1,740 forum posts
as i sloshed my way through a morning hike (rain gave me a break from oppressive humidity but started to fill my leather boots with water this morning), i considered the internal debate about using liner socks.
i use them sometimes. two types preferred: one is a thin pair of calf-high merino wool liners, probably smartwool. i use them a fair bit when it's cold and i'm nordic or downhill skiing or hiking in normal boots. the other is a thin pair of patagonia capilene liners, which i use primarily in the summer.
some will say liners aren't necessary. they used to be vital to protect your feet from itchy/scratchy ragg wool socks 'back in the day,' but the rise of merino wool/blend socks has made wool much easier on the feet. another argument against liners is that merino wool or blend socks do a fine job wicking moisture away from your feet, so having liners that wick doesn't add much.
i use liners in the summer for a few reasons. i think having two layers, particularly a thin liner that slides easily against the thicker sock and that does a better job keeping moisture away from your feet than wool, helps limit blistering. i also tend to go with liners more often than not because that is how i buy and size boots - i wear a liner plus a thicker sock when i try on boots - so the boots generally feel and fit a little better due to the extra volume from the liner. in winter, liners add volume and help keep your feet warmer....though in really cold weather, when i'm wearing sorels or mountaineering boots, i size the boots a little big to accommodate two thick pair of socks, so i often dispense with liners for those.
what do you think?