If you’re just starting out trail running, then you may have wondered if you should wear socks with your trail running shoes. And if so, what kind of socks are best? In this blog post, we’ll run through that! We’ll discuss the benefits of wearing socks with your running shoes and give you some tips on choosing the right pair of socks. So whether you’re just starting out in trail running or you’re a seasoned pro, read on for all the info you need to know about wearing socks with your running shoes!
What are the benefits of wearing socks with trail running shoes?
In short, yes. You should wear socks with your trail running shoes. Or even running shoes in general. Wearing socks will help to protect your feet from blisters, chafing, and other foot problems.
Socks will also help to absorb sweat and keep your feet dry. Which will also help to cut down on foot odor as well, which is always a bonus! Higher fitting socks can also help keep dirt, scree and debris out of your shoes.
And finally, they’ll just generally make your trail running experience more comfortable.
How to choose the right socks for your trail running shoes?
A lot of this will come down to your preference. Sizing is obviously one thing. But beyond that, you’ll want to consider socks specifically made for trail running. These generally have more cushion, reinforced toes/heels and may be made to be a little more durable than standard running socks.
As for material, you’ll want to choose a breathable sock. Something made of wool or a synthetic blend are typically good choices. Synthetics blends may be made with a mixture of polyester, nylon, spandex, Lycra or acrylic. Each of these give the sock various properties like strength, stretchiness, compression, etc.
Try to stay away from cotton socks for trail running as they don’t wick sweat away or breathe as well as wool or synthetic socks.
Consider the thickness of the sock and the height of the sock. I like my socks pretty thin but still durable in the heel and forefoot. You might prefer yours to be super thick and have as much cushion as possible.
I like trail running socks that are quarter cut, but also have a good amount of no show socks. As previously mentioned, the quarter cut socks help with keeping debris out, but I also still have a bit of road runner in me where I like as little sock as possible. So that’s where the low cut come into play. You may prefer crew cut socks. It all comes down to your preference.
What are the best trail running socks for different types of weather conditions?
Weather conditions can affect which socks I go for in my drawer. Although most of my trail running socks can handle just about anything thrown at them, there are some better than others.
If it’s wet and cold, I’m reaching for my wool based socks. One of wool’s properties is the ability to keep heat in even if it’s wet. This is huge in wet winter running.
On top of wool, I’d reach specifically for my wool toe socks. I love these things. Instead of a typical sock, these socks have individual toes. This helps dramatically cut down on blisters. When running long trails in wet conditions, toe socks are my go-to.
If it’s hot, wet or dry, I’ll go with a thin synthetic based sock. I want breathability and fast drying over everything. Whether my foot needs to dry from sweat or from rain, in the summer, I will opt for thin barely there socks. Toe socks are a favorite for me here again. Basically I’ll wear those things year round, may just change up between wool and synthetic based on the temps/conditions.
Tips for taking care of your socks so they last longer
Wash your socks! I know, it sounds pretty obvious. But do it after every use. This will help to remove all the dirt, sweat, debris, etc that they’ve collected on your run. Not to mention it’ll just make them smell better.
Use a specific sports based laundry detergent such as the ones mentioned here when washing your synthetic based socks.
Wool socks can usually just be thrown in with the rest of your laundry. But if you want to get fancy, check out this wash by Nikwax.
What are some good trail running socks to get?
As previously mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Injinji Toe socks. But also Smartwool makes some great running socks with various thickness. They’re made with Merino wool and have also been a huge staple in my running sock collection.
Darn Tough is another popular wool related brand, they even offer an unconditional guarantee for the life of the socks. My roommate loves his. There’s also Drymax Socks, which I myself have never tried but I hear plenty of good things about them.