Not all socks are created equally. Some are like the yugo of the sock world...while others are like the cadillac. The problem is...that often times you don't know which you have purchased until you get them home and try them out for a while! They can all look so much alike!
It doesn't generally take long to find out the quality of the socks you have purchased...as some quickly get holy...or lose their elasticity...or have a toe seam that rubs your feet the wrong way. Perhaps you did well and got some that will last for years...and keep your feet nice and warm (if that is what you want) or they are nice and cushy. Heavenly socks.
I think about the Pioneer children who sang as they walked...and walked...and walked...aaaand waaaaalked and how true that song is! Their little feet traveled some 1,300 miles...and many of them did it with no shoes on!! Their feet...as well as their adult companions...became blistered...bloody...sore...and frozen along the way. Can you imagine how things would have been different for the pioneers if they had access to our modern socks and shoes?!! What would they have been willing to give for such a luxury!
If you someday have to walk as they did...perhaps evacuating...or fleeing from city to city on foot...what do you want to have on your feet? The thin church socks you bought from the bargain bin...or some high tech thick hiking socks?
With as wimpy as most people's feet are in developed countries...chances are you would be better off getting the high tech hiking socks. We have become like the princess and the pea when it comes to our feet. The tiniest piece of anything in our shoes will irritate us to tears.
Anyone who has hiked...or played a sport until their feet were raw...and then kept on going can empathize in some small way with what the pioneers went through. It is amazing how torturous walking with blistered and aching feet can be! Any podiatrist or chiropractor can also attest to how your entire well-being can be adversely affected by poor foot care.
It is because of this...that I think that of the places where one could stand to spend a bit more money when it comes to gear...is with foot gear.
In the past...I have been a real cheap-o when it comes to socks. All my socks came as a big bag that broke down to somewhere around a dollar a pair! A while back...I went ahead and bit the bullet and purchased some more expensive socks. Cabela's brand socks like these. For the price of what used to be a whole bag of socks...I got just one pair. Let me tell you...it is worth it. As I sit here typing...my feet are cozy warm. If I was wearing my cheap socks...my feet would be cold. These socks...and others like them will change how you view socks...if you have never tried them. They hug in all the right places...they are well made...and should last a long...long time. They also are made with merino wool...which isn't in the slightest big itchy. Awesome.
I am also a big fan of the Smartwool sock brand...which are quality...quality socks.
One of the best places to buy socks like these is at the Sierra Trading Post. You can get the socks as factory seconds...overstocks...and so on...for a fraction of their price elsewhere. The challenge is getting what you want in the size you want.
I recommend keeping extra socks in an emergency pack...at least two pair or more. If a pair get dirty or wet...you can clean and dry them while you wear the clean pair. They don't weigh a lot or take up a lot of room...and can really boost your morale if things get grim. I have ours in a ziploc bag to keep them dry and to compact the air out to take up less space. So put some good to great quality socks in your pack...you won't regret it!