The Quest for the Marathon Sock

When I used to run as a high school student, I would wear these big and bulky crew socks and slather my feet with petroleum jelly to prevent blisters. Fast-forward to February 2017, when I realized that plan would no longer work for longer runs. My feet were cramped inside my shoes and slid back and forth because of the petroleum jelly.

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I defaulted to my normal sock of choice- the slightly-sporty New Balance low-cut socks. But after years of wear, they had lost their shape and the back of the sock scrunched down into my shoe. My bare heel was rubbed raw by the heel notch, and I started getting blisters near the ball of my foot. Okay, so that wasn’t working.

I talked to one of the guys at the place where I get running gels and things like that, and he suggested getting socks with a synthetic fiber help wick the sweat and reduce hot spots. Looking for something affordable, and preferably in a multi-pack, I settled on a six-pack of socks from Saucony: Performance Arch Stripe No Show socks. Considering that I had seen multiple pairs of socks at $10 each, I thought this was a great idea.

While these socks seem to work for short (1-3 mile) runs, they became more problematic towards the longer distances (6-8 miles). Again, there was a problem with the heel being exposed- hence the ‘no-show’ labeling. Then there was also the problem of the toe seam, which would rub against my little toes and leave little blisters. Those blisters would then get blisters of their own, and- well, you know how it goes.

On a trip to a sporting goods store, I was determined to find an affordable, but highly-functional solution. After much deliberation, I settled on a pair of Adidas Women’s Superlite Speed Mesh Low-Cut socks. While more expensive than I would have liked ($14 for two), they had the moisture-wicking amazingness, thinness, and lightness of the Saucony socks. They were slightly longer and had seamless toes, which meant no more blisters on the heels or toes. I wore these during my half marathon, and they were super-duper amazing. It was like walking on clouds. If clouds bundled your feet and were made of a mesh-like fabric. Also, they’re very good for spinning on sleek floors.

With my quest complete, my toes have been much happier appendages. With blisters fully healed, I have one less thing to worry about when training for my next half marathon.



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