Blisters, calluses and ingrown toenails. All quite gross, and all too familiar if you spend a lot of time in running shoes. Particularly new running shoes that don't know your feet yet. But these things, these nasty things we runners deal with can be quite preventable if 1) the shoe fits and 2) the socks are good.
I don't know about you, but a pair of socks can make or break my run. Or my workout. So I am very particular about the socks I choose. I like 'em low to the ankle, and they can't be too thick. And if they hug my arches, well...I'll love them forever. They also have to be made well because I hate holes and I hate strings on the inside. Bonus points if they look cool, which is ridiculous because it's not like anyone sees my socks while I'm working out. And no, I have not jumped on the mismatched socks bandwagon yet. That's a funny trend only teens and cool people can pull off. All the socks in my drawer are perfectly paired up:
The good people behind PowerSox recently sent me a few pairs of their socks to try out.
Next up, the Under Armours. Let me preface this by saying that I'm not usually a fan of black socks, particularly at the gym because the fashionista in me doesn't like how obvious they are up against my blue shoes. So I probably won't put these into the rotation, but they were rather comfortable. They fit smoothly, and left me without any issues contrary to comfort.
Like the Powersox, actually.
So after testing all of these, here's what I recommend you consider as you shop for gym socks:
1) Size. It does matter because one does not fit all. If they're too big, your foot will slide around and the sock itself will bunch up inside your shoe which can affect foot performance—it's true! And if they're too small, they will just annoy you. Heck, they might even make your shoes feel too small.
2) Material. Choose cotton, preferably with some dri-fit action. Wet feet stink, literally and figuratively, and they can lead to things like Athlete's Foot and fungal infections. Fun, right?
3) Arch support. This part of your foot absorbes the shock of running and jumping, so a little support will go a long way. I notice a huge difference when I wear socks with this feature. They're just...way more comfortable.
4) Thickness. Different shoes require different socks. Pick the wrong thickness and your shoes might suddenly feel too small.
I know it seems silly to spend a little more on a pair of performance socks, but they really can be worth it. Then again, you have to do what's right for you. Only you can truly determine your own comfort levels.
Now, if only my gym socks had bows on them.
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