If you’re just getting into running or are an avid runner still looking for the right sock, we’re here to help. Finding a sock that’s the perfect fit for you can be difficult, but not impossible. There are a plethora of different types of socks out in the world, but only a few are designed to help runners perform at their best. We’ve listed a few criteria one should consider when hunting for the right running sock for them.
The Right Materials
Most running socks are made of synthetic materials like nylon or acrylic or a combination of natural materials like wool or cotton and synthetics. Though synthetic socks will keep their shape better, they may not be as comfortable in extremely cold or hot temperatures. A synthetic sock will usually be best for performance. Some people may find that blended socks are more comfortable, but after time and wear, the wool or cotton may begin to stretch. Avoiding cotton is ideal for keeping a long-lasting and healthy running sock, but if comfort is ideal, having one or two natural pairs of socks in your collection won’t hurt. Do your best to stick to wool in this case, as it can regulate temperature and wick moisture.
The best running sock will be expertly designed to cushion the high-impact zones on your foot. Cushioned zones in your socks can help lessen this impact, even if you are an experienced runner who knows how to lessen the stress on your feet or run on surfaces other than concrete. Blisters are frequently caused by sock seams, particularly with seams near or on the toes. A seamless design is the best risk-free choice because painful blisters will be inevitable if your toes or any other part of your foot rubs up against a protruding piece of cloth. Try to find running socks that are taller or offer an additional tab at the rear of the ankle and close to the heel. This sock element could lessen friction and keep your sock from moving or sagging.
Air Flow and Moisture Wicking
No matter how intense your run is or how cool it may be outside, the potential for your feet to sweat is massive. Sweaty socks are uncomfortable and can cause blisters. Worse yet, it will freeze your feet in colder temperatures. Wool socks are effective at wicking away moisture and keeping your feet dry. As mentioned previously, socks made with mostly cotton are not great for running socks. They will trap moisture and cause painful blisters. You could also wear socks with mesh ventilation systems. Open air flow will ventilate your feet, reducing moisture and unpleasant smells. When you allow your skin to breathe, you’ll be able to perform at a higher level.
Adhere to Specific Needs
Everyone has preferences or health conditions they would prefer to adhere to, both to maximize comfort and keep their body healthy. Some might need socks with arch support to reduce foot pain and improve foot alignment and balance. Others might need socks that go higher up the leg to avoid blistering and chafing their ankle. The snug fit of compression socks is sometimes necessary for those with certain medical conditions still like to exercise and need special equipment. Ultimately, you’ll need a sock to keep your skin and body healthy and support you no matter how or where you run.
Respect What Works and What Doesn’t
Whatever running sock you choose, make sure it’s one designed for running. While socks are branded as athletic may work, some of their designs and material blends don’t always align with running needs. A good pair of running socks will cushion you, feel tight in the right places, and provide airflow to the right areas. Experiment with a few different brands and styles of running socks to find the right one for you. Care for them accordingly to maximize their life span and throw them out when they’ve completely exhausted their use. A damaged or dirty sock will do no favors to your foot or running game.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect running sock that fits your criteria, FitSok has you covered. We have a wide selection of running socks tailored to please any level of runner. Browse through our catalog and find a running sock that you’ll fall in love with and run in again and again.