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  • September 03, 2021 5 min read

    Socks are one of the most basic clothing items we wear every day. They not only provide protection but also help our feet feel comfortable in shoes, but are especially important when moving, walking, hiking, or working out. Although we all have a sock drawer stuffed to the brim with every type of sock, design and construction innovations in weaving, fiber blends, and construction now make it possible to have socks targeted for any and every activity. Socks with high cushion help with ultra-comfort and ultra-protection for the foot. Extra cushion, or thicker padding when walking, hiking, or just everyday life can be a bonus for your sock game and for your feet. So, what are high cushion socks, why do they matter, and what are the benefits? Why are high cushion socks beneficial for walking specifically? Read on to find out.

    According to the Institute for Preventative Foot Health, "Well-made padded socks are a key to protecting the feet’s skin and soft tissues (fat pads on the balls and heels) from injury. Padded socks protect the feet by reducing stress on the feet from pressure (gravity); impact (from the floor and from the downward pressure of the body); and shear forces."

    So it's proven that cushioning can be extremely beneficial. But want to know more about why? We’ll walk you through the features of a cushioned sock, the different cushion levels, and how each type can help you in your various day-to-day activities. And if you’re up to some walking,  trail running, or hiking, we’ll help you find out why you should buy high cushion socks for your feet.


    What are cushioned socks?

    Cushioned socks are socks with added padded layers on certain areas such as the top of the forefoot, toe, and heel parts. This padding can come in the form of thicker weaving styles, thicker fiber (or yarn) type, or layers of knitted parts blended together in the sock. The functional purpose of cushion reduces the chances of shock and pain caused by different activities such as walking, running, or jumping. Cushion surrounds the foot and important areas, reducing the pressure on the call of the foot, heel, and specific pressure point areas


    Providing extra protection on areas that could be vulnerable to injury helps protect feet while participating in activities, but also for any impact that may occur for your foot when walking, stepping, running, or hiking.  For this reason, cushioned socks not only serve useful during high intensity sports but have also been found helpful in light movements as well. 


    Why wear high cushioned socks?

    Injury Prevention

    People wear cushioned socks for fitness, and outdoor adventures, but any activity can benefit from the right high cushion sock. During these strenuous activities, cushioned shocks protect the feet from wear and tear and prevent injury from impact, friction, and swelling. Moreover, the ankle, shin, and Achilles are kept protected due to the ability of the cushioned socks to absorb impact.

    Durable materials contribute to the excellent quality of cushioned socks, making them the best type of socks for both light and high-intensity activities.



    The amount of cushioning in socks is definitely up to the type of activity being performed. Some runners prefer a specific level of cushion in their sock according to their length of their run (be it distance v. sprint running). The other important factor for sock choice and cushion is that feet are expected to swell with certain activities and users may want to purchase their socks and shoes to accommodate the changes. I.e. larger shoes may have to be purchased when buying higher cushion socks. Targeted cushion and high cushion can help ensure feet don’t end up sliding and causing blisters. This can be very important for walking, climbing, hiking, or general activity.


    In general, well-fitted cushion socks accommodate the heel and arches well while retaining room in the toe part. This allows more movement on your feet, especially on the toe box area. For walking, high cushion socks are ideal. 

    Temperature regulation

    Other than the protective characteristics of cushion socks, thermoregulation is also part of its added benefit. Cushion socks help keep your feet feeling warm during the cold season. Some types of cushion socks have moisture-wicking material that keep the feet cool and free from moisture, thus, preventing the growth of bacteria, infection, diseases e.g. Athlete’s foot and bad odor. Many of our socks are made with merino wool, which helps wick moisture away from the body.

    Arch support

    Having a sock with cushion is supportive to both the foot bed and the foot arch. Having extra protection and support is ideal for walking. Higher cushioned socks create that support via padding and so are ideal for those seeking support for the foot.


    What are the different sock cushion levels?


    Light cushion socks

    Light cushion socks offer the least ‘protection’ but can have benefits for runners who don’t find cushion helpful to their running practice. Since the material is quite thinner than the other cushion socks, lighter cushion can allow for more movement and less thickness or bulk in the sock. Light cushion or ok for everyday wear and also for light activity. Light cushion can also be a personal preference or for someone who isn’t looking for much protection, but a sock that functions well for daily use.


    Medium cushion socks

    Medium cushion socks are best for camping, hiking, hunting, running, trail, and other fitness activities. It offers the necessary protection needed on the critical parts of your feet while keeping the supportive qualities intact.

    In fact, these types of socks can multitask. So if you’ve suddenly decided to exit the office and take a quick trail, these types of socks are perfect for you! Check out our Pure Athlete Thermolite Military Boot Socks and experience versatility, durability, and comfort all-in-one.


    Maximum cushion socks

    You can expect supreme padding across the material on maximum cushion socks. High cushion socks can also be an ideal choice to camping, hiking, walking or other high intensity situations. If you are walking on uneven surfaces, walking for long distances, on a trail or hiking, this type of socks will give you all the support you need on your feet and the protection for continued impact when stepping consistently and often.

    For walking, be it leisurely or as an activity or sport walking, try out our Padded Ankle Walking Socks. These socks offer maximum comfort all day or throughout walks. The high level of cushion throughout the sock provides ideal padding surrounding the foot. This level of comfort and protection make this a best seller. Our high cushion padded walking socks also come in a crew version,  the Crew Comfort Padded Walking Socks, for those looking for the same high level of cushion, but with a crew height. 

    Picking out the best cushion sock all depends on your specific needs and preferences. Just remember, the higher the cushion, the more protection your feet will have. High cushion socks are greatly beneficial, and if you don’t have 1 (or 10!) pairs of high cushioned socks in your sock drawer, what are you waiting for?!