neoprene socks vs vbl's

10:09 a.m. on November 16, 2001 (EST)

I am interested to hear some opinions regarding preferences and +'s & -'s on each.

11:21 a.m. on November 16, 2001 (EST)
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I am interested to hear some opinions regarding preferences and +'s & -'s on each.

Space...neoprene will soak up space, VBL's mucho thinnner.

Waterproof...neoprene tends not to be (seams), VBL's should be.

Weight...neoprene weighs more.

Cushion...neoprene more cushy.

Price...bread sacks pert nur free and disposable.

So...depends on use. For hikin' long distances in cold shin deep water, neoprene socks just can't be beat. For inside boots for up high, I'd go with a VBL over neoprene. But...I hate using VBL socks. I've gone to thermofit liners in my climbing boots and they really don't require a VBL as much since they are a closed cell insulation that doesn't really soak up the sweat from yer feet. But...socks do require dryin' out every day anyhoo either way.

What use were you thinkin' of?

Brian in SLC

11:22 a.m. on November 19, 2001 (EST)

i don't need em for my plastics which have closed cell foam, but my leathers tend to turn into bricks the next day and become very hard to get on to put it mildly. consequently, i end up wearing plastics more often than i'd like. for quick winter trips i like the confort of my leathers, but i haven't found a great way to keep them from freezing up after a couple of days. i think that i may go the neoprene route for a little extra warmth. thanks for the advice brian.

5:41 p.m. on November 19, 2001 (EST)
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Bri's comments pretty much cover the basics. I have been using VBLs in cold conditions for a number of years (high altitude like Denali, BC skiing, winter climbing/trekking). If you use them layered as - foot, thin wicking liner, VBL, thick outer sock, boot liner - you only need to dry or change the thin wicking liner each night. If you use them between the outer sock and boot liner, you have to dry or change both socks every night (yes some people do it that way, then condemn VBL's). If you don't use VBLs, then you have to dry the boot liners. If your liners are closed cell (at least if you have as sweaty feet as I do), you have to towel out the boot liners every night - or else get your socks wet almost immediately when putting your boots on.

Some other things that help - foot powder (put it on your feet to cut or absorb the sweat - it doesn't do as much good if you put it in the boot liner, although it does cut the odor of the boots), antiperspirant (not straight deodorant, but something with antiperspirant ingredients. Get the stick kind rather than the spray, if you are travelling by plane or just want lower weight. Rub it on your feet and lower legs. It doesn't help me much, but some people say it helps a lot.).

Oh, yeah, you asked about neoprene. I've tried them, still have a pair. They don't seem as effective as a VBL sock, for reasons BrianSLC listed.

April 21, 2018
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