Running socks may seem like an easy item to pick out. However, one bad pair of socks could leave you with blisters in the first mile of your marathon training. Running sock technology has come a long way in making your feet happy in the last few years. Here are few things you should consider when selecting the right running sock for you:
- Cushion: The level of cushioning is really up to you. Some socks are super thick and some are very thin. However, you need to make sure they also work with your shoes and don’t allow you to slide around in your shoe. Look for socks that have at least some padding at the points where your feet will hit the ground. Also, look for a sock that has less cushioning in the back of your heel, so you do not develop blisters.
- Elastic: Running socks may look similar to regular socks. However, running socks have elastic in all of the right places, so the sock doesn’t slide. The spandex of the running sock will hug the foot, so it won’t slide down and expose the back of your foot to your running shoe.
- Coverage: Sock coverage depends greatly on the kind of running shoe you have. A traditional running shoe may call for a sock that covers your ankle, whereas a minimalist shoe may call for a crew sock. Make sure that you have enough coverage, so the shoe will not rub and cause blisters.
- Material: No cotton! Cotton holds moisture that will cause blisters. Look for a running sock that is made out of wool, synthetic materials, or a blend of the two materials to keep the feet dry and more comfortable on those long runs.
- Fit: A good pair of running socks is just as important as a good pair of running shoes. A sock that is too small will hinder circulation and a pair that is too large will cause rubbing. Ask the staff at one of the specialty running stores which sock is the right one for you.
- Odor control: New technologies in running socks have raised the level of odor control in the industry. Odor control may seem frivolous, but it can help extend the life of your shoes, so you don’t throw them out early.