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W hen I first started regularly pounding the pavement I didn’t even consider the idea of wearing a pair of socks made purely for the job of running, after all isn’t that what sports socks are for?

I thought that the fancy smansy running socks I saw hanging up in the specialised running stores were just expensive accessories for poser runners (yes we have all seen them) but as my running distance increased and I got a little more serious I realised I would have to bite the bullet and get some of these show off socks. I’m glad I did. I would most definitely say that running socks are needed.

Anyway enough about me, I thought I would share a story about how running socks helped my partner.

Six weeks ago my partner and I got back from Egypt. We arrived in the UK extremely excited to get some new running shoes and get back to regular running, something we had been unable to do much during our time living next to the Nile. My partner needed to get new shoes but had never been actually fitted before. Getting fitted for running shoes for the first time is oddly exciting!

Whenever I am in London I am loyal to The Runners Shop in Beckenham. It’s a small store with a guy running it who knows his stuff. He fitted me with my first pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS and I have never looked back.

My partner and I undertook a long boring bus ride to the shop and she got her first fitting. It didn’t take long, he said she had good posture, she didn’t point her feet at any funny angles or lean onto one side. He suggested a pair of Asics Gel 3030. She took a run round the surrounding streets and said she was completely happy. Of course she tried other shoes too but the Asics were the ones. I also purchased a new pair of my Adrenalines whilst there.

A day later we took the time to go for our first UK run. Out the door we excitedly went for a long 4 miler. We found the running hard but there was a bigger problem, blisters started at mile 1 with the new shiny Asics but she ran through it. Of course being a know it all I said it was just new shoes or the way she laced them.

Anyway about 5 days later and a few more failed runs and lace tying tries the problem was getting worse. So we cleaned up the shoes and got back on the bus to Beckenham to go and see if there was anything we could do (hoping for a swap!).

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He took a look at the shoes and the damaged feet (and the socks she had been running in) and concluded that all the problems had been caused by the socks. She was a bit sceptical and confused so he gave her a pair of socks and said “Just try them and if you have any problems then come back to me”.

Over the next week we relocated to the countryside to see my Dad, the perfect time to run but we were both worried that the socks may not be the solution. We started running every day and although the healing blisters gave her problems each day things were getting better, basically the socks worked, a simple pair of show off socks fixed all her issues in the end.

So what is different about running socks?

The main difference you will notice when first looking at a pair of running socks is that they are 5 times the price of a standard pair of sports socks, that’s not good! Luckily you won’t need to buy 10-15 pairs! A few pairs will suffice. The important differences are a matter of details and technology:

  • They are made of materials with wicking properties which draws moisture from the skin.
  • The seams are flat, almost appearing seamless, so that you don’t get any rubbing and get blisters in those areas.
  • The material will fit to your foot so the sock rubs on your shoe and doesn’t cause friction on your skin.
  • Some have padding in key areas
  • They are highly breathable.
  • They are usually microbial to stop them stinking and letting bacteria grow.

What socks do I wear?

I have tried a few brands of running sock and have always come back to the same one. Strangely it’s the exact same sock that the guy in The Runners Shop gave my partner to try. The brand is called Hilly and they are a UK company. The sock I wear is the Mono Skin Lite Anklet Socks. They have a large variety of all kinds to suit different people though and their products come highly recommended by me. My particular socks are made of a synthetic material called Tactel and a littel Lycra. They do an excellent job at keeping my feet dry and blister free.

Of course almost any running sock will be of excellent quality and provide a great level of support. Sometimes it may take you trying a few pairs to find an absolute favorite. Here are a few below available on Amazon.

Do you wear specialised running socks? Did running socks save your feet? If you have any questions or have any opinions don’t hesitate to leave a comment and join the discussion.

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When I can be I am a regular runner but I am also nothing special and certainly no elite, so in that respect I am regular too. However I do love talking about running and related things and I do have a lot of experience, over 15 years now.

6 Responses to “Running Socks, Are They Needed?” Subscribe

  1. Michelle September 30, 2011 at 00:19 #

    Except when it’s exceptionally hot, I will wear wool socks. The kind that doesn’t itch. Stateside the brand is Smartwool, but there are also other brands. They keep my feet the perfect temperature, wick moisture and I’ve never had a blister.

    • Forest September 30, 2011 at 09:01 #

      Hey Michelle, I have never worn smartwool but have read some really encouraging comments and reviews about it. Thinking I may pick up a pair for my winter running when I am in the States next month.

  2. Marcel November 6, 2011 at 22:47 #

    I can recommend Falke socks. They’re available here in the Netherlands but I guess can also be purchased in the UK and US.

    • Forest November 7, 2011 at 18:55 #

      Thanks Marcel, i’ll look out for them.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. HealthBuzzing.com - October 25, 2011

    Running Socks, Are They Needed?…

    Do you need specialist socks for running?…

  2. Wear Sports Underwear When Running - November 7, 2011

    […] I came home happy but a little poorer and then it dawned on me and I screamed “why on earth didn’t I just buy them on Amazon?”, well maybe I just thought about screaming that! Anyway guess what? Amazon.com has 2 pairs for $12.99 (GO Mesh Midway Brief – 2 pack on Amazon). I’m ordering another 4 pairs when I head over to the USA later this month and plan to get rid of the bad pair so I never face that bad pair dilema again! Related post: Running Socks, Are They Needed? […]

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