Does changing your socks really matter when you are running? Do I need running socks?
Great questions... let me tackle them one at a time.
Any runner with more than a handful of races under their belt will tell you why it is very important to have a good pair of running socks. For the first few months of running I wore my regular pair and started noticing some pretty gnarly issues with my feet. So I am here to help and advise you to pick the right set of running socks.
So what are benefits to having good running socks? Obviously, good running socks will help prevent blisters. I mean, everybody knows that. But we are looking at the major advantages of wearing good socks for running. How will they help you as a runner?
THE 5 BENEFITS OF GOOD RUNNING SOCKS
#1. They Help Maintain Good Foot Health
We all agree that feet are vital in the career of a runner, which means that they must have good health all along. One way of ensuring that you have healthy feet is by choosing the right pair of socks.
The American Podiatric Medical Assoc talks a lot about foot health especially as of a result of sweating too much. They recognize the need for having good running socks to promote healthy feet.
The point of focus here is how these socks are made. Mostly, you will find the set of running socks with a design to let your feet breathe freely. A healthy foot also implies that it doesn’t stink, especially after you run. The major reason why your feet stink is that your sweating too much.
Most good running socks now have wicking properties. Wicking running socks let moisture pass from your feet through the shoe. In the long run, you will have fresh feet throughout your running time, which then helps to promote the health.
Since Asics makes a very reliable running shoe, I tend to purchase their socks too. Their cushion ankle socks are very affordable.
I've also tried the Gold Bond Foot Spray and it worked to help keep my feet cool during my runs and it reduced the sweat.
#2. They Prevent Skin Friction
Wearing regular socks does increase the chance of getting blisters for two reasons:
- The Style of the Socks
- The Fit of the Socks
Regular socks are not designed with a high-end material that helps reduce friction and sweat. The regular socks also are not designed to fit your feet snugly like running socks.
Most running socks are designed to help reduce friction because of the thickness and material.
- No-show cushioned running sock provides comfort and performance during extended training and activity
- Proprietary Drynamix wicks moisture away from skin, and specially constructed, reinforced microfiber mesh ventilation panels keep feet dry
- Hand-linked seamless toe box minimizes friction, preventing chafing on top of the foot; reinforced heel and toe for durability
#3. Injury Prevention
One benefit of good running socks is that they prevent the vulnerable areas.
As you run, there are specific areas on your feet that are usually susceptible to injuries. For instance, the two ankle bones and the big toe mound are some of the vulnerable areas of the feet.
These areas need protection as you run, and one way of ensuring that is by cushioning them to the fullest. Regular Runner identifies the benefits of having a good pair of socks; one of them being the protection of key areas.
Running socks are made with extra padding in specific areas, which assures you of protection when running. The ADFOLF have some of the most additional padding found in running socks, they are especially useful running during the winter.
#4. Prevent Foot Swelling
This was a big issue for me when I first started running. I would experience swollen feet a few days or hours after running. According to LiveStrong, one of the reasons that make your feet to swell after you run is when blood is prevented from flowing throughout the feet to the rest of the leg.
Rock Creek Runner points out a pair of socks that can help to prevent swollen feet. You can find some good running socks that are also compression socks. Such socks help to push the blood to past the ankle, hence promoting a free flow. This, in turn, helps to prevent your feet from swelling. In addition to helping blood flow, we break down the other benefits of compression socks in this article.
Amazon has a ton of unique styles of compression running socks, from disney to solid colors, they truly have a wide selection.
Of course, you need a good pair of socks to offer you comfort as you run through the trails. As mentioned before, regular socks might not have the perfect material to keep your feet comfortable enough.
Running socks come with a design that imitates the exact shape of the leg. For instance, take a look at these pair of socks by Injinji. With such a design and technology, you will experience extra comfort as they hug your feet perfectly. This also enhances a natural feel to your feet. You might even forget that you are wearing a pair of socks.
How to Choose a GOOD pair of RUNNING SOCKS?
The major problem comes in when you need to find the right pair of socks for running. There are many factors you have to consider before you purchase a specific pair. Keep in mind that not all running socks are worth buying. So how do you find the right pair of running socks? Here are some factors to keep in mind.
- Consider the material. The point here is to choose socks made from synthetic fiber, which helps to wick the moisture. Wicking socks keep your feet cool and dry while preventing moisture and blisters
- How thick are the socks? Thickness is another factor you need to keep in mind. Ideally, go for socks with reasonable thickness levels. They shouldn’t be too thick nor too thin. A good pair of socks should keep your feet perfectly cushioned and they should feel like another skin on your feet.
- The fit and seams. These factors relate to how the socks will feel when you wear them. They should not rub on to your skin as you run. That can only be assured if you choose perfectly fitting socks with the right seams.
- Padding. Running socks should have that extra padding, especially on susceptible areas. The bottom area of socks should be well padded to reduce shock as you run. Also, the ankle areas should be padded to offer protection as while you are on the trails.
- Arch compression. Finding running socks that feature an extra arch compression can be an added advantage. With such socks, you can be sure of extra comfort and limited swelling of your feet. I would advise you to consider the arch compression on the socks you intend to buy if you are going for long runs.
- Shape/Design. You might ignore this aspect, but it can be useful at some point. You want to wear socks that are comfortable enough throughout your running period. Socks designed to imitate the shape of your leg can be perfect to promote the extra comfort.
- The length. Even though this is not such an important factor when choosing a pair of running socks, it can be helpful in some situations. If you are planning to run in the woods or a trail that has shrubs or plenty of sticks, you might want to choose longer socks. Socks with a longer neck help to prevent your legs from scratches. But you can purchase the regular size running socks if you are running on the clear tracks. I prefer ankle socks when I run.
What About Compression Socks, are they any good?
Now, just because compression socks are used for running doesn’t exactly place them under the well-known running socks.
Mostly compression socks are used by runners, especially the professionals, to limit lactic acid buildup and enhance blood circulation. So you must have a good pair of running socks, but it isn’t a must for you to have a set of compression socks.
Nonetheless, they can come handy at some point, which you might want to consider. It depends on why you need the specific pair of compression socks.View the additional benefits of compression socks here.
Compression socks are the best if it is cold outside or when running in bushy areas. Some runners prefer wearing compression socks when running, while others choose to wear them after or when they aren’t running.
You can either wear them after working out to help you with proper recovery and boost the flow of blood all over the leg.
As you choose the compression socks, always ensure that you choose the right size. You can talk to a professional to help you choose the best compression socks. Keep in mind that the compression socks can be tight on your leg, but they shouldn’t cause you pain as you wear them. The point of focus is feeling comfortable with the compression socks.
Running socks a must for any runner; whether you are a novice or a professional. So when you are out looking for a pair, ensure that you only pick the best. Considering the brand of the socks is another factor that can help you land the right pair. Mizuno is another great resource that can help you choose the right socks for running.
Last update on 2020-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API