Hey how’s it going friends, Coach Kyle here and today you’re going to learn about one of the few individual brands that I swear by!
With most items I use for running be it shoes, shorts, gloves, and even generally for running nutrition, I’m really not that picky. I probably wear 5-6 different brands of running shoes over a month, could care less who made the gloves I wear, you get the idea. I try them on, if they feel good, I’m good.
But there is only a single brand of running socks I run in, and those are the toe socks from Injinji.
So, let’s to over why I initially tried them out, what I’ve learned, and my suggestions to you!
What Are Injinji Socks?
Injinji (pronounced in-jin-jee) is a specialty toesock company based out of California.
Around 2004 is when I believe they starting selling thier products and in 2013 is when they really seemed to have taken off! They used to be “just ok” and have a few options but now you can find various thicknesses of material, sock height, and lots of great styles to fit any runner preference.
Why Did I First Try Injinji Socks?
I’ve been wearing them, nearly exclusively, since around 2010 and my initial reason for testing them out was because I have a couple toes on each foot that sit very close together with the slightest of overlap.
This is something you don’t think about until training for a marathon. That bit of overlap started to let some blisters form between those two toes and became a serious problem as I was training for an Ironman triathlon and ultra marathons, so I needed a solution and it turned out to be Injinji!
Kind of like when you eat air fried tatter tots for the first time, normal baked ones just aren’t as good anymore – so did Injinji socks ruin normal ones for me 😉 They’re just not as good for my feet as I suspected because I did not know any different.
Benefits of Injinji Toe Socks
Let’s talk about the benefits I’ve realized from wearing toe socks.
Initially it was to prevent those pesky blisters from forming between my toes, and you know what? It worked!
I’ve ran a number of ultra marathons including a 100 miler and most recently a 100k. I’ve seen some incredibly gnarly looking blisters out there on the trails and thankfully none were on my feet 🙂 I’ve gotten the occasional little one but even during those ultras I required no sock change and was not even remotely aware of any blisters until I actually looked.
Toe Socks also keep my feet cooler. When I do wear normal socks I swear I can tell and the main reason is that Injinji socks keep my feed much cooler than normal socks. Imagine wearing a pair of gloves or a pair of mittens, obviously the mittens are generally warmer – so why would you put a pair of mittens on your feet when it’s terribly warm outside?! Even going out for a walk with Banjo in the summer, I can still tell that my feet get warmer (especially my toes) in normal socks.
Aside from the heat, I feel that the toe socks keep my feet more dry as there is more surface material of the sock against my skin. I suspect this may also be good for my foot health and potentially potentially prevent athlete’s foot that can especially spread in moist conditions. Keeping the toes and feet more dry can also prevent blisters as wet skin is soft skin.
*What About Normal Socks? *
Frankly, it’s pretty rare I wear a traditional pair of socks.
I have three pairs of compression socks from Tiux that I’ll wear for the rest of the day after a hard and/or long run and when I need some semi-formal socks or just want something a little nicer that I don’t run in I’ll go with my Pair of Thieves socks.
But that’s it. I even decline any free non-toe socks from races because…I’m not going to wear them! I recall that one of my favorite pair of Pair of Thieves socks is getting a hole under the ball of my foot so maybe I’ll have to get a nice dress pair of Injinji socks when I need a replacement.
Are Injinji Socks Right For You?
There are a couple reasons I would suggest you avoid toe socks.
First, if even in traditional socks your feet are just too dry, it’s likely not going to be smart to try a pair out that I suggest do a better job at wicking moisture off your feet.
Second, and you may just have to try a pair out for this, is if you can’t stand the feeling of your toes in the individual pockets. I get it, it’s different. But this is something you may not be able to figure out unless you trya pair out.
And third, I hesitate to say that if you’re fine with your current sock drawer, don’t change! But I would still suggest trying a pair out, you may like them more than what you currently have!
These are the sort of decision making processes I take my clients through all the time.
With you it may be how to best carry your calories and maybe next month we jump on a video call to chat for a half hour on different options for what those calories may actually be.
It’s nice to have someone who has been through it to tell you what the options are and to actually just talk you through them. If you’re serious about this sort of thing and want to learn more about how we can work together to dial your running in, I suggest you schedule a time to chat about working together: kylekranz.com/pbrcoaching