Blisters on the inside of both big toes after a 20 mile trail. What to do?
I ended up trying out some injinji performance tetratsoks (Mini-Crew version).
Who is injinji (pronounced in-gin-ji)?
Injinji has embraced the changing world, specifically identifying the need for a biomechanically and medically advanced product that would allow the foot to perform at its best. Makers of “The Original Performance Toesock”, Injinji modified the basic structure, shape, and fiber of the traditional sock. “Optimal foot health is a key part of our overall wellness”, says Jason Battenfield, CEO. “Our toesocks provide each wearer with proper toe alignment which improves posture, gripping and balance, strengthens the muscles in the foot and leg, encourages healthy circulation, manages moisture, and prevents skin on skin friction.”
The aspect I was most interested in was the skin on skin friction prevention.
Out of the Box
When you first take a look at the injinji socks, it can be a shock to your visual senses. The socks are anatomically designed to have a cozy little home for each toe individually, so they definitely don’t look like your traditional running sock.
Another feature different from most traditional socks is you actually have a specific sock for your left and right foot. Big toe on the inside!
The sock construction is made from your typical sporty material; Coolmax, Nylon, and Lycra.
I liked the black color especially for trail running.
How Do You Put These Buggers On?
The injinji tetratsok require a bit of additional attention similar to tucking young children into their bed at night. Simply slide the sock halfway down your foot, then tuck each one of your cute (or less cute) little toes into their individual bed. Once they are snug as a bug, pull the remainder of the sock up around your heal and your are good to go. Simple enough.
How do they Feel?
When I first stood up with the socks I felt I had stuff jammed between my toes, but within a short time something interesting happened. Some kind of mind-body-sock acceptance took place and I no longer could feel this awkwardness.
I still feel this sensation today when I first put the socks back on but within minutes the friendly relationship is re-established.
During my last couple long runs in my lead up to the Bandera 100 km trail run, I put these socks to the test on a couple 25-30 mile trail runs in which I had previously created significant blisters on the inside of each big toe. After both trail runs to my delight, no blisters with the injinji socks!
Time to test these funky socks with an even greater challenge, the actual Bandera 100 km trail run. After 14+ hours on a trail littered with rocks of all sizes and a water crossing in which I completely soaked my feet, my cute ugly running toes were blister free. Not even a hot spot. I did form a blister on the outside of each heal which may have been due to not locking in my heals enough within my shoes. My heavy breaking down the technical hills may not have helped either.
So far, I have been completely happy with how the socks have performed.
SMW Regional Athlete
Strong regional and national ultrarunner, Scott Eppelman, is a sponsored athlete for injinji and had this to say about the socks.
“The main benefit for me has been eliminating blisters at my blister-prone area: inside and outside the small toes.”
“In ultrarunning, there are many variables to be managed, some of which are under the athlete’s control (calorie intake, hydration, gear/clothing) and some are not (weather, course conditions). Knowing that the interface between foot and shoe is taken care of is one less thing to think about, which is good, as there are plenty of other issues that require thought and attention!”
For those that have had or want to prevent blister issues around the toes, I think the injinji socks would be a great option to try out. This was my exact problem and it has so far been eliminated thanks to these five-toed unique looking running socks.
You can purchase the injinji socks at Running Warehouse (Shoes, Packs, Clothes, Lights, and more…plus 2-day free shipping!).
Now go enjoy some blister-free running. 🙂
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
[This article contains an affiliate link which provides a small commission to us (at no cost to you) if you would purchase.]
Posted on 20 Jan 2010
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