Best socks for tennis?

antony

Professional
Feetures are normally quite comfortable. Well designed. Early on I mostly mixed whichever went on sale between smartwool and feetures. Switched to Darn Tough. Feetures is a little better midfoot. Darn Tough feels like they will last longer. Both perform well. (both wool blends) Feet keep dry and they don't overheat.
what do you like about them more than smartwool? I guess I can return my order. They're the same price
 

FloridaAG

Professional
After many years I have returned to the Thorlo max - they are quite thick so does not fit what the OP wants, but my feet were very pleased
 

Lorenn

Professional
what do you like about them more than smartwool? I guess I can return my order. They're the same price
Nothing wrong with Smartwool. They are comfortable. Wear well. Nice blends normally. The issue was mainly price and warranty that made me switch. They became insanely popular so priced high. Warranty was two years versus lifetime. The debate then switches which is better. This to me is complex. I have not worn out my smartwool socks and it has been a very long time. Just hard to resist lifetime warranty.

It also depends on your shoe how much extra padding you need. Which might influence which of the three I prefer.(Darn tough, Smartwool or Feetures)

Feetures are well designed and ultra comfortable but Darn Tough will likely outlast them.

Smartwool feels like the middle. It might wick the best but all work well enough.

Darn tough I love their hiker and tactical cushioned socks.

Feetures tends to feel a little denser.

Smartwool perfectly in the middle.

Normally I try to find the highest merino wool content and pick those. I also have a few pairs of rockay and they are reasonable as well. Overall same price I normally would get Darn Tough, but it depends on the models being offered and they change from time to time. If they were free I might pick smartwool.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
You may also consider a good full bed orthotic. I wear the GREEN version of POWERSTEP orthotics. Game changer.
interesting. Do they help with callouses as well? I get some callouses at the balls of my big toe and it may just be a casualty of tennis, but more prevention would be nice.
 

Conan

Rookie
Nothing wrong with Smartwool. They are comfortable. Wear well. Nice blends normally. The issue was mainly price and warranty that made me switch. They became insanely popular so priced high. Warranty was two years versus lifetime. The debate then switches which is better. This to me is complex. I have not worn out my smartwool socks and it has been a very long time. Just hard to resist lifetime warranty.

It also depends on your shoe how much extra padding you need. Which might influence which of the three I prefer.(Darn tough, Smartwool or Feetures)

Feetures are well designed and ultra comfortable but Darn Tough will likely outlast them.

Smartwool feels like the middle. It might wick the best but all work well enough.

Darn tough I love their hiker and tactical cushioned socks.

Feetures tends to feel a little denser.

Smartwool perfectly in the middle.

Normally I try to find the highest merino wool content and pick those. I also have a few pairs of rockay and they are reasonable as well. Overall same price I normally would get Darn Tough, but it depends on the models being offered and they change from time to time. If they were free I might pick smartwool.
I’m so glad someone else is using the wool blends, I’ll never go back to non wool socks, I haven’t for over ten years.
By far the most blister resistant socks.
I like all those brands, plus a couple more.
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. The PhD smart wool (since the 2012 relaunch) is super durable, if you get those, I wouldn’t worry about the warranty. Because all the socks loose the cushioning after many years, they’re designed as the wool fibers break they basically felt. No holes, but I still buy new ones every few years for the new feel.
I always blister in non wool socks playing tennis. And that’s with super nice full synthetic premium socks. I’ll keep those for running or casual wear, no tennis. I only play singles
 

antony

Professional
I’m so glad someone else is using the wool blends, I’ll never go back to non wool socks, I haven’t for over ten years.
By far the most blister resistant socks.
I like all those brands, plus a couple more.
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. The PhD smart wool (since the 2012 relaunch) is super durable, if you get those, I wouldn’t worry about the warranty. Because all the socks loose the cushioning after many years, they’re designed as the wool fibers break they basically felt. No holes, but I still buy new ones every few years for the new feel.
I always blister in non wool socks playing tennis. And that’s with super nice full synthetic premium socks. I’ll keep those for running or casual wear, no tennis. I only play singles
Just got my running PhD’s in the mail and they’re great. I will not return them. Big upgrade over my goldtoe powersox. Had nasty skin flaking and such with those socks this week, but I played yesterday in the phds and they seemed to help my feet
 
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AceyMan

Semi-Pro
I got the tennis specific ones and they are super slippery so I'm sliding in my shoes
Well,

As an og Thorlo wearer from waaay back I must admit the same is true for me now.

It's as though you put Teflon spray in your shoes before going to the courts. (fwiw, the thickness works for me, tho, bc I have "narrow waisted" feet, but I can understand that nit to pick.)

+1 for Darn Tough, Smartwool, Balega and the new (to me) Solinco socks.

I've been wearing the Solinco most but I have some 1/4 crew from Balega and Darn Tough that I will happily play in as well.

/Acey
 
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antony

Professional
i’m loving my smartwool. huge upgrade over cotton
Just got my running PhD’s in the mail and they’re great. I will not return them. Big upgrade over my goldtoe powersox. Had nasty skin flaking and such with those socks this week, but I played yesterday in the phds and they seemed to help my feet
Update: Smartwool PhD socks are solid!!!
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
Too hot, IMO.
:cool:
But,

... have you ever seen a sheep sweat :unsure: ?

/Acey

In general I find wool/wool blend socks to be the best all around socks for every kind of footwear. That I'm wearing the Solinco socks for tennis (with no wool) just shows how good they are.
 
As in "they make your feet sweat", because they trap more hot air.

They have a pretty good sweat management for a time when it happens, but my feet are burning when I play in them. Much more than my traditional socks (either Lacoste, Uniqlo or Adidas).

:cool:
 

antony

Professional
As in "they make your feet sweat", because they trap more hot air.

They have a pretty good sweat management for a time when it happens, but my feet are burning when I play in them. Much more than my traditional socks (either Lacoste, Uniqlo or Adidas).

:cool:
really. Because they keep my feet cool and dry and normal polyester socks didn’t!!!
 
really. Because they keep my feet cool and dry and normal polyester socks didn’t!!!
That is interesting as the main property of wool is temperature regulation. However, when trapped in a tight space, it tends to heat up things really nicely. I think the words "cozy warm" are used.

