My old boots have finally died and I’m spending this week and next breaking in a new pair of leather Asolo boots before my next section hike over Mt. Mansfield and it’s surrounding peaks. My goal is to hike about 100 miles in a variety of terrains to get the leather nice and soft.
Normally, I just wear a single pair of REI merino wool socks when I hike, but during the new boot break-in process, I decided to wear liner socks, as well, to prevent blisters. The theory behind liner socks in simple. They help wick away sweat from your feet and prevent the friction between your skin and your outer socks that would otherwise turn into a blister.
The liners I’m currently using are REI Liner Socks and so far they’re working great. I’ve day hiked about 25 miles in the past 3 days with them without even a hot spot. They’re made out of a polypropylene, stretch nylon, and lycra blend and have a very porous, almost mesh-like weave that is very effective at wicking water away from my skin and into my outer wool sock layer. Flat seams at the toes and heels also help prevent bunching.
Given the normally wet conditions on the Long Trail, it is likely that I will be taking these socks on my section hike. It will be interesting to see how well they perform under extremely adverse conditions if my new boots get soaked through like my current pair.