I’ll admit it. I hate wearing socks. Give me flip flops, sandals, even the occasional dress shoes over socks any day.
In the past, I’ve compromised during training and racing by wearing the shortest, thinnest socks possible, even at the expense on occasion of my delicate little toes. After a particularly brutal foot-trashing at the Cradle of Liberty last month, though, I decided to test out some socks of the slightly-thicker-but-just-as-short variety. So a few weeks ago, I headed over to REI and after perusing all of the possibilities, I landed on a pair of Thorlo Experias.
They were cushioned at the toe and heel; they sat low on my ankles; and perhaps most importantly, they were green (priorities, people).
And much as I hated to admit it, they made a difference. The added cushioning meant that my feet were less susceptible to the whims of my shoes. My Salomons stopped gnawing at the inside of my arch and my Montrails slid snugly over my heels. I had fewer blisters and no toenail issues. My heels were still exposed, resulting in some rawness during the Longest Day, but otherwise my feet were in great shape.
Brent’s been racing in Thorlo’s light hiking socks for years and claims that he’s never had a blister (though I find this a bit suspect), and after my own discovery of their running line, I decided to approach the company about the possibility of partnering up for Costa Rica.
Between the paddling, the rain, and the mud, we know that our ability to take care of our feet will be one of the biggest factors in our success or failure during this race. So we’ve all loaded up on moleskin, Hydropel, and Sportslick, and with the support of Thorlo, our feet are now fully outfitted.
But the question remains — the boys and Ali are all going with the over-the-ankle light hikers, but I feel committed to as little restriction as possible. The company suggested a few pairs of Expedias and the balance in Light Hikers, so I’ll bring both down there with me and report back when we return.
What’s your sock-wearing philosophy? Are you in the extra-protection camp, or do you go for pure minimalism? Have you ever had any issues with your feet?