When I was preparing to run my first ultra last year, the Big Basin 50k, I was chock-full of questions. Handheld water bottle or hydration pack? How many calories should I take in per hour? Are blisters inevitable? Will I run off-course? When do hallucinations set in? Is it cool to go in the woods? And so on.
Looking back, the best decision I made was to buy a pair of toe socks. Why? Well, since we have ten toes, I’ll give you ten reasons – in no particular order – for their awesomeness.
1. Toe Freedom
Your hands are most useful when all phalanges can move about independently. Think about it, if you’re wearing mittens, you can’t quite grip something as well as when you’re wearing a glove. So, why would you do the same thing to your feet? I realize wearing shoes is like wearing mittens, but wearing a “glove” underneath allows for more stability. There’s a reason toe-boxes in shoes are getting wider.
Thanks to a mesh top and Injinji taking the time to tediously wrap each toe in a sweat-wicking material, toe socks dissipate moisture like a champ. Go ahead, get your feet wet! They’ll dry fast and you’ll be blister free.
3. Blister Prevention
I used to think that blisters were inevitable. Then I ran an ultra-marathon. Then a longer ultra-marathon. Then an Ironman triathlon. Then a trail marathon. I wore toe socks in each event and guess what, no blisters. Given that my toes can’t rub skin-to-skin, there’s no need to worry about side-toe blisters even if my feet are slightly wet. Heck, I haven’t even gotten a blister on the bottom of my foot either. Moisture management for the win!
4. Wicking Wool
Injinji recently released NuWool, a merino wool-blended toe sock. This makes their socks even more awesome, because now you get better temperature regulation, moisture management, and less smelliness with the requisite blister prevention.
5. A Sock for Every Occasion
Going for a trail run? Wear the Trail 2.0. Running a marathon where it’ll be quite warm? Reach for the Run 2.0 Lightweight. Going to work? Go loud with a sock from the Sport Lifestyle Sorrento Collection.
6. A No Show that Doesn’t Show
While this is more applicable to a lifestyle collection, Injinji makes a true no show toe sock. As in, it actually doesn’t show when wearing shoes. It’s a style thing, but I either prefer my socks to be tall and loud (i.e. colorful) or hidden. Injinji covers both bases.
As I mentioned above, I’m a fan of loud socks. Purples, pinks, yellows, greens, and blues. The more personality, the better. Of course, the traditional whites, blacks, and grays are available. Again, Injinji covers the bases.
8. Compression Toe Socks
If you thought wool toe socks were awesome, behold compression toe socks! I tend to travel a bit, so I find myself in compression socks quite often. In the past, I’d reach a point of irritability wearing them. However, with my toes free to roam, I’ve never been more comfortable wearing compression socks for long periods of time.
9. Happy Feet
Your feet are your most important asset when running. If they’re happy, it’s very likely that you’ll be happy. The right sock makes all the difference. There’s no such thing as being too comfortable when running, so you might as well wear the most comfortable sock.
10. They’re Sexy
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If you’d like to try a pair of Injinji socks or order a bunch, leave a comment below and I’ll email you a coupon code. FYI, I only have so many coupon codes.