It was the 90s and I was in middle school. I was in the prime of my awkward stage, and my friends and I were stoked on the resurgence of a 1970s fashion trend: toesocks. I kid you not, we wore the things with our flip flops, and showed them off whatever the weather, year-round. I collected toesocks of all colors and styles.
So imagine my confusion when I learned that toesocks were still a thing, alive and well in the world of running. I was new to running myself and thought back to my old collection of toesocks. Why in the world, I thought, would anyone wear those while running? On purpose?
I soon found out that there are three types of runners. Those that love running in toesocks, those that hate running in toesocks, and those that have no idea about toesocks for running.
What are Injinji running toesocks?
Unlike my cotton toesocks of the 90s, Injinji toesocks are made of synthetic fibers that provide you with moisture-transfer, wicking moisture away from your skin to help prevent discomfort and blisters. Injinji toesocks are like gloves for your feet, and each toe has its own individual pocket. To some runners, this is an automatic turn-off – they hate the feeling of toe separation, and know that the minute they put them on that it just isn’t going to work out. And yet to other runners, toesocks are a godsend and have dramatically changed their running experience for the better. It really comes down to personal preference, and it helps to try them out before making any rash judgements.
So why toesocks?
Blister prevention! Toesocks differ from other running sock styles in that they don’t just help prevent blisters at the ends of your toes as normal running socks do, but they also provide a barrier between each of your toes. This helps eliminate friction, reducing the chafing and rubbing that causes blisters between your toes while you run.
Injinji toesocks are especially popular for running long distances and trail running. Which makes sense, because high mileage runs and running on uneven surfaces is more likely to lead to blisters and toe discomfort. Providing your feet with an extra layer of protection between each toe is beneficial. Running toesocks reduce friction and sweat buildup while allowing your toes to splay and align naturally for increased comfort, balance, and performance.