BTW, neither Lacoste, nor Uniqlo are "polyester socks" they are with high cotton content. Adidas are entirely from artificial fibres, but, again, much thinner (depending on model and weave).

Don't get me wrong, I am a big proponent of wool and have been using it for virtually everything, from mountaineering to cycling, to suits and coats, to everyday clothing. I was just curios whether it really doesn't heat up too much for you (as it did when I played in exactly the same PhD socks).

:cool:
 

antony

Professional
That is interesting as the main property of wool is temperature regulation. However, when trapped in a tight space, it tends to heat up things really nicely. I think the words "cozy warm" are used.

BTW, neither Lacoste, nor Uniqlo are "polyester socks" they are with high cotton content. Adidas are entirely from artificial fibres, but, again, much thinner (depending on model and weave).

Don't get me wrong, I am a big proponent of wool and have been using it for virtually everything, from mountaineering to cycling, to suits and coats, to everyday clothing. I was just curios whether it really doesn't heat up too much for you (as it did when I played in exactly the same PhD socks).

:cool:
My feet got wet and hot in my igold toe powersox (polyester blend) and my shoes got really stinky!! and my feet started doing weird things like sloughing layers dead skin from sitting in the accumulated dampness. Cotton could only be worse.

i wore thick wool socks hiking in Big Bend TX in the summer and my feet stayed super dry!
 
My feet got wet and hot in my gold toe powersox (polyester blend) and my shoes got really stinky!! and my feet started doing weird things like sloughing layers dead skin from sitting in the accumulated dampness. Cotton could only be worse
It sounds like a horrible experience, and not one that I personally have encountered while playing (then again, I play in moderate temperatures most of the time, and usually in humidity around 80). Like I said, I am using almost exclusively Lacoste (70% cotton content) and Uniqlo (59% cotton content) socks without those problems. I cannot understand what could make it "worse", since I haven't experienced such a problem as the one you describe. Ever.

:cool:
 

antony

Professional
It sounds like a horrible experience, and not one that I personally have encountered while playing (then again, I play in moderate temperatures most of the time, and usually in humidity around 80). Like I said, I am using almost exclusively Lacoste (70% cotton content) and Uniqlo (59% cotton content) socks without those problems. I cannot understand what could make it "worse", since I haven't experienced such a problem as the one you describe. Ever.

:cool:
cotton absorbs moisture and will stay wet

the reason why REI doesn’t have any socks with cotton in them
 
cotton absorbs moisture and will stay wet

the reason why REI doesn’t have any socks with cotton in them
Actually, the main reason why functional mountaineering stuff doesn't have cotton in it most of the time is that when cotton gets wet, it can cause freezing and other similar effects, and that can be deadly (literally) in the mountains, especially during the winter.

I am at least 40 days a year in the mountains (half of that in the high mountains), and on occasion (in the summer) I have done with thin cotton socks just fine. They were not specific mountaineering socks, but it doesn't matter.

What do you want me to do? If you don't believe me that cotton is perfectly fine just open Lacoste site and look up the cotton content of their socks. The Lacoste socks are among the best for tennis, as are those of Uniqlo. The facts are against your claim.

:cool:
 

antony

Professional
“For example, socks made from cotton, nylon, or polyester fabrics are not typically breathable, do not wick moisture very well, and often retain heat. This provides a breeding ground for bacteria and odor. Additionally, you can look out for socks with some support and arch compression.”



“The best socks for stinky feet are made from materials with source fibers that draw moisture from the skin surface and allow it to evaporate. This keeps your feet dry, fresh, and comfortable.

The best material for socks to prevent stinky feet is Merino wool. It is made from soft fibers that are lightweight and have antimicrobial properties that fight odor-causing bacteria. It is also a natural alternative and it has stood the test of time.”

 

antony

Professional
My friends were skeptical on why I wore thick wool socks in 100F weather (thick because that was all they had at Walmart in a nearby town) when hiking but then they all with cotton socks complained of wet feet and boots during the hike and I was happy with my dry and relatively cool feet
 
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Conan

Rookie
Actually, the main reason why functional mountaineering stuff doesn't have cotton in it most of the time is that when cotton gets wet, it can cause freezing and other similar effects, and that can be deadly (literally) in the mountains, especially during the winter.

I am at least 40 days a year in the mountains (half of that in the high mountains), and on occasion (in the summer) I have done with thin cotton socks just fine. They were not specific mountaineering socks, but it doesn't matter.

What do you want me to do? If you don't believe me that cotton is perfectly fine just open Lacoste site and look up the cotton content of their socks. The Lacoste socks are among the best for tennis, as are those of Uniqlo. The facts are against your claim.

:cool:
You’re kinda putting the cart before the horse in the reasoning. Cotton socks freeze like you say because they hold on to water, it keeps water on your skin. It’s why a cotton towel is so good. Cotton is hydrophilic. Wool is a pretty awesome fiber for a couple reasons. It’s both hydrophobic and hydrophilic, the inner core wool can absorb vapor, something a synthetic can not do. But the outside of the wool is kinda waxy like and textured, so it wicks like a synthetic but picks up droplets quicker. It truly keeps water off of your skin.
 
You’re kinda putting the cart before the horse in the reasoning. Cotton socks freeze like you say because they hold on to water, it keeps water on your skin. It’s why a cotton towel is so good. Cotton is hydrophilic. Wool is a pretty awesome fiber for a couple reasons. It’s both hydrophobic and hydrophilic, the inner core wool can absorb vapor, something a synthetic can not do. But the outside of the wool is kinda waxy like and textured, so it wicks like a synthetic but picks up droplets quicker. It truly keeps water off of your skin.
The water that the wool absorbs has nowhere to go in your shoes. If you wear wool socks on a hike in a hot day, you will end up with crinkled wet skin, because of that. You are right, but we are talking about socks here.

Also, there is a limit to how much moisture a wool garment can take before actually starting having the same problem. Wool will freeze just as cotton would in the right conditions. It has on me under the wrong circumstances.

BTW, that is why the modern cotton socks are not pure cotton: the cotton content absorbs the water and the artificial fibres transport it.

