First, the name of this thread had me cracking up: The Joy of Socks. Brilliant.
My brother is in construction, and was experiencing a lot of issues with blisters, rashes, and various other gross things a sister really doesn’t want to hear about her brother’s feet. Our state road construction crews basically have the option to work as many hours as they can physically stand in the summer months, so he was on his feet 14-16 hours a day in every possible condition you could think of.
Malgus pretty much covered everything I could think of (he had to do a lot of trial and error to get the situation under control), and I only had these to add:
1) For the pair of thin cotton socks, make sure they are the right size for your foot. If you buy socks too small, the heel portion will slip under your heel and create terrible blisters. Too large and the foot portion will bunch up wherever it can ruin your day the best (usually around your toes. Tops, sides, bottom…ouch).
2) Make sure your toenails are clipped as short as comfortably possible. Don’t ask how I know this. Just… trust me.
3) There is no substitution for a good quality boot. I tend to take “Waterproof” with a grain of salt (especially in situations like he was in, where you might step in something you think is a puddle and turns out to be over two feet deep), but water resistance is definitely key.
I hope this helps, good luck with your search!