When it comes to running gear, the focus, most of the time, is on choosing the right shoes. While this is crucial whether you are new to the sport or a seasoned marathoner, this fixation overlooks socks, which can change the game.
By selecting the right socks, runners need not worry about blisters, chafing, corns, overheated feet, and unbearable pain. But here now is the dilemma. With advancements in fabric and design technologies, the humble running socks have morphed into hundreds of varieties that may leave any runner dazed, confused, and dashing out the store. So how do you go and pick the right running socks?
While there’s no exact science for selecting a good pair, running enthusiasts offer these basic guidelines:
- Study your options. If runners spend time doing research on the best shoes out in the market, the same amount of examination should be dedicated when shopping for socks. And with the plethora of brands and sock types available, you need to be certain about the pair that you need. For example, do you require moderate or maximum cushion? Are you going to use them for long runs or sprints? Are you particular about your socks peeking out from your shoes or would you prefer a no-show? Or are you all about compression wear? These are just some of the questions a runner has to weigh in before purchasing a pair.
- Know the materials. See those cotton socks? Best to run away from them. As most runners know, cotton retains moisture. And with moisture, heat, and friction present in your running shoes, you’ll likely end up with painful blisters. The best material for your socks are synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, acrylic, and CoolMax since they wick away moisture and keep the feet dry and cool.
- Set a budget. Running isn’t necessarily cheap. You have to spend a good deal for your shoes, clothes, gadgets, sunglasses, and yes, even your socks. A pair of running socks typically sell from $1o to $20. Compression socks are more expensive at around $30 a pair. Remember, you might be needing two pairs of more, so it is best to have a budget while shopping around.