It’s funny what you can get fixated on. Only twice in my life have I become really and truly interested in sock variants and the practical implication of such choices. First was when I took up running. I came to realise that, for me at least, any old ankle socks will not do the job. My fragile arthritic, hobbit feet require cosseting and cushioning to remain blister and break free. Before I took up running my typical sock purchase was a multi-pack of cotton rich ankle socks along with the weekly supermarket shop whenever I could no longer locate an in-tact matching pair. After I took up running, The Sock Issue took on a whole new perspective. Google searches, searching conversations with running friends even seeking out expert advice from specialist running shops. It was a running mine field quite frankly. I didn’t think I could get more neurotic about socks, but it seems I was wrong.
I have been really fired up about what socks to take with me to Cambodia. The bottom line is, I was badly bitten in Vietnam, and also I got an allergic/heat reaction to my sandals causing my (already deeply unattractive) feet to blister and itch. Consequently, let the fashion police protest all they may, I need socks for this next travel adventure. Socks however were not easy to come by where I was in Vietnam. Well, not quality cotton socks anyway. Most people go without or have synthetics various and that would be foot suicide for me. As a consequence I spent far more time, money and emotional resources researching sock choices for Cambodia than a reasonable person might think proportionate. Nevertheless dear reader, I wasted these hours of my life so you don’t have to.
Let me share my findings with you here 🙂
I have ended up with a smorgasbord of sock choices that will accompany me. They are as follows:
My first impressions of these is that they are pretty heavy duty. They are quite thick, I’m not sure an insect would be able to bite through these anyway, plus they are a lot longer than I realised, beyond my ankles. I think they may well turn out to be too hot to be practical, however, they are coming with me anyway, because if I do end up in an area that is really bad for mosquitos I might be glad of them. They claim to have odour protection as well as moisture control and quick drying fabric. I might wear them on flight out actually as I’ll be leaving in November and might be glad of a more heavy duty sock. We’ll see. They claim that the insect-repellant properties are permanent
First impressions of these is that they feel lurvely. They are very, very light and I like the lighter colour as well as lighter fabric. They feel immediately like they will be more comfortable in hot weather and they are true ankle socks. The downside, is that I don’t expect them to be all that hard wearing, also they only claim to remain repellent to insects – mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers (I dont’ even know what they are) and midges – for 70 washings. Which isn’t that many in a hot climate and a long stay, but we’ll see.
Finally, I have got some anti-mosquito/ earth safe Tenbro socks, Bugsocks made of bamboo fibre.
My first impression of these is that they do feel nice… but, they just look a bit fragile, I’m dubious. They feel soft, they claim to have natural anti-bacterial properties so we’ll see.
Do you see what I mean when I say I am conscious of having developed slightly too much interest in the topic of socks for travel? Some may feel an entire blog post about socks is disproportionate, but they clearly are either not travelers or not runners. I can talk for even longer about running underwear choices, you have got off quite lightly here!
The point is dear reader, when packing space is limited I feel I need to make a conscious and informed choice for absolutely every item that is coming with me, they have to sort of earn they place. I know the costs of these socks is/are eye-watering, but I still carry the literal scars from bites in Vietnam two years ago. My ankles will never be the same again!
I may or may not report back about how any of these socks actually did. For now this post is really a way of recording where I got my original socks in case I am emboldened to splash out in this way again. I wonder though if it is just one big con. Can you ever really have an insect-repellant sock. Or if you do, is it just basicaly saturated in Agent Orange or DDT? If so, it will now doubt cause me to unwittingly add to the distribution of toxic chemicals around our fragile earth as I walk, whilst simultaneously guaranteeing an extreme allergic reaction to the pernicious substances my innocent looking footwear contains at some point during my trip, I really hope not.
We’ll all have to wait and see.
This concludes my sock post for now. You’re welcome.