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What socks do astronauts wear? And other examples of niche sock wearers

Posted by SockShop

Niche sock wearers: astronaut on the moon

Image by Wikimedia

When you think of an astronaut floating around in space -decked out in all of their specialist gear- it’s funny to think that beneath that suit lurks a perfectly normal pair of socks. Or are they perfectly normal? If everything else an astronaut wears is out of the ordinary, shouldn’t their socks be out of the ordinary too?

From astronauts to athletes, here’s the lowdown on which job descriptions require protective socks to ensure safety and performance.

Niche sock wearers: astronaut in space
Image by Wikimedia

1. Astronauts

In space, astronauts often face extreme conditions, so thermal socks are standard issue. Since 1982, NASA astronauts have also worn leather suede-soled slipper socks. As they never ‘stand’ on their feet, shoes are rarely needed!

Feel out of this world comfort with our extensive range of thermal socks and these leather-soled slipper socks from Falke Cottage.

Niche sock wearers: firefighter with hose
Image by SAC Tim White RAF/MOD
2. Firefighters

Like astronauts, firefighters often face extreme environments. Due to the long hours spent on their feet in hot conditions, they are advised to wear socks made from natural fabrics, which are more breathable than synthetic fabrics. Suggested materials include cotton, wool or a blend of flame-resistant fibres

You can also buy specialist firefighter boot socks, which stay up better than normal long socks, have cushioned soles for shock absorbance, greater breathability and thermal management, which helps heat to dissipate on the foot, helping to control hot spots in your boots.

Find similar protective footwear in this range of cotton socks and our range of wool socks.

Niche sock wearers: soldiers on duty
Image by Wikimedia Commons

3. Soldiers

As with firefighters, the harsh conditions and physical training that soldiers face means that they wear highly specialised clothing. Army issue socks will generally be foot-hugging to avoid blister-inducing slipping and bunching, cushioned for shock absorption, moisture-wicking to get rid of any sweat, and finally, thermal to stand up to cold-climate duty.

Find socks ready for tough outdoor conditions, with this range of thermal socks and our range of cushioned socks.

Niche sock wearers: Olympic Athlete running a marathon  
Image by Wikimedia Commons

4. Marathon runners

Marathon runners put their feet under more strain than most of us will in our entire lives. So, when it comes to socks, they need something a bit special.

There are a number of sock features designed to combat the stress and abrasion that running puts your feet under, including extra padding across the ball of the foot, toes and heel area to reduce shock and prevent blisters, and a tighter area through the arch to give greater arch support and allow the shoe to fit better.

Get ready for the road, with specialist products such as Nike anti-blister running socks and Puma’s PowerCELL Performance and Mid-Weight Quarter Running Socks, which offer supportive compression and zonal cushioning.  You can also browse our full range of sports socks.

Niche sock wearers: rock climber climbing  
Image by Adam Kubalica

5. Rock Climbers

If you’ve ever tried on a pair of rock boots, you’ll know how tight and difficult they are to get on. Climbers need to be able feel and navigate every feature of the rock with their feet, so chunky socks are definitely a no-go. Many climbers therefore choose to forego socks entirely, but this can leave shoes rather pongy after a long climb.

So, what’s the solution? Some climbers wear liner socks in their shoes – these are made from incredibly thin material that wicks away the sweat, without overly reducing sensitivity.

So whether you’re navigating the outer reaches of space, or embarking on a particularly challenging climb, make sure your feet are dressed for protection and comfort. 


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