There’s nothing like a bushwalk in the outback or the satisfaction of making it up a particularly difficult hiking trail. But as you know, long treks can lead to foot pangs and muscle soreness that hold you back. And here’s where compression socks for hiking come in handy.
Compression socks for hiking: the main benefits
Hiking compression socks have three main benefits: boosting blood flow, stabilising the ankle, and supporting the foot. Let’s get into how these translate into a better hiking experience.
Boost blood flow
When you hike (or do any kind of legwork, really), your leg muscles demand a higher supply of oxygen and nutrients. A good pair of compression socks can aid the delivery as they’ll speed up your body’s venous return - the rate at which your blood returns to the heart after delivering oxygen and nutrients. The boost in blood flow will thus translate into:
- Reduced leg fatigue and cramping when you’re on the trail
- Faster muscle recovery
- And little to no leg swelling, even after an especially long hike
Be mindful, however, that you’ll need to get a pair offering graduated compression that meets medical standards because anything less won’t have the same benefits.
Stabilise the ankle
Some hiking compression socks (like our Outdoor Mid-Cut Socks) have targeted compression zones around the foot and ankle to help stabilise the joint. They do so by targeting and triggering specific muscles based on movement, thus improving your subconscious awareness of joint placement and movement (AKA proprioception). So, you can enjoy hiking on more rugged terrain with less risk of injury.
Support the foot
A good pair of hiking boots or shoes will offer some foot support around the arches. But the arches aren’t the only area to target, which is where hiking socks come in. Our Full-Length Outdoor Socks, for example, have specialised zones to reduce pressure and irritation on your Achilles tendon. They also feature heel support to reduce the pressure on your heel and instep as your foot hits the ground.
If you’re going to be wearing a pair of socks for hours of trekking, they’ll need to be comfortable on the skin. And especially in the summer months, breathability should be your top priority to avoid unpleasant odours and moisture build-up.
So, it’s a good thing that we make all our performance socks out of flat-knit, moisture-wicking, and breathable compression knit. And with high elasticity and soft texture, you can hike for hours without worrying about constricted circulation and blisters.
Are there any downsides to hiking in compression socks?
There shouldn't be, as long as your socks are high-quality, and you follow any care, wear, and fit guides they come with. Ideally, your socks should fit your calf and foot perfectly. That means all the supports should be in the right places, and the compression weave should sit snug without feeling too tight and constricted.
You should also wash your socks after your hike to get rid of any sweat and bacteria and ensure the longevity of the compression knit.
To sum up
With their ability to boost circulation, support your foot, and stabilise your ankle, quality compression socks for hiking are just as important as good boots and trekking poles. And with reduced muscle fatigue and improved proprioception, you can hike longer and better enjoy the experience.
Hike often? See our full range of hiking braces and supports.
If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.
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