Written by Kate Allen - http://www.accelerateuk.com/magazine/article/61/Injinji-socks---tested/
When I was asked to review Injinji toe socks I went straight out running in an old pair of normal socks. Why? I needed to remind myself just why I choose to wear toe socks over normal socks.
Originally I viewed Injinji socks with suspicion, thinking they were some sort of gimmick to part you from your money. However after I got my first blister I revisited the idea and have worn them constantly for the past few months. Putting my normal socks back on I realised they just don’t give you that feeling of your feet being smoothly encased like they are with Injinjis. Normal socks have wrinkles and bumps because they simply don’t fit as well. Even with specific left and right shaped socks everybody’s feet and toes are shaped differently – mine are square and wide, others are long and narrow each with different shaped toes. Your average sock cannot accommodate this variety, but toe socks can by encasing each toe.
Accelerate sent me two pairs; the original Performance 2.0 thin cushioning no-show and the Trail midweight mini-crew length. The Trail socks are new to me; they look and feel amazingly cosy and warm and make me wish for cold crispy mornings. They sit higher up over the ankle which I like – bridging shoe and tights will be nice when it is cold and wet. The first time I took them out for a spin I wore cushioned shoes and they did indeed feel very warm and comfortable – a little too warm in this Indian Summer! Removing the shoes on my return home, however, revealed both shoes and socks were soaking wet from running through long grass. This perhaps doesn’t say much for the “moisture management” claim but the fact that I hadn’t even noticed must be positive and I was unsurprised that such a thick woollen-style sock didn’t dry out. The midweight Trail is “a high density padded interface with maximum cushioning” which was lost on me in my cushioned shoes. So the next time I went for a run with them, I wore my Lone Peaks. These shoes are minimal with a zero drop and I was very interested to feel a real difference with the trail socks. Cushioned socks are not a feature I have ever thought about but with a minimal shoe, they really seemed to help give a little bit of extra padding which is always appreciated when a bit of road running is required.
As far as the original weight, no show socks are concerned these are my go-to sock. They might look strange, they might feel strange if you walk about in them but put your shoes on and go for a long run and you will notice a real difference in the state of your feet when you return home. When all my Injinjis are in the wash and I have to use a normal sock, for an average run it doesn’t honestly make much difference. The real difference is for those long runs and races where you don’t want to waste any time worrying about what state your feet and toes are in. Keeping your toes separate truly does prevent blisters; I have been blister free since I started using them, including 3 marathons and 2 ultras. Because they are so thin this style does dry out quickly and they simply blend into your shoe without noticing, which allows you to concentrate on running. The original weight socks are also proving to be hard wearing – so far I have not had to replace any, despite regular washing, which is important given that there are plenty of cheaper socks out there.
So, to those of you reading who are uninitiated in the world of Injinji socks I recommend you to have a go. Once you’ve got your running shoes on you won’t look back and if you run a lot, they really will help your feet to love you again.