Ski boots may well be the worst part in going skiing. Between the heaviness, awkward walks across pavement, near-death experiences on glare ice, long break in times, and general discomfort of wearing hard plastic in cold weather, they’re a necessary nuisance for going skiing. Not to mention that they look really, really sexy.
That anyone would willingly put up with all this is an ongoing testament to how much fun we have going skiing. Thankfully, we have socks to keep the horrors of ski boots at least a little removed from our skin. I’ve done a lot of sock wearing over the past few years, and I can recommend it thoroughly. Here’s a few hard-won tips to make your socking experience less likely to wear thin.
Pick a weight of sock that matches your body’s heat output, as well as the level of performance that you want from your fit. Thicker options will insulate more, so if you run cold or plan to spend a lot of time standing around or in colder climates, these are your ticket. I tend to use these for more extended trips and snow camping. Thinner socks offer a tighter fit that better transmits power from your body, through your feet, to your skis. Look to these for most lift-accessed skiing.
You’ll want a size that fits your foot properly: since socks stretch to cover a range of foot sizes, they don’t always fit with the precision you might find in a climbing shoe or ski boot. This can be worse if you’re on the fence between two sizes of sock. I found that, even though my size US 9 feet typically put me in the Large size Point6, I had extra material that made things a bit less fun on long touring days. So I tried sizing down to Medium, and immediately felt an important performance difference: there was no wrinkling, my boots toured better, and cherubs trumpeted every time I dropped in. Ok, maybe no cherubs. You get the picture. The point is to try on socks like you would a shoe and see what actually fits your foot. Also: different sock brands fit differently, so when you make a switch in brand, make sure to check out how the new option feels on your feet.
For the love of all that is hole-y, replace your socks when they get worn down. I have friends who will spend $1000 on new gear ski and still use their blown-out, foot-wrecked, viciously-windowed socks that don’t match from two years ago. This is silly. It’s stupid. We’re talking about foot warmth and comfort here. At $25 a pair. Replace two to three pairs per year and you’ll be fine. With your old socks, you can make puppets with your nieces, clean the dust off your dashboard, insulate your beverage at a concert, pad the feet of your kitchen furniture, wear them over your shoes—your imagination is the limit. Hell, have an old sock party and reward the owner of the worst pair with a tequila shot and a new set. Just be clean in the break: I threw out five pairs of wrecked socks earlier this winter, and it was cathartic moment par excellence. And remember, Point6 offers a lifetime guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied with your socks, send them back and they’ll get you another pair!
Take care of the socks you have. I tend to find that the dryer wrecks my socks more than I do, so keep an eye on that and try to air dry every other wash cycle to prolong the cushioning and comfort. If you get your socks super dirty like I do, wash them inside out so that the interior cushioning gets completely free of debris. You don’t want that stuff to stay there for when you pull out a fresh pair two days in and realize that you’ve brought another trip’s micro-pebbles along for the ride. If you’ve got wet socks, rig them tight on the outside of your pack and they’ll dry out while you walk (unless it’s raining; then they might get wetter).
Take an extra pair. I immediately come up with five instances where an extra pair of dry socks would have made both day and overnight trips infinitely better. They weigh almost nothing. They don’t take up much space. And for both of those, they can turn my spirits around almost as much as an unknown Snickers hiding in the bottom of my pack.
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What a year 2015 was and thank you for sharing it with me. Happy New Years. You might not believe the tests I’ve put my Point6 Socks through this year but here is a little slice of what we did together.
We meet through a friend and the adventures started with a run, not your normal head out and around the block run, but one that would help to meet thousands of people, inspire kids to get out and move and support an amazing charity called the 100 Mile Club.
The first 4 months were spent running just over 30 miles a day through 15 States which started in LA, California and ended in Boston some 3,423 miles later.
