Warning: this post will mention one of the most odious of hiking tasks: the removal of shoes. I realize most of you take off your shoes all the time and perhaps the twisted among you take a good whiff just to see if you’re as nasty as you wanna be… but anyway.

The other day after I got back from four hours of snowshoeing, I noticed that my socks were soaked, which was odd, given that my feet did not feel cold in the slightest. Then came my Sock Epiphany of 2007: back when I was a kid and we all went dashing through the snow, my feet would turn into Popsicles in about five minutes. And they froze no matter how many pairs of socks I wore. They froze even if I wore “insulated” boots. This is the main reason why I lived in California for six years before it occurred to me to visit the snowy climes of the High Sierra: I hate cold feet.

Oh yeah, the Epiphany: my feet froze because my socks had been cotton. The high-tech Wigwam Coolmax socks I wore last week are made of space-age fibers that really do keep your feet warm when wet — so, one less excuse not to go play in the snow. (This post brought to you by Sarah at Freezer-Bag Cooking, who last week linked to a possibly swell product for keeping one’s feet warm).

(This should not be construed as an endorsement of wintering in wet socks; more on keeping feet dry while snowshoeing in an upcoming post).