A right pair of running shoes improve the performance of a runner but choosing the wrong pair of running socks can lower the overall performance and running experience. Running with a wrong pair of socks can lead to blisters which can result in severe pain. Here are a few pointers that you need to take into consideration while choosing your running socks.
Socks come in different types of fabric which cater to specific purposes. It is commonly assumed that cotton socks are better since the fabric is soft and comfortable. It may be comfortable for normal use but is not recommended for running because you sweat while you run which leads to the generation of moisture which in turn gets absorbed by your socks. The sweat doesn’t dry quickly and can lead to blisters. Woollen socks again are more suitable for casual wear in winter but are not the best for running. Socks which are made of synthetic material such as Polyamide blended with Elastane works best for running as it hugs your feet tightly which avoids any rubbing with your skin. Thus there is no scope for blisters.
Socks need to fit perfectly. Socks which are too big or too small won’t give you the right cushioning that is required. It will also increase the friction due to improper fitting resulting into blisters again. In order to be sure of the right size, check the heel portion of the socks. It should perfectly land at your heel without stretching.
Different people may prefer different length for socks which vary from mini-crew length to ankle length or knee length. For running, always make sure your socks rise above back shoe collar in order to avoid blisters on your heels.
Running socks are available in varied level of padding depending on personal preference. Generally, long distance runners prefer more cushioning and sprinters prefer lightweight socks with a very thin layer of padding. If you are going for more cushioning, then it is recommended to first try on the socks with the shoes which you will be using for your run to make sure it fits properly with your shoes
Specific to running
Always use your running socks only for running to keep it in right shape.
Replacing your socks
It is generally seen that people don’t replace their socks unless it wears out. It is okay for casual wear but for running socks you need to replace once your socks starts losing its shape, thickness or cushioning.