Running is a great form of exercise for many men, and like any sport, one must have the right equipment and gear to do it properly. While trainers are perhaps the most important tool for any runner, socks can be just as crucial. These keep the feet dry and some types can even prevent injury. When searching for running socks, buyers should do careful research to determine which ones best suit their needs.
Types of Men's Running Socks
The first thing that buyers should research when buying men's running socks is the different types. There are many types of socks on the market and by becoming familiar with them, buyers can make the right decision as to which type to purchase. There are four main types of runnings socks: toe, compression, socklet, and anti-blister. Toe socks are similar to gloves and wrap around the toes, while compression socks help with blood circulation. Socklets are socks that only go up to the ankles. Anti-blister socks, feature two layers of fabric to reduce friction between the feet and shoes, and thus are popular with long-distance and marathon runners.
Running Sock Size
The next thing to consider when buying socks is the size. The socks should be snug and wrap around the feet without any loose fabric in order to prevent additional friction between the skin and the running shoe. Most socks come in either small, medium and large, but the exact lengths and measurement aren't always consistent. Different manufacturers have different sizing for socks, so it might be best to check out each maker's size chart for reference. In many cases, fit may also vary depending on the shoe, so some runners pair certain types of socks with particular shoes or shoe manufacturers.
Running Sock Fabric
The type of material is a major consideration for runners, especially for those who run long distances. Sweat tends to build up in the foot and so runners want socks that can wick away moisture effectively. While cotton feels soft against the skin, it is perhaps the worst material for running socks, as these tend to stay wet. Synthetic materials like acrylic and polyester are better for runners as these keep the feet dry even after long periods of time.
Running Sock Cushioning
Cushioning in socks is a matter of preference. Some runners prefer thicker socks that can absorb more impact, especially those who run on concrete. However, thicker socks tend to be heavier and do take up more room inside the shoe, which can cause a tighter fit. Lighter socks are not as heavy, but they might not protect against shock. The trick is for the runner to find what is best for his running style and to find the right balance between cushioning and weight.