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I am able to wear normal (thin) socks for about three days at home without them starting to smell. Still, I noticed on many occasions that I sweat a lot more than regular people do. (1-2 days if I am on a business trip)

I also have an immune system that is more on the weaker side. Therefore, I am looking for warm socks in which I am not too sweaty so that I can wear them at least for two days in a row at home.

Are there socks that can do that for me, and is there research providing evidence that such an advertising promise holds?

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  • Don't wear nylon socks, but a material that will wick moisture away from your foot. Sep 26, 2022 at 19:18

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The question asks for a solution when at home.

My hack is to wear two pairs of socks in the winter. The inner pair is my year-round socks, the outer pair has better thermal properties, and does not need changing so often. So fewer pairs are needed.

Also, I wear lined slippers around the house in winter, of big enough size to accommodate the extra socks.

When out of the house, my winter shoes are the type with air soles that have pockets of air trapped in them, which provides insulation from the ground.

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Usually, sweat is a normal body's way of cooling itself through evaporation. When you have excessive (you notice it) sweat, increase air circulation by avoiding materials that block circulation or that entrap the moisture.

Many prefer wool over cotton as the fibres act as wicks to draw moisture from you. The finest wools, such as Merano, are excellent at both keeping heat in and allowing moisture to leave. This is a perfect combination for active people in all climates. Wool suits are some of the most comfortable.

Rubber and non-porous footwear will block and hold moisture which looses heat through conduction and increases the environment which encourages bacterial growth and stinkyness that accompanies it.

Invest in wool socks, keep them laundered, change them often, de-odourize your shoes (UV, ozone, baking soda, etc.), and you'll notice the dry, cozy difference.

Good luck.

(Note: I cannot comment nor vote due to some glitch with StackExchange.)

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In my experience the material of the socks plays a role in how sweaty (wet) they feel and how smelly they get.

Our modern default material is cotton, but cotton clings on to moisture and stays wet for quite long compared to other options. Even worse are all artificial fibers like acrylic, nylon, polyester and any other poly* fibers. They quickly produce very unpleasant body odor. See some research results here.

Linen and viscose (aka rayon) fibers, on the other hand, have a wick effect and evaporate moisture quicker than cotton. In addition to that, they do have antibacterial properties that hinder the growth of odor-producing bacteria (see research here). Some sources claim that bamboo fibers (technically just viscose fibers but from a specific source) have superior antibacterial properties, but these claims were proven wrong by unbiased scientific research. But in the end, bamboo viscose is still viscose and performs better than cotton in avoiding sweat and odor.

As mentioned in another answer, wool also inhibits body odor, although it doesn't inhibit the growth of bacteria.

In summary: look for wool, viscose (aka rayon), linen or bamboo fiber socks to wear next to your skin. If you can only find thin socks, wear a second pair over the first one.

And the next tip is to wash your underwear hot (at around 60°F / 140°F) to kill the bacteria that are already in there. A hundred years ago it was common practice to boil your undies, but our modern society somehow thinks that 30°C / 85°F is enough to sanitize your laundry. On the contrary! This is the perfect temperature for bacteria to grow and thrive. The detergent removes the sweat and oil from your laundry, but the bacteria are still there and as soon as they touch your skin, they start producing odor again. There are special antibacterial detergents available, but they are a hazard for the environment and entirely unnecessary.

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