Bethesda, MD – A well-made pair of shoes can often make the difference between ample foot comfort and a host of debilitating ailments. But while countless footwear companies claim new advances in shoe designs everyday, what lies between the foot and the shoe – the sock – seems to be evolving just as rapidly. So how do you pick the perfect pair?

When wearing a sock for any type of activity, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) always recommends the following:

Purchase a sock made of a polysynthetic blend. This material will best wick away moisture from the foot, which can prevent blister formation and irritation.

-Avoid socks with large seams at the toe or in other areas. Those with diabetes or decreased circulation, who have an increased chance of developing irritation and blistering of the foot skin, should seek out seamless socks whenever possible.
-Choose thickness of sock material based on personal preference and comfort.
-Evaluate each sock’s fit, making sure that there is no loose fabric around toes or heels. Conversely, socks that are too tight can decrease circulation and comfort.

According to a survey by the APMA, 29 percent of consumers buy socks made for high-energy activities such as running, hiking and skiing. With today’s athletes in particular seeking high performance from all of their footwear products, special attention is now being paid to sock construction techniques that elevate comfort and safety levels. Hyperhydrosis (excess sweating) and bromhydrosis (foot odor) are just two types of foot ailments often caused or made worse by donning an inappropriate sock.

«It is surprising how often foot conditions are exacerbated by wearing a sock that is poorly constructed,» said Ross E. Taubman, DPM, president of the APMA. «Staying away from socks created from harsh materials that irritate the skin is often an overlooked step in maintaining foot health.»

Recently, the APMA awarded its prestigious Seal of Acceptance to two new sock products that have gone above and beyond the simple, tube sock design. Evaluated by a committee of APMA podiatric physicians, these products have been proven to allow for normal foot function and promote quality foot health:

Injinji Footwear Performance Series Tetratsok – Injinji’s Performance Series Tetratsok incorporates a patented anatomical, five-toe design, which separates toes with an anti-friction seamless membrane that keeps blisters at bay. The Tetratsok’s material is comprised of Coolmax wicking fiber, combined with a durable shell of outer nylon and Lycra, allowing the foot to act naturally for better posture, gripping and balance.

Takeda Legwear BigToe R x L Socks – Because toe length can play a large role in sock comfort and proper fit, R x L socks are designed specifically for the right and left feet. A custom fit for each toe is created by weaving according to each toe’s length, allowing for a snug, yet comfortable fit. Additionally, BigToe R x L Socks are constructed from Coolmax fabric, which moves moisture from the skin to the fabric’s outer surface.

Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association is the nation’s leading professional society for foot and ankle specialists. The association has component societies in 53 locations in the U.S. and its territories and a membership of close to 11,500 doctors of podiatric medicine. For free foot health information, visit www.apma.org.

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