But perhaps the key takeaway that we want to share before we wrap this up, is that the final decision would always be up to you. Go out there and explore the many sock options waiting in store.
But if you are ready for the cream of the crop, then why not purchase your first pair from Soles? Check out our online shop today to find the perfect socks for you.