Fox River X-Static Sock Liners – EC Winner 1999
Sock liners aren’t going to win “Sexiest Gear of the Year” anytime soon, but when it comes to fundamental gear that can significantly change your backpacking experience, liners should be in the hall of fame. My personal favorites are Fox River’s X-Static Liner socks, which have been changing readers’ lives since they were first recognized with an Editors’ Choice back in the late ‘90s. I saw the difference after my buddy literally jogged the last four miles out of the Ansel Adams Wilderness (pack and all) because it made the blisters ‘less painful than walking.’ He added these liners for the next trip, and he’s hardly had a blister problem since. They also greatly reduced his famously suffocating foot odor, which meant tentmates no longer had to sleep with a snorkel out the side door in order to breathe. Credit goes to all-natural silver-coated nylon, which does double duty by relegating funk and transferring heat away from your feet. Bottom Line: They simply make hiking more comfortable, both for you and your comrades. Specs: 3 oz. (pair); $11; foxsox.com
These liners were also chosen as the editors’ “Toughest Gear” in the April 2010 issue, and the above photo is one of the editor’s well-loved pair.