:cool:
 

Conan

Rookie
The water that the wool absorbs has nowhere to go in your shoes. If you wear wool socks on a hike in a hot day, you will end up with crinkled wet skin, because of that. You are right, but we are talking about socks here.

Also, there is a limit to how much moisture a wool garment can take before actually starting having the same problem. Wool will freeze just as cotton would in the right conditions. It has on me under the wrong circumstances.

BTW, that is why the modern cotton socks are not pure cotton: the cotton content absorbs the water and the artificial fibres transport it.

:cool:
No, there’s more to it. The shoe is part of the system. So if the humidity is low, your body heat will turn the water into vapor and evaporate out of a shoe. If the shoe allows it. A full leather upper will slow that way way down. Water proof fabrics like gore Tex will allow water vapor to escape, and in cool low humidity conditions really fast actually, but in high humidity it can’t. But an open mesh would allow that vapor to escape. And there’s no way at all that a cotton sock allows water to escape as fast or faster than wool.
 
No, there’s more to it. The shoe is part of the system. So if the humidity is low, your body heat will turn the water into vapor and evaporate out of a shoe. If the shoe allows it. A full leather upper will slow that way way down. Water proof fabrics like gore Tex will allow water vapor to escape, and in cool low humidity conditions really fast actually, but in high humidity it can’t. But an open mesh would allow that vapor to escape. And there’s no way at all that a cotton sock allows water to escape as fast or faster than wool.
I think that at this point you are grasping at straws just to make a point: please, inform the tennis community about that unique combination between which socks and which shoes has provided you with dry feet in hot conditions, because PhD Smartwool socks (the ones in question) are not it. I have tried it with various shoes.

Also, don't forget to send a notice to the various tennis companies that they are wrong to produce socks with cotton in them. Lacoste and Uniqlo (among many) will be interested to hear about it.

:cool:
 

Conan

Rookie
I think that at this point you are grasping at straws just to make a point: please, inform the tennis community about that unique combination between which socks and which shoes has provided you with dry feet in hot conditions, because PhD Smartwool socks (the ones in question) are not it. I have tried it with various shoes.

Also, don't forget to send a notice to the various tennis companies that they are wrong to produce socks with cotton in them. Lacoste and Uniqlo (among many) will be interested to hear about it.

:cool:
It seems you don’t like science class, or have a grasp of it. Or how markets works. And we were talking about your mountaineering point. But also why I like them for tennis. But that is a different point, but I guess you play tennis in freezing temperatures too????
if you don’t believe me research it. And as you know almost all premium performance tennis socks and running socks are synthetic, and many running wool. And all hiking socks are both. So tell me again I’m grasping at straws. If you like cotton, that’s fine, you can like it, with many others. But you can’t claim it wicks or dries faster than wool or synthetics. You can’t change facts.
 
It seems you don’t like science class, or have a grasp of it. Or how markets works. And we were talking about your mountaineering point. But also why I like them for tennis. But that is a different point, but I guess you play tennis in freezing temperatures too????
if you don’t believe me research it. And as you know almost all premium performance tennis socks and running socks are synthetic, and many running wool. And all hiking socks are both. So tell me again I’m grasping at straws. If you like cotton, that’s fine, you can like it, with many others. But you can’t claim it wicks or dries faster than wool or synthetics. You can’t change facts.
It seems that you don't like logic. I didn't disagree with you on principle. I said that theory and practice are not the same thing, which is why my Arcteryx and Mammut Gore-Tex Pro Jackets have humongous zippers under the arms and at the chest, despite of the material they are made of. Because at some point you sweat more than the body can turn into steam that could evaporate through the membrane. It is the same with the socks in the relatively enclosed space in the shoes, which is why no wool sock will actually keep you dry, if it is hot. That is why companies have cotton socks: because they do the job just fine, while providing other benefits like good absorption, softer feeling, non slippery etc.

Actually, your mountaineering socks are also only partly wool (about 50% or a little more), do you know why?

:cool:
 

Conan

Rookie
It seems that you don't like logic. I didn't disagree with you on principle. I said that theory and practice are not the same thing, which is why my Arcteryx and Mammut Gore-Tex Pro Jackets have humongous zippers under the arms and at the chest, despite of the material they are made of. Because at some point you sweat more than the body can turn into steam that could evaporate through the membrane. It is the same with the socks in the relatively enclosed space in the shoes, which is why no wool sock will actually keep you dry, if it is hot. That is why companies have cotton socks: because they do the job just fine, while providing other benefits like good absorption, softer feeling, non slippery etc.

Actually, your mountaineering socks are also only partly wool (about 50% or a little more), do you know why?

:cool:
I bet you don’t.
It seems like you don’t understand any of these materials, how they work together, and then claiming I’m making claims about them I’m not. What I am saying is cotton can not wick or dry faster than wool or synthetic. And you’re original claim that the reason they don’t put cotton in mountaineering is you say it causes freezing, I’m I’m pointing out it does that because it is hydrophilic, cotton loves water and holds on to it. And that frozen water next to your skin is the dangerous part. Go grab 2 buckets of ice water and stand in it with a wool hiking sock and a thick cotton sock, and tell me which one you can stay in there the longest.
I get it, logic can be hard, but pace yourself, you’ll get there
 
I bet you don’t.It seems like you don’t understand any of these materials, how they work together, and then claiming I’m making claims about them I’m not. What I am saying is cotton can not wick or dry faster than wool or synthetic.
Could you quote me where I said or implied such a thing. I can quote where I said the opposite (that the cotton is paired with synthetic for its (the synthetic's) wicking properties.

And you’re original claim that the reason they don’t put cotton in mountaineering is you say it causes freezing
It causes freezing, so that is correct.

I’m I’m pointing out it does that because it is hydrophilic, cotton loves water and holds on to it.
I never said anything to the contrary. If you think I said that, quote me.

And that frozen water next to your skin is the dangerous part.
I never said the opposite, if I did, quote me.

Go grab 2 buckets of ice water and stand in it with a wool hiking sock and a thick cotton sock, and tell me which one you can stay in there the longest.
Your experiment won't prove anything and the result will be the same.

