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Review of Injinji Running Socks: Preventing Blisters with Toesocks

Like most runners, I’m a total junkie when it comes to running gear. I find it really hard to resist trying out the next best thing, and I’m fairly obsessive about what I put on my feet.  I’m therefore somewhat surprised that it took me so long to try out the Injinji toesocks. If you’re not familiar with the Injinji socks, they basically look like a normal pair of socks with one major exception – they provide individual pockets for each of your toes. Sure, I’d seen other runners report positively about their experiences with them, particularly about their ability to prevent toe blistering, but the strange looking socks always seemed like a gimmick to me. I couldn’t have been more wrong – these socks are awesome!

My initial reason for buying a pair of Injinji’s was so that I could wear socks along with my Vibram Fivefingers KSO “foot gloves.” Like the Injinji socks, the Vibrams, or VFF’s for short, have individual toe pockets, making it impossible to wear regular running socks with them. After a run in VFF’s where I blistered my heel pretty severely, I decided to give the Injinji socks a try as an added layer of protection.

The first time I put on a pair of Injinji socks, I immediately felt strange. Having such a form fitting layer of cloth around my toes was weird, as was the sensation that my toes were being separated from one another to a greater degree because of the sock material in between them (which is presumably why they’re so good at blister prevention). You get used to the feeling pretty quickly, though it still is odd to look at your foot and see your toes sticking out in all of their cloth-covered glory – my kids find them particularly funny (dad has a reputation for being a bit of a gear junkie, and the little guys humor me well!). When you wiggle your toes in Injinji’s, it’s immediately apparent that they reduce skin-to-skin friction between your toes in a way that other socks cannot (most other socks seem to actually have the effect of squeezing your toes together, thereby increasing inter-toe friction), and this results in much happier feet.

So how do they perform on the run? This is where the Injinji socks really stand out for me. I have a history of getting really bad blisters on my long runs (for example, check out this post-marathon picture from last May – it’s frightening), and every other solution I have tried (e.g., slathering my feet with Bodyglide) has not helped. I’m pleased to report that I have yet to develop a single blister while wearing my Injinji Micro Performance socks on a run, and this includes my two marathon prep 20-milers during this training cycle. They’ve also solved my blistering problem with the Vibram Fivefingers – I’ve run as much as 8 miles in the VFF’s +Injinji’s (in the pouring rain) with no problem.  I’m so impressed with how they’ve performed that I will be wearing them during the Hartford Marathon on October 10, where I’m attempting to at least PR and at most BQ. As any marathon runner knows, deeming a pair of socks marathon-worthy is the highest honor that one can give.

What about the price? Injinji socks are expensive, running on average about $12.00-$14.00 per pair, though they can be had at a discount at times at the Injinji website. You’ll also see on the Injinji website that the socks come in a variety of styles – I have used only the Micro’s since I prefer low-profile socks. In my mind, ~$12.00 is a small price to pay for running blister-free, and I highly recommend Injinji’s to anyone who has frequent blister problems. Heck, they might even save me a few toenails next weekend in Hartford when I run 26.2 – I’ll be sure to post an update afterward!
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I’d love to hear what you think if you give the Injinji socks a try – feel free to leave a comment!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Yet another Injinji believer – blister free since donning these in January.  I’ve gone through a couple of pairs with my Trail Gloves, averaging a pair about every 3 months – but as you said, well worth the bucks for happy toes!

  2. Grinning Ape says:

    Pete, I couldn’t agree more! After being highly sceptical, Injinji were a revelation the first time I used them. So good in fact that I even use them in Ironman Triathlons, taking critical time to get them on in transition before embarking on the marathon run leg. My feet end the day in great condition, only once having a toe blister after drowning myself in cups of water on a hot day. Keeping the feet dry is a must regardless of what socks you wear.

    Injinji were best described to me with the analogy of ski gloves vs mittens. When wearing mittens and skiing or working up a sweat, your fingers do get a bit sweaty and clammy side-by-side. However, that’s less likely to occur when wearing gloves with individual finger pockets. The comfort factor is noticeable. The same for socks.

    Another thing the Injinjis do is allow your toes to splay more naturally, thus potentially helping to promote a more natural foot strike.

    A glowing review and I have no connection with Injinji apart from being a happy customer.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks for the comment! Injinjis have become my go to sock for long
      runs and marathons, and toe blisters are now largely a thing of the
      past.

      Pete

  3. Rick & Fran Castello says:

    I’m just starting running myself (I’m still getting used to the thought!), and love my VFFs… I bought my first pair of Injinji’s recently, and they felt kinda over-snug in my VFFs.

    Do the socks “thin down” a little after repeated washing? Do you wear VFFs one size larger when wearing the socks?

    I’m planning on doing my half in VFFs, and I’m curious if I’m crazy to consider running without the socks, or if I need to think about getting a size up of VFFs to be able to run in socks.

    I’d love to hear your feedback!

    -Rick
    @fungible
    @featforfourfeet (with my wife, @franatasia)

    • Injinji’s make Performace liners that fit perfectly

    • These were my questions as well. I finally broke into my vffs bikilas, but with it for the first time in my life keep developing athlete’s foot. I hate socks, but I think this or going barefoot may be my only solution. But I don’t think they will let me do that at the gym.

      Did you end up with a size larger or the performance socks work fine. ThankKs for any inputs!!

      Af
      Afe16rugby@hotmail.com

    • Pete Larson says:

      Rick,

      My VFFs are a size too large, but not by choice (either I measured wrong
      when I ordered them, or my feet have shrunk) – that might help with the
      fit. I’ve seen several people run full marathons in Vibrams without socks,
      so a half should certainly be doable. My main reason for going with
      Injinji’s initially was to deal with blistering on my heel, which is
      probably because they were a bit too big. However, in the winter the socks
      have definitely helped with warmth. Here’s a link to a blog by a guy I know
      who runs all of his miles, including a full marathon, in Vibrams without
      socks: http://runluaurun.wordpress.co….

      Hope this helps!

      Pete

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my toe socks! :) They are the greatest socks and I refuse torun more than just a few miles in anything else. I had terrible blisters after my first marathon and was desperate to find something that would help…and these were the ticket! I’ve been wearing them for a couple of years now and that initial uncomfortable/odd between-the-toe feeling isn’t even noticable anymore.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks for the comment – Injinji’s have really been a lifesaver for my feet
      as well, and they need all the help they can get given what we runners put
      them through! – Pete

  5. I wear the post performance socks for after playing basketball and they are terrific. I highly recommend them, especially for when you do something that is is impactful.

  6. Kevindoyle says:

    I’ve been running in injinjis for 2 years and now consider them an essential piece of gear. The blister protection is superb, but I never hear anyone rave about how cool your feet stay while wearing these socks. I have very sweaty feet and have always battled athlete’s foot, especially in summer. Since I’ve been wearing the injinjis my fungus woes have all but vanished. This is a great product that every runner should at least try.

  7. Johnny Whisky says:

    Thanks for the tip! Just bought two pairs of these socks today hoping they’ll help with my between toe blisters I’ve been getting. I was just putting band-aids around each toe, but this is much less of a hassle.

  8. Alexander Edye says:

    Hey, i have a pair of injinji socks that i wear in my VFF’s but i used to wear them in my regular running sneakers. They are fantastically comfortable but i found that holes do wear in on the toes quite fast.

Trackbacks

  1. […] But pro runners, Vibram Five Finger wearers, hikers, and travelers report that they totally eliminate blisters. There’s enough positive word out there that I trust it to be true. […]

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