Socks Socks Socks:

North Face Lightweight Running SockThere are many advantages to marathon training. Some run for weight loss. Others run for that sense of self-accomplishment or for the benefits of being that little bit healthier. But these all come at a cost; the state of your feet.

Nothing will prepare you for the first time you lose a toenail because you forgot to trim them before a long run. Or for the number of blisters your feet can accumulate in an hour. I actually can not get rid of one of my blisters, which I now affectionately refer to as the ‘grape’. Apologies to those who are eating while reading this.

There are three ways to combat blisters.

  1. Run so hard and so often that your feet callous up to the texture of sand paper.
  2. Buy a big pack of sterilised needles and get popping.
  3. Wear the correct socks for you.

If you’ve seen that scene from Run Fat Boy Run then my guess is you’ll want to avoid option 2. So professional socks it is! Luckily our friends at Fitness Footwear sent me a new pair of sports socks to try out.

The first thing to get into your head when buying running socks is that a really good pair will come in proper sizes so make sure you know your current shoe size before buying. The next is material. Check the label. If the socks are made from cotton then stay well away. Cotton, once wet, takes forever to dry out.

My usual socks, the WrightSock Running Crew are made from a material that wicks away moisture well. They also have a double-layer system that prevents blisters. Blisters are caused when there is friction between the two layers of your skin (the epidermis and dermis) and moisture builds between these two layers. My socks have an extra thin layer that slides around so that your skin doesn’t. The downside? They cost a bloody fortune.

So, for the last few months I’ve tried out the cheaper model that Fitness Footwear provided, the North Face Lightweight Running Sock. They don’t have a double-layer but they are made from Spandex and are designed to keep my feet dry as much as possible. They’re also a very good fit, which minimises the risk of any material bunching up and making your run uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, since using the socks I’ve accumulated more blisters than before. So either my feet are too sweaty or it’s time for a new pair of shoes.

Herein lies the dilemma. When training for a marathon, most will accomplish 5 runs a week. So it’s either put your washing on every day or spend over £50 to stock up on enough professional running socks to last you the week!

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