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Last year we looked at footies and openwork as a way to keep rocking socks as the weather grows warmer. But sometimes even less coverage isn’t enough for overwarm feet. With summer officially starting tomorrow, I thought I’d share some styles that are particularly kind to too toasty toes.
First, let’s be honest. We’re talking about foot sweat. There’s a lot of fancy ways to say it, like “moisture”, or there’s the emphasis on “keeping dry.” But sweat is sweat and we all drip it at our warmest moments. The plague of summer is foot sweat pooling in shoes and somehow making your feet clammy, yet still too warm. That is pretty gross, so let’s reset your brain with this snuggly picture of Ferous from our Instagram.
Back to the matter at hand. There’s only so much you can do to prevent your feet from sweating. Less sock is a part of that, and we know folks who go straight to sandals and no socks as soon as the weather heats up. But, not everyone gets to rock sandals (closed-toe shoe policies, personal taste, etc), so: folks who keep en-socked through summer, this is for you.
For all of the fabulous lightness of cotton, it transforms into a soggy sock when it gets wet and it takes its time to dry. But you combine cotton with a fiber like bamboo and you get a breezy sock that practically feels cool against the skin, lets your toes breathe and doesn’t get bogged down by “moisture.” The bamboo multi-pack styles from Foot Traffic are a great example of this. And! They’ve got lightly vented tops to maximize breathability.
Wicking. What exactly does that entail, when it comes to a sock? Well, that can mean a couple of things: they channel sweat off to where it can evaporate, they’re more absorbent and better at getting sweat off of you, they dry faster. A bonus is that a lot of them are super durable fibers that can take quite a beating and are less likely to aromatically convey just how hard a day your feet had.
Sounds fab, right? What if I said wool was one of the best fibers for just all that? It sounds madly counter-intuitive, but most technical (read: science-y) socks employ wool in styles you’ll be sweating up precisely because it’s a great fiber for wicking and insulation. Remember! You can insulate things to keep them warm AND to keep them cool. That’s the principle behind these four fabulous footies:
Another wicking wool blend shortie are the Wool Lightweight Running No Show Toe Socks. This style even has a ventilated top (that waffle-y pattern) to help manage the heat.
Toe socks in general can be a boon in warm weather. The idea of separately wrapping each toe in fabric when it’s warm is probably making you sweat just thinking about it, but that extra fabric goes a long way in dealing with excess moisture and helps prevent blisters and general discomfort caused by sweaty toes all rubbing up against each other.
If the concept of wool toe socks is too much, how about Coolmax®? A synthetic fiber designed to really amp up the whole wicking of sweat process (we go into a better explanation in this post), it’s a fabulous summer combo with toe socks.
The ultra best lightweight summer fiber is going to be silk, though. A particular favourite as a liner in the winter, the whisper-thin touch of silk in the summer is cooling to just think about. One of our Dreamers with particularly overwarm feet personally recommends silk toe sock styles as her ideal during warm months.
There are other styles that different kinds of feet love in hot weather as well (every foot is unique, after all), but these are our top favourites for really beating the heat. Of course, we always encourage folks to drop us a line with their measurements and needs, ‘cause nobody deserves the sweaty foot of summer!
Even with the advent of mustard as a popular shade, yellow socks and stockings are as rare as sunshine in the Pacific Northwest winter. Like a lot of hues that aren’t widely represented, where yellow does show up it shows up in every version it can, from crayon to Dijon.
As usual, I’m not trying to define yellow. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of yellow, Wikipedia and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t.
There aren’t that many yellows to look at, so let’s dive in! You’ll see as we go along that yellow tends to fall into crayon, gold, mustard and not quite mustard.
Surprisingly, these yellows were more of a pain to edit than the Teal/Turquoise last month, and I think the shots of each colour type in the second half of this post is the most accurate to what they look like in person. You know the little kid game where you hold a dandelion or buttercup under your chin and if it reflects yellow on your face you like butter? According to how much yellow reflects, everything likes butter.
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
From the pastel of Banana to rich Marigold, our house brand styles touch almost every type of yellow except crayon-pure.
Sticking to crayon yellows for their nylon styles, they only dip into golden tones when using cotton, like in the Smiley Faced Crews.
No surprise, Tabbisocks rocks this under-represented colour, focusing mostly on mustards of varying shades. They call the Dijon delight of their Harajuku Arm Warmers “Yellow”, but it’s more spread than sunshine in shade.
I’m splitting up the assorted single representatives of brands into two subgroups! First, our crayon shades:
Now the mustardy-dijon:
After the jump, we’ll take in all this sunshine and break down the hues! Read more »
May and early June may sometimes act like summer, but late spring is still a far cry from the practiced heat of July and August. We know some of you live where it is hot sun-up to sun-down and you’re scoffing right now, but even on 70-80°F afternoons the mornings around here can hover around a comparatively chilly 50°F. That’s a big jump!
If you’re going in to work, you can put together something with layers to get you from the chilly outside morning to the warm after-work afternoon. But what about days at home? If you haven’t got central air, you’re probably like me, all windows open to the cold morning, collecting a bit of chill so the house doesn’t heat up quite so much in the sun.
That’s why we didn’t feel that goofy introducing the fleece knee highs from Polar Feet. They’re perfect for paring with shorts on chilly, pre-summer mornings.
