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Updated on March 26, 2014
Runners can be seen as an odd bunch.
When co-workers ask what you’re doing this weekend, you want to (slash do) respond in miles.
You don’t dream of spending $100 on a pair of shoes — unless they’re running shoes.
And you can get into heated conversations about socks. Primarily, ones that defend or rag against toe socks.
I know you’ve seen them — on your friends’ feet, in the gym locker room and maybe some Twitter pics pop up on your feed.
And you’ve probably wondered how people can find them comfortable. I mean, come on. There is stuff between your toes! No, thank you, you think to yourself as you silently judge.
Wrong. So very wrong.
Toe socks might look funny, but people aren’t looking like goobers for no reason. (And I can call them goobers because I swear by them.)
We are wearing them because they deliver on their promises.
The RunningShoes.com staff is crazy about them, too. “Whether it’s just a normal day or I’m tearing it up at the gym or the trail, you can always find a pair of Injinji’s on my feet,” says Herb Hagely, one of our web developers. “I’m a big fan of the barefoot experience, and Injinji’s socks allow me to keep the natural toe splay that most big toe-box barefoot shoes provide while adding a little more cushion to the shoe.”
The most noticeable benefit about toe socks is the no-blister factor. And if you’re going to wear funky-looking socks, there best be a reason. Hot spots are caused because of heat and friction build-up, so minimizing the chance of either dramatically reduces the chance of blisters. Lo and behold, the funny looking toe sock. Because the stuff between your toes? That’s what keeps your feet happy. Your toes stay separated so they can’t rub against each other.
The toe separation also lets air circulate better so your feet feel more refreshed and keep the stink from filling the footbed. Your feet can breathe happier and easier when they aren’t sweating next to each other, trapping moisture in a very small space.
When we were at Outdoor Retailer this past January, we caught up with George Schott, the senior vice president at Injinji. Predictably, the man loves a good toe sock. And he makes a strong case for why the style is crucial to a runner’s performance. So strong, in fact, that we left the Injinji booth with a handful of new colors and styles, eager to feel a new world of comfort.
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments section.