The 5 Best Toe Socks for Runners and How to Find the Perfect pair
Like most fitness junkies, I’m a total aficionado when it comes to running gear. That’s why I’m always creaking my neck scanning sports stores for the next best thing. So you can imagine my shock when I discovered that a large percentage of my running mates had no idea what toe socks are.
Are you kidding me? Look at your gloves – they are all made to fit each finger individually, unless of course, it’s an oven mitt. So unless you’re planning to cook with your feet, I don’t see why professional runners or basically any toed human would wear mitts (regular socks) on their feet.
Aside from preventing those pesky blisters in between the toes, toe socks obviously contour to a runner’s foot better than traditional socks. This means runners get truly restriction free and natural movements as this video explains. So if you’re looking to take your game to the next level, here are 5 best toe socks for runners.
As the chief name in the best toe socks for running and exercise, Injinji had an early start in development. No other brand is as advanced as they are when it comes to seamless designs and highly functional socks. Kick starting our list is perhaps one of their most popular releases, the Injinji Run 2.0 Lightweight No-Show Toe Socks. So, what makes this sock worth all the hype?
There’s no question about it; Injinji can definitely create a piece of art when they set their minds to it. The 2.0 No Show not only comes in a myriad of designs, but I’m always a sucker for the brand’s ultra-thin minimalists design. Makes you feel like you’re not wearing them.
But the superior fiber construction shows itself in the form of Injinji’s Coolmax Xtralife. This tech works to keep your feet dry and comfortable while running. These toe socks are also light in weight and boast of pretty excellent quality if you ask me.
While most of the comfort can be attributed to the dual compression, it’s the anatomical design that gives these toe socks ideal support and balance. The reinforced heel offers more arch support while the tab prevents rubbing, chaffing, and slippage.
What We Didn’t Like
As with most of Injinji’s top products, you’re going to have to shell out a considerable amount of money for the 2.0 No Shows. However, the quality and comfort you get is definitely worth every penny.
Like I said, Injinji is one of the best toe sock brands out there, so don’t be too shocked if you see more than one of their products on this list. What makes them stand apart is the fact that they do not just make socks for running, they focus on specific running events. The Injinji Trail Lightweight Mini Crew are the perfect toe socks for trail running, and here’s why.
Excellent Temperature Control
The fact that the Mini crews are actually no-shows means that they do well in sweltering conditions. Unlike long length socks, these ones allow for easier air circulation. While the material itself may not be as breathable as I’d like, the socks don’t get too hot.
There’s a reason why the Mini Crew toe socks are great for trails. The extra padding protects runners from debris as well as painful blisters all over. Underneath these socks are some cuffs that keep it in place to prevent slippage and chaffing. The design itself really shows off the durability of these bad boys.
What We Didn’t Like
As stated above, the Mini Crew toe socks are not as breathable as one would like. They also do not offer adequate support for longer, more tougher trails.
Fun Toes is another company that has really etched its name in the athlete socks industry. However, they are perhaps more lauded for their ability to deliver decent quality at customer friendly prices. The fact that the Fun Toes toe socks come in a set of 6 says it all.
As with most low budget options, you tend to get what you paid for. The FUN Toes Toe Socks come with all the essential features such as blister prevention, minimal support as well as a lightweight design. However, the fact that they wick away moisture is something worth noting.
Durability and Protection
They may not have the same protection as thicker socks, but they are good at keeping blisters and chaffing at bay thanks to an anti-blister layer. However, they are more than ideal for regular exercise and for people looking for something light and non-intrusive. So while the Fun Toe socks may not be as durable, they are reliable and include more than adequate extras.
What We Didn’t Like
Being cheap, they may be lacking in the area of durability and support. The heel also tends to get baggy with time. Fortunately, you have more than enough spares to rotate through.
There are times when you need an extended length sock in the field. No shows are great, but they just don’t have the debris protection that longer socks offer. The Meaiguo Running Socks are just the thing for you if you prefer longer socks. They are soft, comfortable, lightweight and provide plenty of splay.
Rather than wicking away moisture, the Meaiguo Running Socks absorb it. This is great if you are not a profuse sweater. Otherwise, you may end up soaking your socks. The longer length comes in handy for athletes who train in colder areas and could use a little more warmth.
