Which socks for horse riding

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Choose the sports socks that best suit your needs

If you're not sure which socks to choose for your favorite sports and activities, follow these tips to select the right materials, the right fit and the right features.

Just as there are shoes specifically designed for hiking, running and golfing, there are socks to accompany these sports activities. Intense activity and competitive sports involve jumping and running, which can put extra pressure on your feet.

Wearing the wrong socks can lead to blisters or the dreaded athlete's foot, the result of excessive foot sweat and nail or foot fungus. Wearing the right socks helps prevent injury and provides additional support to that offered by shoes. That's why it's important to know what types of fabrics and features to choose.

To choose the best sports socks, you need to take into account the type of activity and the level of intensity. For example, if you go skiing or hiking, the cotton socks you wear every day will not be suitable. A thicker wool-based model, capable of wicking moisture and perspiration, will be more suitable.

The main types of socks

Before making a decision, familiarize yourself with the different lengths and shapes of socks that exist.

Low-cut socks, invisible socks: their name speaks for itself. These are short socks that stop at the ankle, slightly below or slightly above, and sometimes you can't even see them inside the shoe, hence the term "invisible socks. Low-cut socks are generally used for running and for sports where limiting the amount of fabric is of particular interest.

Crew socks: These are medium-sized socks that generally extend a few inches above the ankle and stop just below the calf. There are also lower versions, often called "mini-crew". Crew socks are a very functional size for the gym, fields and a wide range of sports activities.

Mid-calf socks: sometimes called pant socks, these longer socks come to the middle or top of the calf. They are generally used for activities where a little more coverage and warmth is desirable.

High socks: These socks usually come to just below the knee. High socks are used extensively in outdoor sports involving exposure to the elements, or by athletes who need to wear lower leg protection (e.g., to keep a shin guard in place).

Above-the-knee socks: These are the highest and most covering socks, as they go up to the thigh. These socks can be used to hold knee pads and other padded protection.

Choose fabrics designed for sport and performance

When it comes to buying sports socks, look for specific fabrics that will cushion your foot in strategic areas while wicking away moisture. For athletes or very active people, it's best to go with acrylic or synthetic-based socks, as these fabrics have the ability to trap and transfer moisture to keep your feet dry.

Here are the main types of fabrics to choose from for sports socks:

Wool: wool is considered one of the best materials for socks, and it is also one of the most expensive. Wool is an excellent material for socks, as it is composed of soft fibers that do not itch, breathe and resist odors. Merino wool in particular is known to keep warm even when wet, which is why it is popular in winter for hiking, skiing or snowboarding.

Nylon and Acrylic: These are synthetic fibers that are blended together to make a cushioned, technical sock. Acrylic helps provide support and comfort, while nylon makes the sock more durable. Both types of fibers promote moisture wicking.

Natural fibers: these include wool and cotton. While cotton alone is not enough for a sports sock, when mixed with other materials, it becomes much more durable and versatile.

Why avoid cotton

Your classic everyday socks are certainly thinner and made of cotton, a material that absorbs and retains water. This can lead to skin irritation and foot fungus.

Today, the best socks are made from a blend of different types of fabrics and fibers that make them strong, prevent odor and keep your feet dry.

Features to consider for a sports sock

The features you need depend on the type of activity you do and the season. If you're playing soccer in the summer, you'll need socks that combine durability, moisture absorption and quick drying. On the other hand, if you're snowshoeing in 10-degree weather, a thick wool-based material will keep your feet warm and wick away moisture.

Consider the following features when buying sports socks:

Cushioning and support: look for padded areas in the front and heel area. This will help cushion your foot and prevent blisters. The padding takes up more space, so make sure you're not too tight in your shoes with these socks.

Weather: If you're doing winter activities, you'll probably want socks that keep your feet warm and dry.

Compression: Compression equipment applies gentle pressure to stimulate circulation and increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles. Athletes who train and compete frequently often choose compression socks to boost their recovery.

Support and absence of wrinkles: these characteristics can be related to the chosen size, but also make sure that the material is sufficiently adjusted in strategic places, for example at the level of the toes, so that the sock remains well in place.

