Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Old Favorite/New Favorite: Running/workout socks

So when I say that my old/new favorite things are socks I know that I’m getting some strange looks from a LOT of people. You’re thinking, “How much could socks really have changed? And aren’t these old/new favorite things life changers? I mean your last old/new favorite was quinoa for goodness sake, how can socks even compare?”

Well people, prepare to have your minds blown. I typically show pictures of my old favorites here, but we all know what socks are right?

Socks have been…I’ll say it...revolutionized in recent years. It’s not just socks. It’s all traditional cotton products that have been changed to incorporate wicking technology which “wicks” moisture away from your body instead of acting like a sponge for any sweat or moisture (which is the typical cause behind your socks, t-shirts and even shorts to get heavy with moisture after a really good or even relatively mediocre workout). Socks that don’t wick can cause you to get some serious blisters, especially if you are running, hiking, or walking any great distance. Wicking technology has changed my running/hiking life.

When you see the term wick, dry-fit, cool-max, etc. on something like a pair of socks or a t-shirt, I encourage you to try it out. It’s more expensive but it is so worth the extra cash you pay when you are not being weighted down by all that extra sweat. And when I say more expensive, even that is shrinking away as you can now find wicking technology products at traditional superstores like Wal-mart and Target. You can usually identify these products easily because they have a giant tag attached to them telling you all about the wonders of the wicking concept.

But enough with the random, science lesson, I’ve run my last two half marathons in these bad boys with nary a blister in sight after being blister prone in all previous races. I once ran a marathon in a non-wicking pair of socks and literally had 4 blisters by the end of the race. Trust me taking up the hobby of running can be tough enough, don’t blister yourself in the foot (get it like shoot yourself in the foot?) before you’ve even get started by wearing a pair of non-wicking socks.

My favorite brand is Iniji. These are toe socks. Whatever your thoughts are about toe socks, you have got to put those preconceived notions aside when you are a runner. Blisters between your toes suck, and they suck hard, and they suck really hard in these sweaty summer months. Do yourself a favor and try these puppies out, especially if you are blister prone like me. You will not regret it.

Above are a pair of socks for the runner who likes their socks to look like socks. Source

Here's a pair for those that want the traditional toe sock funky look. Source

And here's a pair for the yoga enthusiast. Source

This particular brand is most easily purchased online or at a running/outdoors shop. Some my favorite spots to shop for these bad boys if you are located in the South are:
Big Peach Running Company-Atlanta, GA (multiple locations across the greater ATL area)
Diamond Brand Outdoors-Arden, NC
Foot RX-Asheville, NC

Anyway, try out this new favorite of mine and let me know what you think!

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