Liner socks come to the aid of Blister sufferers

Liner socks come to the aid of Blister sufferers

For centuries, plenty of remedies for blisters have been tried but as evidenced by the high number of options including double layer socks, blister prevention concoctions, tapes, low friction pads, lubricants etc however, no single solution has taken hold.

Maybe the human condition and environmental conditions being so varied means no single solution will ever be identified for everyone. But that could very well be changing with the unique design of the ArmaSkin anti blister sock.

The most common response to blisters by hikers and runners has been to use, sadly often as first aid, tape on their feet. "Tape" can be in the form of bandaids, highly (and sometimes painfully) adhesive Duct Tape, or medical related surgical tape. The tape is intended to hold onto the skin and give it protection while letting an external sock or shoe slip over the taped surface.

More recently, just as there is a strong awareness that cotton socks should be avoided, there is growing acceptance that, especially for people who are prone to suffering blisters, liner socks are a key part of any blister prevention solution.

A liner sock is a close fitting thin sock that is worn under hiking or running socks .

The headline intention of liner socks is to provide a low friction layer between the skin and moving external surfaces.

This means that rather than the external forces being translated through skin layers as shear forces there is a non-damaging movement of the foot/liner sock relative to the outer sock, boot etc.   Otherwise those shear forces would create tears between the epidermis and dermis skin layers which then fill with fluid to become blisters.

The liner sock concept can take many forms such as using a pair of pantyhose, double layered socks, silk socks and specially designed liner socks. These have varying degrees of success.

If the liner sock and the adhesive tape are both providing partially effective prevention strategies then a combination of both leads to the ultimate solution, ie a liner sock with a sticky inner surface to provide all over protection.

Movement elimination:

Such a combination has been achieved by, an Australian technical textile company. ArmaSkin has taken liner sock design to this new level with its unique fabric treatment, Si Fusion, which affixes Silicone fibrous micro fibres onto the inner surface of the liner sock (right side of pic below).


That essentially turns the liner sock into a sticky, friction and shear beating second skin. The Si Fusion treated inner surface, like the medical tape, does not move. The outer surface is low friction and of course being a sock it covers the whole foot not just where you happen to apply tape.

An independent research paper produced by Cambridge University calculated that ArmaSkin has a 300% coefficient of friction difference between the outer and inner surfaces of the liner sock.

There are additional benefits of the silicone treatment.

Moisture control:

If moisture is allowed to be retained in a sock up against the skin, not only does the wet fabric cause greater drag on the skin, but the skin itself can also be softened by the moisture making it more vulnerable.

Tapes such as duct tape do not allow the natural movement of sweat through the covered skin. That wetness can degrade the adhesiveness of the tape meaning that the tape can roll back on itself potentially creating more damage to the skin. 

Blocking of sweat glands may contribute to swelling or the complaint often referred to as “Hiker’s rash”.

ArmaSkin’s Silicon inner layer does not hold moisture (hydrophobic), instead it allows sweat to move through its porous fabric to the outer sock to be wicked away.


While the grip of the ArmaSkin is as firm as tape the sock can be easily rolled off to allow foot inspection or a dip in a fresh stream. It can then be rolled back on to continue the journey. This is extremely convenient and timesaving and of course means you are not accumulating tape rubbish.

Bio static:

The Silicone inner surface treatment does not hold moisture. Consequently the foot is drier and bacteria does not have a damp substrate to grow in. Feet are kept much fresher and vastly less prone to conditions such as trench foot during extended periods of hiking through streams and sodden tracks.

ArmaSkin liner socks with their Si Fusion inner surface are atop the anti-blister solution tree.


They take blister prevention to the next level by:

*   Holding firm against the skin while the outer sock slides across the surface.
*   Being able to be reused on multi day hikes.
*   Keeping the skin dryer and fresher.
*   Being easy to put on and take off for inspection or to give feet a breather.


    Bringing greater enjoyment to all activities where blisters are a risk factor, more information on the ArmaSkin linersock can be found at  

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