You might think that this is just crazy and a word I hear a lot is “impossible” but I truly believe that anyone can do it. The key is to WANT TO. When you want to do something a thing called PASSION kicks in and humans are crazy strong and determined when they are passionate about something. Have a think about something you have done in the past and relive how much you wanted it, how you felt doing it and you will see what I mean, you found ways to make it happen no matter what. That's Passion working hard and that with the help of the universe you become unstoppable.
Me and my Point6 Socks went out to have fun, met people and enjoy each mile and day for everything it could be. I mean the running was just how we would get from point to point, not the why. The key to doing it is to make it FUN.
Remember that a number is just a number and how you think of it makes it big or small. For example I might have run 30 miles each day but I thought of only 3- 6 at a time. I would also not count all the way up to 30 as the number got bigger so I would count up to 15 and then down to zero which changes your mind set. Make things small and do able and watch magic happen and feel easy.
Running every day in all sorts of weather you would think the first thing to break down would be your socks, me too, until I started wearing Point6. AWESOME is all I can say, I didn't take much gear with me on the trip as I had to carry it, which meant I would be reusing gear a lot. And without washing them at some points. I was out on the road for an average of around 7 hours but near the end I was walking for 14 hours every day. The only time I had blisters was when I was running through a storm.
You might think walking would be easier but it felt a lot harder and a lot more wear on shoes and socks too let alone body. My socks just wouldn't break down and helped keep my feet feeling great.
I was running with a friend Patrick Sweeney from California, we did the first half of the run side by side, then I felt a little slower so let him go ahead but near the end I couldn't think of nothing better than to finish together so upped my mileage to catch him so we could run the last day together. The power and want to do this pulled me through the pain I had when I had all the blisters on my feet, I wasn't sure some days if I could keep going but when I called Pat about a month from the end to say I wanted to finish with him he said one thing to me – “that would be awesome Jup” that was all I need and the thought I went to when I was struggling. Thanks bro and thank you to Shacky and Vanessa for being our amazing crew for the run.
Once I got to Boston I got a call from a friend in Australia saying “Hey Jup, you want to run back to LA?” My first thought was that I wanted to but was kind of over running every day and out of my mouth popped “No, but I’ll ride a bike.”
As simple as that, a new plan was started and it got bigger as I looked at the map.
I decided I would ride a bike which at this point I didn't have (minor detail) from Boston up into Canada to the most Eastern point “Cape Spear” and then do a U-Turn and ride back across Canada to Victoria in BC and then down the west coast of the US back to the start point of the run at Huntington Beach, CA. What I found out to be 8,306 miles of pure awesomeness!
I had never ridden a bike for more than a day in a row and didn't know much more than how to change a flat tire, but all I could think about was all the places I would go and all the people and kids I would met along the way. I think my mind sees all of this before it evens thinks of what I will actually be doing every day of the physical side.
So after 7 weeks rest on July 2nd I set off from Stratford, CN and headed towards Boston to the runs end point and then north into the unknown, I was buzzing with energy and the first day of 98 miles felt not bad even though I fell off twice haha. This was the most I have ever ridden in a day and I forgot that I wasn't bike fit. The next morning I felt it when I got on the seat again and started to pedal. She’ll be right I thought and just went a bit slower for the few days while I adjusted.
My friend was with me for 4 days before he decided to go alone on a shorter ride which wasn't the plan but things change on any adventure and I just adjusted to it and carried on. I arrived into Canada and the boarder control team looked at me funny when I told them what I was doing but wished me luck and of I went.
I made it out to Cape Spear in New Foundland some 1,200 miles from the start point on July 20th, a long way to get to the start of a Transcon ride but it was a good time to get use to a few things.
Then I was off in to Canada riding around 80-100 miles a day, I would get up and be on the road around 6am and ride slowly all day until about 7pm, I took lots of rests and stopped for photos, chatting to everyone I saw if I could. I really wanted to go to schools but the first half of the ride it was school holidays so I had to wait for that.
