Everything You Need to Know About Your Trail Socks
Written By: SportsShoes
Easily overlooked, but an important part of every trail runner’s wardrobe - the right running socks can make all the difference between a comfortable breeze over the trails and a blistered, chafed nightmare of a run. Technical running socks are particularly important for trail runners who encounter uneven surfaces, mud, dirt, trail debris, water and more. So with that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about your trail socks, and what to look for.
GET THE FIT RIGHT
Twists, turns and rough, uneven terrain make the fit of your trail socks more important than ever to avoid unnecessary movement and friction. Your socks should have an ergonomic fit that contours and hugs the shape of your foot – some technical socks even have a “left and right” specific anatomy to optimise the fit even further. If you find yourself between sizes, always take the smaller size to ensure the best, close anatomical fit.
Suggested socks: Inov8 All Terrain Mid Running Socks
As we run, our feet heat up and start to sweat, so it’s essential that this moisture is able to evaporate away from the foot. Socks without breathable, wicking properties cling to moisture – and that’s when rubbing and irritation come in – which means blisters. Socks constructed from technical, breathable fabric allow moisture to evaporate, helping to keep your feet dry, comfortable and blister free. Some trail socks also contain silver fibres to help keep the socks’ bacteria and odour free.
Suggested socks: Hilly Vista Anklet Trail Socks
Trail runners are likely to encounter mud, water and long wet grass. That can mean cold, uncomfortable and waterlogged feet. Technical wicking fabric helps get rid of this excess moisture in the same way it wicks sweat, but for particularly wet runs look for thin, lightweight socks that will dry out quickly. The thicker and heavier the sock, the longer this will take.
Suggested socks: Hilly Skyline Anklet Trail Socks
CONSIDER EXTRA CUSHIONING
If you’re heading out on a longer run, your running socks can also help add a little extra cushioning to absorb impact. Look for extra padding in the key impact areas at the heel and the ball of the foot.
But remember, when you’re adding thickness to your socks, it’s a trade off against how fast they’ll dry out in wet, muddy conditions.
Suggested socks: Thorlos Lite Trail Running Socks
OPT FOR DARK COLOURS
Grubby socks are not a good look, and trail conditions mean your socks are going to get wet, muddy and stain – ruining lighter coloured socks. Look for trail socks in darker colours to avoid inevitable discolouration and staining to give them a longer visual lifespan too.
Suggested socks: Inov8 All Terrain Mid-Running Socks
More and more runners are opting for compression wear to help boost performance, increase endurance and promote better recovery. Trail specific compression socks combine all of the qualities of a trail sock alongside compressive properties which support the muscles, increase blood-flow and promote enhanced performance and recovery.
Suggested socks: Hilly Peak Compression Knee High Trail Socks
GO FOR WARMTH IN WINTER
Trail runners are totally exposed to the elements and need a little extra protection in particularly cold conditions. This is where Merino wool becomes a trail runner’s best friend. Combining natural wicking and fast drying capabilities with extra warmth and temperature regulation, merino wool trail socks are the ideal partner for those biting winter runs.
Suggested socks: Inov8 Merino Mid-Running Socks