While socks are great for keeping you warm, you’re always at risk of your feet becoming too warm and sweatiness occurring, particularly if you’re also wearing thick shoes with synthetic padding. Multiple socks can hinder the wicking of moisture leading to sweat getting trapped within the inner lining. The subsequent damp conditions can lead to discomfort, chafing, blisters and odour and also provides a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria.
Marion reinforces the point. “If you wear too many socks, your feet can suffocate,” she says.
“The moisture produced by your feet will have nowhere to go and this could lead to sweatiness. The sweat on the feet can interact with the bacteria and fungus on the skin and lead to a foul smell and infections such as athlete’s foot.”
While wearing two pairs of socks can be useful when wearing loose shoes, if you’re trying to squeeze into shoes that are a tighter fit, you could end up feeling uncomfortable and experience unwanted friction.
“Another drawback is that it may lead to structural changes within the feet, as an increase in the number of socks can become too tight for the feet and even restrict growth,” says Marion.
“This could lead to foot deformities such as claw toes and ingrown toenails. If you wear multiple long socks that are too tight, this can restrict circulation to the lower limb, which can be very dangerous.”
The type of socks you’re wearing can make a difference too. Cotton socks don’t wick moisture, so if they get sweaty or damp your feet will remain sweaty and damp. Rather than wearing multiple pairs of cotton socks, you may want to invest in wool or other insulating materials.
If your feet are cold and your shoes have the room, wearing an extra pair of socks is usually fine, but avoid wearing more than two pairs of socks and consider investing in warmer socks. Quality over quantity can be best in this situation!