No cotton, please.


The one place on my body that I don’t want touching cotton is a place that I don’t show to many people before knowing them pretty well.

It’s often referred to by a four-letter-word beginning with the letter “F”.

I am, of course, talking about my feet.

Whereas cotton socks are just fine for around the house, wearing at the office or to wear while reading a book, if used for hiking they quickly become overloaded with sweat which leads to rubbing which leads to blisters, which leads to moleskin.

Moleskin. What has this furry, subterranean mammal ever done to you? Why would you sacrifice the hide of this nocturnal critter just because you failed to buy proper socks? Why has PETA not taken up this terrible rodent tragedy? Why have there not been more recipes for marinated mole barbecued over mesquite, perhaps wrapped in a nice, fresh pita? But I digress.

I prefer to wear socks that have hydrophilic properties.

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Hydrophilic properties, in this case, are not golf courses in the desert. It is instead a five-dollar phrase for the word “wicking”. The Bootsnall staff pays me based upon the use of important words and phrases, it makes them feel like they are getting their monies’ worth. (Even better, if Sean has to look a word up, Cha-Ching!)

I don’t want my socks to be rubbing against my feet, I don’t want blisters, I don’t want to be rescued in the backcountry by the Yosemite Rangers because my feet are in crippling pain (this actually happened to a friend of mine). Wearing cotton socks is OK, just make sure that you wear some wicking ‘liner’ socks between the cotton and your tootsies.

I wear socks made from some sort of material not found in nature.

They wick. I don’t get blisters. It would be unfair of me to blindly endorse a companies product line, but I will. I love love love the socks made by Thorlo. I have tried the socks made by other important sock barons: Wigwam, Fox River Mills and even the ones made for The North Face, but I keep walking back to Thorlo. I’m a happy customer.

But if my Thorlo socks were to get holes in them and Thorlo had gone out of business, I would strongly consider the fine products from Smartwool. I was clued in to these by an old friend who was a buyer for a small chain of stores in Pennsylvania. We were imbibing adult beverages and discussing new products that really work.
He raved about Smartwool. I had never heard of them.

Wool: the new miracle fiber. What will they think of next?

Smartwool was a new company then, they had little advertising, were unheard of by my co-workers (it took some doing to convince them to buy Smartwool socks for our stores. And after I succeeded, did the Smartwool folks ever send me a pair of free socks? No Sir, they did not. Buy some Thorlos or buy some Smartwool socks. Tell the sales clerk that Joe E sent you and that you want a 20% discount.
Walk softly, carry a big stick but have dry feet.

If my socks get holes in them, I will exclaim “darn it”.