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The effect of two sock fabrics on physiological parameters associated with blister incidence: a laboratory study.
Bogerd CP, Rechsteiner I, Wüst B, Rossi RM, Brühwiler PA. Ann Occup Hyg. 2011 Jun;55(5):510-8.
The goal of the present study was to investigate physiological effects, mainly at the level of the foot, of two sock fabrics with distinct moisture properties. Twelve participants wore two different socks, one on each foot. The following two sock types were used: PP: 99.6% polypropylene and 0.4% elastane and BLEND: 50% Merino wool, 33% polypropylene, and 17% polyamide. The participants walked three times on a treadmill at 5 km h(-1), with no gradient for the first and third phase and a 10% upward inclination for the second walking phase. The microclimate temperature between the boot and foot was measured during walking. Preceding and following the walking phases, additional measurements were carried out at the level of the foot, i.e. skin temperature and skin hydration on three locations and skin friction between the posterior surface of the calcaneus and a glass plate. In addition, the moisture absorption of boots and socks was determined. Differences between the sock fabrics were found for weight gain and microclimate temperature: (i) PP tended to hold less water compared to BLEND, (ii) the boot's microclimate temperature resulted in larger values for BLEND measured at the dorsal surface at the level of the third metatarsal, and (iii) warmer microclimates of the boot were measured for PP compared to BLEND at the distal anterior end of the tibia. The established differences in moisture behavior of both socks did not result in detectable differences in parameters measured on the skin of the foot.
The Effect of Two Sock Fabrics on Perception and Physiological Parameters Associated with Blister Incidence: A Field Study. Bogerd CP, Niedermann R, Brühwiler PA, Rossi RM. Ann Occup Hyg. 2012 Jan 23.
The goal of the present study was to investigate differences in perception and skin hydration at the foot of two sock fabrics with distinct moisture properties in a realistic military setting. Thirty-seven military recruits wore two different socks (PP: 99.6% polypropylene and 0.4% elastane, and BLEND: 50% Merino-wool, 33% polypropylene, and 17% polyamide), one on each foot. Measurements were carried out after a daily 6.5-km march on 4 days. Each participant rated temperature, dampness, friction, and comfort for each foot. On a daily selection of participants, skin hydration was measured on three sites of both feet using a corneometer, and moisture content of the socks was determined. BLEND was rated to be cooler, less damp, and more comfortable (P < 0.05). Two out of three skin sites were drier for BLEND than PP (P < 0.05). Moreover, BLEND stored 2.9 ± 0.3 times more moisture compared to PP. Thus, under the present conditions, socks such as BLEND are to be preferred over polypropylene socks.