Blister socks are specialty footwear designed to prevent the friction that often leads to painfully blistered feet during vigorous physical activity. This problem is especially prevalent among people who enjoy spending time running, hiking, or playing sports that are tough on the feet. Preventing foot blisters can become a concern for some of these athletes, and many find these kinds of socks helpful. High quality blister socks are often manufactured with certain kinds of synthetic material designed to minimize moisture and foot friction as much as possible.
Podiatrists often report that standard cotton socks can lead to blisters on the feet due to the rougher cotton lining rubbing against the skin. New and stiff athletic shoes or hiking boots can sometimes make the problem worse before the footwear can be broken in properly. Sweaty feet in cotton socks are also frequently more prone to blistering because the moisture usually causes the skin to become more sensitive to friction. Several types of blister-free socks are designed to pull moisture away from the feet and prevent the formation of these sores. These socks are made with synthetic fabric often called wicking material, and it can be made from woven acrylic as well as some types of polypropylene fabric.
Some kinds of blister socks are made with inner and outer fabric layers: one of wicking fabric and one made from another type of fabric such as smooth wool. These blister-free socks can also help to keep the feet warm during cold-weather activities such as snow skiing or ice skating. Another advantage of some double-layered blister socks is that the material can fit better to the shape of the feet. Some of these socks can also have extra padding sewn into the sections that rub against blister-prone areas such as the backs of the heels, the tops of the toes, or the sides of the feet.
Blister socks can come in both thin and thick varieties, and many people prefer one kind of sock over the other. Some athletes wear thinner socks in warmer weather and switch to thicker ones in cold weather. Foot care experts often advise them to ensure their shoes can be adjusted to fit correctly with either type of blister sock. Wearing thick blister socks can sometimes leave too little room for the toes in the front of the shoes, often leading to discomfort during sports and similar activities.