Stock Quality Toe Socks
You might be a professional athlete, but you also need training gear, don’t you? The Meaiguo Running Socks are the ideal, low-cost stock sock that lets you train with relative comfort. Not only do they fight blisters and chaffing really well, but the toe socks also save you from ruining your more expensive running socks.
What We Didn’t Like
For socks that are really lengthy, Meaiguo really did a horrible job with the sizing. The toe socks are one full size too small, so make sure you buy a bigger size than you are used to.
In all fairness, we gave all brands a fair and equal chance to show their stuff. However, all the other companies seem to be focused on saving you money and not improving the runner’s performance. If you’re really serious about running, then here’s the Injinji Micro Coolmax to close off our list.
Unmatched Climate Control
The Injinji Micro Coolmax toe socks specialize in keeping your feet especially cool. Running can get hot and sweaty, so these are definitely your best option if you run particularly hotter than average. They come with all the flair and superiority of Injinji, just with an extra touch of coolness.
Aside from the fact that these toe socks have a really pleasant plush sensation, they are assembled to help runners maintain a natural gait. The durability levels are also pretty commendable.
What We Didn’t Like
The Injinji Micro Coolmax is quite a specimen without any real flaws. However, Injinji could have done better on the fitting.
What Makes Toe Socks Great for Runners?
Toe socks are characterized by their five small pockets that are designed to fit each toe like a glove. These pieces of apparel may just be the most undervalued gear for runners and may even be seen as constricting. But this notion could not be further away from the truth. As the foot doctor informs us (http://www.drfoot.co.uk/acatalog/info_615.html) here are a few reasons why toe socks are great for runners.
Total Foot Utilization
Toe socks allow athletes to utilize every part of their foot. See, when the toes are separated, perfectly aligned and evenly splayed, it allows for even distribution of weight. This lets you engage the entire foot in athletic activity without bunching your toes together.
Thanks to the individual pockets on toe socks, each toe is adequately protected from blisters. Skin to skin friction, chaffing and irritation become a thing of the past for runners. Similarly, each toe now contributes to achieving more grip, leaving no room for slippage or wear and tear.
Better Toe Off
According to Sock Addicts, toe socks actually help beginners, and amateur runners learn how to properly toe off. Improper stride related injuries are common among newbies. Toe socks provide each toe with extra sensory feedback for that perfect first lunge.
Anatomically Correct Design
As we already established, your gloves have individual fingers for a better fit and more maneuverability. Similarly, toe socks contour your feet and toes to create a perfect fit. This allows for nonrestrictive and natural movement from the heels to the toes.
Toe Socks Buying Guide: Getting the Best Pair for Runners
With all the different styles, types, sizes and brands of toe socks in the market, getting the perfect match for you can be a daunting task. This guide is aimed at helping runners shop smart and get a pair of toe socks that will provide everything you need. Here are a few tips to consider when buying toe socks.
Truth be told, socks are more than notorious for being so damn ambiguous in size. I can’t tell you how many times I used to get it wrong in the past. Most labels just tell you that the socks are either small, midsized or large. Then there’s the one size fits all, but we all know that’s a load of crap.
Generally, men’s sizes for toe socks are usually a full size larger than women’s. However, you also need to make sure that your socks fit each and every one of your toes. Everyone has different length toes, so don’t be too scared to try out different brands until you get the right fit.
Protective Features i.e. Blister Protection
As an athlete or fitness enthusiast, you want to ensure that your toe socks give you all the adequate protection in all the right areas. The first protective element that you need to watch out for is padding. Padded toe socks will not only ensure that your foot is comfortable in the shoe, but that it is also protected from injuries and blisters.
Aside from blister protection, other features make it harder for the toe socks to budge in the shoes. This means that you do not get any unnecessary movement that could cause friction, chaffing and wear and tear.
The immense health and performance benefits of wearing toe socks are plain to see. Whether you are a professional athlete or just a casual fitness freak like me, toe socks will enhance your comfort and performance. We’ve done the hard yards and given you a list of the best toe socks for runners; the rest is now up to you. And if you still don’t think you need any kind of socks while running, check out a few things that can happen when you don’t wear socks.
- The Benefits of Really Good Running Socks
- How To Pick the Best Socks for Sweaty Feet?
- The 5 Best Socks for Tough Mudder or Any Mud Run
- How to Prevent & Treat Blacktoe Nail from Running
- What to do about Blisters on my Feet from Running?