I passed through all the major cities like Quebec city, Montreal , Toronto catching up with friends I knew from past adventures and work I’ve done over the years, Making time for this is important and helps to break down the huge goal in lots of smaller doable goals.
I loved cruising through Manitoulin Island area with the big Indian culture and around the massive lake of Lake Superior which I spent about a week getting around, loved camping on its beaches along the way.
I camped 80% of the time on the road which I really enjoyed a lot, being out on the road all day, camping in the wild and living cheap is what I feel everyone should do more often. The outdoors is just magic and so relaxing.
I was racing a little to get through to the Rocky Mountains before October as I was told the snow would start falling then. Before I got into the mountains I got to start going to schools which was so much fun. Once I got to Manitoba providence the schools opened up.
Like the US a little it’s hard to get into the schools but that wasn't going to stop me from trying. I was riding for the 100 Mie Club and to get our kids out and moving so this was a goal I wanted to make happen. I did this from the very first school I went to, I got the principal to write me a reference which I could show the next school and it worked. Once I started to get more of these it made it a lot easier to get to talk to the kids. Also getting people to introduce me when possible.
Super stoked as we got two new schools started on the 100 mile club program and the kids were excited to be a part of something that is now spreading around the world and helping our kids be healthier and enjoy running/walking. Huge thank you to all the schools I was able to meet and chat with.
Once into the Rockies the views were AMAZING. I was blown away by it and not sure how I was able to keep riding all day as I stopped so much and took thousands of photos. I had Blue skies almost every day to which made it even more awesome. Over the top and into Vancouver/Victoria and you could probably see my smile from Colorado, My last day in Canada was spent at 3 schools getting inspired by the kids to ride on and finish this Canadian mission off.
I took the ferry across to Seattle on Oct 9th and started heading down to Portland, Oregon before turning right out to the coast and Highway 1. I thought this would be a great way to finish this adventure off and it was 2 things, 1. The hilliest part of the whole run/ride 2. If not the most beautiful part of the whole trip. Going alongside the ocean and listening to the waves all day in the sunshine and night was magic. I free camped the whole way and loved every minute.
The closer I got to LA and the finish the happier and sadder I got, awesome to be almost finished with such an amazing adventure but sad to not be doing it anymore. I really love being out there, not knowing where I am really and just enjoying every moment, meeting people and watching people come and be a part of my mission. People are truly awesome and there is always someone there to help you if you need it. Everyone wants to be a part of something and if you give them the chance anything is possible, you will be empowered by their kindness and you will and can be just who you want to be.
I arrived down to Huntington Beach CA on Nov 2nd and the circle was complete, the feeling I was having was too much. A few tears dropped out on the last day as this year was beyond great. Not to finish here though as I had one last day to go, I was joined by 5 friends and we ride what I had run on the first day way back in January. We rode to the 100 Mile Club Headquarters in Norco, CA. A lot of friends who I had run with, Pat who I had run across the US with, kids, Kara & staff from the 100 MC and others came to the end. I was blown away and surprised who was there. What a way to finish 239 days on the road. What a year and what we did together was why my adventure got the name of “Circle of Awesomeness.”
Now one truly amazing thing – I used just one pair of Point6 socks for every day I rode my bike, 108 days and they still were in great condition. The color wasn't as white as at the start but no holes at all. I had only carried 2 pairs with me, one for riding and one for nights. Never had cold feet, never over heated and no problems. If you haven’t tried these socks before, get yourself a few pairs and enjoy.
Thank you so much to Point6 , everyone who was a part of this adventure, 100 Mile Club and all the kids for inspiring me to keep going no matter what.
If you have dreams I say please go after them, they are waiting to happen, you are NEVER alone and just so you know this I will help you in any way I can from now on. I can’t wait to get back out there and you are all welcome to join me.
Slip on a pair of Point6 Socks and Escape to your Playground.
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