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A highly unscientific sock study

by editor
Monday 12th June 2017
Tags  Balega   |   Drymax   |   Injinji   |   X-socks   |   Falke   |   inov-8   |   Stance
Socks. In the grand scheme of things a seemingly small part of our kit, but in reality they can make all the difference between enjoying a lovely run and cursing every step. That sinking feeling, when you feel that tiny hot spot that you know will grow into a giant source of misery over the next few miles. That sandpapery scratching under your big toe, that will develop into a fire pit. All avoidable with some good socks. 
In a highly unscientific study we asked some of our contributors to give us their top sock tips in an effort to give you some good recommendations to avoid toe misery. 

socks 1

Tracey Moggeridge: 
Go-to socks: Balega Blister Resist Quarter Socks (above left)! No ankle huggers for me! They remind me of school. They’re cushioned, double layer and anti-blister (they’ve sorted my blister issue out for me) and have served me well through trail races, a marathon and lots of standard runs.

Price and lifespan: Priced at £15. I probably shouldn't be honest here but they last a couple of years (don't judge! I have many pairs and cycle them... honest).
Rob Neal: 
Go-to socks: Drymax brand, particularly the Maximum Protection Trail Running 1/4 Crew Socks (above right).  They are expensive so I save them for long runs or races at the moment! (I am also a big fan of the Hilly Vista Trail Anklet which I have been wearing for years, but they have now been surpassed by the Drymax socks). They are a medium thickness and really well shaped around the foot. They cover my ankles which I like for a bit of protection when running on the trails or mountains. The clue is in the name for the main strength of the Drymax socks, they are brilliant are keeping your feet dry. In my experience waterproof socks or shoes never really work in real wet boggy hills but when these socks get wet they dry out far quicker than any others that I've tried. This is also great in hot weather for transporting moisture from sweat away from your feet to prevent blisters.
Price and lifespan: £29.95. Previously my favourite socks used to be past their best within a couple of months and would probably have holes in within 6 months. I've been using a couple of pairs of Drymax socks for over a year now and they are showing no signs of wearing out yet!

socks 2

Carol Martin
Go-to socks: Injinji Women’s Run Lightweight Mini-Crew (above left). I’ve tried lots of different ones but these stop my toes rubbing and giving me blisters and there’s no excess material anywhere. My back-up socks would be Thorlos Experia, nice and cushioned and supportive. 
Price: £13.99
Claire Adams: 
Go-to socks: X-Socks Marathon (above right). As their sizes are very specific they have an excellent 'glove' like fit! Medium weight, neither thick nor thin. They’ve seen me through marathons, long runs, off-road runs, winter, summer, you name it!
Price and lifespan: £15.99. I’ve never had holes. I've only replaced them after so much washing that they get a bit tired

socks 3

Ben Pine: 
Go-to sock: FALKE RU3 Running Sock (above left). These have medium cushioning and my feet are happy in them for at least 30 miles in one go - I normally change socks every 25 miles or so. No blisters in the FALKE socks, unlike other brands I’ve tried. 
Price and lifespan: £15. Will last a long time. I’ve found that cheaper ones only last a few months. I will prob only buy Falke or Hilly socks in the future.
Lisa Martin: 

Go-to sock: Injinji Trail 2.0 (above right). These are toe-toe style, with protective cushioning / extra padding, comfortable fitting cuff to stay in position and keep debris out. They’ve served me well lots of trail marathons and sorted out a blister problem I used to have. 
Price and lifespan: £16.49. Still on my first pair, no significant wear or tear and they've been worn and washed a lot over the past 10 months.

socks 4

Editor’s picks:
A great budget sock: inov-8 All Terrain Sock Mid (above left), £12 for 2 pairs, these socks are so comfortable from the off, with padding in all the right places. I’m incredibly picky about socks and susceptible to blisters but I’ve had no problems with these. Funky colours too!
If cool is a consideration: Stance socks (above right) will make your feet both look and feel cool. A newer entrant to the running market, from the hip look of them you might think they put fashion over form but they’re packed with technology. They’re made of a poly/cotton blend, they are designed to fit your feet exactly and they have ‘air channel cushioning’ and venting. I’ve been wearing a pair pretty constantly for a couple of months and they are a supremely comfortable sock to run in. £11.99 - £14.99

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