Do you need expensive running socks?
While there are many brands of running socks, recently, I’ve appreciated Feetures. One of the most common questions I get is, do you need expensive running socks. Will good running socks help you run faster? Will you PR because you’re wearing good socks?
The answer is that socks probably won’t cause you to PR, but good socks will limit your blisters and chafing, which could help with PRs. Good socks are most important in inclement conditions when your feet get wet. Whether it’s from sweat or rain, quality running socks prevent blisters and chafing. Feetures don’t sponsor this post; I just like them.
So What Should You Look For In Running Socks?
First, ask yourself, are you comfortable in the socks you currently use? If you are comfortable, then you’re fine. If you aren’t getting blisters and your feet aren’t chafing, your regular socks are fine. If you find yourself getting blisters, it could because of the socks (not the shoe).
When I first started running, I would run in any sock I felt like. Cotton socks, Keds socks, cheapo dollar tree socks, no socks, skateboard cool Roxy socks…whatever I had was what I ran in. Heck, in college, I raced a couple of times without socks! (I would like not to remember that…why did I put myself through that? I just thought it was a thing).
I never really realized why I kept getting blisters. I didn’t work in running specialty and was clueless that socks make a huge difference. Two years of running and I routinely made this mistake. I thought blisters and missing toenails were just something you got with running.
Spoiler: Both are Preventable
One day my parents bought me a nice pair of socks. My mom saw them on sale, and they said “running socks,” so she bought them for me. I never realized (honestly) what the difference a good pair of socks could make. I felt like I had gotten new running shoes.
What Makes Running Socks Different?
Noncotton: If a sock even has 1% cotton, it’s more likely to cause blisters and chafing. As we say in a run specialty, cotton is rotten. Why? Cotton keeps and locks in moisture. When you have humidity or heat, it causes friction in your shoe. This sets you up for blisters, calluses, and hot spots.
So What About Feetures Socks?
A bit of History:
Hugh Gaither worked in the sock industry for more than 25 years before creating Feetures in 2002. The motto of Feetures is: Go. Do. Live.
What Makes Feetures Socks Different?
Feetures make several different thicknesses in songs. They have everything from a thin compressive sock to a thick, plush feeling sock, to even wool. I’m a fan of their max cushion (plush) socks as well as the Merino10 Wool socks. Feetures are expensive, and some of their socks cost nearly $30.
Most of the time, Feetures has sales on their website, and you can usually find them in run specialty for buy 3 gets 1 free.
A Few Benefits of Feetures:
- Targeted Compression: Zone-specific compression where you need it most for superior comfort and support.
- Anatomical Design: There is a left and right sock to provide enhanced fit and reduced blisters’ risk. Yes, there is a left and right sock, so don’t lose them.
- IWick Fibers: Uses the world’s most advanced natural and synthetic performance wicking fibers to keep your feet cool and dry.
- Seamless Toe: No irritating toe seams. Every single pair of Feetures has a seamless toe. This is especially useful with blisters,
- 200N High-Density Knitting: High-density knitting for increased comfort and durability. I have a few pairs of Feetures that are several years old.
Finally, a 100% money-back guarantee. You don’t feel married to the sock.
There are several different types of Feetures Socks, depending on what you want:
Feetures High Performance:
- Feetures Ultra-Light
- Feetures High-Performance Cushion
- Feetures Elite Ultra Light
- Feetures Elite Light Cushion
- Feetures Elite Max Cushion
- Feetures Merino Cushion Ultra-Light
- Feetures Merino 10 Cushion
All of this doesn’t even mention the various heights Feetures socks come in from ankle to quarter to mini crew and crew.
I’ve been using Feetures socks for years. Right now, my favorite Feetures socks are the ankle max cushion. I prefer the extra cushion and when I’m running. In the colder months, I prefer the Merino crew socks because they are warmer.
Common Questions I’ve Gotten with Feetures:
Do they fall? No. If you get better socks that fit your foot appropriately, they won’t fall. The no-show tab adds a cushion between your ankle and the back of the shoe, so if you are prone to blisters or chafing in that spot, they can help with that.
Another thing to note is how durable they are. I’ve had some of my Feetures socks for nearly 5 years. You will probably lose them before they break down.
Finally, the last thing I appreciate about Feetures is how they give back:
Feetures has been involved in several different charitable initiatives over the years. They also provide socks to those in need and sponsors the non-profit: Let Me Run, which teaches young boys important life skills and encourages them to run.
Do You Need Good Running Socks Conclusion:
While it might seem like “crazy talk: to spend that much money on a pair of socks, Feetures is a quality brand that also gives back to the community. If you find yourself with blisters or chafing with your feet, it might be time to invest in good pairs of socks.
You can learn more or buy Feetures here or at your local running store.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried Feetures socks?
What is your favorite brand of running socks?