I get it, logic can be hard, but pace yourself, you’ll get there
Yes, and you will see how right you are with that phrase when you try to find those quotes.

:cool:
 

Conan

Rookie
Could you quote me where I said or implied such a thing. I can quote where I said the opposite (that the cotton is paired with synthetic for its (the synthetic's) wicking properties.



It causes freezing, so that is correct.



I never said anything to the contrary. If you think I said that, quote me.



I never said the opposite, if I did, quote me.



Your experiment won't prove anything and the result will be the same.



Yes, and you will see how right you are with that phrase when you try to find those quotes.

:cool:
Antony said: cotton absorbs moisture and will stay wet

the reason why REI doesn’t have any socks with cotton in them

YOU said:
Actually, the main reason why functional mountaineering stuff doesn't have cotton in it most of the time is that when cotton gets wet, it can cause freezing and other similar effects, and that can be deadly (literally) in the mountains, especially during the winter.

WHICH CLEARLY SHOWS you do not understand that the freezing is a problem of the WATER being held onto by the cotton. Cotton stays wet. therefore it freezes. Wool will thermorelgute better than cotton because it wicks. You were saying Antony is wrong in his understanding of cotton then refuted it with the same logic, you aren't wrong about the claim here, you're wrong in the logic of why. It's because cotton stays wet, it freezes.

Go do that experiment, I promise you your wool sock will keep your foot from freezing and the cotton will do nothing. Becasue the outside layer of wool is hydrophobic, it will insulate you even when wet.
The synthetic in hiking socks is mainly there for durability reasons, though it also dries faster than wool. SO by adding the nylon or poly to the wool sock you're getting more durability and faster drying sock.
A wool hybrid vs a cotton hybrid the wool will be cooler and faster drying than the cotton hybrid. END OF STORY
And if you need a lesson on how gore tex works I'll have to start charging you.
 
Antony said: cotton absorbs moisture and will stay wet

the reason why REI doesn’t have any socks with cotton in them

YOU said:
Actually, the main reason why functional mountaineering stuff doesn't have cotton in it most of the time is that when cotton gets wet, it can cause freezing and other similar effects, and that can be deadly (literally) in the mountains, especially during the winter.

WHICH CLEARLY SHOWS you do not understand that the freezing is a problem of the WATER being held onto by the cotton. Cotton stays wet. therefore it freezes.
How me saying that cotton gets wets means that I don't understand that water holds onto cotton?

Wool will thermorelgute better than cotton because it wicks. You were saying Antony is wrong in his understanding of cotton then refuted it with the same logic, you aren't wrong about the claim here, you're wrong in the logic of why. It's because cotton stays wet, it freezes.
You are confused about who said what and why, and the first quote proves it.

Go do that experiment, I promise you your wool sock will keep your foot from freezing and the cotton will do nothing. Becasue the outside layer of wool is hydrophobic, it will insulate you even when wet.
You are wrong. Upon full immersion in freezing water there will be no isolating air to keep you warm. If what you say was true the diver's costumes would be made of wool, no problem. They will have the nice added bonus of keeping you also warm underwater.

The synthetic in hiking socks is mainly there for durability reasons, though it also dries faster than wool. SO by adding the nylon or poly to the wool sock you're getting more durability and faster drying sock.
The synthetic in the hiking socks is there for multiple reasons, and one is to wick the moisture, which wouldn't have been necessary, if the wool by itself was transporting moisture to the extent you claim it does (describing the scenario with the socks in athletic shoes in hot weather). Yet other reasons are elasticity (to keep the material in contact with the skin), durability (to enforce the critical areas) and for temperature/energy regulation (as artificial fibres can actually be made in ways that store or dispense energy easier as is the case with the X-bionic proprietary weaves).

A wool hybrid vs a cotton hybrid the wool will be cooler and faster drying than the cotton hybrid. END OF STORY
And if you need a lesson on how gore tex works I'll have to start charging you.
Says nothing about this debate here, as no one disputed that. What WAS disputed is:

A: that a wool or a wool blend sock can keep you dry and cool while playing tennis in your tennis shoes in hot weather
B: that a cotton blend cannot keep your feet adequately dry and cool



:cool:
 

Conan

Rookie
How me saying that cotton gets wets means that I don't understand that water holds onto cotton?



You are confused about who said what and why, and the first quote proves it.



You are wrong. Upon full immersion in freezing water there will be no isolating air to keep you warm. If what you say was true the diver's costumes would be made of wool, no problem. They will have the nice added bonus of keeping you also warm underwater.



The synthetic in the hiking socks is there for multiple reasons, and one is to wick the moisture, which wouldn't have been necessary, if the wool by itself was transporting moisture to the extent you claim it does (describing the scenario with the socks in athletic shoes in hot weather). Yet other reasons are elasticity (to keep the material in contact with the skin), durability (to enforce the critical areas) and for temperature/energy regulation (as artificial fibres can actually be made in ways that store or dispense energy easier as is the case with the X-bionic proprietary weaves).



Says nothing about this debate here, as no one disputed that. What WAS disputed is:

A: that a wool or a wool blend sock can keep you dry and cool while playing tennis in your tennis shoes in hot weather
B: that a cotton blend cannot keep your feet adequately dry and cool



:cool:
OK so reading and science aren't your subjects. noted.

ok let's start here and please answer this:
How was what Antony said wrong, for you to correct him about mountainteeering socks?

Also do the experiment. and maybe you should look up wool wetsuits. Also just try google pros and cons of cotton vs wool vs synthetics

I'm going to skip some of what you said because you should try reading what I wrote again, but this time try to comprehend it. That will help a lot.

to your points.

A: yes, a wool blend can.
B: The cotton, once saturated with water, can not, it is no longer breathable, which is why it feels cool. now what can happen in low humidity high temp is the water evaporates and can cool your skin, but can not be dry; Wool and Synthetics wick better dry faster. Those are facts you can not argue.
 
