When I first saw the Injinji “toe” socks, I prejudicially tucked them away in the same part of my brain as the similar looking shoes that some people run in. Then I noticed a few of the athletes on Team Injinji are people that obviously know what they are doing, and they are doing it in these toe socks. I decided I should look a little closer at these admittedly odd looking socks to see what they are all about. It’s worth noting that from a marketing perspective, sponsoring people like Adam Campbell and Dominic Grossman worked perfectly in this instance.
I was provided with a few different samples to test out. The socks come in various weights (fabric thickness), as well as different styles. I tested out the Original weight in Mini-crew and Micro, and the Lightweight in mini-crew. These were all from the Performance Series. The micro size was great for road running in the summer, while the mini-crew had a bit more coverage which I like on the trails. I had my doubts that these socks would work for me given my “unique” feet! My 2nd and 3rd toes are are both longer than my big toe, which is wide where the rest of my toes are narrow. Definitely not your average feet! I was curious to see whether these socks could comfortable adapt to my oddly shaped feet.
Putting the Injinji’s on took a bit more effort than I was used to with a normal sock. I had to get all 5 toes into their respective spots and then pull, wiggle, and adjust, until everything was where it should be. When I say more effort, I mean about 5 more seconds. The socks definitely felt strange the first time I put them on. My 3 year old daughter had a good laugh (over and over) at the “gloves” on my feet! It wasn’t until I put my shoes on that I felt like Injinji was really onto something with these socks. They were comfortable and truly felt no different than a normal sock.
My first run in the Injinji’s was in the original weight version – these are the thicker of the two weights I tried. I did a quick road run to get a feel for them. They felt good and even though it was raining and my shoes were wet, I noticed a distinct lack of feeling wet toes rubbing together. So far, so good and I was ready to commit to taking these toe socks on the trails.
I decided to wear them for a 25km trail run I had planned with some varied terrain and lots of climbing and descending. I figured this would be a good test to see how these socks interacted with my feet and shoes. I wore trail shoes with a much tighter toe box and found the original weight were too thick. I switched them out for the lightweight Injini’s and they felt much better in the tighter shoes. I had no problems with them at all over this distance and again, the only difference I could feel was a lack of wet, sweaty toes rubbing together. The fabric between the toes eliminated this. Another issue-free run in these Injinji socks.
To be honest, I thought these socks would add to the chance of rubbing, hotspots, and blisters since there is more fabric coverage in tight spots on the foot. What I found was that the extra fabric actually held the socks in place better than a normal sock, with no rubbing or blisters. The fabric separation between the toes reduced the wet feelings in the toes from both rain and perspiration. I have worn them for short road runs, fast trail races, long trail runs and they have been awesome every time. Injinji socks are definitely worth checking out – I am glad I did (just be sure not to wear them around 3 year old girls like my daughter if you have a sensitive ego!)
Check them out at www.injinji.com. They have tons of styles, weights, and colors to choose from.