Friday, May 11, 2012

Gear Check - Injinji Toe Socks

A couple of my posts about running in my FiveFingers resulted in multiple recommendations that I get some injinji toe socks. I recently picked up a pair when we were out looking at jogging strollers and today, I took them out for a test run.

I bought the no show, lightweight, performance version of the injinji socks. They only had my size in two or three colors (none of which were just plain white) so I chose a blue pair.

(I think it's weird that socks are so technologically advanced.)

(Apparently, these are officially "Mariner Blue".)

It already takes me a while to get my toes separated and into the proper slots in my FiveFingers so I was worried toe socks would be just another frustrating step and not worth the extra hassle. I was pleasantly surprised when my toes easily found their places in the socks. As an added bonus, my shoes seemed to go on more easily as well. (Probably because my toes were already separated.)

(Smurf or Blue Man Group?)

Once my FiveFingers were on, I immediately noticed they felt more snug. Not in a bad way... I would describe it as more secure, not necessarily tighter. I think this will be good because the little bit of extra wiggle room I felt like I had before was one of the reasons I feared blistering. With the socks on, everything seemed to fit a little better.

(The crazy blue of the socks is mostly hidden once the shoes are on so they don't stand out as much as I thought they would.)

For my test run, I drove to Berry Park and jogged over to the track for my weekly sprints. I could tell a significant difference jogging on the concrete path with the toe socks. For shoes without padding, even lightweight socks feel like a cushy addition and I felt more comfortable on the pavement than I have before.

The grass was thick with dew again and I hate wet socks so I got my toes a little wet crossing the field to the track but decided to run the majority of the workout on the track itself. For the past couple of weeks, I've run 8 x 100 meters at full speed but today I ran 4 x 200 meters with a 200 meter jog between intervals.

Like on the pavement, I felt like I had a little extra cushioning while on the rubberized track thanks to the toe socks. Plus, sprinting the curves of the track involved surprisingly little lateral slippage within the shoes. Best of all, by the end of the workout, I had worked up a sweat but my feet didn't have that sensation of sticking to the insoles. I haven't used my FiveFingers enough for them to be too gross, but I think these socks will help prevent and delay the onset of shoe funk.

So after my first test run in the injinji toe socks, I'm more than satisfied with the results and I feel like they were worth the purchase. I don't wear my FiveFingers often so one pair should do the trick for now and I think they will not only help prevent blisters, but they make the FiveFingers even more comfortable, which I didn't think was possible!

Goal For The Day: Speedwork.
Distance: 2.00 Miles.
Time: Untimed.
Route: Eureka H.S. Track.
Conditions: 59 degrees. 7:30AM.

Notes: 0.5 mile warm-up. 4 x UCLA 200's. 0.5 mile cool-down. Even at 200 meters, it felt good to be up on my toes and striding hard. I Love sprinting in these shoes!!!

Daily Miles: 2.00 Miles.
2012 Totals:
  Run - 346.14 Miles.
  Bike - 0.00 Miles.
  Swim - 8,250 meters.

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