OK so reading and science aren't your subjects. noted.
You should stick to venues where you are more convincing. I asked you for quotes on every claim you made about my posts and you failed to deliver on every single one of them, and instead just moved on. That means that either you realised that what you criticised was misinformed, or you deliberately claimed something else. In any event, neither of those proves more than what you are doing here.

ok let's start here and please answer this:
How was what Antony said wrong, for you to correct him about mountainteeering socks?
I didn't correct him about the mountaineering socks. I corrected him on his inadequate comparison, as mountaineering stuff serves different purposes in conditions that are virtually irrelevant for tennis (no one is actually freezing in his tennis shoes while playing, no matter how wet his feet are (if they are wet), whereas in the mountains that is quite the problem). Essentially I pointed at that inadequate statement by addressing how mountaineering stuff needs things that the tennis stuff doesn't: things that have nothing to do with his claim, but would ba a bad mistake if someone shops for something like that, because he doesn't know better. Then I pointed him at examples of regular tennis companies using cotton in their socks, which speaks volumes about how suitable cotton is (something of which he seemed rather convinced that isn't the case).

You misrepresenting yet again what transpired says something about what I wrote above already.

Also do the experiment. and maybe you should look up wool wetsuits. Also just try google pros and cons of cotton vs wool vs synthetics.
Please, point me at wet suits made of wool.

A: yes, a wool blend can.
Nothing "can". If it could literally every company on the market would be doing tennis socks with wool blends, thus solving the problems with sweaty feet of every tennis player on the planet.

B: The cotton, once saturated with water, can not, it is no longer breathable, which is why it feels cool. now what can happen in low humidity high temp is the water evaporates and can cool your skin, but can not be dry; Wool and Synthetics wick better dry faster. Those are facts you can not argue.
And, again. Nothing can. It is a matter of how reasonably a cotton blend socks can prevent from that that a player gets additional issues by wearing such, The kind of issues described by the person I addressed.

It it also interesting, that you didn't even notice that the said person was talking about socks that are not cotton when playing tennis, and also randomly switched to explaining about mountaineering socks.

:cool:
 

antony

Professional
The water that the wool absorbs has nowhere to go in your shoes. If you wear wool socks on a hike in a hot day, you will end up with crinkled wet skin, because of that. You are right, but we are talking about socks here.

Also, there is a limit to how much moisture a wool garment can take before actually starting having the same problem. Wool will freeze just as cotton would in the right conditions. It has on me under the wrong circumstances.

BTW, that is why the modern cotton socks are not pure cotton: the cotton content absorbs the water and the artificial fibres transport it.

:cool:
my skin has always been fine with wool, hot or cold. I think the cotton keeps more moisture than other fabrics so the cotton will stay wet inside your shoe more instead of transferring more moisture to the shoe to air out.
 

Conan

Rookie
You should stick to venues where you are more convincing. I asked you for quotes on every claim you made about my posts and you failed to deliver on every single one of them, and instead just moved on. That means that either you realised that what you criticised was misinformed, or you deliberately claimed something else. In any event, neither of those proves more than what you are doing here.



I didn't correct him about the mountaineering socks. I corrected him on his inadequate comparison, as mountaineering stuff serves different purposes in conditions that are virtually irrelevant for tennis (no one is actually freezing in his tennis shoes while playing, no matter how wet his feet are (if they are wet), whereas in the mountains that is quite the problem). Essentially I pointed at that inadequate statement by addressing how mountaineering stuff needs things that the tennis stuff doesn't: things that have nothing to do with his claim, but would ba a bad mistake if someone shops for something like that, because he doesn't know better. Then I pointed him at examples of regular tennis companies using cotton in their socks, which speaks volumes about how suitable cotton is (something of which he seemed rather convinced that isn't the case).

You misrepresenting yet again what transpired says something about what I wrote above already.



Please, point me at wet suits made of wool.



Nothing "can". If it could literally every company on the market would be doing tennis socks with wool blends, thus solving the problems with sweaty feet of every tennis player on the planet.



And, again. Nothing can. It is a matter of how reasonably a cotton blend socks can prevent from that that a player gets additional issues by wearing such, The kind of issues described by the person I addressed.

It it also interesting, that you didn't even notice that the said person was talking about socks that are not cotton when playing tennis, and also randomly switched to explaining about mountaineering socks.

:cool:
It's your misunderstanding of his "inadequate comparson" that is WRONG, and you saying that it is "irrelevant for tennis" is also just WRONG.
Physics do not change. You are not wrong on "nothing can" that's true. but somethings work better than others. The best thing is bringing an extra pair of dry socks.
this is a very basic overview of wool. but read it.
Do the experiment. you're absolutely WRONG about wool insulating when wet, it does.
here's a great little review about wool in wetsuits. but google will give you even more. i just clicked on the first.
and you'll see a lot of high end wetsuits have wool lining, and those suits are thinner because of it.
And what were surfers and divers wearing before neoprene? Wool Sweaters! A naval and fishermen sweater is made of what? Wool! why? Because it insulates when wet. Wool today is very different than then.
Those properties of wool and synthetic can be made to create a better cooling, wicking, and durable sock compared to cotton. but that means extra cost.
I am not saying there shouldn't be cotton on the market, specifcally it has improved, but the main benefit of cotton is cost. and that's basically it.
You are just factually wrong about wool vs cotton. But I am not saying you can not wear it, go for it. If you don't have a problem, don't change.
Playing tennis in wool socks like darn tough light hiking, smartwool phd, etc, has been a wonderful experience for me, (specifically blister prevention and smell), better than any synthetic for those reasons, though I will play in synthetics too for they are the fastest wicking socks, though the absorbing properties of wool I think prevents blisters more, but cotton just doesn't do anything as well when compared to wool or syn. Cotton has almost zero moisture managment properties. And that's just a fact. The reason why many tennis companies still use cotton, is because it WAS the best option in the past, for it's natural breathability, availablity of raw material, and lower cost to produce, and less effected by shortages, cotton can be produced in much greater amounts than wool. Wool is created much much thinner and stronger than ever before. please just do some research if you don't believe me, I have been in outdoor industry for over 15 years (really more, but I don't count those early years, it was a different job then), and I have many friends who specifically develop fabrics for companies like Patagonia and North Face, and a couple friends who are product designers. They study wool a lot, and help develop syns that can reproduce some features without the cons.
 
