Injinji Sock Review
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You’ve seen Injinji. Perhaps it was at your local running store, perhaps at a large retailer, perhaps just post race with a pair of oh-so-comfortable after race flip-flops (yeah, I’m that guy – don’t knock it till you try it), but you HAVE seen Injinji. And You’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future. Why? ‘Cause they’re awesome. As I mentioned in my post on the Injinji 2.0 Compression OTC Toesock, I’m reviewing Injinji here because the good folks over at Injinji sent me a bunch of socks… AND I BUY THEM. So, if I sound like a bit of a fan boy, well, I am. Let’s get that out of the way right now. A running buddy of mine (and active gear review founder) tipped me off to Injinji late last year after I had some complaints with blistering between my toes. Two marathons and a whole bunch of training runs later (as in yesterday’s 20 mile run), I’m pretty much wearing them all the time. Sure, I still have some gym socks in the rotation, and reserve them for running only (that’ll probably change soon when I figure out where to buy their cycling socks without having to pay shipping and handling – or if Injinji wants to send me some for a review, hint hint Injinji), but since last year they’ve become my go-to sock for comfort and reliability.
What sets Injinji Socks Apart
To begin with, they are toesocks. And yes, that’s now a word (stupid autocorrect). That’s the first thing anyone asks me about if/when they see me rocking the Injinji lineup. Let me dispel a myth right away – these socks are FOR ALL SHOES. ALL OF THEM. ALL OF THE TIME. They aren’t just for toe-shoes, or something silly like that. Check out the Injinji website, and you’ll see there are pairs for just about every active endeavor under the sun. Even cycling now (see above Injinji, and send me some!) has a pair of toesocks earmarked for it. True, each sock in the Injinji lineup is crafted with a specific activity in mind, and has specific attributes, but I want to remark first on the features that make ALL of them better than the competition. So what is it about the simple fact that it’s a toesock that makes it better? Let me tell you a bit about foot/toe splay.
When engaging in any form of bipedal locomotion (yep, I just dropped big words on you – look it up if needed), your foot undergoes a series of activities every time it hits the ground. And guess what? It’s designed to splay out upon impact – for a variety of reasons. Traditional socks don’t quite allow for this motion to occur, at least not in full. Sorry for the metaphor to those of the fairer side of the human race, but it’s a bit like switching from briefs to boxers – you don’t know you’ve been confined until you aren’t anymore. For some, this natural foot splay may assist with all sorts of issues – for me, it completely eradicated the blisters between my toes.
The construction of Injinji socks also set them apart. Take a look at the photo above – for those of you who know what clothes starch is – no, that’s not it. This sock can stand up like this solely (yes, AGR readers, I used the pun twice) due to the way in which Injinji crafts their socks. The heel cup in the Injinji lineup is crafted differently than any other sock I’ve ever worn, including casual socks and dress socks. The result of this construction is that the sock is extremely comfortable to wear, and doesn’t end up with a weird bunching of material at either end of your shoe regardless of how tight/loose you like to wear your shoes. This also makes it absolutely crucial to get the fit right. Since I’m a 10.5, my first pair purchased was a large (my size is the top end of medium, bottom end of large). I found that while the toes fit well, the heel cup was a bit large. After going down to a medium, the sock fit perfectly.
You’ll notice in the photo of my sock menagerie above that I’m actually wearing the Injinji Outdoor 2.0. I did manage to get them outside for a short testing hike, but more telling is the fact that I wear them week in and week out. I do prefer to wear hiking socks on a daily basis (hey, they’re comfortable!), and these have definitely made it into my daily rotation. The comfort level throughout the entire lineup of Injinji socks is matched by none.
Final Thoughts on The Injinji Lineup
There are lots of benefits to wearing a pair of Injinji socks, regardless of type/activity. My favorite benefits are the blister protection, comfort of foot splay/mobility, and secure heel fit. If you’re wearing a great pair of socks, you shouldn’t have to think about them, and that’s what I like most about them. Sure, it took all of 5 minutes to get used to have cloth between my toes, but it’s really not noticeable until you have to switch back to regular socks. The price point is comparable to other “active” sock brands, so if you’re into buying activity specific socks (which I clearly am), don’t be afraid to give Injinji a spin – more likely than not, you’ll find yourself reaching for them as often as I do. Visit injinji.com or www.amazon.com/injini for more information.