If you have not experimented with or solely rely on toe socks you are mistaken. Ok, so that may be tad bit of a stretch, but toe socks are amazing. I still have a various selection of socks at my disposable, but if for any big run I do not have clean toe socks I am severely disappointed with myself. I first picked up a pair of Injinji toe socks out of curiosity, using them mostly for trail runs, but also to help break in my first pair of Vibram FiveFingers. Ended up not needing them for the FiveFingers, but they soon found themselves in heavy rotation. The socks themselves were a really good blend of nylon and polyester with no extra fluff so the toes being separate were almost a non-factor. The socks really came into their own while hiking a section of the the Appalachian Trail. The trip consisted of 466 miles from the start in GA to Damascus,VA.
I had brought them along as backup socks and to use with my new Chaco’s in case of rubbing. After the first week of hiking in mostly rain and crappy weather, my good friend Kevin and I were exhausted. I won’t go in detail with that trip, saving that for another post, so long story short we met this “crazy gear lady” as we call her. She starting talking about cuben fiber, homemade tents, packs, down sleeping bags and toe socks. Everything was interesting, I learned a lot, but the toe socks got me further interested. She began to explain how the toe socks solved her blister issues hiking through the horrible weather experienced on the trail at that time. This hit home, since my outer two toes sit under my other toes, they were constantly getting squished and blistered with the high milage under wet conditions. Next day, my Injinji’s relieved the still awesome Smartwool socks I was using. I even picked up a 2nd pair of toe socks when I purchased new hiking shoes, Brooks Cascadia 8. These toe socks were actually made by Smartwool, so I was excited to have wool back in rotation. Between these 2 brands of toe socks my toes showed immediate relief. The blisters hardened and even while hiking in the rain, they never reformed. I was hooked, and finally began getting used to the look of the socks. Both brands do really well, but I decided to side with Injini since Smartwool’s were more expensive and did not seem to last as long. Twice a year, for my birthday and Christmas, Injinji toe socks increase their control of my sock drawer. Yes, I do get some funny looks every once in a while, but their benefits outweigh the stares, so I continue to wear them. But every once in a while my mom or brother’s girlfriend reminds me they had toe socks growing up with fur or multiple colors. I don’t have much of a defense for this one, except “but these are cooler”