In fact, if I’m honest, it isn’t all that easy writing an interesting article about socks, full stop. Or period, if you’re joining us from the USA. Socks, I’m afraid, just aren’t that fascinating.
But I want to write about socks tonight and dammit, I’m going to. And that’s because I’ve had three emails this week on the subject. Not to mention all of the disbelieving conversations I’ve had with my good lady wife that started with: “So you need another £10 pair of socks because…?”
The fact is, that if you’re even vaguely serious about running, right after you buy your first pair of decent performance running shoes, you need to get yourself a couple of pairs of ‘technical’ running socks. My own favourites are Thorlos running lights, which you’ll see pictured above; though I have been know to flirt with x-socks for half marathon use, which also cost around £10 a pair.
I’ve covered several thousand miles in these things over the last few years, and not once in all that time have I had a blister. And that’s because they offer fantastic cushioning underfoot and a seam-free construction to ensure that as long as your running shoes are big enough, there’s absolutely nothing to aggravate your feet.
They’re made from wicking fabric to keep your feet as dry as possible, with cushioning around the toes and underfoot to minimise impact, seam-free construction, and of course a flat knit underfoot to avoid any kind of friction between sock and foot. In short, next to my running shoes, they’re the most essential part of my running kit.
So it’s an enduring mystery to me why I still see so many people out running in tennis socks or football socks. They offer absolutely none of the technical advantages of running socks, except perhaps for a sporty logo: and contrary to popular belief, neither the three stripes of Adidas nor the Nike swoosh on your socks will offer your feet any meaningful protection against road miles.
White socks are fine for spotty shop assistants. But if you’re a runner, for goodness sake, splash out on some proper running socks.