All throughout my collegiate running career I strayed away from toe socks. Something about them just drew me away and regrettably I never gave them a try. This is an issue I’ve found to be common among the running community.
While discussing toe socks, the typical response is, “eh, I dunno.” Perhaps people think it looks funny – which doesn’t even make sense considering no one will know you’re wearing them on your runs. Or maybe people just think they won’t be comfortable or there really are no benefits. All of these things are, of course, wrong.
More people than you think are using them for their runs and other recreational activities. At my company, performance toe socks are consistently one of our top sellers. They’re constantly in demand and fly off our shelves. So yes, they are popular.
The benefits to wearing toe socks are most definitely there. Most importantly, they can help prevent those pesky blisters from forming in between your toes. They help reduce friction from your toes rubbing against each other, and your toes rubbing against your shoe. With that lack of friction, you can kiss blisters goodbye!
They can also help beginner runners learn the proper toe push-off in their stride. Improper running strides are a common thing amongst beginners and they can eventually lead to injury and discomfort. The “toe-off” is an essential part to an efficient running form. This means when your center of gravity rolls through the ball of your foot, your toes will help push your stride forward. They will provide extra sensory feedback due to having fabric in between your toes. You may find it’ll draw more of your attention to the movement in your toes during the run. Yes, the way you run is something you want to pay attention to.
The comfort found in these socks is another delight. They obviously contour to your foot better than any other sock providing you with true restriction-free and natural movement from your heel to your toes. The fact you can wiggle your toes while wearing these socks is a very underrated benefit. It seems silly now, but once you have them on, you’ll be wiggling like crazy.
Price-wise you’ll find toe socks don’t cost all that different than an average pair of running socks. Plus, if cost is a really an issue, consider this: With toe socks you won’t have to worry about purchasing any blister-preventative cream or aid. The purchase is basically a two-in-one deal.
The biggest brand for toe socks is Injinji. Toe socks are their bread and butter and they’re very popular. SmartWool has also recently introduced a toe sock for this year. Both of the brands are good choices and you’ll find great comfort with them.
The bottomline is, try them out before you make your judgments based off appearance.