Do Socks Matter?

A few years ago, not long after I had started running, somebody asked me what socks I wore.

At the time, I laughed, and asked, “Does it make a difference?”

It Makes A Difference.

The first pair of ‘expensive’ running socks I ever wore were a pair of Experia’s by Thorlo. They cost me about $30. I took them on their maiden run on a warm Friday evening in summer. My feet overheated, I decided I had wasted $30, and they went to the back of the drawer. I thought I would never wear them again.

Socks 2

I pulled them out again, 6 months later, and took them for a run. They were much better when it was not so hot, but still not my favourites.

A few of my runner friends absolutely swear by the ‘Injinji’ toe socks. Personally, these are not for me. If you have problems with blisters, they might be worth a try – I hear these are the best. But these are not for me. Possibly because I tend to get hot feet. With Injinji’s, you either love them or you hate them!

Injinji's... you either love them or you hate them!
Injinji’s… you either love them or you hate them!

Then, I discovered the compressport ‘dotty’ socks. Popular among many runners, these socks offer a variety of ‘feetures’, such as a hemless layer, arch support, ultra ventilation mesh, grippy 3D dots, shock absorption, ergofit technology, water extraction, anatomically correct fit, and acupressure. Personally, I think most of that is marketing gumf, especially the part about being ‘anatomically correct’

While putting the right shoe on the right foot is important, when it comes to socks, I think having anatomically correct ‘Left and Right’ socks is a bit of a gimmick, with the exception of injinji toe socks,

In my experience, wearing the same socks on the same feet all the time has usually led to me going through my socks twice as fast as usual, as they usually end up in the bin when they get holes in the big toes.

Despite this, the compressport socks have been a favourite for quite awhile…. I just usually do not bother checking to make sure the right sock has gone onto the right foot.

Compressport 'Dotty' Socks
Compressport ‘Dotty’ Socks

Recently, I have found a new favourite running sock… the Steigen sock. Designed and made in Victoria, these socks are cool, lightweight, and super-thin. I think this is why they were an instant favourite for me. they felt much nicer than some of the other, more bulky socks I have tried in the past. They are made of a nylon/lycra, and unlike other socks, do not hold a lot of moisture. They also come with a no-blister guarantee.

The one obvious big problem with my steigen socks…..

Wrong Colour...
Wrong Colour…

Looks like I’d better go shopping for more!

On a serious note, I know that some of these socks can get a little pricey, so it might be OK to keep some of your cheaper socks for short runs or training runs, but for longer runs or on race day, I definitely recommend investing in a good pair of running socks. After all, blisters are the #1 running injury!

 

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