If your feet aren’t happy its hard to be the best runner possible. It’s well documented and understood what a massive role having the right shoe makes in this equation but what about the sock? Well it might be easily overlooked by some but I find that they can make a huge difference, particularly on longer runs and in difficult conditions especially the rain. Wet blistered feet are not fun to run with, trust me.
There is healthy market choice out there with all the major shoe brands providing a range of socks to compliment. I’ve used a number of good socks including the Asics nimbus range (which match my shoe) and found them really supportive and comfortable. But what makes a great sock? Well it can be a touch subjective but things I look for:
- Cushioning, particularly in the right places, toe and heel are so important for me.
- Support, I find socks that are built specifically for left and right are often better and the best provide a great snug fit, especially on the arch of the foot.
- Moisture wicking, there is no point having the latest breathable shoes if your socks are trapping in all the wet, damp feet can start to suffer pretty quickly, mine do!
- No annoying seams to cause irritations, this is the type of thing that you might not notice on a short run but stepping up to longer runs can make a massive difference.
- Look and style, now this might divide opinion but clothes that you feel proud of and good in might just offer that all important marginal gain that you need come race time.
My personal favourite socks are from feetures.com an American brand that are the number 1 running sock brand in the states. I have tried and loved their Elite cushioning no show tab sock and put these through their paces in torrential conditions at the Royal Parks Half Marathon recently. I also really like their mini crew sock particularly when I am on trails and like to cover my ankles, they’re super funky too.
So my advice is don’t neglect your socks, any old sock might suffice but once you’ve felt the difference of a well suited running sock, you’ll be pleased you splashed out.