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    I've Started Exclusively Wearing Injinji Toe Socks On Hikes And Backpacking Trips — Here's Why

    The sweat-wicking, stink-fighting, foot-saving toe socks you didn't know you needed.

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    My feet are extremely blister-prone. Unfortunately I am also a person who loves hiking, backpacking, or literally just walking all day more than...anything? Luckily, I discovered Injinji toe socks, which keep my feet safe and happy like no other socks can.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    Injinji makes many styles of toe sock (there are more than you'd think!), but all of them are designed with blister-prevention, sweat-wicking, and toe freedom in mind, making them the ultimate companion for long hikes, runs, or any other athletic activity, really.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    ^Also shoutout to the Rumpl blanket (which I also just reviewed) under my feet in a ton of these pics!

    The first pair that I got were the NuWool Crew Liners ($13 from Amazon or REI), which are nice and thin. I originally bought them to wear under a pair of regular hiking socks to test for blister prevention, but ended up loving them so much I tried wearing the liners alone and liked it way more.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    I was wearing bulkier boots at the time and the thin sock really helped me achieve a better fit, not to mention keep my feet pain-free enough to keep going on the trail for a few more days. If you have boots that are a little snug, but you're not willing or able to part with them yet, I highly recommend using these liners as your main sock!

    The liners can also be used to prevent blisters on the heel when worn with another pair of socks. I *did* find this useful, but ultimately just liked the toe socks alone!

    And because I thought I was just going to try them out for a few days but ended up ditching my normal hiking socks altogether, I unexpectedly wore these for uhhhh...five days straight. And guess what? They weren't even that stinky at the end of the trip! Wool really is a miraculous material. Thanks, sheep!

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    LMAO they definitely weren't clean, but like...nothing is clean at the end of a backpacking trip. A little crustiness was a win in my book.

    The liners also come in a nonwool version that I haven't tried, but I love the NuWool — which are made with merino wool — for the natural anti-stink factor that brings *so* many hikers to buy wool socks time and time again.

    After that trip, I knew that it was Injinji or bust for me when it came to hiking socks, so I asked for more for Christmas and lo and behold I was gifted their Midweight Crew socks ($16+ from Amazon). The thickness is that of a light hiking sock, providing a little more squish and support than the liners, but not near as bulky as a traditional hiking sock.

    the midweight socks inside out captioned "extra squish in the hell and arch" with an arrow pointing to extra fabric in those areas
    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    I used to think that hiking socks needed to be puffy and enormous, but after a lot of review reading and, most importantly, trial and error, I've found midweight socks like this to be *way* more suitable for hiking and backpacking than the veritable foot towels I was wearing before. 

    I have the "women's" version, but there's also a "men's"! Anyone can wear any kind of sock though, so just check out the size charts. 

    The Injinji Midweight Crew socks *sheds a single tear* are my perfect hiking socks. Paired with my trusty Altra Lone Peak 5 trail runners, my feet can go and go and go for easily over 12 miles a day with no blistering or friction.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    I know that 12 miles is nothing compared to what a lot of backpackers can do in a day, but hey, it's not nothing! And 12 miles *and* no blisters, especially for my wildly blister-able feet is 100% something to write home about!

    And I could write a whole other tome about Altras, but the short version: They're the greatest hiking shoes ever. Check out the Lone Peak 5s from Amazon for $126+ in "women's" sizes 5.5–12 and $103+ in "men's" sizes 7–16. They're also available in "men's" and "women's" sizes from REI.

    I bought the Injinjis for the blister prevention, but I've fully committed to them because they allow your toes to keep their natural, full range of motion, which is critical for both comfort and for getting though more difficult parts of trail.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    I've done enough yoga in my day to really value toe strength! Strong toes really do = better balance. 

    Rock scrambling, hiking over roots, and navigating other obstacles are all a lot easier when you can grip with your toes to help find your balance — something normal socks can prevent you from doing. This positive effect is *extra* noticible when you pair Injinjis with a shoe or boot with a wide toe box, like any pair of Altras.

    writer in the tow socks and altra trail runners captioned toes have room to spread out with arrows illustrating where her toes are in the shoe's wide toe box
    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    My socks and shoes also unexpectedly match. :') I truly don't care what I look like when I'm hiking, but I'll happily take this win. 

    Another unforeseen positive consequence? You can slide into your camp shoes with toe straps while still wearing your socks! This isn't as important in the summer, but on early spring or fall trips when you want to keep your toes warm but you can't wear your hiking shoes for one more second, the Injinjis come in clutch.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    I usually bring just the oldest, cheapest, lightest pair of flip-flops I own as my camp shoes, but I think I'm gonna bring my trusty Tevas^ on my next trip! These are the Olowahu flip-flops ($21.21+ on Amazon, available in sizes 5–12), which are sturdy yet light, and I wear them pretty much every day. 

    And rest assured I'm not the only one who loves Injinji socks of all kinds. Reviewers echo my love for their moisture-wicking, blister prevention, and all-around excellence.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    "These socks have saved my feet! I always got blisters on my heels and between my toes before these socks, even when I changed my shoes. Since getting these, zero blisters (even on 20-mile days). I can’t recommend these enough!!! They dried within a few hours in the sun on backpacking trips. They also didn’t get super stinky when I wore them for several days without washing, so that’s a plus." —Katie D

    "So you gotta get used to these but once you can get past the different feel they're really a great liner sock. I wear these under my Smartwool expedition socks and my feet are really happy. Was worried they'd be too hot but they do a great job of keeping the sweat off and my feet have never been more comfy. Will definitely be buying more — I'm a convert!" —utfisher

    "Injinji socks are perfect for my feet with bunion issues. NuWool is great for the Pacific Northwest weather!!" —GGinPDX

    I could talk about these socks for hours, but alas, I think that's enough posting pictures of my feet online for today. Get the NuWool Liners for $13 from Amazon or REI (available in sizes S–XL) and the Midweight Crew Socks from Amazon in "women's" sizes for $16+ and in "men's" sizes for $13.22+. You can also browse all of Injinji's options on Amazon or at REI.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.