Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Injinji Review

So I really have never been someone who gave much thought to socks, especially ones that are designed for a specific activity other than ski socks to keep my feet warm.  So I have been getting the typical sock at Target, playing around with compression or not, traditional crew, ankle high, low profile, etc.  I have been wearing gaiters on my trail shoes so I really only put on whatever sock that matched. I mean really what is the purpose of socks anyway?

Here’s the problem though: I have been blessed with long toes including Morton toes on both feet.  This means that my socks rub against the top of my nails as I run, just like finger nails across a chalk board.  And while I have never had good nails, running has only caused me to lose toe nails on some and have unusual growth patterns on others.  I also have developed calluses on the tips on some of the toes that sometimes add to some of the pain when they have a sock pressed against them.  I have played around with some of the more expensive running socks, but really have never seen much difference in how my feet felt.  And since these socks cost between $10 and $20 a pair, it is hard to justify the purchase.

So recently I found myself in the San Francisco Running Company and asked elite ultra-runner Jorge Marivilla about socks.  Ok, I know what you are saying, you asked him about socks?  Not his awesome performance at Bandera 100?  Socks?  Really? Well yes, that is exactly what I did.

I explained how I really have not given much thought about socks and the issues stated above.  I also mentioned to him that I was running the Surf City Marathon in a couple of weeks as well as the Way Too Cool 50K five weeks after so I wanted to make sure that I could minimize some of the toe issues I have had in the past.

After discussing the Drymax socks in the store, he directed me to the Injinji 2.0 toe socks.  These are toe socks, in other words gloves for your feet.  To be frank, I have heard a lot about these socks on the different podcasts; however, I have shied away from them due to my Morton’s toe.  However, he explained how these are his go to socks, making sure  that he has at least a pair in his drop bags in the different transitions.  In fact, he even mentioned that he kind of wished he could be sponsored by them because he loves the product so much.

The Injingi 2.0 comes in two primary styles: road and trail.  They also come in crew, ankle and low profile as well as different thickness.  Since the first race on the schedule would be a road marathon, I chose road.  Since I had a couple weeks to try them out, I wouldn’t have too much of a problem deciding if on race day these would be the socks, low profile, but a heavier weight.  I also only bought one pair, since like I stated above, at $15 I have a hard time justifying a purchase of more than one pair.

Boy, this was a good decision.  I love these socks.  My toes feel free in the toe box instead of being bound together by the traditional sock.  I am also noticing that since each toe is isolated, my calluses are disappearing as well as the unusual nail growth.  My fear that these toes would not be good for my Morton’s toe were actually misguided and I have found that these are actually the best socks for my toe, I did not lose these nails for the first time after a long endurance run.   While I have never suffered from blisters, these socks did not cause any blisters either.

Well, since I run a lot on the trail, I have since bought a pair of the trail socks.  Again, I love how my toes feel free in the toe box.  In fact I really like how they feel as I am bounding downhill or facing technical single track.  While I initially showed some hesitation thinking that I would not like the glove feel of these socks, I am finding that I really don’t notice that they are on like I did with other socks.

I can definitely say that I have finally found my “running sock” and will slowly be building up my supply.   That is unless Injinji would like to sponsor me!  However, I am just another lowly mid to back of the pack runner.  Oh well.  I would recommend these socks.

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