Sock it to me

The facts about socks and safety footwear

Choosing the right safety footwear is one thing, but the socks you wear inside those boots (or shoes) can play a huge role in how comfortable you are in your safety footwear. It’s amazing the difference that a pair of work socks can make in how your footwear fits and how your feet feel at the end of the day. When choosing socks to go inside of safety footwear there are a few important considerations including season, height, and material.

Season

In winter, warmer socks made of synthetic fibres or merino wool help keep your feet warm without adding unnecessary bulk. In the summer, you need socks that wick moisture away and help prevent foot odour but also ones that aren’t too hot. In spring and summer, you want quality socks that will help relieve fatigue.

Height

This one is somewhat self-explanatory. Your socks should not be lower than the cuff of your boot or shoe. Having socks that are lower than the cuff can lead to chafing and blisters. Your socks need to fit properly – ones that have lost their elasticity or are too big can slump down inside footwear creating pressure points.

 

Material

Cotton absorbs and retains moisture – a great trait in a towel but not such a great thing when your foot is inside a boot all day. Especially in cooler weather, this retention of moisture can lead to cold feet, which in turn leads to the whole body being cooled. Synthetic material is designed to wick moisture away from the skin, so your feet stay warm. Some work socks are made with anti-microbial fibres, which help prevent both foot odour and fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. In addition, specialty work socks can have features designed to reduce fatigue such as comfort padding and woven arch support. There should be some spandex or elastic to help the sock stay up, but not too much or else it may be too constrictive later in the day when feet swell.

Choose socks for the right season, that are the right height, and made from the right materials, and your feet will thank you.

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How do I make sure to get the right size?

To measure your feet:

  1. Get a blank piece of paper, a pencil and a tape measure.
  2. Stand with one foot on the piece of paper, and have most of your weight on your foot to simulate walking.
  3. Holding the pencil perfectly vertical and perpendicular to the paper, mark a line at the back of your heel and at the tip of your longest toe. Also mark a line along each side of the widest part of your foot.
  4. Measure length and width to the nearest 16th inch and subtract .20 to .25 inches, or .50 centimetres, to account for the width of the pencil.
  5. Find your corresponding size in the charts below.

A couple of tips to get the perfect fit:

  • Measure your feet later in the day as feet normally swell and can become up to half a size bigger in the evening.
  • Measure both feet and use the measurements of the biggest foot. Many people have feet that are different sizes.
  • Wear the same type of socks you will generally be wearing on the job when you measure your feet.

Here are some general guidelines to assess fit once you’ve received your new boots:

  • Try on new boots towards the end of the day.
  • Walk around in a clean environment for a couple of hours to make sure the boots are comfortable.
  • Try boots on both feet, as many people have feet that are different sizes.
  • Boots should fit snugly around the heel and ankle when laced.
  • The inner side of the boot should be straight from the heel to the end of the big toe.
  • The boot should grip the heel firmly.

Measuring apparel for proper fit

Size X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large 2X-Large 3X-Large
Neck - Inches 13-13.5 14-14.5 15-15.5 16-16.5 17-17.5 18-18.5 19-19.5
Neck - Centimetres 33-35 36-37 38-39 41-42 43-44 45-47 48-50
Chest - Inches 30-32 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56
Chest - Centimetres 76-81 86-91 97-102 107-112 117-122 127-132 137-147
Waist - Inches 27-28 29-31 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50
Waist - Centimetres 68-71 73-78 81-83 91-96 101-106 111-116 121-127

Hint: For the most accurate results, measure yourself in your undergarments.

  • Neck: Measure around the base of your neck, inserting your forefinger between the tape and your neck to allow ease in fit.
  • Chest: Measure around the fullest part of your chest, keeping tape firmly under your armpits and around your shoulder blades.
  • Waist: Measure around your waist, slightly below your natural waist, where you normally wear your pants. Insert your forefinger between the tape and your body to allow ease in fit.
  • Sleeve length: Bend your arm slightly. Measure from centre back neck, across your shoulder, down to your elbow, down to your wrist.
  • Hip: Measure around the fullest part of your hips, inserting your forefinger between the tape and your hip to allow ease in fit.
  • Inseam: Measure a similar pant that fits you well. Measure along the inseam, from the crotch seam to the bottom of the hem.

Between sizes?

If your measurements are in between those listed in the size chart, pick the next larger size.