Why Running Socks Are So Important

We spend a lot of time deliberating, discussing, researching, trying on and deciding which running shoes to buybut do we give enough thought to choosing the right socks? 

Make the most of your new running shoes and wear new running socks

‘Running’ socks are designed specifically for runners, to give maximum support to vulnerable areas, to prevent sore feet and blisters, and with enhanced breathability for comfort. Running socks also provide additional grip inside your shoes which stabilises your feet, and the reduction in movement helps to prevent blisters.

Many years ago, during a 20k off-road event, I came across a runner with a hige blister who was wearing cotton socks

From twin skins to toe socks, road socks to off-road socks and gym socks to compression socks, there really is a sock for every activity. Choose from different styles, different colours and different lengths.

Toe socks are traditionally worn by longer distance runners. They give your feet more freedom to move and by allowing your toes to splay can prevent blisters in the toe area. 

After shoes and sports bras, socks are the most important piece of your kit

What are the most important factors to consider when buying running socks?

Avoiding blisters: Wearing a running sock that wicks moisture away may prevent a blister from ever developing. Equally flat toe seams will help to prevent blisters in the toe area too. Always wear clean socks for running to help prevent blisters. Twin skin socks provide even more protection against blisters with the dual layer of sock and lining which prevents rub, but the compromise is reduced breathability. 

Protecting vulnerable areas: Like the Groundhog, good running socks will have shaped cushioning in the Achilles area and shaped footbed cushioning to support those high impact areas. Extra padding in the toe, heel and ball of the foot will provide good shock absorption as you land. 

A good fit: Look for socks which have a y-knit heel which will give a better fit and a supportive arch grip. 

Breathability: Good running socks will keep your feet warm in winter and cool in the summer. This is achieved with mesh sections in the socks where cushioning is not required. 

Looking after your socks well will extend their life and protect your feet

Follow these sock rules for longer-lasting socks 

  • Never use bleach which will break down the fabric 
  • Always wear clean socks to run 
  • Don’t tumble dry running socks 
  • Get rid of socks that have lost their shape and no longer fit well.
  • Socks should be replaced every 3-6 months as the fibres will unavoidably deteriorate due to wear and washing. 

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