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Hi Kristin, I was wondering if wearing two pairs of socks really helps prevent blisters/toe damage? If so, what do you recommend for the second sock? I usually use a merino wool blend, heavy cushion sock with my boots, and occasionally will get some blisters.
Submitted by – jr – Hollywood, Florida
Back in the old days, when backpackers wore those itchy, ragg wool socks, it was imperative to wear a silky liner sock against your skin. Those things were like Brillo pads! But today’s fine merino wool feels luscious, and I never have problems (unless the boots don’t fit, and that’s another story!).
But some people experience perpetual friction inside their boots—whether it’s due to a bunion or a callous or some other quirky shape. And if that’s you, I’d recommend trying a thin liner sock, for sure. The idea is that the liner rubs against the wool, not your skin, and you’ll notice a big reduction in friction and hot spots. Liners are also great at wicking—consider them like base layers for your feet—so your feet stay drier, which also reduces the chance for blisters.
Check out these inexpensive ($5) Coolmax liners from REI to see if they solve your problem. Just be sure to size them properly: they should fit very snugly and smoothly, so there’s absolutely no wrinkles or gapping, which will just exacerbate your problems.