These little piggies RAN to market without blisters: A Run Oregon review of Injinji toesocks

Company: You may know Injinji as the "toe sock" company. You know the ones, with 5 little pockets for each of your piggies. But Injinji wants to be known for more than that. From their website:

“Forever committed to innovation that allows your feet to live and perform at their peak. We are a better way.” At Injinji, we understand that good health starts from the ground up. Performing since 1999, we make premium performance toe socks to give you the best protective layer between foot and shoe. Our toe socks are crucial for foot protection, comfort, recovery and overall a better performance in ANY shoe. As runners, athletes, and enthusiasts of staying physical and getting outdoors, we assure you that a pair of our toe socks can improve your performance and help put your best foot forward every day.
Run Oregon bloggers, new to the Injinji brand had the opportunity to try out a pair of socks. Here are their thoughts:

Big socks for big toes!

Maryalicia (Performance 2.0 Run – Thin Cushioning and MSRP $12.00):  I tested these over a two week period on four different runs. From a short 2 miler to as long as a 7 miler. I wore them in New Balance, Sauconys, Skoras and my Brooks trail shoes and they felt well in each one without being too tight. When I put these on initially, they indeed felt different, as I expected. However, it felt like each toe was getting a small hug after a while.  I quickly got used to them walking around the house before trying them on a short two-mile run.

One thing I loved about these socks was the over the ankle coverage that made my ankles feel very secure. The socks were snug in all the right places. They did not slide or ride down over the ankle part, but stayed nicely in place. Another thing I loved was the Coolmax system . I ran on two 85+ degree days. I have sweaty feet and my socks were wet, but yet my feet never felt it. What an unexpected surprise! My feet should have felt the wetness, with as wet as they were, but I never felt that, nor did they get too hot or smell bad. I really liked this aspect!

Fit well over the ankle wih no sliding in my Skora’s

One con is that Injinjis run a little pricier, but I feel socks are one of those performance items you should splurge on. I can tell the difference in comfort, durability, and performance when I get ‘nicer’ socks. However, since I have only had them for two weeks, I cannot attest to their long-term durability, but they seem like they would last. Another con is they take longer to get on. I am used to putting on socks in a second or two, but these take time to get each toe (especially my big ones) into each one. The more I put it on though, the easy it got, but still not as quick as I would like.

All and all the pros outweigh the cons if you don’t mind paying a little extra for a performance sock. They are comfy, I did not blister, and I loved how cool they were in warm weather without feeling the direct wetness on my feet. These are great little socks.

Bonnie (Run 2.0 Lightweight No-Show, MSRP $12.00): I will not lie, toe socks seem super weird, but running is my weird place. The weirder the gear, the better I think I run – a finding that is anecdotal at best. I received these socks at my office, which I am usually barefoot at, and threw them on and got a couple of glances with some shakes of the head, usual for me.

The real fun is when I put these puppies on for my Saturday long run up in Forest Park. I was nervous because I bought a fancy pair of socks awhile back and found that their compression really irritated my big toe joint. Since then, I have just stuck to regular ‘ol Adidas socks I got at a discount store. After running 7 miles on the trail I was overjoyed to find that I wasn’t experiencing any of that joint pain. Injinji prides itself on having the “natural toe splay” and I can now see that’s what I needed. My toes felt great and foot felt like it had enough room to breathe. Also, no blisters like I usually get in a couple of trouble spots. I would highly recommend these to anyone looking to switch it up. Let those piggies be free!

Jessica (Performance 2.0 Run – Thin Cushioning and MSRP $12.00): Injinji sent me the “Performance 2.0 Run” sock in the “Original Weight – Thin Cushioning” option. The color was a wonderful blue. Immediately after opening the packet, I tried the Performance 2.0 Run sock on. It was quite large. After reading the package, I noticed that the sizing is reflected in men’s and women’s, then lists the sizing for each. I wear a women’s size 8.5 running shoe (always size those running shoes up a little to allow for swelling), and received a size “M” sock. The size “M” (Medium) is listed for women with a shoe size of 9-11, but men’s of 8-10.5. I think I see what happened!

The washing instructions strictly state to “machine wash, line dry”. Since the toe portion of the socks was large on my foot, I machine washed and put in a super hot dryer, hoping it would shrink. The material of the Performance 2.0 Run sock is 29% coolmax polyester, 68% nylon/polyamid and 3% lycra fiber; yes, I was hoping it would shrink! But alas, it didn’t. No worry, I was still able to try the sock and give it a good run for it’s money. The material is not scratchy at all, and feels like cotton. Getting your toes into each “toe slot” is pretty easy, even though some of my toes wanted to go into the same toe slot as the others, but this wasn’t a big deal. I noticed my feet did not get as sweaty in the Performance 2.0 Run as in my wool running socks (I’m a huge merino wool fan). Since my feet stayed a lot more dry, I can certainly see how the Injinji products are great for blister prevention and general foot ventilation. The package states, “anatomical 5 toe design properly aligns toes, prevents blisters and promotes proper posture & balance.” I didn’t notice my toes being aligned any differently than “normal”, non-toed socks, nor did I feel my posture or balance was different though. Perhaps over time? I am overall happy with the Performance 2.0 Run sock by Injinji, and would pick up a pair in the correct size in the future. Definitely worth giving a try, and seeing if they keep you feet drier and blister-free, which I think they solidly could do.

Chere (Performance 2.0 Run – Thin Cushioning and MSRP $12.00): I must admit, I’d seen people wearing toe socks before but I had never taken any serious thought into trying them myself. I made the assumption that they would be uncomfortable, causing me to constantly dig into my shoes to adjust the individual toes. So you can naturally see why I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect the first time I tried on a pair of Injinji running socks. My assumptions were very wrong.

As soon as I slipped on the first sock, I noticed how well they hugged my feet. I had been experiencing a lot of arch pain in my feet recently, so having a sock that seemed to provide support to that region is a plus in my book. Other than the fumbling at my first attempts at getting each individual toe in the correct hole, they were quite comfortable. As I ran with them on, I again waited for that uncomfortable feeling of fabric rubbing together between the toes, creating the all-dreaded blisters up and down each toe, but to my surprise…there was no rubbing. No blisters. Their comfort continued over many miles and still continue. I did notice, however, they did seem to hold on to a bit of sweat on the top of my foot after each run, but again, that caused no real discomfort or issues. Overall, I’d say this is a great sock to run in, provides great support, and much needed comfort when your out on the hard pavement for a great run.

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