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What Run Oregon is Wearing: Injinji Socks

Bobi Jo: “Bizarre”. This was the word that came to mind after I manually separated each of my toes into their own little casings that the Injinji socks provided. My toes felt swollen, but my heart felt like a middle-schooler again. I remember my many pairs of toe socks when they were all the rage in the early 2000s. But this time, these socks mean business.

The point of these “bizarre”-feeling socks is not to turn heads, because let’s be honest – no one will know you’re wearing toe socks unless you are in your Five Fingers. The point is to reduce blisters on your toes when you’re out adventuring. Due to my foot shape, my primary spot for blisters is where my smallest toe rubs on the next one. I’d like to say I’ve built up a bit of a tolerance, but every so often a long trail run will produce a new blister and I’m back to square one (which at this point is less pain and more just annoyed). Keeping those toes from rubbing together without my trusty Body Glide is solved with the Injinjis.

photo credit: Injinji

It took about 3 minutes to get used to the feeling and once I put on my running shoes, I couldn’t tell the difference. I have been wearing the Liner Crew (just as regular socks because it’s summer time and I like the lighter weight), as well as the Midweight Crew, which are a bit thicker, but a lot more colorful! Both seem to live up to the promised performance: anatomic shape and slight arch support, blister prevention, comfort, and breathability. *The liners ($9) are 75% COOLMAX ®/21% Nylon/4% Lycra ® and the Mid-Weight Crew ($16-18) are 39% COOLMAX ®/58% Nylon/3% Lycra ®*

Another pro that might be important for some athletes (but that I find to be a low priority, personally) is the increased toe mobility. Rather than having all 5 toes confined in one compartment, each toe is able to move freely, allowing for additional balance control through the foot. This ability wasn’t immediately obvious to me, but is arguably important for those who run in minimalist shoes, practice yoga in socks, slackline, or other sports where additional toe movement is helpful.

My two cons: 1) these socks have a higher profile than I typically wear. While I like that they are taller than my trail shoes to help with Achilles hot spots, they are also taller than my running gaiters, which sort of negates the purpose of the gaiter. In my future purchases of these socks, I will be sure to try out the low-profile version. 2) I’m a “leave your socks right side out when you take ‘em off” type of person. Peeling them off after a muddy or sweaty run is difficult without turning them inside out. It takes a few seconds longer, which doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re desperate for your flip flops, it’s a minor inconvenience to wrangle each toe out individually.

I’m a creature of habit and tend to think “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – therefore I stick to the same brand/type of socks that I know work for me (and sweetly ask my Grandma to sew up the toes for a little extra life when I spot one of my piggies poking through) and fill my sock drawer accordingly. I was excited to try a new product I probably wouldn’t have picked out for myself and was doubly excited that they worked for me! I’m looking forward to trying out the thicker, non-toe version of my hiking Injinjis this fall.


photo credit: Injinji

Geli: Just like Bobi Jo, I had my fair share of novelty toe socks as a teen, but I never wore them much because they didn’t fit well. Injinji’s socks are a whole different story! The purpose for the toe socks is both to avoid blisters between toes and to encourage “natural toe sprawl”. That means that instead of the small toes getting squished by the socks, it feels more like walking barefoot, but with warm feet! I wore the liner sock on a recent run, and it felt really good to my feet. This lightweight liner sock would also be great on hikes with a wool hiking sock over top. I also received a sample of a midweight crew sock in a beautiful green pattern which I have been wearing around the house on cool days, and in hiking shoes.

Company: Injinji

Products:

Specs (from the website):

  • The liners ($9) are 75% COOLMAX ®/21% Nylon/4% Lycra ®
  • Mid-Weight Crew ($16-18) are 39% COOLMAX ®/58% Nylon/3% Lycra ®

 

Thank you to Injinji for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

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About Bobi Jo (29 Articles)
Bobi Jo has lived all over the midwest but moved to Portland in 2007 and now calls it home. She started casually running in 2012 and trained up for the "Run Like A Mother" 5k as her first proper event. She got a taste of the runner's high and is now a veteran ultrarunner. While running is her favorite sport, she is a "Jill of all trades, master of none" - her other hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and snowshoeing. On her elusive rest days, she is an avid bookworm and a Green Bay Packers fan. Her best adventure buddies are her husband and her Australian Shepherd.

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