The running sock? The poor child of running, the bad pupil! You know, the one who is neglected at the back of the class, (s)he who is forgotten! Big mistake! Whether on the trail or on the road, the role played by your socks is fundamental. Considered a small detail, running socks are actually very important.
Running with very carefully chosen, expensive, shoes, but with unsuitable socks, is like driving a sports car without ever pressing the accelerator... It restricts your pleasure. Limiting one's potential and that of one's equipment.
So here are 10 expert tips for choosing the best running socks, perfectly adapted to your feet, your level and your playing field!
Your running socks need to fit perfectly, i.e. they need to fit the shape of your feet, with a specific anatomical construction for the left foot and another for the right. This "fit" translates into a feeling of comfort, the impression of being wrapped up without being too tight, from when you first try them on. This is what we call support, and it is essential!
A good running sock is a sock that breathes! Indeed, you must be uncompromising about the thermoregulation capacities of the model you choose. Your socks must evacuate perspiration very effectively to prevent the humid air from becoming blocked and causing your foot to macerate. Otherwise, it's a blister for sure, with an exponential increase in risk the longer and more intense the outings. Besides, we prefer to repeat ourselves because this point is crucial: the breathability of your sock must be one of your key criteria when making your choice!
Even if you put the emphasis on breathability, there is one feature that greatly influences the thermoregulation of your feet: the thickness of your socks. The thinner your socks are, the more breathable they are and the more natural they feel in terms of stride. The thicker they are, the more comfortable and protective they are. The thickness of your socks should therefore be adapted to your level, but also to your desires. For quick sessions, with feet that sweat because they are sorely tested, opt for finesse! For gentler outings, at a gentle pace, opt for a thicker sock!
If your socks have to be adapted to your level (leisure or competition), you must also select them according to the ground you run on. On trails, on uneven, sometimes damp paths with uncertain support, you will be looking for a compromise between protection and breathability. With optimal support for the foot at the ankle to avoid the risk of sprains, as well as reinforcements under the metatarsals and the heel to accompany the specific stride on the way up and down. In road running, on the other hand, you will be more inclined to choose lean more towards dynamism and comfort.
Another criterion to take into account depending on your playing field: the height of your socks! High in Trail to protect the malleoli from blows and scratches caused by small pebbles or resinous roadside stones. Also high to minimise the risk of sprains by maintaining the ankle. For your urban football, a low shank is recommended, for more comfort and a greater feeling of freedom.
Running socks are not like pizzas: they don't do all 4 seasons. For two reasons: firstly, because it is necessary to adapt the criteria of thickness and breathability of the model to the weather conditions; and secondly, because their lifespan is limited, to a distance of between 600 and 800 km, depending on use. Alternating between several pairs on a daily basis can extend the life of each pair.
Avoiding unnecessary and, above all, poorly placed seams is a fundamental piece of advice to be respected! The more that seams are visible and present, the more friction points there are with your feet and higher the risk of friction... In short, the fewer seams your running socks have, the better it is for your comfort and performance!
Reinforcements are good, they are even indispensable on certain areas of the foot, but they are like recovery beer after a race: drink in moderation! These reinforced areas are generally found in the forefoot, to protect the toes; under the heel; under the arch of the foot; and, on the top of the foot, towards the lacing point... Nevertheless, these reinforcement areas are inevitably thicker and can therefore generate more friction synonymous with pain if they are badly placed, in useless places in the context of your practice.
To choose the right size for your running socks, you need to be aware of two things: firstly, that your feet tend to swell with effort, over the course of kilometres; secondly, that even if the socks are of superior quality, they will irremediably shrink by a few millimetres with each wash. Nevertheless, it's all a question of balance, because if your socks are too big, they will crease and cause pain or rubbing. Ideally, therefore, it's a good idea to choose a model with a narrow range of sizes. So, in practical terms, if you wear size 42: if possible, choose a 42-43 model rather than a 41-42 or 41-44 model...
The new SIDAS running socks, which we launched in autumn 2020 after several years of research, meet all these criteria.
They prove to be real gems of technology and precision, whether it is our Trail range or our Road Running range.
Here are the different reasons why you should choose them: