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Neo Socks and Wool Socks - what do you do?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Here's what I do:

    I wear a heavy wool hiker under the 2mm Neo socks, and this works for me for most canyons. This is more comfortable and more flexible than using just the neo. I can hike in and start the canyon with just the wool, then add the thin neo sock when we get to the serious water. (note, shoe is 1/2 size larger than 'normal size').

    With the 4mm, I might wear a sock underneath, or maybe not. Might need a full size larger than 'normal size'. I save the 4mm for winter (or other rather cold trips). At times I wear a heavy wool underneath this and pull out the foot bed to get more volume in the shoe.

    All the socks I carry are originally designed for scuba, and tend to be tight in the toes. Your toes need space when hiking, that is not needed when walking 20 feet on the dock. Thus socks that are too big might be better than socks that are too small.

    Tom
    [​IMG]
  2. Michael W

    Michael W

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    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    I like neoprene socks by themselves (no wool underneath) - - then I don't have to adjust my shoes, and keep my wool socks dry for the deproach. (My socks quickly get damp when I put them in wet shoes, but that's nicer than being soaking wet.)

    The socks I have are only neoprene, without rubber-dipped soles. If yours were at a dive shop, would they be labeled "booties"?
    ratagonia likes this.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
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    Thanks for playing.

    What brand do you have that does not have the texture on the bottom?

    tom
  4. Michael W

    Michael W

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    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    They're NRS brand, from my local kayaking/rafting store.

    I think they're 2 mm thick, but I took a quick look at the NRS website and didn't find them - - I don't think this model is made anymore.
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  5. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    I use a Fox River liner sock as the base for the neos. Or sometimes just Merino wool, if the exposure is not too lengthy.
  6. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    I approach with wool socks and then switch to 5mm neos and remove the insole from my shoe. That way I can generally always wear the correct size and still have room for the the thicker neos.
    Dave Melton, Jman and ratagonia like this.
  7. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I used to be all 5mm neos all the time. Then I saw the light. Now I generally use woolies on the approach and neos going down. Much better. But sometimes I skip the neos all together. It does cause a problem that the boots are a little sloppy big if I'm not wearing neos. The truth is you don't need neos unless the canyon is really cold. But they do provide a bit more protection to the feet and make the boots fit better (since I sized them to wear with 5 mm neos.) Never really liked 2 mm neo socks.
    ratagonia likes this.
  8. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    Location:
    La Verkin
    Bought 100 pairs of 5mm direct from an OEM in China a while back; 50 mediums, 50 larges, came out to about $4/pair. :)

    Cotton sock on approach, stays on under 5mm neo on cold days (have special pair of shoes sized one up for this). Moderately wet days where only my feet would be cold are cotton sock approach, stays on under 0.5mm neo.

    Didn't import any 0.5mm's as didn't see the market for them...
  9. zul

    zul

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    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    You can add a 'wicking sock' or base layer sock. Even a 'compression sock' like you find in the hospital setting.
    That thin layer sock will take out that slop.
    Reduced blister potential and no more dead toe nails. I've had real problems with both. For me, that slop used to be a big problem.

    Thin sock for the WIN!!
    ratagonia likes this.
  10. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I think the ideal is two sets of boots probably. One for cold weather canyons and a slightly smaller pair for warm days.
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