I believe Amby Burfoot said no advancement in running equipment had been more important than the improvements in running socks. I remember pausing for a second when I first read this because there have been many advancements to running gear since I started running in the mid-90s. Back then, we had running watches, heart rate monitors, and even sweat-wicking clothes, but running socks weren’t a thing. When runners went on a long run, they would usually double regular “athletic” socks, bonus cool points if you had a Nike swoosh on your socks!
So after giving it some thought, I have to agree with Amby’s assessment that running socks have come a long way in the last decade. We now have high performance running socks with compression, socks with arch support, sweat-wicking socks, socks with seamless construction, and personal favorite toe socks! Yes, you read correctly; I love my toe socks, especially the ones made by Injinji.
How did this come to be? It was towards the end of 2010, and I had started to train for some road races and had the nasty problem of getting blisters between my toes! I had a friend give me a pair of Injinji socks, and I loved them so much I went and bought more. I can’t say that I have never had a toe blister again (here is a picture of one after my last big run before my first marathon), but I haven’t gotten many. Blisters are the kind of injury that happens to every Runner, and they can keep us off the road.
Most recently, I have been testing the Injinji Liner + Runner Mini-Crew socks, a unique two sock system with all the benefits of Injinji’s regular socks but adds the benefit of eliminating the friction that causes blisters. One other added advantage of these socks was how warm my feet were while running outside while it was about 43 degrees outside. Once races resume, these socks will be a godsend on those cold race mornings! Liner + Runner will undoubtedly be in my next race kit.