Before becoming a runner, I didn’t give a lot of thought to socks. I just bought whatever was on sale.
For some, this method works for choosing running socks as well. But if you are prone to blisters like I am, you may need to put a little more thought into it. After hobbling through some painful runs, I finally got serious about my socks.
Nowadays, I focus on 4 things when buying running socks:
The general rule is to avoid cotton. Cotton holds in moisture, which can increase the potential for blisters.
I prefer medium weight socks. Socks that are too thin don’t provide quite enough protection. Thin socks also need to be replaced more often, because they are prone to holes. Really thick socks, on the other hand, can lead to overheated feet.
Usually I pick socks that come up just above the top of my sneakers. This prevents heel blisters without making me look like I stepped out of an 80s aerobics video.
There is nothing worse than having a seam rub against your foot with each step. Once, about 12mi into a run, I had to make an emergency stop on a bench and rip my shoe/sock off because the seam was so painful. Unfortunately, there were other people already sitting on the bench and they looked at me like I was completely insane. In order to avoid such incidents, I look for socks with either no seams or with seams in places that don’t bother me.
Now, you can spend a LOT of money on running socks – some cost $15 or more for a single pair. As a graduate student, I can’t afford to fork over that type of cash. Instead, I look for socks that meet my needs without breaking the bank. Here are a few of my favorites*:
Sof Sole Socks: Sof Sole offers socks in a variety of thicknesses and heights.
Champion C9 Socks: The Champion C9 brand from Target has surprisingly good athletic gear, and it’s affordable! These socks are really comfortable and durable.
Brooks Running Socks: These are a bit pricier, but great for when my feet need a little more cushion.
Injinji Toe Socks: These socks are hard to put on, but are great on days when you know your feet are going to get wet. On a rainy run, these keep my toes from rubbing together.
Pro Compression Socks: I don’t actually wear compression socks during my runs, but I love them for recovering after a tough workout. Also great for long plane/car rides.
What socks do you like to run in?
* All opinions expressed are my own.