Yes, those things you wear on your feet. We tend to take them for granted most of the time, but socks play a crucial role in running. Socks can be made of a variety of materials, and can be varying in sizes. There are multiple options for casual wear, business attire, and yes, even for running! However, choosing the correct kind of sock makes all the difference in how your feet feel during and after a run.
One of the most common mistakes that new runners make is to wear their 100% cotton gym socks when they run. While this initially may not be a problem, it will become an issue as the mileage increases. Cotton socks absorb sweat away from the feet, and create a soggy mess inside the shoes that slides around. Socks made specifically for running are made of synthetic fibers that wick sweat away from the runner’s feet, but they also hold their shape during the run. This is important because if a sock slides, moves, or becomes lodged in an area of the shoe that’s uncomfortable, the socks can causes blisters. Synthetic fibers used in running socks are designed to prevent blisters and keep the sweat wicked away from the runner’s feet.
A multitude of running socks exist, and each runner I know has a personal preference for a certain brand and style. I actually really like Feetures socks because they have a lip on the back of the sock that keeps the shorter socks in place at the back of the shoe. I also like Feetures because they provide support in the arch area of the foot, and this feels good to me while running. These socks have special stitching to keep from rubbing blisters along the seams. I prefer the socks that mostly are hidden by your running shoes, but Feetures does have socks of all lengths. I have tried a number of other brands, but always tend to navigate back to the Feetures.
Another type of sock that is found to be beneficial is compression. These socks compress the calves, ankles, and sometimes the foot to prevent swelling and improve circulation in those areas. These types of socks are utilized before, during, and after a run based on personal preference. I tend to constantly be warm while running, so I prefer to wear compression socks after a run to increase blood flow to my calves to help them recover more quickly from a run.
One of the best pieces of advice I got about running socks is to try several different brands to see what I like the best. Local running stores usually offer a variety of socks in varying heights and colors to try. Visit your local store today to take a look and try some on! Happy feet = happy running!