Before every big race, I have pre-big-day traditions that, like carb-loading and hydrating, I wouldn’t feel ready to run without. In anticipation of running the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland in ten days, I thought I’d share one tradition that has turned out to be one of the most important, albeit, life changing.
Buying new socks.
I instantly feel fifty years older after typing that, but it’s true. One of my favorite race day preparations is heading to the Reno Running Company and scoping out the two synthetic foot coverings that will take me anywhere from ten to soon twenty-six-point-two miles. What color should I get? Should I stray from my favorite brand? Would it be weird if I sniffed them gleefully in the middle of the store because I never thought I could know such happiness?
Sorry, that got weird.
Truthfully, socks are often overlooked by runners (including myself for a long time) and like a great pair of running shoes, they can, and do, make all the difference. From protecting your ankles to warding off blisters and cuts to helping with blood flow — here are four tips for picking the perfect running socks:
- Avoid cotton at all costs. Since our feet happen to be one of the parts of our body where we sweat the most, you need a fabric that will control moisture. Otherwise, you risk a soggy foot and bigger chance at a few nasty blisters. Instead, look for socks with synthetic fiber that will wick the moisture off of your feet.
- Get the right fit. Since I’m a long lost cousin of Big Foot (size 11s represent…), I tend to buy mens socks because they provide full coverage and better ankle support. And because no part of your body is safe from chafing, a good fitting pair of running socks will protect you from the aforementioned worst feeling in the world. If you’re purchasing at a running store, they’ll most likely have some samples you can try on, or at the least, a good exchange policy.
- For faster recovery, try compression socks. Lots of runners wear them on long runs to support blood flow, while others will wear them post-run to reduce lactic acid build-up.
- Get funky! Pick your favorite color, pick a bold pattern, pick something that’s you because when your feet hit the pavement, nothing is more important than feeling confident that you’ll have a rockstar performance.
And there you have it! My favorite brand is Feetures, but I’ve also purchased from Brooks and Nike. What’s your favorite brand?
6 thoughts on “Sock it to me”
Good tips! When I was running I loved compression socks. Also, very important question: are you dressing up as a Star Wars character?
Haha! I bought a Darth Vader running skirt from an Etsy store a while back – I’m so particular about what I wear when I run that that might be it! Originally, I wanted to find the R2D2 to my C3PO so I could rock some gold leggings but running 13 miles in spandex just doesn’t sound right.
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I actually don’t like the synthetic material socks. My feet slip around too much and I feel less stable (probably all in my head). Smart wool makes a pretty rad sock though. I can get down with wool! Good luck on your race!!!
That might have something to do with your shoes, too. I’ll have to check out Smart Wool. Thanks for the suggestion!
I love Smart Wool’s socks. My experience with compression is that it works much better in recovery. Wear them to bed after a race and you’ll feel better faster.
Oooh… I shall try that! Thanks for the tip.