Let’s talk about (toe) socks, baby.


Following up on a recent post on ToeSox Ultralite socks, I got to thinking about the many pairs of socks I use for various activities and weather conditions. While many people prefer going sockless when running or exercising, I almost a…


Following up on a recent post on ToeSox Ultralite socks, I got to thinking about the many pairs of socks I use for various activities and weather conditions. While many people prefer going sockless when running or exercising, I almost always wear socks. I find it keeps me from getting blisters on longer runs and helps keep funky odors at bay longer than if I went without. In this post, we take an “up close” look at a number of toe and toeless socks to see how they line up, and I’ll share my preferences on how I use each sock.

For comparison’s sake, I took photos of several socks I had laying around the house. In each of these I asked my wife to stretch them over her thumb so we could get a good look at the thread and knit/weaving patterns.

So with that, let’s jump in!


Injinji Performance Series – Lightweight Crew — ($10)

Extremely thin and sheer. These are perfect for hot weather when you need maximum breathability with the protection of a sock.

ToeSox – Ultralite Ankle ($10) & Ultralite Crew ($11)

Very similar to the Injinji Lightweights in terms of “sheer-ness” and breathability. A great warm weather sock if you want a toe’d Injinji alternative.

Injinji Performance Series – Original Weight — ($12)

Tight knit and bit bulkier weight thread. These are my “workhorse” Injinjis which perform well in most all conditions. I generally go between these and the above Lightweights for most of my spring/summer/fall running.

Injinji Ex-Celerator/Compression Toesock — ($38)

Tightly knit and stretchy—exactly what you want in a compression sock! As compression socks go, I’ve found these to be my absolute favorite in terms of overall squeeze and durability. I love lazing around the house in them after a hard workout, or even wearing them to sleep. As a bonus, in the winter months I can wear these with shorts as an alternative to running tights.

Injinji Performance Series – Midweight Padded/No-Show — ($16)

Pretty thick, huh? I don’t like wearing these in the summer, but they are cut too low for much outdoor winter use. For me, they are more of a casual-wear sock that I pair with jeans/long pants.

Injinji Outdoor Series- Original Weight Quarter ($16)

Also pretty thick. As part of the “Outdoor” series, I believe these are aimed at the hiking market. As a running sock, they work pretty well in cooler temperatures.

Non-toed socks

Balega Hidden Comfort — ($11)

These are my favorite normal (toeless) sock for everyday and active wear. The padded bottoms and super soft synthetic material used is incredibly comfortable. They even come in “Zesty Lemon” if you need a sock to match to your Lime Green New Balance Minimus Zeros.

(The close-up photo is taken of the seam where the sole meets the top of the foot.)

Defeet Aireator — ($10.99)

My favorite brand and model of cycling sock. They are super thin and great at wicking on hot days. And if you’re looking to get custom socks made for a club or team, Defeet is definitely worth checking out.


So as you can probably tell, I have a sock for just about every temperature and condition and that works really for me. But, if I had to have just one sock model to wear for the rest of my life to fit all purposes, I’d probably choose the Original Weight Injinjis. They are comfortable, fit well all around, and I’ve had several pairs over the years and found that they are quite durable and have held up under rigorous running regimens.

By Tim

I’m am a bicycle advocate by profession and an Ironman triathlete for fun which keeps me healthy and fit. I got into minimalist footwear during the summer of 2009 after dealing with injuries resulting from running in “normal” running shoes. Check out what’s going on in my life through photos at [url=][/url] or follow me on twitter: [url=]@TimKelleyDotNet[/url]. Get to know Tim better via [url=]his interview here[/url].

8 replies on “Let’s talk about (toe) socks, baby.”

I don’t wear socks for runs, on trails only, or workouts. Problem solved! That’s because I run in sandals only and workout barefooted. Makes for a better, more natural feel all around.

You left out SmartWool toe socks. I wear this with my KSO Treks for hiking, backpacking and longer and/or colder trail runs.

The first run of the Smartwool socks weren’t the best fitting or looking (bright red or blue rings around the top?!). Thankfully they’ve fixed both issues with this seasons release.

Thanks for the comparison!
Can you use the same size VFF with and without (Winter) socks? Or should I go for a size bigger than my (Summer) sprints?

We are toe socks and non skid yoga socks manufactory. Good quality and competitive price are our advantage. Welcome to buyer’s enquiry at any time.

When I got my first pair of Vibrams, I wanted to wear socks with them, as I didn’t want to wash them every other day (I’ve got sweaty feet). I looked EVERYWHERE, and wouldn’t mind multi-colored toe socks, but I couldn’t find anything except the Injinjis at $10 a pair. Yeah right. So I did some searching and discovered that Fila makes their own toe socks for their skeletoes, and at $6/pr they’re not badly priced. They are probably comparable to cheaper dress-socks in design and weight.

I’ve later discovered that by rotating my (now) 3 pairs of vibrams, I can go 2 weeks without washing through rotating and foot powdering (Pinaud Talcum).

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