I wear Alpaca socks during winter and summer. For sport and at home. Alpaca is by far my favorite fiber.
Here is why:
Did you know???
With 26 bones and many joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, the human foot is very complex. In a lifetime, each person logs an average 70,000 miles on their feet. With all that use on such a small percentage of our body it’s a wonder we get around at all! Kind of gives you a new respect for your feet, doesn’t it? That’s why proper foot care, and wearing the right socks and shoes is essential. If you treat your feet right, they will treat you in kind!
Feet perspire about 20-30 gallons in total, per year, even per foot that’s a lot of sweat! Where does it go? Well 5-8 gallons of that perspiration gets absorbed by each sock, and shoes get their fare share as well. Fiber content does make a difference in your socks! Avoid 100% cotton socks. Cotton is a great absorbing material, but then where does the moisture go? Nowhere! It stays right there against the foot. This moisture softens the skin, increases friction and, in turn, causes blisters. Avoid Wool socks! Wool is a coarse fiber, about as thick as a human hair (80-100 microns or so) and can cause itch and irritation. It too absorbs moisture, as much as 30 percent of its weight! This moisture in wool has an odor all its own. Additionally, wool contains lanolin which is a fairly popular allergen. Many people are allergic to this old world staple
What then to you use to keep your feet happy and healthy? Alpaca! Alpaca is a natural fiber, free from lanolin and naturally hypoallergenic. It is hollow and wonderfully thermal. It does not absorb moisture, rather it wicks it away. It is a super fine fiber with a far better fineness compared to wool; in fact it is so fine that four or five strands equal the width of a single human hair! In other words, it is 25% the size (or 18-25 microns) of wool while being just as warm! So ideally, it is lighter and far less irritating! Just try one pair of Alpaca Socks and you’ll be a believer!
Alpaca Socks are designed to help keep feet dry and comfortable, no matter what the temperature. It all begins with alpaca and other micro fibers that wick moisture away from feet. Filled with a soft cushion of terry loops these socks will protect the tender areas of the foot from irritation and provide you with the best foundation for an outstanding performance.
High-performance socks protect feet against cold or excessive heat and assist the foot’s own temperature regulating function. Under varying climatic conditions, socks help balance the body’s temperature and manage perspiration creating a pleasant feel next to the skin.
Alpaca sport and every day
Alpaca fiber, with its hollow-core, traps air for greater insulation in any weather. Alpaca is very soft and luxurious yet is incredibly strong, providing heavy-duty performance Alpaca can be processed organically, is sustainable, being shorn off the gentle alpaca annually and alpacas are the green alternative to sheep, causing no destruction to the environment. Alpaca is a lightweight natural fiber, and therefore alpaca socks weigh less than other socks, so wearers carry a lighter load. Alpaca is hypoallergenic, does not absorb water and thus alpaca socks do not foster bacterial growth in the sock, so there is less chance of foot odor. Alpaca socks are machine washable or easily hand washable on the trail in cold water and quick to dry.
Baby Alpaca Fiber is the exact same fiber as alpaca however it is shorn from younger animals, usually alpacas that are 12-18 months old (shearing is a needed and natural process for alpacas!) or animals that have a low micron count. Because of it’s fineness it is softer, more luxurious and more expensive than standard super fine alpaca. Baby alpaca socks are very popular!
Staying cool during the summer – Thermal is the answer!
It’s a myth that your feet will stay cooler if you skip wearing socks in your shoes, unless you wear flip flops or skimpy sandals. In fact, in the summer the natural heat and humidity aggravate perspiration which causes friction between the foot and the shoe, and that can cause hot spots and blisters.
Socks with an inner layer of micro fiber knit against the skin transfer moisture away from the foot to keep it dry. Alpaca, some think is an unsuitable fiber for summer use, but because of the huge thermal capacity it is in fact very comfortable. It does a wonderful job wicking moisture away from the foot in the heat!
Better safe than sorry!
Many people know that dressing in layers and wearing a hat, are key ways to stay warm. However, some overlook the importance of keeping feet equally protected. Remember when Mom told you over and over to go put on socks? Believe it ~ Mom was right! In fact, because blood goes to protect vital organs first, blood vessels in the feet constrict. This reduces circulation and increases the likelihood of frostbite. The basic concept you should look for in cold weather clothing applies to socks too. The best high quality fibers and fabrics offer insulation from the cold and allow the body to release perspiration. The body needs to do just as much of this in the cold as in the heat, in order to regulate its temperature.
High-quality alpaca socks help retain warmth, and absorb and transfer moisture away from the skin and keep you warm and healthy.
Alpaca is the best natural fiber for warmth. Even in damp conditions, alpaca provides warmth because its hollow fibers trap air in their core continuing to provide insulation. Synthetic fibers, such as micro fiber acrylics, provide superior moisture transfer as well and when combined with alpaca it is a sure fire winner! Thicker socks are generally warmer because their large loop (terry knit) construction traps more air which provides warmth and insulation from the cold. Warrior Alpaca socks with a combination of these natural and manmade fibers and thick terry knit construction offer the greatest protection from the cold.
In addition Alpaca has one of the highest resistance factors of all natural fibers. The resistance factor of a human hair is 100, wool is rated at 122.8 and mohair at 136. Alpaca is rated at 358.5. It is a very strong fiber. The reasons alpaca is incorporated with other fibers are cost and special properties required for some garments.