For the last year and a half, I’ve been on a minimalist kick. I’m not a hard core barefoot runner, but I do believe that a whole lot of padding in the heel of my shoe isn’t helping me a lot and I’ve noticed that running requires a little bit less effort now that I’ve been running almost exclusively in minimalist shoes for over a year.
While I’ve yet to attempt a run in toe shoes, I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of toe socks. So, I obtained a pair of Injinji lightweight toe socks and took them out for a few runs. Like the Cabbage Patch Kid I got for my 7th birthday, my Injinji socks came with a little instruction memo.
Yes, I had a Cabbage Patch Kid.
Actually, I had two: Bernard Travis and Hannibal Victor, which sounds suspiciously like Hannibal Lecter but the thing never tried to kill me or eat me. Cut me some slack. I have an older sister.
In any case, the little memo that came with the socks let me know that the best way to get a feel for the toesocks was to simply get out and about with them. To quote the memo, “your first time wearing Injinji Toesocks may feel a little funny, due to unfamiliarity with the unique fabric-between-the-toes sensation. However, after a few wears and washes, you’ll soon find that they come to feel like a second skin.”
With that advice in hand, I slipped on the toe socks for the first time…or at least I tried to. I was first introduced to Bonnie Consolo by my high school Spanish teacher. She was born without arms and with the absence of hands, she accomplished many tasks such as peeling vegetables and playing the guitar using her very dextrous feet. I’m no Bonnie Consolo. The human hand is a wondrous thing. It is a precision instrument. We often take for granted the amount of control we have over our hands and how effortless it is to quickly and seamlessly slip on a glove. The feet, are more of a blunt instrument that we pound into the ground over and over day after day for our entire lives. It’s a little hard to get those toes going in new directions.
After a minute or two of wrangling, I was able to get the toesocks on my feet and you know what? They felt a little funny. I went for a run and after a little while I forgot I was wearing them. A high knit count makes the lightweight performance toesocks durable despite their ultra-thin fiber construction. They’re composed of Coolmax, Nylon and Lycra so they remain dry throughout the run and retain their 5 toe shape through all the punishment I dish out on the road and in the laundry.
One huge advantage of toesocks is that they position the toes in a more anatomically correct position and prevent skin on skin friction that causes blisters. I was lucky enough to be born anatomically correct, I suppose (thanks mom & dad) and I’ve never had any problems with toe blisters in the past. So, I can’t really speak for the toesocks’ effectiveness in that regard. I will say that the precision stitching in the heel, the arch support and the dual welt band at the ankle do a phenomenal job of keeping the socks in place. There’s no bunching and no slippage at all.
The best thing I can say about these socks is that I really do forget I’m wearing them and I’m not sure I could say anything better about a sock. I mean, who really wants to think about their socks after they’ve put them on? “Second skin” is certainly a perfect description for the fit. The worst thing I can say is that it takes a while to put them on. Fortunately, I’m not so busy that I can’t spare an extra minute to pamper my feet. I suppose they do deserve it after all.
***Disclaimer: The Injinji Toesocks were complimentary, but the opinions expressed are all mine. ***
I haven’t tried the socks or the shoes yet, but the sight of the socks never fails to make me laugh – they’re just brilliant!