2010 September 23

As we pack away our flip-flops, thongs, mules, sandals and deck shoes of summer, and get ready for the motorcycle boots, training shoes, hiking boots, Uggs and Doc Martens of winter, it’s time to invest in socks that give us happy feet.

Most people know that sports socks are designed to keep feet cool and odour free but there’s a wide range of specialist sock wear out there (called hosiery in the trade) that can keep your winter feet cosy, safe and sweet-smelling.

Winter shoes tend to be thicker and heavier than summer ones which means feet can get tired more quickly. Support socks give feet special cushioning – they are often called crew socks and while they are designed for builders, soldiers and other people who spend all day on their feet, crew socks suit anybody who likes to have comfortable relaxed feet. Many specialist winter socks also have an antibacterial component to stop feet getting smelly or developing foot diseases.

Heavy winter clothing and fewer opportunities to get exercise mean that our winter bodies are more likely to develop conditions like fungal infections of the feet, head and armpits and good hygiene, wearing cotton next to the skin and regular washing of both bodies and clothes can help keep these nasties at bay. Feet are particularly prone to infections which is where good socks can help, but heads too can get itchy and dandruffy. Wearing a hat in winter is a good idea – choosing one you can wash easily means that you won’t be at risk of headlice. Hoodies can keep your head and ears warm on those days when the weather veers between okay and awful.

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