I will admit I have butt-ugly bunion-laden feet. And I love toe socks. Wait. I said that like you’re interrogating me under the hot lights and I’m finally willing to tell you all about my deformed feet and love of toe socks. I’m such a running geek. I don’t know who first thought of making socks to cover ugly feet with separate full-coverage compartments for each toe. You probably don’t either. I guess that means I could say I did. Pass it on. I want my boys to have a reason to be proud of me after I’m gone, and inventor of socks with toe compartments for people with ugly feet would do the trick.
My fascination with toe compartmentalization in footwear began when I happened upon some anti-blistering toe socks after clicking on govx.com for some sweet military discounts. This website makes me salivate. I can almost always find a crazy good deal on all sorts of running things, but toe sock discounts have been my favorite. My most awesome buy was this pair of toe socks crazy discounted on Govx's partner company, RoadrunnerSports.com. The brand name is Injinji, which apparently is French for "slightly-expensive retail price but worth it in anti-blister toe sock awesomeness".
Via Injinji.com. This pair of socks is precious. Don’t you love this little toe sock? Don’t you want to buy it a little unicorn or give it xoxo's or something?
Injinji toe socks are made famous as some of the best running socks in the world and positioned as the companion sock to Vibram FiveFinger shoes, which I first paired with these socks during winter for added foot warmth. The toe compartments are soft and snug and I am in deep lust with them. But I wondered most about the anti-blister component. These socks have gotten quite popular in the running community as amazing blister-free socks so I thought I'd run them through some ultra-long running tests to see for myself. After running a 50 mile sand ultra on Destin Beach sockless in Vibram's last February I had ferocious water blisters. So I was determined to find a blister remedy to keep these blisters from re-forming or else a psychotic clown wig and water tower situation would be coming on soon.
Via Roadrunnersports.com. These blue Injinji’s come in a 3-pack and are cute as bugs. (Not cockroaches or picnic flies, but more like Lady Bugs and pretend cartoon bugs in kids’ movies.)
Before making a purchase of the blue ones, I viewed other toe socks with similar blister prevention claims and even bought some Blister prevention kits at zombierunner.com. However to make these blister kits work, you have to know how to handle poisonous and harmful substances and materials. I use industrial strength glue to adhere fake toenails to my nail-less big toe at least once a week so I thought that might qualify me. Nevertheless the kit was a fail. Folks who are smarter than me, (and probably with prettier feet and less toe cleavage) know how to use these blister prevention and repair kits and I do not because I can barely turn tap water into boiling water for microwave mac-n-cheese. The easier option was to try the anti-blistering Injinji's for blister-free performance on the road and the trail. After all, that's what Injini's are made for and although these toes socks are defined as “the five-fingered socks for the minimalist shoe lover”, I now wear them with my maximalist Hoka running shoes.
The Injinji's work in any shoe, not just funny-looking toe shoes. Even when wearing the Hoka Kailua Tarmac running shoes (and ditching the Vibram Five Fingers), the Injinji's feel more freeing. You can wiggle your toes around in the shoes, and it feels like you’ve got a warm & fuzzy second skin on your feet. Because of this, they also make excellent stay-at-home mom shoe replacements because you can still stretch your toes and feel the texture of the floor or razor-sharp Lego blocks a kid left out.
Injinji toe socks are also odor-protective. I know this because I’ve only washed the Hoka shoes once in 300 miles when they began to smell like funk. I’ve got smelly feet also. So when the shoe and feet stank permeates the socks enough for them have a stench and I forget to throw them in the wash with toddler poopy pants, I can just wash them in the sink with dish soap and they’re dry and clean smelling by the time I wake up the next morning. On top of that, my Hoka's themselves don’t stink up as quickly as before when I’m wearing these socks.
Still dry after a humid, sticky-icky 10 mile Florida run! I like these socks. I like them hard. It’s for that very reason that I plan to own many more pairs.
Injinji toe socks also keep the feet dry. Not only have these socks NEVER gotten wet from my sweaty feet, but they also don’t stay wet long even when I plunge them into a mud bath on a swampy trail ultra. I’ve used them to put a barrier between myself and ugly looking snakes slithering around water crossings at Bear Lake in Milton, Florida. It's almost like they could see these toe socks coming and were deterred from latching on to compartmentalized toe sock toes. These snakes were not in the least tempted for a tasty bite of toe-age. They simply slithered back into the depths of the muddy water trenches with the rest of their reptilian fam. I'm guessing either water snakes are the cheapest of all to feed or these Injinji toe socks have magic. I’m almost positive it's black magic.
