After nearly a decade of regular mountaineering, I am having this issue for the first time. And, I am almost sure to claim that it may not be because of the shoes that I use since I have been using them for close to a year and half. Those shoes are ankle high. Material of the socks that I have tried are typically nylon and cotton. Haven't tried wool yet. I am certain that I am not using a pair of over-sized socks, because I had been using the same size for years.

Problem: While hiking down a lengthy sharp descent, over time my socks seem to roll towards the toe. It's not a really big problem, but at times it's annoying.

I have tried different socks so far and eventually after a more or less time each of them ends up doing the same.

Have you ever had such an issue?

  • 1
    If you've lost weight the fit of the socks and shoes could have changed. The shoes could have stretched. You could try an insole or lacing tighter at the front of the shoe (some methods will keep different tension in different places quite well) as a test at least.
    – Chris H
    Feb 17, 2017 at 7:00
  • Google Morton's Neuroma. It's a very common foot nerve problem that makes it feel like your socks are bunching up when they are not . Oct 2, 2017 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


This typically indicates you have movement in your shoes, perhaps your insoles are worn and squashed and need replacing. The balls of your feet sliding on the bottom of your boot will eventually bunch your socks up, as will heel lift.

One solution is to get a pair of socks that will "anchor" on the rim of you boot. I used to wear ankle socks a lot, and the only types that wouldn't get eaten by my shoe were styles that had a padded brim over the heel similar to this:

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Wearing properly sized fitted socks opposed to tube socks works as well, the socks I wear have a band that hugs the arch of your foot, I've never had them so much as move in my boots, not even my big Sorel Glacier boots, which normally are sock gluttons.

enter image description here

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    +1 for an answer I could not have guessed to a problem I did not know existed! Next question: how is this going to be solved post apocalypse?
    – ab2
    Feb 17, 2017 at 17:51
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    @ab2 You're funny-I'm sure you were kidding! There's no way we'll be worrying about socks after the apocalypse! Feb 17, 2017 at 21:46
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    @ab2 If watching the Walking Dead has taught me anything about the apocalypse, it's that people will likely be killing each other for their socks... Or taking them off of zombies. Now you've got me thinking about stocking up on my favourite socks just so I'm prepared.
    – ShemSeger
    Feb 18, 2017 at 2:04

Yes, I do. But whereas the other answer suggests to wear ankle or calf socks, I wear socks that go over the calf - to the knee.

I tend to wear winter boots 2 sizes too large, and summer hiking boots are 1 size too large. What happens is the socks wear down, so, more movement occurs in the boots. This also happens with new boots, in that they eventually wear down and create more room. So, I add in a new insole or an extra pair of socks, and, wear socks that go over the calf. Wearing ankle socks almost always resulted in losing them in the shoe, so I avoid them altogether. Maybe I'll try the banded ones for sneakers to see.

If you gain weight - particularly as you gain girth in the calf - that will cause socks to wear out more as they lose elasticity. And if you lose weight, the socks are either too large, or, have lost their elasticity, and no longer hold. So, be sure to get new, or like-new socks for each hike.

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