Running 101: Running Socks

Running 101 is our new series dedicated to making sure we don’t forget to tell you all the little details that help you in your running.  It is so easy to assume that someone knows something when in fact the smallest detail that they didn’t know makes a huge difference.

Today we will be covering the ultra-exciting topic of running socks.

Honestly, I used to think socks did not matter at all. I really thought it was outrageous to pay over $2 for a pair of socks. I mean, they are just SOCKS! No one sees them so why would I pay for good ones?

Well, when you run and get blister after blister, you will know the difference between a $2 sock and a $12 sock and when your foot strikes the ground thousands of times every time you run, you will wish you had paid for that $12 sock.  Feet may be unattractive and uninteresting, but that only lasts until something is wrong.  There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to finish a run or a race because of a blister.

Your feet hit the ground thousands of times when you run.  Think about that.  A good running sock can make a big difference!

What Makes Running Socks Important

Fit of the Sock: Running socks fit to your foot. If you have a worn out, cotton sock that does not hug your foot, it is going to move around in your shoe and cause rubbing. Rubbing equals blisters and finishing a run with a blister is no good as it will likely affect future runs as well. Blisters on your feet create one more reason/excuse to not show up, and showing up is the number one rule of running.

Fit of the Shoe: I owned a running store for years and have probably fit 1000s of people in shoes. One day I had a gal come in to get shoes. After the fitting I pulled out a few pairs for her to try and suggested that she try our running socks. She had a big bulky cotton sock and I knew they were bad news.

BUT…..she was a bit too much like me.

“What will the sock matter?” She asked.

“It will make the shoe fit better especially since your feet are a little wide. “

Nope, she wasn’t having any of it and had no intention of spending $10 on a pair of socks. We tried on about 20 different pairs of shoes, no lie, and none of them felt well. 20! I gave it one last-ditch effort.

“I really think it’s the socks,” I said.

And wouldn’t you know it? It was a whole different world. Now, most of the shoes she tried on fit well and she ended up buying one of the first pairs we tried.

Good running socks will make your shoes fit better. Remember though, your running shoes should be a half to a full size bigger than your day to day shoes or they won’t feel good no matter what sock you choose.

Fabric of the Sock: Running and cotton don’t mix well most of the time. Now, I know some of you run in cotton and it works fine, but it only takes that one time of it not working fine and you realize how bad chaffing can feel. It looks like a little rub spot but hurts like a third degree burn.

Cotton absorbs moisture and clings to your body. The fabric of technical running socks, will actually help wick the moisture away. This keeps your foot warmer in the winter and less sweat-logged in the summer. Good running socks can be made of acrylic, polyester, and even wool!

You don’t have to buy 100 pairs, but when you get a chance buy at least a couple pairs to use on your longer runs. You might even try a couple of different pairs to find out what you like before you get more.

Running is a fairly simple sport but sometimes it is the really simple things, like good running socks, that make a big difference.  Running socks might be boring, but they are super important!

Run on my friends…

Other articles you might enjoy:

Running 101:  Things Every Runner Should Know

5 Tips to Run Your Best Race

Change Your Script, Change Your Life

Amy Livesay:  Who Writes the Go Girl Blog


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