It's your misunderstanding of his "inadequate comparson" that is WRONG, and you saying that it is "irrelevant for tennis" is also just WRONG.
Writing with bigger letters won't make you right. The very reason why it is irrelevant for tennis and why exactly that material is used in mountaineering is what I said, and no matter how much you refuse to acknowledge it, it will not change: wool is used mainly to protect from freezing, its second most desired property is its natural antibacterial properties.

Physics do not change.
So far you haven't been able to quote where I made a wrong "scientific" statement, about the Physics of it all or otherwise, so apparently you like to write ... stuff. If you find something, please note it.

You are not wrong on "nothing can" that's true. but somethings work better than others. The best thing is bringing an extra pair of dry socks.
Aaaah, now we are going somewhere: the solution of that issue is planted in the fact ... that there is no solution. The companies have understood that long ago, despite of the claims of the poster I addressed, and which is why I addressed him (for his claim that the wool socks can guarantee him dry feet while playing tennis in hot weather). Something you have been dancing around the entire time.

this is a very basic overview of wool. but read it.
I have over 100 individual pieces of wool apparel from Smartwool, Icebreaker, BaaBaa, Rapha, Apani, Patagonia etc. (on top of over hundred others from wool materials for other uses (suits, coats, jumpers, sports jackets etc)). Did you really think that I need your "review" to know what wool does?

Do the experiment. you're absolutely WRONG about wool insulating when wet, it does.
You are wrong, that experiment won't show me anything other than what I already know: there is a difference between full immersion in freezing water and the wool just being "wet".

here's a great little review about wool in wetsuits. but google will give you even more. i just clicked on the first. and you'll see a lot of high end wetsuits have wool lining, and those suits are thinner because of it.
My friend, I asked you to show me a wetsuit made of wool, not a wetsuit with "wool lining".

Do you understand the difference?

Those properties of wool and synthetic can be made to create a better cooling, wicking, and durable sock compared to cotton. but that means extra cost.
What "extra cost"? You do realise that a Nike Rafa crew costs more than a T-shirt from Smartwool, don't you? That a pair of Lacoste socks cost as much as a pair of PhDs? IF that was the answer to that matter, the companies would have been racing to get you the wool socks you are so adamant about. The truth is that the wool, along its positive features, has also negative, and most people have spoken what they prefer (and why).

I am not saying there shouldn't be cotton on the market, specifcally it has improved, but the main benefit of cotton is cost. and that's basically it.
No, it is not. Cotton is more expensive to produce than artificial fibres. There is a reason why companies still use cotton, and that is not cost.

You are just factually wrong about wool vs cotton..
I heard that even the previous 143563 times you said it. Unfortunately, you cannot provide any quotes that illustrate about what exactly I am wrong.

But I am not saying you can not wear it, go for it. If you don't have a problem, don't change.
Thank you for allowing me to do that. I will.

Playing tennis in wool socks like darn tough light hiking, smartwool phd, etc, has been a wonderful experience for me, (specifically blister prevention and smell), better than any synthetic for those reasons, though I will play in synthetics too for they are the fastest wicking socks, though the absorbing properties of wool I think prevents blisters more, but cotton just doesn't do anything as well when compared to wool or syn.
Funny, because if you take good care of your feet no such a thing as stinking will occur from using regular cotton socks (or polyester for that matter). The wool does have antibacterial properties that make it better than other materials, but firstly that is a problem of feet that are not maintained properly (with the rare exception with some people) and secondly, you are a decade or more too late to the game of socks made of artificial fibres being treated against the development of bacteria, by including silver yarn in them like for example SilverNodor in the X-socks (they have them even for tennis, imagine that!) and many more.

Cotton has almost zero moisture managment properties. And that's just a fact. The reason why many tennis companies still use cotton, is because it WAS the best option in the past, for it's natural breathability, availablity of raw material, and lower cost to produce, and less effected by shortages, cotton can be produced in much greater amounts than wool. Wool is created much much thinner and stronger than ever before. please just do some research if you don't believe me, I have been in outdoor industry for over 15 years (really more, but I don't count those early years, it was a different job then), and I have many friends who specifically develop fabrics for companies like Patagonia and North Face, and a couple friends who are product designers. They study wool a lot, and help develop syns that can reproduce some features without the cons.
You claim to be an industry insider, yet don't know basic things.

Firstly, wool precedes cotton, and by quite some time. The widespread cotton production has started at the beginning of the 18th century. Before that cotton was a luxurious material similar to silk. Wool on the other hand has been a staple for clothing, along with linen and leather since Roman times.

Secondly, your "much thinner and stronger" wool has nothing to do with the historic usage of wool. Wool sweaters, coats, top coats, hats and socks have been always used. Much thinner and stronger wool is a result of the refinement of the breeding techniques for sheep, yielding breeds with much finer hair: the merino wool from the merino sheep being basically the pinnacle of that.

So, cotton was used not because it was "better", but because it was doing a good job. The cycling jerseys up until the mass introduction of artificial fibres were wool. Guess what, in that time tennis clothing was still cotton: for a reason.

I will let it go, since that thread is not about these matters, but next time be careful when underestimating the people you talk to.

:cool:
 
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antony

Professional
Wool is the truth


Wool adsorbs water. Once inside the fiber, there is a temporary chemical bond (hydrogen bond) attaching water molecules to the surfaces of inner structures of the fiber. All adsorbtion is exothermic, meaning that it releases heat. Breaking the hydrogen bond and freeing the water molecule, desorption, requires heat. That is how wool can be cooling as well as heating! Both adsorption and desorption tend to happen very slowly.

A WeatherWool customer (THANK YOU!) forwarded to me a paper from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) ... The wool fibre and its applications, by Dr Geoff Naylor. We are very grateful for this material. Here are a couple of big items from this paper:

Once inside a wool fiber, water vapor will condense, releasing about 533 calories per gram. (I wonder if the temp of the fabric or the external temp affects the rate at which water is vaporized and released from within the fibers?)

A kilogram of dry wool placed in an atmosphere of air saturated with moisture releases about the same amount of heat as that given off by an electric blanket running for eight hours.


