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Winter socks don’t make the worker but they sure keep them piggy warm this winter!

In the military there is a catch phrase of dropping your personal gear and grabbing your socks or so stated my drill sergeants in life. Then it was off to work we go!

Cold Feet in the Winter can stop the project. Starting the day with warm boots, liners, and insoles means your feet won’t have to work overtime to heat them up and establish a temperature equilibrium. When your feet sweat, your boots get wet and when your boots are wet you get cold feet.  Bigger socks trap more warm air next to your body and provide better insulation. Much like the layering system you use for your body, layer up on your feet, too!  ALWAYS HAVE A SPARE PAIR OF DRY SOCKS AT WORK IN THE WINTER

Like most people, your sock drawer is probably crowded full of a wide variety of styles and colors of cotton socks.

This is most unfortunate since wearing cotton socks in winter weather, particularly if you engage in strenuous activities, is a recipe for cold feet and frostbitten toes regardless of how fancy your winter boot might be. The reason? Simple. Wearing cotton socks during winter weather has the real potential to make your foot colder than if you wore no sock at all. How is this so?

Cotton Socks – Just Say No

The reason cotton socks are absolutely terrible choices for winter weather is because they have little insulation value and because they absorb and hold moisture. Worse yet, once a cotton sock is wet, it loses all insulation value. Even worse, a wet cotton sock then begins to coat your foot with a nice film of perspiration (which is water, remember?).

The end result of wearing cotton socks during the winter is that as your foot perspires the sock absorbs the moisture and then holds it, thereby coating your foot with a slick film of water while losing all insulation value in the process. And since a wet foot is a recipe for a cold foot, only if you really enjoy cold, wet, slimy feet should you ever consider wearing a cotton sock when engaging in outdoor winter activities.

Importance of Winter Socks

Because of the nasty effects of wearing cotton socks during the winter, if you spend much time outdoors in winter weather or participate in strenuous activities, a quality winter sock should be worn. The importance of wearing the right sock in winter weather cannot be understated. Wearing the latest, greatest and most expensive winter boot will do little to combat cold feet if you are wearing cotton socks.

Winter socks aren’t just for outdoor use, either. If you suffer from cold feet while just sitting at home, as many people do, take a look at the socks you wear. If they are made from cotton, regardless of how thick or stylish they might be, you might as well be sitting around barefoot as the sock is potentially doing more harm than good.

So, what do you wear for a sock during the winter? Why, a dedicated winter sock of course. For cold weather, a sock made of wool, IsoWool, shearling, fleece and similar type synthetic materials must be used. The reason these types socks are excellent for winter wear is because if the socks get wet (due to excessive perspiration from the foot), the socks themselves do not lose their insulating properties. Additionally, the various styles of synthetic socks are also generally far thicker than a standard thin cotton sock, allowing the sock to absorb far more moisture. Moreover, and one of the neatest features of these types of socks, is that dry themselves out by simply being worn. The body heat of a person can actually dry out these types of socks.

Remember, in cold weather, particularly if you engage in strenuous activities, avoid any socks that has any cotton content in it. Your foot will be thankful to you for it.

The Sock Liner

The sock liner is probably the most forgotten about asset in keeping your feet dry, and thus warm, in cold weather. A sock liner pulls double duty, both by adding in a bit extra insulation value and, far more importantly, by transferring perspiration from the foot directly to the sock that the person wears. In essence, a sock liner takes the water off your foot and moves it to the sock, with the sock liner itself remaining perfectly dry (due to the construction of these types of socks). Because of this transfer of moisture, your feet remain perfectly dry (even during periods of great exertion), thus greatly increasing the probability of keeping your feet warm.

Thus, if you spend lots of time doing strenuous activities during the winter months, consider investing in a few pairs of sock liners. You’ll be amazed at how effective these thin little socks are in keeping your foot dry and warm.

Sock liners, being the forgotten step-child that they are, aren’t the easiest to find anymore. When wool socks were popular, sock liners were more easily found since people often used them to protect against that “itchy, scratchy feeling” that wool socks caused. But with the arrival of more comfortable socks, sock liners have sort of gone out of style.

And yes boots come into play

A snow boot is a boot designed for use in the snow, as the name suggests. However, a snow boot is also designed to be used in wet conditions, too. And by wet, we aren’t talking about a few puddles or an inch of snow. We are talking about deep, yucky mud. Or deep piles of slushy, wet, dirty snow. Or heaps of fresh, new powder that fell the night before and now beckons for removal from the driveway.

A snow boots excels in these conditions because of their unique design. A good pair of snow boots generally has a rubber bottom, which provides 100% waterproof protection without the need for any special coatings or treatments. Additionally, the rubber bottom makes cleaning up the boot afterwards a breeze—just wash them down.

The upper part of a snow boot will be either made of leather or a mix of leather and nylon. The upper part of a snow boot will frequently extend well above the ankle. The reason for the tall height of snow boots is to provide additional warmth, give the ankle extra support, as well as to make room for a snow gaiter that is built into the boot. A snow gaiter closes the space between the lower leg and the opening of the boot, thus preventing snow from falling down while wandering through deep snow.

Thus, a snow boot is a specialist boot. It is designed to provide warmth and protection of the foot in really nasty weather. However, this does come at a price. Snow boots are often bulkier and heavier than a normal winter boot. Moreover, if the proper sock combination is not worn, the foot itself can become rather wet due to the inability of the foot perspiration to escape the lower rubber shell of the boot.

Snow boots are really meant for people who spend lots of time outdoors during the winter. People who work on road construction projects in the mud, sleet and snow will find snow boots ideal footwear. As will farmers and ranchers to have to trudge through a wide variety of conditions during the course of a year. Even people who live in and around the cities will find uses for snow boots, such as using them for hunting or camping trips during the spring and fall. Snow boots are also ideal for skiers, too.

Winter Boots : Specific Uses

By contrast, a winter boot is more of a “general use” item. A winter boot will, like a snow boot, have good insulation built inside of it to keep the foot warm during cold weather. Most good winter boots will also be waterproof or, at a minimum, water repellant. However, winter boots lack the ability to keep snow from tumbling inside the boot between the boot opening and lower leg. Thus, to wear a normal winter boot in deep snow, a separate snow gaiter must be worn. The lack of a built-in snow gaiter is one of the best ways to differentiate between a “Snow Boot” and a “Winter Boot.”

Additionally, winter boots – even fully waterproof ones – can’t compare to the waterproofing ability of a good snow boot. Taking a waterproof winter boot into deep mud is a great recipe to have literally pounds of mud “caked on” to the boot. And sooner or later the water in the mud will begin to find a way to seep through the outer shell, eventually ending up on the foot. Moreover, at the end of the day, removing all that mud from a normal winter boot is often a less than easy or desirable task.

Instead, a winter boot is best used for what I would call normal daily activities that most people do in the winter. This includes such exciting activities such as shoveling the drive or the sidewalk, commuting, walking to work, walking downtown, driving, shopping, etc…A winter boot will accomplish these things in fine style while at the same time being lighter and more comfortable than a heavier and bulkier snow boot.

P bar Y Safety

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