by Diane Spicer
This ArmaSkin sock review focuses on the innovative features of a new-to-Hiking For Her type of socks for hikers.
To fully appreciate these socks, you should take a look at the conditions which lead to a blister inside a hiking boot.
You should also observe how the thoughtfully engineered features of ArmaSkin socks are designed to combat blister formation on a hiker's feet.
That's what this Armaskin sock review aims to do for you.
Full disclosure: This ArmaSkin review began when ArmaSkin contacted me to suggest that I try a pair of these socks on my next hiking trip.
Now let's dive into the details of this ArmaSkin sock review.
These three conditions must exist to create a blister.
When you remove your hiking boot after a long day on the trail, you have ample demonstration of this blister triad.
Here's why your socks play an important role in preventing blisters.
Your feet generate heat and moisture as your muscles contract and your blood flow directs excess warmth away from your body.
is the body's wise way of dumping that heat, trapped in water, into the
external environment. For hikers, that's inside a boot or trail shoe
until you take them off.
All during your hike, your socks have to not only absorb heat and moisture, but wick them away from your skin.
But there's a third, more sinister variable at work here: friction.
Given enough time, vigorous activity, and the right (or should we say WRONG?) conditions, the upper layers of your skin (epidermis) can get separated from the lower layers (dermis).
This creates a little pocket of space which fills with fluid as it's released from dead and dying cells and/or damaged blood vessels.
Regardless of its size, a blister is going to hurt, which in turn will slow you down.
It's also going to provide an open doorway into your bloodstream if it pops.
So as a hiker, it's best to avoid blisters.
One way to do that?
Wear the right socks! (Did you see that coming?)
If you've never tried on a pair of "smart" socks, here's your chance.
The design of these socks defeats the blister triad in multiple ways:
Now for the all important question:
How did these liner socks perform on the trail?
The answer actually begins well before any trail time.
Let's take a close look at these anti-blister hiking socks.
The first thing you'll notice about these socks is the extreme difference between the inner layer and the outer layer.
They're very different from other technical hiking socks!
Putting on these socks is not like sliding on an ordinary pair of liners.
That's the whole point of anti-blister socks, right?
ArmaSkin kindly provides a video to demonstrate the technique required to get a perfectly contoured fit.
I recommend that you watch it to avoid bunching or twisting the socks.
Once the left-right, inside-outside thing has been figured out, and the socks are on your feet, you will appreciate the snug fit and flat seams.
These socks are going to stay put on your skin and interrupt the nasty blister triad discussed above.
To be honest, the snugness gave me pause.
I'm not a fan of constricting fabrics anywhere on my body. In fact, I wear hiking shirts and boots that are a size "too big" in order to avoid feeling confined.
Another potential red flag for me was the sticky inner fabric.
My outer hiking socks slid on easily over these liners, due to the smooth outer fabric.
So once the ArmaSkin socks were seated correctly on my feet, it was a breeze to finish getting booted up.
Now to probably the most important question to answer in this Armaskin sock review...
No comfort issues, beyond the snug sensation.
My feet generally don't bug me until I hit double digit mileage, but I was definitely aware of these socks throughout the hike.
That's not a bad thing, just a note comparing them with my usual poly blend or silk hiking sock liners.
And here's great news:
These socks are machine washable.
Just don't subject them to high heat, bleach or fabric softeners.
I don't yet know how fast these socks would wash 'n dry during a backpacking trip.
But there is no evidence to suggest that they wouldn't dry fast if hung up in the tent overnight, given the blend of materials (see above).
All of the design features, antimicrobial fabric and moisture wicking materials push the price point into a range that a casual hiker might question.
For serious hikers, good hiking gear is a serious investment.
High performance socks can keep you out of Blister Land, which is a small price to pay if you total up your time, money and effort costs for a backpacking trip.
Keep your toenails really short so the socks fit correctly around your toes.
This probably isn't critical in looser liner socks, but it would definitely be a big deal in these form fitting socks.
If you're a hiker who is prone to blister formation, you need to check out these socks.
Every design feature makes good sense from an anatomical and physiologic perspective.
The learning curve of donning the socks might give you pause, but so will blisters, and once you get these socks on your feet your blister troubles might be over.
For thru hikers, section hikers, and backpackers with aggressive mileage itineraries, Armaskin socks will protect your most precious asset: your ability to rack up the miles without any foot issues (blisters, but also skin infections from funky socks).
Casual day hikers, or hikers who don't get blisters, probably don't need this "engineered for extreme endurance" type of sock. But if you're curious, try them!
A transitional hiker - someone who plans to begin hiking a notch or two above their usual limits and begin to enjoy backpacking trips - should consider the extra level of protection these liners provide.
A hiker who is also a trail runner, especially a competitive endurance runner, would find these socks a welcome addition to their sock drawer.
Sock connoisseurs and aggressive hikers, take note of this ArmaSkin review!
My husband was casting envious glances toward these anti-blister socks, so I let him borrow them for two hikes while he was breaking in a new pair of leather hiking boots.
Here's what he had to say about the performance of the socks:
So there you have it: another round of information in this ArmaSkin sock review.
Tip: These socks make an excellent gift for hikers. Guess what he got for his birthday this year?
Here's what a Hiking For Her reader, Ellen U., has to say about the ArmaSkin socks (shared with her permission):
This ArmaSkin review was written to give you a new weapon against blisters from hiking and backpacking.
Get your very own pair and give them a try!
For more ideas on blister prevention, read this.
Already have blisters?
Don't be defeated by your feet.
Be proactive by choosing the best outer socks for your style of hiking, paired with Armaskin.
Thanks for reading this review!
Send your questions and comments here.
Happy blister free hiking this season!
ArmaSkin Anti Blister Sock Review
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Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer.
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