Anti-perspiration action: Acrylic, polyester and wool blends will keep your feet dry. For example, Nike Dri-FIT socks contain an anti-perspiration fabric that provides excellent breathability.

Odor Control: This feature is related to keeping your feet dry. If the fabric dries quickly, odor-causing bacteria won't have a chance to proliferate. wool and polyester are excellent options.

Find the best sports socks for you

Remember that the type of socks you buy should depend on your activity and personal preferences. The best basketball socks are not necessarily suitable for soccer. And vice versa.

Also keep in mind that the length and composition of the sock should be appropriate for your activity. If you're hiking, a taller, thicker sock will protect you from the dirt and sharp branches you'll encounter on the trail.

Quality, tailored athletic socks will help keep your feet dry, warm and blister-free, so you can keep moving and performing at your best.

 

 

Horse riding socks

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Determine your need for riding socks

Start by thinking about when you are going to wear your riding socks. Is it only during practice? During competitions? In winter to keep warm? This will help you choose your sock material. It is a choice that may seem trivial but it is an important criterion to respect when you wonder how to choose your riding socks.

In any case, each material must respect strict criteria to be comfortable and resistant enough to withstand shocks.

The strong points of the foot must be reinforced to avoid early holes. You will be doing sports with these socks. High socks are hand-knit and reinforced at the toe and heel.

Choose noble materials like combed cotton or bamboo that will allow your feet to breathe. They will also be more pleasant to wear during long sessions or horseback riding.

 Riding socks must be seamless. As with your pants, socks should be seamless to avoid chafing. Be very careful with this point, otherwise it's guaranteed pain along the leg and in your boot!

The choice of the material of a high sock

Several types of riding socks exist, so how do you choose?

Cotton socks: Cotton socks are resistant and will follow you during all your equestrian adventures. You can wear them as you wish, they are suitable for all types of situations! Choose them in combed cotton for maximum comfort and freedom.

Bamboo socks: They are ideal to let your foot breathe and not to have this smoky smell when we take off our boots or booties... Their virtues are multiple! Whether for riding or in short socks, let yourself be tempted by this material.

Fleece socks: Ideal in winter, they offer you the certainty of not losing two or three toes during your snowy walks. No more excuses when it will be -5°C from now on, you are obliged to take advantage of it! The cotton is thicker to guarantee you keep your feet warm.

The thin socks: The foot is made of cotton to let it breathe, the rest of the leg is made of nylon for more lightness. This sock is perfect for hot summers or for tight boots.

And here you are, now you know how to choose your riding socks. So, which ones do you choose?

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Why wear high socks for horseback riding?

But why wear high socks when riding? Simply for comfort!

The high sock, also called knee-high, covers the calf to protect it from rubbing against the saddle or the horse's flank. It stops below the knee because it is there that the support is the most optimal. In more technical terms, the ribbing (elastic of the sock) is placed on a thinner part of the leg in order to be properly maintained. This way you avoid finding your socks on your ankles at the end of the session!

Moreover the riding sock holds your pants in place. In boots or chaps, it tends to dance the salsa quickly, right? And suddenly it is the drama, a small fold presses on your ankle and you are condemned to suffer 1 whole hour.

You need equipment that stays in place. Because in horse riding, the fold of a garment is the death of you!

 

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Do all high socks fit?

Yes, and no! From a theoretical point of view, a ski sock will also hold your pants and protect your calf. BUT... yes there is always a but.

High socks must be specialized for the practice of your sport. Riding socks should be seamless to avoid chafing again. The same goes for your pants. Yes, choosing your riding socks is an art.

So you can ride with the high socks of your choice, provided they are seamless and reinforced.

Can I wear short socks when riding?

Many riders practice horseback riding with short socks. There is no contraindication to this! Wearing a high sock is mostly for comfort.

If you ride for 5 minutes to correct a recalcitrant horse, or if it's just for a short ride, the boots will be more than enough. For a smooth ride, you can keep your socks short with a pair of chaps. However, we advise you to bring a good equipment for the competitions.

And you, do you ride in short socks or high socks?

And after the effort?

Some socks promote recovery. They act according to the same principle as support stockings by promoting venous return (blood circulation from the foot to the upper leg) through adapted compression points.

 

 

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