The effect of two sock fabrics on perception and physiological parameters associated with blister incidence: a field study

Cornelis P Bogerd, Reto Niedermann, Paul A Brühwiler, René M Rossi
Annals of Occupational Hygiene 2012, 56 (4): 481-8
The goal of the present study was to investigate differences in perception and skin hydration at the foot of two sock fabrics with distinct moisture properties in a realistic military setting. Thirty-seven military recruits wore two different socks (PP: 99.6% polypropylene and 0.4% elastane, and BLEND: 50% Merino-wool, 33% polypropylene, and 17% polyamide), one on each foot. Measurements were carried out after a daily 6.5-km march on 4 days. Each participant rated temperature, dampness, friction, and comfort for each foot. On a daily selection of participants, skin hydration was measured on three sites of both feet using a corneometer, and moisture content of the socks was determined. BLEND was rated to be cooler, less damp, and more comfortable (P < 0.05). Two out of three skin sites were drier for BLEND than PP (P < 0.05). Moreover, BLEND stored 2.9 ± 0.3 times more moisture compared to PP. Thus, under the present conditions, socks such as BLEND are to be preferred over polypropylene socks.

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