THIN socks with toe seam on top aka please help me not lose my damn mind
November 22, 2016 2:23 PM   Subscribe

I have freakishly sensitive and blister-prone feet. It is winter in California. I need to wear socks with shoes for the next few months. The toe seams are killing me. Please help.

(Please assume that going sockless is NOT among the answers I'm looking for.)

My feet are like the princess & the pea. The slightest thing wrong bothers them, and almost every shoe eventually gives me crippling blisters.

Thin black nylon women's "trouser socks" - the kind they make tights out of, you know - are the ones that chafe the least, so that's what I wear. (I'm F.)

But. But. The toe seams. Instead of lying across the top of the toes where I can't feel it, like they do in cotton socks, the seams of the nylon socks are basically across the very end of the toes, and inevitably within moments of me starting to walk around, the seams pull down so they're sitting right under my toes. (This happens even when I've carefully pulled the tops up as I'm putting shoes on.) The sensation of the seam under my toes makes me absolutely crazy in a very bad way.

I have bought a few pairs of ostensibly "seamless" socks on Amazon and they were a total bust (they weren't even nylon, they were cotton, but I was desperate... they were too thick to be comfortable and too tight in the calf, adding insult to injury.)

Please help me. I wear sandals to avoid this like 9 months out of the year, but it's getting pretty cold. Do you have nylon (or somehow otherwise thin-and-tight-enough-to-never-chafe) socks where the seam sits on TOP of the toes, not across the tips?
posted by fingersandtoes to Shopping (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Turn the sock inside out so the seam is on the outside of the sock? I don't know if that would work depending on the sock pattern, but it's easy enough to try.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:26 PM on November 22, 2016 [9 favorites]

Have you tried wearing the socks inside out? This amazing advice was just given to me on mefi and it has greatly helped my child's sensitive, sock seam issues!
posted by areaperson at 2:28 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

All the thin, novelty socks I have from Target don't have real seams. The color changes between the toe and foot but there is no seam.
posted by magnetsphere at 2:31 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Agreeing with the inside-out thing. I'd also take a look at LA-area camping shops -- like A-16 & REI. They tend to stock thin, warm socks that are meant for people who are hiking all day long and need blister reduction techniques.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:32 PM on November 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Couple of ideas; try pulling the seam UP on top of your toes, sort of across your nails. And keep a good loose space at the toe end, rather than having your socks tight against your toes.

Try wearing a thin pair of low cut foot socks under the seamed socks. And again, keep them loosened at the toe end. I use both of these methods on a regular basis. I too have sensitive touchy feet!
posted by LaBellaStella at 2:54 PM on November 22, 2016

I have issues with trouser socks sliding down and around my feet as well. Or, I USED to have issues. Then someone turned me on to the Nordstrom compression trouser socks. Ten years and I've never gone back. Plus they last forever. I get them a size larger because I don't really need the compression - I just need them to stay in place. They have a small seam and yep, I turn them inside out!
posted by memewit at 2:57 PM on November 22, 2016

Have you tried running socks? I'm a fan of Injinji, but the thin ones from Road Runner are good too.
posted by 26.2 at 3:01 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also, Tom Toms blister powder is worth a try. I know many long distance runners who swear by it.
posted by 26.2 at 3:03 PM on November 22, 2016

If your feet are moving around enough in your shoes to displace your socks, there might be something weird about the fit of your shoe.

If the seams are pulling down across the front of your toes, then your foot is sliding forward inside the sock on each step. If your shoe was too big this might be possible, but that seems unlikely, considering how people often buy their shoes a little too small.

Another possibility is that you're not lacing them tightly enough to immobilize the sock against your foot, or to prevent your foot from sliding relative to the footbed on each step.

Do you have this problem with socks in all of your shoes or just some of your shoes? If it's possible to wear socks in your sandals, do the socks behave the same way? Do you have enough room in your shoes to move your toes? Do your shoes show wear in the toe box from your toes pressing up? Can your foot move side-to-side in your shoes when they are fully attached to your feet?
posted by the Real Dan at 3:06 PM on November 22, 2016

Smartwool running socks? Not as thin as those paper-thin women's trouser socks (which are nearly as thin as pantyhose it seems) but much thinner than cotton socks. And the seams are invisible and unfeelable to me.
posted by GuyZero at 3:12 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Consider tights with a reinforced toe. They do not seem to have the same type of seam (check before you buy, of course). Tights are perfectly wearable under pants; try a size larger than what their size guide suggests for more comfort around the waist area.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 3:15 PM on November 22, 2016

I wear these:




Unclear as to what sock height you want - I only ever wear flats or slip ons so I like no-show. The first two have toe seam that I am aware of, or at least that I can feel.

