If you are like most people, wearing wet socks is just plain uncomfortable. Wet socks make you feel cold. They make your shoes feel squishy. The longer you have to wear wet socks, the more uncomfortable you are. With that in mind, can wet socks actually be good for you at times? That depends on who you ask.
The internet is rife with medical advice suggesting we avoid wet socks whenever possible. And yet there is some very old folklore that says wet socks can actually be helpful under certain conditions. Two examples are fighting the common cold and overcoming a hangover. As strange as it sounds, some people believe that wet socks are the ticket to both.
Wet Socks and the Common Cold
Folklore says wearing wet socks to bed helps your body fight the common cold. How so? The thinking is that the wet socks will lower your body temperature while you sleep. As a result, your body will work harder to circulate blood, thereby sending more nutrients and antibodies to the extremities. This supposedly jacks up the immune system so that your body can fight the cold more effectively.
Most of the articles promoting wet socks as a cold remedy suggest wearing them to bed for two or three nights in a row. They say you should start feeling better by the third day. But if that is the case, could you just be experiencing the cold running its normal course?
Here’s how this remedy is supposed to work. You start by soaking your feet in warm water. Then you soak a pair of socks in cold water, wring them out, and put them on your feet. You follow with a dry pair of socks on top of the wet ones and go to bed. After a few nights of this ritual, you are supposed to feel better.
Wet Socks for a Hangover
Folklore also suggests a similar cure for a hangover. Apparently, the mechanism is the same. By lowering your body temperature while you sleep, you are forcing your body to jump start its immune system. This ostensibly leads to faster recovery. But there is one catch in all of this: you have to be cognizant enough to put on a pair of wet socks before you go to bed. That may not be so easy if you’ve had a few too many.
Though the science on wearing cold socks as a cure for the common cold is by no means settled, it makes sense that boosting your immune system would help you recover from a cold faster. But what does the immune system have to do with a beating a hangover?
Dry Feet Are Happy Feet
Whether you choose to believe the folklore or not, the general rule of foot health is that dry feet are healthier. Feet exposed to too much moisture for too long are prone to developing uncomfortable conditions like athlete’s foot and trench foot.
When wet socks and shoes are involved, you are looking at potential blisters, sores, and rashes. That is why doctors recommend changing out of wet shoes and socks as quickly as possible.
If you want to avoid all the problems associated with wet socks and shoes, consider buying boots or waterproof overshoes. Salt Lake City’s GC Tech makes a state-of-the-art shoe cover for men that features a lightweight but breathable material. They represent the latest in shoe cover technology.
Can wet socks actually be good for you? Folklore seems to suggest it. If you are not into folklore though, it’s best just to keep your socks dry.