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Running Socks 101

Nothing makes you appreciate a good pair of running socks like a blister.

When you are just starting out running, you’re probably more likely to invest first in good shoes before a pair of expensive running socks. After all, they are just socks, right? Wrong! Say you’re going for a nice 3 mile run. After you’ve finished, you notice a little blistering on your arch or heel. “It must be my shoes!” you might think. If you’ve recently replaced your shoes, your socks are more likely to be the culprit of those pesky blisters.

The importance of good running socks are as crucial as a good pair of running shoes. A sock specifically designed for running will do several things:

    1. Moisture wicking to prevent blisters. Your standard inexpensive cotton socks will allow moisture to build up in your shoe and can lead to uncomfortable blisters. ou want to make sure you are looking for a good synthetic or wool fiber that will help wick away the moisture and keep your feet feeling nice and dry during your run.
    2. Proper seam placement. Running socks will strategically place seams that will help avoid rubbing in bad places. Try out a few different running socks to know which feel best on your feet.
    3. Cushioning.

A good running sock will provide you at least some cushioning while you are running. Cushioning is often focused on the heel and the toes, the areas that often will take the biggest beating with running. Some will even provide you some compression through your arch so your foot feels well supported.

Think socks don't matter in running? Think again!

The Feetures Elite Ultra Light No Show Tab sock ($14.99 via Feetures) is a popular and well reviewed running sock.

Another advantage running socks often boast vs. thin cotton “athletic” socks? Double layers of fabric. The duel layer allows the friction to go through the material instead of against your foot. Running socks are also available in many different thicknesses. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to figure out what thickness will work best for you. If your feet tend to get really warm while you are running, a thinner sock may be more comfortable. A thicker sock can be great to give you a little extra cushioning if you are a heavy hitter when you run.

We love this running blog’s round-up of the best running socks of 2014. Asking other runners what gear they prefer can often yield the best results!

The takeaway: don’t underestimate the importance of a good running sock when you are starting to get your running equipment together. We know good running shoes are pricey. Get the most out of your investment and spend a few extra dollars in a good pair of socks to compliment those shoes. Your feet will thank you—we promise!

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