The Loft socks are my absolute favorite. They have the toe seam across the top and I can't feel it at all. They are very thin and super comfy. All three of these are thin enough to wear with tight-fitting flats, but the SmartWool and Peds sometimes feel tight across my toes or pull, so you may not like them.
posted by raspberrE at 3:35 PM on November 22, 2016

(Sorry for my LA-centric answer. I see that you're in the SF bay but I'm sure you have something similar up there.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:39 PM on November 22, 2016

I turn my socks and underwear inside out. It's the only way I can stand it.
posted by sockermom at 3:43 PM on November 22, 2016

Ive had good luck with the Falke Sensitive line. They are shaped for your left/right feet and are thin and dressy.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 3:58 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

2nd Injinji toe socks. Because they fit your foot like a glove fits your hand, the toe seam can't shift or turn under. They also help avoid blisters from toes rubbing together.
posted by mama casserole at 4:12 PM on November 22, 2016

Smartwool PhD ultra light running socks are like they ate not even there, try a pair. They are pricey but have a lifetime guarantee.

Also: inside out++
posted by wenestvedt at 4:43 PM on November 22, 2016

I'm wearing a pair of John W Nordstrom socks that are made from Egyptian cotton. No toe seam, sheer, comfy.
posted by zippy at 5:02 PM on November 22, 2016

I don't know if you are open to thicker socks but I am toe-seam sensitive too. My best socks are thick wool with a good elasticity to them. They feel awesome. (Mine are costco)
posted by ReluctantViking at 5:21 PM on November 22, 2016

I'd look at outdoorsy socks. I have Smartwool and Darn Tough socks that are thin and have flat-locked toe seams that you definitely cannot feel at all. I hate toe seams, but these are really undetectable.
posted by ssg at 10:43 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nthing Smartwool socks.

Part of the slippage problem is also that yours are nylon, which is a very slippery synthetic. Wool has more of a grab to it. Smartwool's socks aren't itchy at all, and I say this as someone who's sensitive to the low-quality wool used in most manufactured clothing. Smartwool socks are expensive in part because they use better quality. I too can attest that they last forever. I bought some cheaper (but still more expensive than others) wool socks from Esprit a year ago that are already falling apart and that's with enough to rotate so I only wear each pair once every two weeks, and only to work and back home. Meanwhile my Smartwool socks have hiked, cycled, run, worked, toured for more than eight years now and are still in great shape.

Do check out places like REI too, hiking socks are pretty great.
posted by fraula at 1:53 AM on November 23, 2016

Thanks folks. I'm off to Target momentarily per magnetsphere's suggestion, and I'm going to add some Smartwool socks to my Amazon registry. There are a lot of options there. Can one of you folks who recommended Smartwool tell me what to look for? I need the thinnest, lightest ones they have (and least woolly-allergenic... I generally can't wear wool but I'm willing to try this since you're telling me it doesn't feel like wool.) And they need to stay up -- does that mean I need to get knee highs? I often get too hot, so I'm thinking that precludes knee highs, but will a crew length sag?
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:07 AM on November 23, 2016

I prefer Darn Tough to Smartwool - the seam is much less detectable.
posted by GoldenEel at 9:24 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Since you mentioned blisters, I immediately thought of Balega running socks. They basically guarantee on the packaging that you won't get blisters. They're amazing and last forever. They have an ultra thin line that I believe has no toe seam.

Some running stores like Fleet Feet and See Jane Run carry them, so you could feel them in person and even try on a pair. (Fleet Feet is most likely to let you try them on.)

Re: smartwool socks--you'll have no problem with sagging. They fit really snug.
posted by purple_bird at 9:26 AM on November 23, 2016

« Older Where can I get architecture/floorplan ideas for...   |   How do I hang.... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.