I wrote a post a while back about my favorite running gear and a while before that about a successful race I ran in Columbia, MD… which brings me to the title. SOCKS!
Sometimes I forget that normal people don’t count their socks going into the wash and then pull them out one by one and gently reshape them one by one before letting them air dry. Sometimes I forget that normal people put their socks in the dryer and don’t freak out when they find one fried dry in the dryer. Well, this last Friday (my laundry day), I found one of my poor little socks in the dryer. I was on the phone with a friend when I found it and let out a little shriek. There was a long silence on the phone when I told my friend how I treat my socks. Then… the doofus told me I was mental.
Okay. I’m not mental. For the record, Smartwool’s website even tells you to treat your socks nicely. They do say you can dry them… but I don’t because I’m trying to avoid CRISPY socks (like my poor little sock). If I’ve worn a bunch of socks that week, then I wash them separately in Woolite before gently reshaping each one and letting them dry in a dry room. Sometimes they get washed with the rest of my laundry… and occasionally one escapes me and makes it into the dryer. Sad sad sad.
Anyway… my sock neurosis aside, Smartwool socks are literally the BEST thing that has happened to me since I started running. Don’t get me wrong… I love all my running stuff, but my affair with my Smartwool running socks is totally different. These socks change the way you FEEL when you run. They change the PACE you run. They change how fatigued you feel when you run. They change everything.
My current favorite Smartwool socks are an older generation, but the Smartwool PhD Running Ultra Light Micro socks are a dupe for mine. They come in pretty colors and you can purchase them online or at EMS.com or REI.com or any sporting goods store that stocks Smartwool.
You know what I love so much about Smartwool socks?
- They are special. Each pair is made for a specific activity. They make ones for hiking, cycling, running, skiing, snowboarding… the list continues. The point is, because each of the styles are made for a specific activity, they actually boost performance.
- The running socks are made with reinforced heels to prevent chafing. The arches of the socks are knitted to create a tight support for your feet. The toes don’t have those pesky and weird seams that make your toes bleed.
- This might be my favorite: The socks come is sizes. The average American female wears a size 8… which means ONESIZE fits all socks? They are made to accomodate a size 8 foot (and a standard deviation above and below that size). Smartwool sizing starts small. A small is sized to fit a women’s size 4.5-6.5. I wear a size six, so this is PERFECT. My socks actually fit. I never realized what a huge difference this made in performance. Socks that fit? Totally awesome.
- In the cold, they keep you warm, and in the heat? They feel just like normal socks. I hate when I run during the winter and I can feel the wind whistling through the little holes in my shoes and it makes my toes cold. Smartwool socks? Totally not a problem. Your feet stay the perfect temperature and none of that pesky cold wind.
What kind of socks do you guys wear? Also… compression sock wearers? What kind and brand do you use? When do you use them? Tell me more!!!