Different Material Types for Sport Socks
You think a lot about the best equipment for your sport—the pads, the shoes, and … the socks? When was the last time you really thought about what your socks are made of, or if they’re the best choice for your sport? There are many different material types for sport socks, with various pros and cons. The main properties that can vary widely between sock materials are wicking (the ability to draw moisture away from the foot) and cushioning. Outdoor sports enthusiasts also should consider warmth.
Cotton is easy to find and relatively inexpensive, but it may not be the best choice for sports. Cotton is great at absorbing moisture, but lousy at letting it go. Because cotton socks soak up sweat and keep it there, right next to your feet, they tend to promote blisters. Moisture, combined with the heat from your hard-working feet, also encourages fungus. And cotton socks can lose their shape easily and bunch up—not comfortable when running or jumping.
Many athletic sock types use an array of synthetic fibers, whether it’s alone, in combination with other synthetics, or with cotton or wool. Nylon can endure a lot of pulling and stretching, but isn’t very good at wicking moisture away. Acrylic also stretches well, and it’s better at wicking away sweat. Polyester is an inexpensive fabric that absorbs moisture as well as or better than nylon and keeps feet dryer. Polypropylene is great at wicking, and also very warm—that’s why you’ll find sock liners made of polypropylene.
Wool is warm, and it can keep feet toasty even when wet; but this brings us back to the hot and sweaty, blister-encouraging, fungus-friendly scenario that cotton also creates. This is where blending natural fibers with synthetics comes into play—the sock keeps the benefits of the natural fiber while the synthetic mitigates some of the downside by improving wicking.
A sock’s material is critical, and for some sports, so is the sock’s level of padding. Some sport socks have extra padding, designed to provide cushioning for specific sports—like running or basketball—or for added support and stability.
Athletes who work out every day need a full wardrobe of great sports socks that are designed to keep feet healthy, protected, and dry. It’s great if they look good, too! MK Socks offers a wide array of custom sports socks that are appropriate for baseball, football, or basketball, as well as sport socks for soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball.