For ages cotton was the fabric of choice for everything, but the more people studied its properties, the more we learned that cotton is probably a runners worst enemy. Cotton is naturally an absorbent fiber which means when you sweat, the moisture is absorbed into your sock and doesn’t actually go anywhere. As you know moisture that isn’t drawn away from your skin can lead to chafing, blisters, and discomfort. This is why having a good technical sock is a must have. Technical fibers are able to wick the moisture away from your foot to prevent chafing and blisters, which makes long runs much more enjoyable.
Here are some other important properties of technical socks:
-Is the sock seamless? Anytime there is a seam in an item there is a build-up of fabric which means an increased chance of rubbing.
-How deep is the heel cup? If you’ve ever had problems with your socks slipping down your heels it’s probably because the heel cup isn’t deep enough. The deeper the heel cup the more the sock can suction cup to your heel and therefore not fall down.
-Is the sock cushioned or thin? This comes down to personal preference. Do you like more cushioning under your feet or do you prefer to not have as much material surrounding your toes. Your body temperature can also be a factor when deciding between cushioning preferences.
-Is the fabric wool or technical? Wool socks are another fiber that has moisture wicking properties. In addition they are anti microbial (they won’t stink), and temperature regulating so they keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
-Is the sock a compression or loose fit? This is also a personal preference but some people prefer a compression fit to give their feet more support in the arch while others like to be able to wiggle their toes around in the sock.
-What height is the sock? Do you want the sock to be “no-show” at your ankles or do you like your ankles to be covered.
Fleet Feet Sports Madison & Sun Prairie we carry socks from Balega, Feetures, Smartwool, and Brooks. Come in to discuss your running needs with us at either store. We'd be happy to make recommendations for you!