The foot is among one of the heavier producers of sweat in the body and can produce almost 0.5 L of sweat a day (gross.) It’s important to wear the right kind of sock when exercising to protect your foot from the elements and chafing. There are all kinds: dress, knee, wool, cotton, ankle, toe and the list goes on. But how do you know which ones are the best for runners?
Running socks (like any socks) come in lots of styles, sizes, textures and thicknesses. It’s recommended that you stay away from 100% cotton socks. Why? cotton socks don’t breath and they also absorb everything. So if you’re a sweater or like myself, manage to find and run through every puddle, you’re going to have wet feet! This is a nightmare for a long run because your feet will become cold, wet and potentially more susceptible to blisters.
My favourite pair of running socks were from Sportchek – I remember when I bought them because they were almost $20 a pair and the sales associate said that “old men on the golf course wear these, but they’re the best.” I mean, he was right. If people are potentially walking 18 holes of a golf course a couple times a week, the socks could definitely last a season or so of running. And they did. These puppies lasted almost three years. Now, I didn’t use them every day but I bet I wore them three times a week. I am sad I don’t remember the brand, but they were great. Maybe someone out there knows the socks I’m talking about? They weren’t heavily branded, I don’t even think they had any design on them; if so it was discreet.
My second favourite pair of socks are the good ol’ Nike Dynamic Arch. These socks have great support and a handy “R” and “L” on each to denote which foot your put on for support. There is cushion & support, but they’re not too heavy. I enjoy running in them and I’ve been pretty hard on them – they’re almost three years old!
I think it’s important to wear socks that you’re comfortable in, but most importantly, that protect your feet and ankles. I’ve had some poor luck leading up to the purchase of my running socks. I just used any old socks and would get horrible blisters – even to the point of torn ankles. So, even though $12-20 seems like a lot to pay for one pair of socks, it’s definitely worth the investment!