If every hot spot, moisture wrinkle, and blister under the sun tends to affect your feet, I’m here to tell you there’s another way. Toe socks have been making strides in the hiking community for their blister prevention and overall foot health properties. And, XOSKIN has emerged with an innovative addition to the toe sock market. Here’s the down-low on their take on toe socks, the 5.0 XOTOES.
Circumstances of Review
I took my new toe socks for a whirl all over the state of Texas. From the dense pine forests of my partner’s property in east Texas to the Guadalupe Mountains of the west, these toe socks accompanied me on all my hiking excursions this past summer, eventually following me back home to the greenbelts of Austin.
Because of how well they performed during the record-breaking summer heat Texas experienced, the XOTOES were also my sock of choice for my Appalachian High Route thru-hike this fall.
Height: Quarter Crew
Materials: 65% RAPIDriCOPPER, 20% Nylon, 15% Elastane
Best Uses: Day hiking, long-distance backpacking
Pros of XOSKIN Toe Socks
Comfortable: You might be an avid outdoors-person if you’re viscerally familiar with that “new sock feeling”... but what if I told you it never wears off? XOSKIN has tapped into a triple crown of toe socks: softness, support, and fit — while mitigating the risk of developing hot spots and supporting overall foot health. Just try them on, you’ll know what I mean.
Patented Fabrics: The various things I like about the XOTOES — comfort, blister prevention, moisture wicking properties, and support, to name a few — can all be summed up by talking about XOSKIN’s patented fabrics.
The yarn XOSKIN uses is made of two materials — PTFE NanoGLIDE® and Copper CuTEC® — under the trade name RapiDriCopper™. PTFE is used to repel moisture and reduce friction, which helps prevent the formation of blisters between your piggies, and copper is used for its antimicrobial properties.
Where toe socks I’ve used in the past made by other brands tend to make my feet sweaty, spelling a recipe for disaster even on dry days, my feet have remained well above the “uncomfortably-moist” threshold with XOTOES.
During the testing period, I faced record-breaking heat during the Texas summer, and developed not a single blister or hot spot when they were my sock of choice.
Durable: The many miles I’ve put on my XOTOES haven’t shown on them at all, and they’ve had their fair number of necessary washes, too. Where other hiking socks I’ve used typically develop a crusty feeling that never seems to truly leave, these toe socks remain unchanged and are as soft and supportive as the first day I put them on.
Packaging: From the moment I received my XOSKIN Toe Socks in the mail I knew this company was speaking my language. Each pair came packaged in a LokSak Double Seal Bag that I’ve since taken paddleboarding, backpacking, on vacation, and more. Though reusable packaging doesn’t directly relate to the performance of the sock, XOSKIN sure deserves a shout-out for going above and beyond for consumers.
Cons of XOSKIN Toe Socks
Liquid fabric softener is strongly recommended for washing. XOSKIN says “for optimal benefits, liquid fabric softeners are always recommended” because it lubricates fibers on the sock for a longer life. Though this may not be much of an issue for a day hiker or a weekend warrior, my thru-hiking self is concerned about the availability of anything other than what a hostel has to offer me in terms of basic laundry services.
Toe socks take some getting used to. If you’ve never put toe socks on before, be prepared for a strange feeling between your toesies. For some, it’s love at first try and they skip happily down the trail, blisters-be-gone. But for others (like myself) it takes some time to acclimate to the feeling; if you can make it through the initial awkward stage, your feet will thank you.
Also, it’s worth noting that it takes a little longer to put on and take off toe socks vs regular socks, as you have to get each toe into the proper space.
When XOSKIN’s Kroy Taughinbaugh said, “Our focus is on the fit, feel, performance, and durability of the sock first and foremost” he wasn’t messing around. These toe socks will take your adventure to the next level every step of the way. From the softness of the patented fabric to their blister-prevention and moisture-wicking features, XOSKIN’s toe socks have impressed me and my piggies all the way to market.
Katie (she/her) has the Appalachian Trail, Colorado Trail, and Lone Star Hiking Trail under her belt with a bucket list of many, many more. She enjoys any opportunity to write about her adventures, good trail ethics, and trail stewardship. Check out her adventures with Thru the husky at the links below.