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Best socks for cold weather stand?
What have you folks found to be the best sock or sock combination for cold weather stand hunting? Do you use a base layer and then a heavier sock over it? I typically have a pretty good walk from the truck to the stand in the morning which gets my feet sweating. What brands and where to find them?
Wicking layer and wool outer. I like to have some silver in the wicking layer to kill bacteria. Many good socks on the market. I use the ones that have a little pocket for foot warmers. These things are fabulous, but take spares because they are pretty erratic in terms of how long they last.
For really cold weather: A medium-light all wool or blended sock followed by a pair of Cabela's Ultimax Extreme Cold Weather Socks...calf high. I use this combo for ice fishing (and good pac boots) and my feet stay in great shape. Dry feet = warm feet.
Good advice so far....
Those boot dryers are worth their weight in gold!
I picked up some Alpaca socks the last time I was in Maine. They are what mountain climbers use. I've tried them, albiet not in deep cold, and they seem to work great.
Combination of Kevin and Edge's advice. I wear thin all-wool socks out to the stand and then put on my heavy socks. Otherwise, my feet get hot and sweaty on the way to the stand and slowly freeze while on stand.
My thin wool socks are plain old dress socks and I've got too many random pairs of heavy socks to recommend a certain brand. I have a pair of medium-weight Cabela's Ultimax socks and they are awesome in warm weather. I don't notice any foot sweat even while wearing knee-high rubber boots. Haven't worn them in cold weather yet.
Spray your feet with antiperspirant before putting on your socks. Agree, dry feet are warm feet.
What I do in Saskatchhewan is I walk in with normal boots. Then I have boot blankets. I take off my normal boots. Put on the boot blankets and put in a couple hand warmers in the boot blankets. No matter how cold, my feet feel like I am watching tv in my recliner.
I use boot blankets too, a little differently. I walk in wearing the same rubber Lacrosse boots I wear when it's warm, with just a single pair of wool or polypropylene socks. Then put the boot blankets on over everything else. Boot blankets are big, but extremely light and easy to pack in.
To answer your question directly, I like the heavyweight smarwools, and I make sure they are not tight. I actually carry a second pair of socks and change into them when I get to the stand. If I have a really long hike, I actually carry my warm boots and hike in some lighter ones..
I assume you are asking becuse you have problems with cold feet. I'll throw some suggestions out and you can see if any of them are helpful.
Things that cause cold feet:
-Lack of insulation - It is easy to fix this. Just buy warmer boots or wear thicker socks. Most of the time, though, insulation is not the problem when people have chronically cold feet
-Wet feet (even slightly damp from sweating) - another easy fix for stand hunting. Wear things that wick moisture, and in my case I actually carry a second pair of socks to put on after I get to my stand (take the damp ones off, put fresh, dry socks on). Also, wearing things that are too warm can cause sweaty feet and you end up with cold feet. I have heard of some people that will even spray anti-perspirant on their feet to keep them from sweating. Last, and I can't stress this enough: AVOID COTTON SOCKS! Wool or wicking synthetics only!
-Lack of circulation - This can be harder to fix, depending on what is causing it. First things first, stop smoking and chewing since nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict. Second, make sure your socks, boots and clothing are not tight. I even loosen my bootlaces if I am on stand for any period of time. Along with the extra socks, consider carrying your warm boots and wearing some lighter hiking shoes if you have a long, tough hike to get to your stands. I'll tell a story about a friend to illustrate what happens when things are too tight.... this friend always complained about cold feet. He kept buying warmer boots and wearing more socks, but still had cold feet. He wound up with some boots rated to -100 degrees and was wearing three pairs of wool socks inside them, and his feet were colder than ever. We finally convinced him to get a half size bigger boot and wear only one pair of socks and to loosen his laces when he got to the stand, and his problem miraculously went away!
-The rest of your body is cold - When your body starts to get cold, it directs circulation to the core, and away from the extremeties. So keeping your body warmer might make your feet warmer. Wear a good, warm head cover. I really like a neck gaiter or silk scarf to keep my little red neck warm. The biggest improvement I made was when I quit wearing cotton t-shirts and underwear. Nothing chills you faster than slightly damp underwear from sweating on the hike in. Get some synthetic undershirts and underwear!
I had a hunting buddy tell me 30 years ago,the best thing you can do to keep your feet from getting cold is to washed your feet before you go hunting. Your feet sweat while you sleep. He was right, hope this helps.
I wear the same socks i wear skiing. Walmart low cut socks. They do not cut off your circulation thus increasing the tempature via the movement of warm blood. I have hunting - degree weather and been fine with this. I wear a 1,000 grain thinsulate boot.