Wool fabrics are less odorous after wear than fabrics made from other natural or man-made fibres, such as cotton and polyester. Research has shown that high levels of odours persist in unwashed polyester clothes, but odour levels remain low in unwashed wool clothes. One New Zealand study which involved 13 skilled olfactory (smell) assessors found that wool fabrics on average retained 66% less body odour intensity than polyester fabrics and 28% less than cotton fabrics.
 

Conan

Rookie
Writing with bigger letters won't make you right. The very reason why it is irrelevant for tennis and why exactly that material is used in mountaineering is what I said, and no matter how much you refuse to acknowledge it, it will not change: wool is used mainly to protect from freezing, its second most desired property is its natural antibacterial properties.



So far you haven't been able to quote where I made a wrong "scientific" statement, about the Physics of it all or otherwise, so apparently you like to write ... stuff. If you find something, please note it.



Aaaah, now we are going somewhere: the solution of that issue is planted in the fact ... that there is no solution. The companies have understood that long ago, despite of the claims of the poster I addressed, and which is why I addressed him (for his claim that the wool socks can guarantee him dry feet while playing tennis in hot weather). Something you have been dancing around the entire time.



I have over 100 individual pieces of wool apparel from Smartwool, Icebreaker, BaaBaa, Rapha, Apani, Patagonia etc. (on top of over hundred others from wool materials for other uses (suits, coats, jumpers, sports jackets etc)). Did you really think that I need your "review" to know what wool does?



You are wrong, that experiment won't show me anything other than what I already know: there is a difference between full immersion in freezing water and the wool just being "wet".



My friend, I asked you to show me a wetsuit made of wool, not a wetsuit with "wool lining".

Do you understand the difference?



What "extra cost"? You do realise that a Nike Rafa crew costs more than a T-shirt from Smartwool, don't you? That a pair of Lacoste socks cost as much as a pair of PhDs? IF that was the answer to that matter, the companies would have been racing to get you the wool socks you are so adamant about. The truth is that the wool, along its positive features, has also negative, and most people have spoken what they prefer (and why).



No, it is not. Cotton is more expensive to produce than artificial fibres. There is a reason why companies still use cotton, and that is not cost.



I heard that even the previous 143563 times you said it. Unfortunately, you cannot provide any quotes that illustrate about what exactly I am wrong.



Thank you for allowing me to do that. I will.



Funny, because if you take good care of your feet no such a thing as stinking will occur from using regular cotton socks (or polyester for that matter). The wool does have antibacterial properties that make it better than other materials, but firstly that is a problem of feet that are not maintained properly (with the rare exception with some people) and secondly, you are a decade or more too late to the game of socks made of artificial fibres being treated against the development of bacteria, by including silver yarn in them like for example SilverNodor in the X-socks (they have them even for tennis, imagine that!) and many more.



You claim to be an industry insider, yet don't know basic things.

Firstly, wool precedes cotton, and by quite some time. The widespread cotton production has started at the beginning of the 18th century. Before that cotton was a luxurious material similar to silk. Wool on the other hand has been a staple for clothing, along with linen and leather since Roman times.

Secondly, your "much thinner and stronger" wool has nothing to do with the historic usage of wool. Wool sweaters, coats, top coats, hats and socks have been always used. Much thinner and stronger wool is a result of the refinement of the breeding techniques for sheep, yielding breeds with much finer hair: the merino wool being basically the pinnacle of that.

So, cotton was used not because it was "better", but because it was doing a good job. The cycling jerseys up until the mass introduction of artificial fibres were wool. Guess what, in that time tennis nothing was still cotton: for a reason.

I will let it go, since that thread is not about these matters, but next time be careful when underestimating the people you talk to.

:cool:
Again making claims I am not saying, where did I claim cotton preceded wool? Also tennis absolutely used wool until mass production. Cough cough maybe a clue as to why cotton was used cough cough. Also thinner wool like merino takes a full year to grow and merino wool needs high and low elevation to produce the fiber, that’s why only a few places in the world produces it. that’s more cost in production. Thinner wool is absolutely important to softness and feel. Again a reason why cotton was used to produce tennis socks in the 20th century.
I’ll give you lesson on wool and the cotton industries if I need to explain further why tennis used cotton, and why thinner and stronger are important to the 21 century vs the 20 century. But seriously, you can do that if you can read with your head so far up your ass.
 

antony

Professional
btw I felt my socks after playing tennis today. my polyester shorts and shirt were drenched. my wool/spandex socks were dry to the touch :D
i need smartwool activewear
 
Again making claims I am not saying, where did I claim cotton preceded wool?
You said that cotton was used because of its availability/its lack of shortage and other things. I made the walk down the history lane to show that that isn't so, that wool was used in other sports during the same time tennis used cotton.

In that speculation you indirectly suggested that the main reason why cotton was used was because it preceded wool as mass material (for sports apparently).

Again, I showed that it isn't so.

Also tennis absolutely used wool until mass production. Cough cough maybe a clue as to why cotton was used cough cough.
You are contradicting yourself: you are saying that previously cotton was used for its properties, and now you are saying that wool was used in tennis.

Which is it? If wool was used and it has inherently superior qualities, how come that it didn't stay as a main tennis material (before the introduction of artificial fibres obviously)?

I know the answer. The question is, do you?

BTW, I already told you: the mass production of cotton started in the early 18 century, so you better think of other reason why cotton started to be used.

Also thinner wool like merino takes a full year to grow and merino wool needs high and low elevation to produce the fiber, that’s why only a few places in the world produces it. that’s more cost in production. Thinner wool is absolutely important to softness and feel. Again a reason why cotton was used to produce tennis socks in the 20th century.
Merino wool "grows" like every other wool. It is the breed of sheep that determines its fineness. There are no special blends of merino that take longer to grow. In any event not for commercially viable purposes.

Good cotton also requires special conditions and species to grow. The Gossypium barbadense species is what merino sheep is to wool: it produces extremely fine, extra-long staples, it is only small part of the world production of cotton, and has had plenty of difficulty to continue to exist and be commercially viable. It is the stuff from which some of the best shirting in the world is made.

Cotton is used in tennis socks for two reasons: that it absorbs water well, and because it is soft to the touch. That is the long and short of it.


