Last week while running, a piece of sand got into my low profile sock. Unlike the clam, it did not generate a pearl in my shoe, but rather a painful blister. It was a good reminder for me that just as the right shoes are important, so are the right socks. I’ve been distance running in some regular old cotton socks before, and at the end of the run the bottom of my feet looked like hamburger.
So what should you look for in a good sock? Look for material that wicks away moisture. Generally, this means trying to avoid 100% cotton socks. Wool or synthetic blends are best. From there, look for socks that are designed to protect your high impact areas. Most stores that carry hiking goods (like Mast General Store or Half Moon Outfitters) will carry good blister prevention running/exercise socks in addition to the traditional heavier hiking socks.
I really like SmartWool Running Socks, as they’re 100% wool and are designed with wicking mesh zones. Also since they’re 100% wool, they fight odor. I also recently discovered Wrightsock, which have an inner liner that instead of rubbing against your shoes, rub against the softer outer sock. They’re been great to run in. Just yesterday, I picked up this pair of Wigwam Men’s Ironman Flash Pro Socks (cause sometimes your other socks aren’t clean…) for my run today. Look out for a quick review on my Twitter and Facebook page later this week.
If you are suffering from blisters, here are 5 tips on avoiding blisters from the Cleveland Clinic.