Plus, the Injinji's are super comfortable! These socks just feel good on feet and they're easy to slip on despite the added time spent maneuvering the toes into their respective compartments. I never read instructions but I can imagine the Injinji package details use words like “simply remove the sock from the cardboard insert” and “add one toe compartment at a time” to make one believe he or she can actually throw them on in a fast second. Later today, I’m going to use that same kind of Jedi mind control to convince my toddler he can “simply poo poo in the potty.” At any rate, after the socks are on the material fits tightly like a second skin. And the individual toe wrapping lets you wiggle your toes around in the socks, which feels amazingly freeing. They’re soft, warm enough in the winter and sweat-wicking in the heat. I’ve no idea how Injinji did this, but these socks are never uncomfortable. I’d wear them on my feet on a cold morning, and my feet would always warm up. And in the Florida heat, even in the 100%-chance-of-showers-everyday-at-12-humidity, I’ve never had my feet feel too warm in the shoes when I’m wearing Injinji's, nor sweat so much that my socks get wet (both problems I have with just about every other sock).
The thin ones are comfortable enough to wear with dress shoes too. But I would advise against wearing the white ones with shiny black shoes if you're a man. Men that wear white socks with black dress shoes are just a stone’s throw away from becoming men that wear socks with Jesus sandals or those backwoods men you see on Swamp People that never have their shirts on. Those types of men are satanic. Ladies, never breed with them because they have the capability to produce little white sock wearing children.
My Injinji toe socks are still going strong after 400 miles of heavy usage. Other runners report 9 months of heavy usage before their usefulness started to drop. And I mean heavy usage. I’d often rotate these socks as I have 3 pairs. There are also times I’ll wear just the socks to walk around outside on pavement with the kids.
I take that back. I now rotate out 2 pairs. My toddler stole them from on top of my shoes and now they’re lost somewhere with toothbrushes, hairbrushes and contact lens cases under the couch or bed. Also, I don’t recommend wearing them on pavement, as I think that’s a big contributing factor to them wearing out. But as far as maintenance is concerned, not much is necessary. These socks could be worn daily, washed twice a week in the sink, and dried overnight. If they get wet and I have to run, I can squeeze all the water out and throw them in my drop bag, and they won’t leak any water at all. After many washes and muddy runs, they kind of look tie-dyed. But they're still springy and sweet. The Injinji’s also weigh nearly nothing and take up no space in the packing process. You don’t even notice these socks much when you’re wearing them. The individual toes make it feel more natural. The Cost ranges from $10-$16 a pair, and you can easily get by with just two pairs for about 9 months of hard usage, I hear.
via injinji.com. I’m more than in love with these turquoise slate Injinji toe socks found on www.injinji.com. I actually need a bigger word than “love” to express how much I heart these. Perhaps something in French.
Injinji toe socks are the best anti-blister remedy I’ve yet discovered. These socks are a work of art and engineering. Injini is incredibly talented at toe sock making. Go now and buy up everything they sell. It’ll bring you good karma. Oh and by the way, I’d never seen other colors than the blue in these toe socks before, so I went to www.injini.com and sure as I am craving goober grape PB&J right now, they have beaucoup colors, stripes and kid sports toe socks.
Pay no mind to anyone else's fashion advice on toe socks, just wear them because they feel good and won’t cause blisters. Ignore toe sock haters, have fun and know you look better than sugar on grits at the pre-race breakfast table.
Kids SPORT Lightweight Micro via Injinji.com. Just found this pair that is about to cause me to stroke right out. I would have FREAKED OUT over a toe socks like this as a little girl during my Rainbow Brite phase.
I am still swooning over these toe socks. Try them for yourself and if you don’t love them something awful, I will find you to be a highly suspicious character and feel it my duty as a human to report you to some authority. Perhaps the Earth Citizens Against Wierd Toe Socks Tribunal.
P.S. Hey, gorgeous blog reader person, have you seen my post on “Moon Boots with Mad Flavor”? http://www.blogher.com/moon-boots-mad-flavor-review-hoka-one-one-kailua-tarmac
You’ll love it harder than a wild boar in heat loves a Goodyear tire. If you liked this post or any past post, would you share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and with those friends you haven’t seen since you were in high school? I will appreciate it, and you’ll lose 5 pounds. (Disclaimer: weight loss promise is most likely a lie.)