I switched over to Injinji Performance Toesocks earlier this year after once again experiencing battered and blistered little toes during the 2014 Rocky Raccoon 100. In shorter races I never have a problem with blisters, but when the distance gets into Ultramarathon territory, my odd, curled-under-the-fourth-toe little toes always seem to suffer. Over the years I’ve experimented with all kinds of socks – Balega, Drymax, Thorlo, Nike, Swiftwick, Feetures to name just a few. I even remember trying out Original Injinji socks a few years ago when I dabbled in the weird and wonderful world of Vibram Five Fingers, but that was more out of necessity than anything else – after all, what other socks can you wear with those strange toe shoes?
Fast forward to the week after Rocky Raccoon, and after reading numerous online articles and a copy of the excellent Fixing Your Feet by John Vonhof, I decided to give Injinji another chance. As expected, the Injinji website clearly explained the many benefits of toe socks – all common sense stuff that totally made sense. Here are the three main takeaways:
Benefits of Toe Socks
Total Foot Utilization
When your toes are separated, properly aligned and splayed it distributes your weight evenly which allows your entire foot to be engaged in any athletic activity.
Each toe is wrapped in sweat-wicking material so your foot will be drier and therefore more comfortable than in traditional socks.
With each toe protected, skin-on-skin friction is completely eliminated protecting your foot from blisters, and just as important, hotspots.
The Injinji website even had a video presented by Olympic and Distance Running Coach Greg McMillan explaining the numerous benefits:
Browsing their website I was surprised at the variety of toe socks now available – not just the numerous colors available, but the length of sock (no-show, mini-crew, micro, crew), weight of sock (lightweight, original weight, midweight) and sock category (run, trail, compression, outdoor, multi-sport, sport, yoga). I finally settled on ordering several pairs to test out – one each of the TRAIL 2.0 Midweight Mini-Crew, TRAIL 2.0 Midweight Micro, RUN 2.0 Original Weight No-Show and RUN 2.0 Lightweight No-Show. Here’s my take on the various models:
TRAIL 2.0 Midweight Mini-Crew
Without doubt, my favorite sock for weekend trail runs and races. The midweight TRAIL 2.0 is the most cushioned sock from Injinji and is really comfortable over a variety of terrain. The mini-crew length keeps out dirt, dust and rocks, and the excellent moisture management properties keep your feet dry in all conditions. In fact, I was so impressed with this sock, that I chose to wear it at the 2014 Western States 100 Endurance Run where my feet were the happiest they’ve ever been post-100 Miles.
TRAIL 2.0 Midweight Micro
Exactly the same sock as the TRAIL 2.0 Midweight Mini-Crew, except of course for the lower profile cuff. I prefer the look of the Micro sock to the Mini-Crew sock, and usually wear it on shorter trail runs where dirt and debris won’t be too much of a problem.
RUN 2.0 Original Weight No-Show
My go-to sock for most daily training runs. The RUN 2.0 Original Weight is slightly less cushioned than the midweight TRAIL 2.0 socks, but still plenty comfortable for day-to-day running. The sock is breathable (thanks in part to the mesh top), and features a neat little tab at the back to protect against pesky heel blisters.
RUN 2.0 Lightweight No-Show
The RUN 2.0 Lightweight is, as the name suggests, Injinji’s thinnest sock. I usually reserve this sock for faster training runs in conjunction with a racing flat, or for race days themselves. The sock is breathable, comfortable and again comes with a protective heel tab to eliminate heel irritation.
Since discovering the comfort and blister-prevention properties of toe socks, Injinji is truly the only brand of sock I now wear. All the others have been banished to the back of a closet to make way for my ever-growing collection of the original performance toesock.
Injinji socks are available for purchase online at
[button url=http://www.injinji.com] Injinji.com [/button] [button url=http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=injinji&linkCode=ur2&sprefix=injinji%2Caps%2C207&tag=runbulldogrun-20&url=search-alias%3Dsporting&linkId=QQUUTCM6DENBCBDS] Amazon.com [/button] [button url=http://bit.ly/injinji_socks] OnlineShoes.com [/button]
and if you live in the 757 at
[button url=http://www.runningetc.com] RunningEtc.com [/button]
- What’s your favorite brand of socks?
- Have you tried Injinji?
- If so, what’s your favorite style/weight?