A Review of Zensah Grit Running Socks
Zensah is derived from a term that means “to be without,” as in without limits. The company, known in the running world for its high quality compression gear, believes that all athletes should be without limits. To continue with that mission, Zensah introduced a low rise wool performance sock called Grit. Comprised of Merino wool and a polypropylene blend, it is designed to be comfortable, durable, odor resistant, breathable and moisture wicking. It is lightweight and available in casually muted color combinations (black and grey) for a quiet confidence.
Materials & Design
Zensah smartly designed the Grit line incorporating not only proven materials but also proprietary technologies. Zensah uses a combination of fabrics such as Polypropylene, Nylon, Fine Merino Wool, and Spandex. Looking at the sock, you can see it is almost segmented by its different modes of delivering performance. For compression, Grit socks incorporate Hexo-Pad technology into the toes and heel. This technology also helps reduce abrasion and creates a cushion against impact. The arch compression is courtesy of an elastic-type ultra zone ribbing that wraps around the foot. The moisture wicking and cushioning are courtesy of the merino wool and polycolon fabric used around the midfoot. The seamless toe is also sectioned off and the farbic there creates additional durability and comfort.
The sock design actually looks quite intricate with a wrap of black fabric around the arch and over the top of the foot that makes the sock feel secure. This is Zensah’s ultra zone ribbing and it creates light arch and plantar fascia support. Its highly elastic yarn assists with the compression to keep feet energized. The pattern of small white squares across the instep represent the polycolon that creates effective moisture control. It is a hydrophobic material that pulls away moisture and dries quickly. The proprietary Hexo-Padding around the toe box provides a barrier to blisters and reduces impact while also allowing air to flow through to the warmest areas of the foot keeping them ventilated and dry.
The toes are seamless with a 200 needle count for added durability and a comfortable compression. The two tab opening is the hallmark of the no-show feel style. At the ankle collar, there are two tabs that ensure security of fit preventing these socks from sliding into shoes. To top it off, each pair is labeled L and R for left and right feet, respectively – just another sign that each one is molded specifically for superior, customized fit.
Thanks to the merino wool’s innate temperature regulation, I was able to get out an enjoy the widely varying temperatures we have been dealing with this winter in the Northeast. From 0 deg to 60 deg in a week’s time, these socks have not failed me and my feet stayed comfortable and dry. Even in the warmth of my basement on the treadmill, my feet felt securely nestled in these socks without feeling tight. Test driving these in summer heat was not an option for me but I do plan to keep them at the top of my rotation as warmer months approach. Though, by all reviews, the wicking and ventilation have created a very positive fan base.
Style & Sizing
While available in both a crew and ankle height, I had the pleasure of reviewing the no-show sock. I liked the look of the black ones as they weren’t just a solid black. The gray ones are smartly attractive as well with variants of charcoal and white highlighting the special features and technologies.
These socks are available in sizes small through extra large and are unisex. The small is intended for men’s shoe sizes 4-6.5 and women’s 5-8. The medium is slated to fit men 7-9.5 and women 8.5-11. The large, 10-12.5 with women’s 11.5-14 while the extra large accommodates men’s 13-16 and women’s shoe size 14.5 and up.
Retailing at a premium price, some may initially balk but seasoned runners know that, just as running is an investment in yourself, often running apparel comes in the form of an investment too. It is one thing to have many items that are not wholly efficient or durable and have to replace them at an additional long-run cost. It is entirely another to spend a bit more at the outset for a few solid go-to items that let you go the distance knowing the quality is dependable. The choice is yours but these socks fall into the dependable category.
It’s important to keep in mind that they are not just standard socks or even a pair that simply wicks moisture. Zensah’s technology allows for all this plus light compression and arch support. Add to that, Zensah’s lifetime guarantee and that’s proof that this company believes the sock will be worth your while. They are worth mine.
- No-show design
- Comprised of top quality materials for comfort and performance
- Merino wool
- Compression to support the arch and plantar fascia
- Seamless toe
- Temperature regulation
What I Liked
I did very much love this sock and found it to be softly cushioned but still tight enough to feel like I had support. They caused no hot spots and my feet did not overheat or feel sweaty or really cold during extreme temperatures. My runs felt energized and these socks did not shift as I ran. We visited local neighborhood streets in downpours and in snow. We ran through puddles and snowdrifts and took to trails that were wet and very muddy. Post-run, my feet were dry and hardly smelly. The socks washed well, did not retain any scent and kept the cushioning I had enjoyed.
What I Didn’t Like
Aside from the above, there are two areas that I feel are worth noting. The size medium socks I started out with were based on my shoe size of 9-10. While the compression and arch support all felt perfectly in balance, I found them to fit loosely in the toes. I don’t think I have surprisingly short toes but no other reviewers found this to be the case so I may be in the minority here.
The socks fit almost like a sleeve and the back tab feels great with no irritation to the rear of the ankle. However, the top tab seems to land in that crevice between ankle and foot and it created a very slight discomfort for me. Not enough that I would return the socks or stop wearing them but definitely of note to me, especially as I am recovering from inflammation that is alleviated by taking pressure off that point. But, I consider these a win and a good investment.
It is no surprise that based on my own experience, in addition to the plethora of positive feedback on the Zensah Performance Grit socks, that they seem to be a good investment. When you consider the value and lifetime guarantee and the fact that the GRIT also meet compression needs, these socks deserve a whirl to earn your good graces. If you can swing it in the budget, it’s a must try.