I’ll give you lesson on wool and the cotton industries if I need to explain further why tennis used cotton, and why thinner and stronger are important to the 21 century vs the 20 century. But seriously, you can do that if you can read with your head so far up your ass.
Oh, noez!

:cool:
 
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Conan

Rookie
Again making claims I am not saying, where did I claim cotton preceded wool? Also tennis absolutely used wool until mass production. Cough cough maybe a clue as to why cotton was used cough cough. Also thinner wool like merino takes a full year to grow and merino wool needs high and low elevation to produce the fiber, that’s why only a few places in the world produces it. that’s more cost in production. Thinner wool is absolutely important to softness and feel. Again a reason why cotton was used to produce tennis socks in the 20th century.
I’ll give you lesson on wool and the cotton industries if I need to explain further why tennis used cotton, and why thinner and stronger are important to the 21 century vs the 20 century. But seriously, you can do that if you can read with your head so far up your ass.
You said that cotton was used because of its availability/its lack of shortage and other things. I made the walk down the history lane to show that that isn't so, that wool was used in other sports during the same time tennis used cotton.

In that speculation you indirectly suggested that the main reason why cotton was used was because it preceded wool as mass material (for sports apparently).

Again, I showed that it isn't so.



You are contradicting yourself: you are saying that previously cotton was used for its properties, and now you are saying that wool was used in tennis.

Which is it? If wool was used and it has inherently superior qualities, how come that it didn't stay as a main tennis material (before the introduction of artificial fibres obviously)?

I know the answer. The question is, do you?

BTW, I already told you: the mass production of cotton started in the early 18 century, so you better think of other reason why cotton started to be used.



Merino wool "grows" like every other wool. It is the breed of sheep that determines its fineness. There are no special blends of merino that take longer to grow. In any event not for commercially viable purposes.

Good cotton also requires special conditions and species to grow. The Gossypium barbadense species is what merino sheep is to wool: it produces extremely fine, extra-long staples, it is only small part of the world production of cotton, and has had plenty of difficulty to continue to exist and be commercially viable. It is the stuff from which some of the best shirting in the world is made.

Cotton is used in tennis socks for two reasons: that it absorbs water well, and because it is soft to the touch. That is the long and short of it.




Oh, noez!

:cool:
Dude, you are not reading/comprehending properly. You're still inserting claims I did not say. Twisting what I say and twisting the history, as if time periods do not exist, jumping to new subjects without understanding. Find me a sock with sea island cotton that is used in sports.
Merino sheep are sheared once a year, other breeds get sheared twice and some even more. Merino sheep need a moutain and valley to produce the wool. I'm not going to explain more, cause you're literally too stupid to understand. I showed you articles that claim you are wrong in your understanding, I showed you wool used in wetsuits, though that wasn't good enough, you refuse to read the science. You refuse to do an experiment, probably because you can't mentally handle being wrong. I am done responding to you. I will read an article about cotton being better than wool in socks if you can find one. You are an idiot, I feel bad for the people that have to deal with you in real life. enjoy your hiking and tennis. I hope you get blisters. If you could play well, I bet you would.
 

dr325i

G.O.A.T.
Head Performance socks sold in Europe are great. I got a few pairs and love them. Not too thick (Thorlo) nicely padded and not slippery.
 

matt33

New User
Lots of great info in this thread, thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

After experimenting with a few different socks, this was what I found:

Thorlo thin
Good: nice padding, pretty good durability, thinner than the normal version (funnily enough)
Bad: very slippery and move around a LOT
Depends: still quite thick and adjust the shoe fit

Wrightsock double layer
Good: nice feel, stay in place pretty well and therefore less skin abrasion vs the thorlo
Bad: not much padding, look a bit ratty quickly (though performance seems ok)
Depends: thin enough to double up (making 4 layers) if thats your thing

Smartwool athletic crew
Good: fit my feet well, stay in place, least foot abrasion
Bad: nothing yet but will see how durable they are

I really liked the old thorlos (20yrs ago) but unfortunately the ones I tried dont fit me quite right. I am size 13 2E shoes and the XL feels tight to put on, but the foot area is much too loose. Not sure if its a size issue, the fabric, or both, but they are also crazy slippery and with it quite hard wearing on my skin.

The wrightsock is a cool design with two really thin layers (two pairs of socks without putting on two pairs type thing). Look and feel good but the thin layers also move around a lot once they are soaking with sweat and 60mins in to a session.

The smartwool is the best tennis sock I have ever used and for my feet fit great and result in the least skin abrasion. Decent padding and most importantly for me stay in place really well/dont move around much. Pleasantly surprised as I didnt know they even made athletic socks until reading this thread.


Matt
 

PhxRacket

Hall of Fame
Lots of great info in this thread, thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

After experimenting with a few different socks, this was what I found:

Thorlo thin
Good: nice padding, pretty good durability, thinner than the normal version (funnily enough)
Bad: very slippery and move around a LOT
Depends: still quite thick and adjust the shoe fit

Wrightsock double layer
Good: nice feel, stay in place pretty well and therefore less skin abrasion vs the thorlo
Bad: not much padding, look a bit ratty quickly (though performance seems ok)
Depends: thin enough to double up (making 4 layers) if thats your thing

Smartwool athletic crew
Good: fit my feet well, stay in place, least foot abrasion
Bad: nothing yet but will see how durable they are

I really liked the old thorlos (20yrs ago) but unfortunately the ones I tried dont fit me quite right. I am size 13 2E shoes and the XL feels tight to put on, but the foot area is much too loose. Not sure if its a size issue, the fabric, or both, but they are also crazy slippery and with it quite hard wearing on my skin.

The wrightsock is a cool design with two really thin layers (two pairs of socks without putting on two pairs type thing). Look and feel good but the thin layers also move around a lot once they are soaking with sweat and 60mins in to a session.

The smartwool is the best tennis sock I have ever used and for my feet fit great and result in the least skin abrasion. Decent padding and most importantly for me stay in place really well/dont move around much. Pleasantly surprised as I didnt know they even made athletic socks until reading this thread.


Matt
+1 for Smartwool socks. I switched to wool blends when I took up cycling a very long time ago and haven’t looked back.
 
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