One of our Dreamers is particularly stoked, as they plan on getting a pair to wear camping. Their feet will be warm on cool woodsy mornings and in those surprisingly chilly evenings around the campfire. Plus, they fit great into boots!
What we particularly love about these fleece knee highs is the range of fit! Fleece doesn’t have as much give as knit materials, so we did some testing to figure out calf sizing. If a 19 inch cuff stretch isn’t enough, check out our versions in a wider calf, with about 23 inches of comfy, cozy stretch! What our smaller-footed folks loved was that, even on the larger calf size, the ankle wasn’t too baggy, tapering just the right amount but still offering about 12 inches of stretch at the narrowest part.
And bigger-footed folks were pleased too. Right now, the large foot size is only available in the Lumberjack style, but we tried it on our resident US men’s shoe size 11.5 EEEE (that’s 4x wide, plus he’s got a high instep!) and they fit beautifully.
If it’s already too hot where you live to even think of fleece, do future you a favour and pick up a pair to stash away until winter. Polar Feet is a tiny, wonderful company, and sometimes they have trouble keeping up with your demand for their delightful socks! When winter rolls around (even though it seems a million years away right now), your toes will thank you as they stay toasty.
And, of course, these fleece knee highs are perfect for our pals in the Southern Hemisphere, where they’ll be enjoying the start of winter any week now!
The only Dreamer who has a birthday this month is not officially an employee, but she does come to HQ every workday. Isabel is the daughter of our VP of Purchasing and even with only two years of wearing clothes under her belt, Izzy’s already got definite opinions on her style.
The Wee Isabelle Baby & Kids OTK from Sweet Marcel are, appropriately, one of her favourites. Fishies and colours both springy and girly, perfect for whatever mood she’s feeling.
An obliging model for our baby and kids socks from the start, Izzy’s rocked socks for us since she needed a little help sitting up.
Isabel is always a delight to work with (she might be our most darling Dreamer, though I try not to be biased), and it’s been even more fun as she’s gotten older. She’s a bolt of lightning now, but she still finds a little time to show off her socks.
Last summer we had another of our little feet models join Izzy for a (naptime-shortened) afternoon of trying on different socks. It was around then that she started showing some more active interest in how all the pictures were turning out.
I think, of all of us Dreamers who have scored some awesome socks as models, Izzy has won because she has two pairs of the fleece slipper socks. It’s the luck you get when you’ve got the littlest feet! (For big feet in search of snuggliness, you might want to check out our new knee high option!)
Happy birthday to Izzy and all you other May babies, I hope your springs are verdant and full of those flowers April always says it’s raining for!!
There is a definite reason we lump teal and turquoise together in our Color Search. Turquoise is often bluer and lighter, dipping its toe into sky and neon blues, even. Teal is deeper and more forest-y, but just as easily slips into deep greens and muddy blues. Sometimes a supplier calls teal “turquoise” or vice-versa. Or just calls blue “teal” and then we shake our fist at the sky (which is actually blue, btw) at colour definitions. But dang, whatever you want to call it, it looks good all mixed together.
As a bonus to the tricky definitions, teal and turquoise are notoriously difficult to edit. Even if you don’t understand photo editing, check these screen caps I took while editing the images for this post. Now, I should just be having to crank on the “Aqua” (aqua and cyan are often the mechanical values of teal and turquoise) slider to correctly balance the blues and yellows in turquoise and teal. Here it is with just the Aqua adjusted and the Blue slider at 0 (blue equals blue):
Already you can see that the three Dreamer styles in the main image seem less blue than the teals and turquoises of other brands in the thumbnails on the left. Now, when you move the Blue slider all the way to the right (blue equals purple), something very telling happens:
Anything that is read by the camera eye as “blue” turns purple. Except! Those three dreamer styles. They remain un-purpled. And if we haul the slider to the left (blue equals green), the whole thing is proved more:
Just, wow. I know there are a lot of variables at play, but I hope this gives you an idea of how tricky teal and turquoise are to convey (and that not everything that could go under the teal and turquoise banner is truly that shade).
So it is with particular emphasis this month I add the disclaimer! I’m not trying to define teal or turquoise. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of teal and turquoise, Wikipedia’s Teal and Turquoise pages are kind of amazing resources. The Color Sorting Wiki is totally unpoetic and insists cyans like teal and turquoise are just shades of blue or green. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t. But oh man, they’re a bear. A blue-green bear.
That said, let’s see how different suppliers interpret this beautiful monster of a hue!
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
As I showed above, we’ve got some beautiful representation of this hue, from pastel to deep and dark.
With their “Peacock” on the greener side of the aisle and “Turquoise” more light blue, Foot Traffic has their feet on both sides of the colour gradient.
They really only use “turquoise” twice in products we carry and it’s really more of a neon blue (which I’ll show later). But dang, it is a pretty hue and I love the petticoat in this colour.
Of course, Tabbisocks has the most stunning range of this hue, including the forest-y “Dark Cyan”. From light to dark, they’ve got it all, as usual!
A handful of other suppliers gave straight teal or turquoise a go, and they’ve done quite nicely at it!
The bluer and greener and blue-greener (and green-bluer) sub-families of teal and turquoise after the jump!