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Selecting Running Socks

Selecting Running Socks

The three most important purchases that a female makes for running are shoes, sports bra and socks. Most recreational runners don't put a lot of thought into a sock purchase. Nothing can ruin a run faster than blisters, caused by a combination of moist feet and friction.

Proper running socks not only keep your feet dry and comfortable, but also offer cushion and support for the feet. There are a great many variety of socks to choose from. The following points are offered from experience.

Avoid 100-percent cotton socks. For short runs they are o.k., but each run of 60 minutes duration, your feet can produce enough perspiration to fill a drinking glass. Cotton socks absorb all this moisture and you are left with feet that will feel soggy and uncomfortable. It's important for a sock to wick moisture away from the foot and a cotton sock just can't do this. Unless this is done, you may develop a blister.

Try to find socks made from synthetic fibers (acrylic, CoolMax®, nylon, Polartec) or a blend of cotton, wool and synthetic fibers. Synthetics such as acrylic and CoolMax® remove blister-causing perspiration. These kinds of socks will wick moisture away to keep feet dry and cool in summer and dry and warm in winter, thus worth the extra expense.

You should expect to pay $6.00 to $12.00 for good running socks. That's not cheap, but it's a lot better then nursing feet that are sore or blistered. And of course, make sure you buy the correct size.

By the way, if you are running a marathon, don't expect the socks to last. After 42.2 km even new top-of-the-line socks will most likely end up with your toenails poking right through.

©Women in Motion -July 1999