How To Pick The Right Athletic Socks If You’re a Runner
Runners spend a lot of money on shoes, but what about socks? If you are hoping to provide the perfect foundation for your athletic activities, it starts with your athletic socks!
What Are Athletic Socks?
One of the primary objectives of athletic socks is to keep your feet from sliding around in your running shoes. The main reason for this is to prevent blisters.
Athletic socks are meant to help your shoes to fit more snugly. For this reason, you may find a particular kind of socks comfortable while a friend may prefer something different.
What Are Athletic Socks Made Of?
Athletic socks are actually made of a variety of materials. Some of the best materials for athletic socks are synthetic. Materials such as polyester, nylon, acrylic and CoolMax are synthetic so as to wick moisture away from the athlete.
Merino wool is another excellent choice for athletic socks. Thinner than other types of wool, it is a natural material that has both insulating and wicking characteristics.
Athletic Socks Vs Normal Socks
Your regular old socks, such as a dress sock meant to wear inside a pair of loafers, do not have the same design as sport socks. Typically thinner, they are not designed with the intention of you engaging in activities that would have you walking or standing a great deal.
Regular socks are sometimes made of cotton, which is not a moisture-wicking material. In addition, they don’t have the cushioning in the same places as sport socks.
Sport socks often have arch support built in to help you withstand long hours of activity. They also have cushion in very specific spots, such as the heel and/or sides of the foot where athletes often blister.
Athletic Socks: Cotton Vs Polyester
A unique fabric, polyester is a warm and durable material. It is also quite lightweight and has the ability to wick moisture like a champ. It is also inexpensive to make and holds up nicely.
Cotton is a natural fiber that is soft and comfortable to wear. Since it is a natural material, cotton can also stretch and distort over time. Lacking the incredible ability to wick the sweat away from your body like synthetic materials, it can result in blisters and other problems for your feet.
Athletic Socks to Prevent Blisters
Although there are many socks that advertise that they can prevent blisters, the effectiveness really does vary by individual. There are some things to think about.
Many runners find that toe socks help to prevent blisters for them. What is a toe sock? Exactly what it sounds like! It’s a sock that has individual spots for your toes. For many people, those individual spots protect you from rubbing, chafing and blisters.
The Rockay Accelerate is a sock that is made 100% from recycled materials. They advertise that you can “say goodbye” to blisters and odors. Did you know that one pair of Rockay socks removes 125 grams of plastic from the ocean? The accelerate socks are made with ventilation zones and are guaranteed for life!
Balega makes a wonderful anti-blister sock. A big name in running socks, you won’t be disappointed in this product!
Athletic Socks With Moisture-Wicking Technology
Most athletes are looking for moisture-wicking as a “must-have” for their socks. If your socks fail to wick moisture, you are more likely to blister and have other problems pop up. Although there are some natural fibers that wick moisture, most of the top materials are synthetic.
Crew Socks Vs Low Socks
Crew socks are taller than ankle or no-show socks. Popular with trail runners, crew socks can protect the ankle from being scratched by twigs, sticks, etc. Another benefit of crew socks is they keep your ankles covered when wearing leggings or shorter athletic pants in the winter months.
Low socks (ankle or no-show) are great for beating the heat. Many athletes prefer these year-round, not just in hot weather.
How To Wash Athletic Socks
Honestly, how to wash your socks is often overlooked.
- Since they are most likely to be dirty and stinky, consider washing them inside out. Unless they are noticeably and visibly dirty on the outside.
- Separating socks by color and style helps prevent damage to your quality socks.
- Washing with cold water on a gentle setting is also good.
- Use a mild detergent or a sport detergent for odor removal.
- Some people pop their socks into a mesh laundry bag to keep pairs together.
- If you are pre-washing socks or washing by hand, avoid wringing socks. This causes stretching.