What’s the most important piece of equipment for a runner or walker? You’d probably say shoes – and you’d be right. BUT, there is another thing that is almost as important as a good pair of shoes, and it’s probably something you don’t pay very much attention to until it goes wrong.
This sounds super dramatic, but a pair of socks has the capability of making or breaking a long run. Have you ever gotten back from a run and taken off your shoes to find a mother of a nasty blister staring up at you? Or have your feet felt so hot that you couldn’t wait to rip your socks off?
A good running sock is worth every penny you spend on it. Here are a few key characteristics you should look for:
Repeat after me: COTTON IS ROTTEN! The same principles that apply when choosing running apparel apply here as well. Cotton is highly absorbent. So as your foot sweats, the sock just soaks it all up (gross). Once your sock is wet, it can start to bunch up inside your shoe or shift around, causing lots of friction in a warm environment (the inside of your shoe). Seems like a recipe for disaster.
A sock made from a synthetic blend or wool is much less absorbent and dries much more quickly than cotton. It wicks moisture away rather than holding it, which means it takes a lot longer for your feet to feel yucky and wet. And because running shoes are made of breathable mesh, it means that the sweat evaporates right off that sock so you’re nice and comfy throughout your run.
A good running sock should fit like a glove. When you put it on, make sure the heel lines up in the correct place and that there is no extra material around the toes. This also helps prevent bunching and friction inside your shoe.
Running socks now are almost completely seamless. You’ll usually only see a seam around the toe box and in the heel. What this means is total comfort – much less potential for chafing.
So now you know. No excuses anymore! Get yourself a good pair of running socks and it will change your life. Stop by your nearest Marathon Sports store and check out our selection of running socks by Balega, Darn Tough, Feetures!, and Thorlo.
Coming up next – a comparison of our favorite running socks!