Bear Track's Link
I like two pair of heavy socks with a chemical toe heater between the pairs. Or a light pair and a heavy pair with a chemical toe heater between the pairs.
Here's one I can answer too.
When I was 11 I froze my feet and almost lost them. Today to hunt or fish in 20-30 below, this is what I HAVE to do with these sweaty feet....
First layer is polypropoline with baking powder poured in. About 3 tablespoons full shoud do. then 2 layers of pure knitted wool socks, then felt pack boots with that wafer insole under the felts inside. And do not tie your boots on tight.
To prevent sweating while still being able to produce warmth to your feet, it's best to choose socks with breathable membrane.
Great info above, and I won't bother to give my version of the same thing. I just want to add that alpaca is most likely the warmest available wool, but I think that they are relatively expensive and more fragile a fiber than coarser wool socks. I have 2 pairs and enjoy them, but mostly walk short distances to a tree stand and just sit on my backside. I would avoid extended walking in them. I did a heck of a lot of walking in wool socks from name brand companies when up in Newfoundland even with the rubber boots that reek havoc on wool and the TIGHTLY KNIT coarser wool sock held up well. The usual big name brands are more tightly knit and will hold up better and be more comfortable to walk in: I have found that the alpaca looser knit seems to cause my foot to slide around in the boot just ever so slightly.
I've tried about everything. Best socks bar none are darn tough. I now have about 10 pairs and wear them for every cold sit. Well, now I wear them for everything period and my feet smile all day every day. Gave my dad a pair, now he owns about 10. Can't go wrong. My brother also runs DT's. Once u start, u can't stop
"What I do in Saskatchhewan is I walk in with normal boots. Then I have boot blankets. I take off my normal boots. Put on the boot blankets and put in a couple hand warmers in the boot blankets. No matter how cold, my feet feel like I am watching tv in my recliner."
Exactly what I learned in Saskatchewan and it works great! Only thing I changed was using a wool slipper inside the boot blankets. I also use the larger hand warmers approx 4x5" that last 10 hrs.
You can dry the warmest boots in the world, but I recommended this alternative if you want warm feet on very cold days.
Had some alpaca socks this year, seem to be good.
The new technology electric socks work very well according to a motorcycle riding friend. He likes the Gerbing products.
I have alpaca socks they are good but the solution is given above although you can use alpaca socks with that but they won't make that much of a difference your feet will be warm even with standard wool. I wouldn't trust electric socks too much.
Crikey, if you require "electric socks" you might as well just haul one of these up into your treestand. Just add small silent generator and electric kettle (for a constant supply of hot water) and you're good to start hunting right away!
The best cold weather socks that I have found are from Farm to Feet. Not only are they incredibly warm and moisture wicking, they are also 100% American made with 100% American materials.
if your feet are cold put more on your head your losing to much body heat.
It took me years to identify this problem but make sure your cold winter boots are roomy. Any constriction of the feet will drastically reduce blood flow which will make your feet far colder than necessary. All my socks are loose fitting and so are my cold weather boots. I typically buy one or two sizes larger for cold weather. Good luck.
...and not one joke about old people wearing compression stockings? Lol
I wear any decent pac or insulated boot that keeps my feet dry, a liner/wicking sock under any Smartwool/Thorlo-type sock and adhesive toe warmers (placed on top of my toes to avoid blisters and hot spots while walking).
Full length insoles for really cold temps if I'm not walkin much.
I also keep a handwarmer in each glove/glomitt/mitten and a spare pair of both toe and handwarmers in my pack.
Without the warmer packs, my feet and hands get cold regardless of the boot/sock/glove combo.
Howdy boys I came across this thread and was reading about some of the cold weather gear people are wearing. I have been trying to find a pair of water resistant slip-ons that go on before you put your socks on. I tried some from Walmart but they sucked. A friend of mine bought some heated socks but the darn things were 200 bucks. One brand of sock that I really liked was Elder Hosiery hunting Socks
the pic i posted is there merino wool pac boot and i have one of there boot socks called the Trapper Sock its nice as well. i might haft to hmaxims compression sock idea lol.
hmaxims, I've been wearing knee high compression stockings for years. Best thing I ever did for my feet and legs. I almost 100% hunt out of blinds, either homemade or pop-up, and when it gets cold, I light the Coleman heater !
Alpaca socks for me. I will never wear wool again. I also disagree with the comment above in regards to durability. My three year old alpaca socks are still in great shape whereas my wool socks have worn down and also shrunk in one season. I have worn alpaca socks a few days in a row as they don't retain sweat and don't smell like a wool sock after wearing. I pay $20 bucks a pair and they are worth every penny.