As a runner in high school I really never grasped onto the importance of socks when it came to my training. It was basically the last thing I would think about when putting together my running attire. Any regular old sock would be sufficient for me – Yes, even cotton socks.
Of course this was fine at the time. My high school cross country team averaged pretty low weekly miles – about 25 to be exact. Our runs and total miles for the week were never large enough to take in the benefits of superior socks.
During my first season of collegiate running, where my weekly mileage was consistently in the 80s, I quickly learned socks played an important role in my training. By spending some extra money on socks, I could help prevent blisters, keep my feet comfortable throughout the entire length of those ever-so-fun 17 mile runs and just keep my feet healthier overall.
As I did my research, it was to great surprise to discover there were even socks for all kinds of running. For example, there are socks made specifically for trail running. Since trail running brings on all sorts of challenges for your feet – such as uneven, rocky and rutted surfaces – a different kind of sock is needed. Manufacturers such as Drymax produce a trail running sock to help with foot moisture and reduce abrasions from all the twisting and shifting your foot does during the run.
I then went on to learn all about compression socks. Compression socks help the blood flow in the legs to prevent pooling. This will help with leg fatigue and are great on long runs. Runners looking for some kind of consistency in their training should invest in a couple pairs. By wearing them on longer runs, you’ll find your legs are less tired after, and probably not as sore.
Overall I learned it’s just not necessarily the type of shoe I’m wearing that helps my legs and feet get through those long weeks, but the socks as well. Socks will always be factored in my running budget from here on out, and I recommend you do the same.