I hate having cold feet. In fact, it's probably just about the worst bit of the body to get cold, in my opinion. Cold hands can be warmed up in pockets. Unless you're a contortionist, cold feet are very, very difficult to warm back up again.
However, a decent pair of fishing shoes or boots (CLICK HERE to view an article on footwear) and a good quality pair of socks will ensure that you should never experience the chill factor! A really good pair of fishing socks will even compensate for a poor pair of boots in many cases!
One bit of advice that I'll mention right at the start, which is especially targeted towards session anglers and those for whom a cold/wet session could really ruin their fishing trip, is to make sure you have a spare pair of socks somewhere. This could either be in your kit, or stashed away in your car somewhere. In fact, if you use a car for fishing, it makes sense to keep a spare pair of clothes in there for those 'just in case' occasions....along with a towel. It took me a couple of soakings before I finally got my act together, but now there's always something dry waiting for me in the motor.
Back to the subject of socks....
Your choice of sock is going to depend on what footwear you wear and how far you walk. If you hike a fair distance to reach your fishing spot, then you'll need a good quality pair of socks designed for that purpose. It's possible that these will cost a bit more, but the difference will be noticed with every step. Similarly, if you park up next to a swim and then pull on a pair of wellies, you could easily get away with wearing a pair or two of cheaper, more basic, socks. Decent socks can make even the cheapest of footwear bearable, but combine them with a decent pair of boots and shoes, and you really will be a happy angler!
Budget will also play a part when considering which socks to buy, but if you're looking to use these for fishing only, then bear that in mind and don't start thinking, “But I can get three pairs of socks for a pound at Asda”! If you end up spending a bit of money on thermal socks for fishing, keep them tucked away in a drawer at home and only use them for the times you're fishing. They'll last you ages like that and you'll soon regard them as part of your overall fishing tackle and a worthwhile investment.
There's not a lot more I can say on the matter of fishing socks. You know your feet. You know where you fish. You also know how much money you've got in your wallet (although there really are some cheap bargains out there!). With that in mind, let's take a look at a few pairs available;
Big Foot Thermal Socks
At just over £1 a pair, these look like a good basic sock that will fit just about any budget. Designed for walking and wearing under work boots, they are made from 90% acrylic and 10% polyester.
Just £3.11 for a pack of three pairs. CLICK HERE for more information.
Heat Holders from Drew Brady – 42% off!
These look like a fantastic offer! Designed and sold specifically to keep your feet in tip-top condition in cold weather, yet at a price that isn't going to make you take a sharp intake of cold air!
The Heat Holders are pitched as the ultimate Thermal Socks with long pile cushion, heavy bulk yarn, brushed inside and featuring a gentle grip for all day comfort. They have a tog rating of 2.34. I've no idea what that means in English, but the fact that a pair of socks has a tog rating at all is pretty impressive!
As they say on the Outdoor Gear website, banish cold feet and give them a winter warm holiday!
RRP £7.99 – currently being sold for just £4.60. CLICK HERE for more information.
1000 Mile Heavyweight Walking Socks
I've owned a pair of 1000-mile socks for quite some time now. I've no idea how many miles I've walked in them, but I can see where they get their name from. They're just like new, even after all this time.
If your angling involves a hike, then these heavyweight walking socks must be worth a look. Just as important as the 'warm' properties is the 100% Tactel® inner layer, which wicks any perspiration away from the foot into the more absorbent outer layer. Wet feet are never good, not unless you're swimming!
A ribbed outer provides a thick, elastic outer layer, which hugs the foot but gives a high volume to fill traditional boots. The double layer construction still eliminates friction between boot and foot.
At £12.09 a pair, they're not the cheapest, but well worth considering if hiking is part and parcel of fishing for you. CLICK HERE for more information.
SealSkinz Mid-Thermal Merino Socks
If you're serious about keeping your feet warm and dry, then welcome to the Rolls Royce of socks – Sealskinz!
I've used various Sealskinz products over the years. If you compare them to other products, they may seem dear. However, you shouldn't compare them – they are a TOTALLY different product!
These might look like socks, but they are waterproof and wind proof and lined with pure merino wool for a really cosy feel. They really must be as luxurious a sock for outdoor enthusiasts as money can buy!
Priced at £27.99, they are a considered investment....but one you won't regret. CLICK HERE for more information.
Whichever sock-solution you choose, I'm sure you'll agree that it's worth making sure you get it right, so a little time spent thinking about what to buy is time well spent.
The links above show you a few items on the Outdoor Gear website, but it's worth remembering when looking on other websites that socks often don't have a section of their own, so use the search facility. For example, CLICK HERE to visit Fishtec and type the word 'socks' into their search box. I just did and found Eiger Alpina Thermal Socks in the Gloves And Socks section, Ron Thompson Neo-Tough Socks in the Wading Boots section and TF Gear Primal Hot Socks in the fishing boots section. I even found some 'Born To Fish, Forced To Work' socks in the gift section! Just like on my bedroom floor, there were socks scattered everywhere!
Tight lines and toasty-toes,
P.S. Halfway through writing this piece, I went for a walk with my dog in the snow. Please excuse the photo, as it was just an iPhone snapshot, but as you may be able to see, I was simply wearing an £8.50 pair of workboots that I got from eBay, paired with my 1000-Mile socks that I got ages ago from TackleBargains. My feet were warm as toast the for the whole walk, proving that you don't have to spend a fortune to be warm and comfortable.
Prices correct at time of publication.