Special socks for sensitive feet

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have a lifelong problem that just keeps getting worse: tender, tender skin. Any little nub, knot, seam impediment, label, sequin backing, etc. All are an issue. The major problem prompting this question is the toe on my socks.

Even the ones that claim to be for people with sensitive skin do so under false premises, because they ALL have the seam that goes across the top of the toes with the little knot at both ends and ALL are a problem for me. In a very short time this results in redness. Then rapid blistering. It creates agony for me.

My question to you is, do you have any knowledge of where an actual seam-free sock can be found? I like to walk and cannot do it without socks, as the shoes themselves cause issues. Add to the seam issue the material socks are made with, even some of the cotton blends are too harsh.

Add to that, why are all socks now made to hug the ankles so tight they leave indentions on the legs? This causes swelling in the upper part of the calf, which would not occur otherwise. In this day and age, is there nothing out there made without seams of some nice soft, durable material, that isn’t toe-padded to the gills adding tightness to the shoe? Please can you help me? I’m desperate.

— Rosemary C.

Dear Rosemary: I get it! When your feet hurt, everything hurts.

Let’s solve your problem — which is not all that unusual. Aging might aggravate the sensitivities, but many kids, teens and young adults need real seamless socks too. As you’ve discovered, not all “seamless” socks are seam-free. You rarely (if ever) find the real seamless on the racks in national store chains. An online search turns up some options that could work for you. And readers, let’s help Rosemary and others like her. Send me your tried-and-true seamless sock choices.

Meanwhile, Rosemary, here are some options to look into. Be sure to read the fine print and the return policies before purchasing and be prepared: They’re more expensive than most everyday socks. All are available on amazon.com or at the sites listed:

• Bombas, bombas.com. A plus is Bombas donates a clothing item for someone in need for every item purchased.

• Smartknit, smartknit.com.

• Darn Tough, darntough.com.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Where can I find a MEN’s raincoat long enough to cover the knees? Ideally, it would also have a rain hood. I both walk and bicycle in the rain in the great city where I live, just like men and women do in Amsterdam. It seems below-the-knee long coats are common for women, but not men.

— Chris W.

Dear Chris: I found a good selection of what you’re looking for in a wide range of styles and prices. As I told Rosemary (above), you can shop in stores but when you know precisely what you want, you’ll save time by heading to the internet.

Walmart (walmart.com) has a lightweight long rain jacket with hood and a “Long Business Raincoat Hooded” in the $20 range. At the other end of the price spectrum, Sweden’s Stutterheim brand (stutterheim.com) gets high consumer ratings but that comes with high prices like the hooded Long Zip Coconut LW at $385. Uniqlo (uniqlo.com) has traditional khaki colored to-the-knee rainwear in the $50-80 price range. Also, take a look at the Outback Trading Waterproof Unisex Oilskin Low Rider Duster (it has a hood) (amazon.com, $199.99).

Angelic Readers

Passionate lap swimmer Margaret A. weighs in on swim caps to keep your hair nice and dry: “NOTHING WORKS. So. No good answers. Get oversize swim camps, not regular. First put your hair in a cheap shower cap — the kind you can buy in bags of 100. Best swim cap I’ve found is Speedo Unisex Adult Swim Cap Long Hair (that is, oversize) (amazon.com, $11.99). But my hair still gets damp.”