You don’t have to wear running socks if your running shoe is engineered to support your foot very snugly and will wick away moisture, but it’s not recommended. You also need to consider the distance that you are going to run. Socks protect your feet from friction, and ultimately, provide your foot with a second skin.
Running is very hard on your feet, and runners commonly suffer from blisters, heat spots, callous, and damage to their toenails. When moisture is trapped in your feet, or when your socks do not wick away moisture effectively, your skin will be more susceptible to chafing and developing fungal infections.
Regular Socks Are Not Designed For Wear & Tear
Choosing the right sock is as essential as choosing the right running shoe. Athletic socks are designed to withstand a lot more wear and tear, than regular socks. You should not wear regular socks when you are running.
They are too thick and you are quite likely to damage the socks too. Athletic socks are highly engineered. They have reinforced toe areas, heel areas, and have arch supports or power bands. They are made using special knits that are much stronger than regular knits. The stitching and design of the ‘heel gore’ of running socks, can be a Y or W.
Running Socks Wick Away Water
Running socks are designed to keep your feet dry. You can choose between natural fibers, synthetics or a blended knit. Cotton socks will absorb too much water and are not a good choice. Wool, bamboo, and coconut fibers are a good choice.
They are eco-friendly socks, which are made from yarns that have been highly processed. No need to panic! The wool won’t make you itchy – it’s highly processed and smooth. Synthetic fibers are hydrophobic and repel water.
There are socks made from blends of polyester, Spandex, and Lycra. These do a good job but are derived from petroleum based products, which are from non-renewable energy sources.
Water Management & Thermoregulation
Running shoes, ones that are more expensive, are designed to help keep your feet cool. They can be made from special breathable fabrics which increase air circulation around your feet. If you are purchasing new running shoes, it is important to try them on with socks on!
The fit of your shoe is very important, as is the fit of your sock. Ill fitting shoes and socks will lead to chafing and blisters. Your running shoes and socks need to work together.
Iron Man Socks Or Trail Running Socks
Are you planning to compete in a high endurance sports event or going trail running in the mountains, with your buddies? Your running socks will also have to be high endurance running socks. These are specifically designed with special heel tabs, for example, to stop them slipping.
Ultimately, they are a second skin on your feet, but they are even more highly engineered, than regular running socks. Trail running sock are running socks that are ‘ crew’ height and will protect your legs, as you run along the trails, and through long grass.
Compression Running Socks
Compression running socks are designed to support the muscles and veins in your feet and calves. Compression socks are recommended if you suffer from cramps in your calves. Similarly, if you suffer from varicose veins, then compression socks will assist your leg circulation.
Compression socks are also worn during long flights to help prevent deep vein thrombosis and to offer veins extra support. If your muscles are easily fatigued than compression socks are also recommended.
Technical Design & Cold Weather Socks
Running socks are designed to be a second skin. The sport of running means that your feet are constantly in motion, and making contact with the ground – via your running shoes. What this means is that they are pushing off a surface, and you are transferring energy in your muscles, into kinetic energy, and propelling your body forward.
Your feet have thicker skin to protect them, but the impact to your feet, and socks means that they – your socks – need to be constructed in a certain way so that they don’t move. Running socks do not have seams, and the yarn is processed in a sophisticated way to be both strong, and comfortable.
There are running socks designed specifically for cold weather. The weave of the sock will be denser. Depending on the weather, and particular climate that you live in, you will need to choose the appropriate density – not thickness – of your socks.
Running Without Socks Is Bad For Your Running Shoes
Running socks will wick away, and naturally, absorb some of the moisture that is generated when you run. If you do not wear socks then your sweat will go straight into your shoe and soak into the fabric. While washing socks is fairly straightforward, washing your trainers is less so. They will develop a bad odor very quickly if you do not wear socks.
Similarly, putting clean feet into dirty trainers is not the best choice, from a health perspective. Moisture in damp trainers is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. (Similarly, you should never train with damp socks. They must be 100% dry when you wear them.)
Take Care Of Your Socks And They Will Take Care Of You
You need to follow the particular care instructions of your running socks. While they may be highly engineered you need to wash and dry them at the appropriate temperatures, or yes, they can shrink.
Check first, before throwing them into the washing machine, or tumble dryer. Athlete’s Foot is a series problem which can be avoided by using the correct socks and by using an antibacterial powder. Running socks will help protect your feet from chafing, blisters, hot spots, skin diseases and from developing calluses.
Choose a running sock that is best suited to your climate and the type of running you are planning to do. Rock on – with the right sock.