Makeover Monday: Happy Feet, The Sequel

In one of our earliest Makeover Monday posts, I went on and on discussed the necessity of treating our feet well, especially now that many of us are discovering our inner athlete.

I’ve linked to the original post, but for the digest version, basically what I said was this:

There are three fundamentals of foot care:
• Wearing appropriate shoes
• Exercising your feet daily
• Pampering your feet after each exercise session

Now, those are all great tips, but raise your hand if you see the glaring omission.

SOCKS! I never mentioned the importance of choosing the right workout socks! And me a confirmed sock-a-holic, yet. Sheesh! All I can say is I apologize, folks, and will do my best to remedy the situation right this minute! After all, choosing the appropriate socks is every bit as important as getting the right shoes!

For me, there are three fundamentals in choosing the right sports socks:

  • Fit
  • Fabric
  • Thickness

The Right Fit
I have big feet and for some reason, the sports store I frequent is often out of my size. {grrr} I used to make the mistake of buying men’s sports socks in an equivalent size and that just doesn’t work for me. Men’s socks typically have a bit more toe room, and the extra material tends to bunch up on my feet. Ouch.

I’m a firm believer now in buying socks that are shaped like your feet. The ones with ribbing around the middle part are great for holding the sock in place. Also, I prefer a seamless toe in the sock, the better to match the seamless toes on my feet.

The Right Fabric
Cotton and wool are fine for dress socks, but acrylics or acrylic blends are the best way to go with sports socks. Why? One word: wicking. You’ll need it if you’re going to be doing some serious exercising. Wicking pulls the moisture from your feet and help keep your feet nice and dry, thus limiting the potential for developing ugly (and workout-halting) blisters. Watch for words like CoolMax or Dri-Fit on the sock packaging.

The Right Thickness
It took me a while to get this, but I finally figured out that different workouts are better served by choosing a variety of sock thicknesses. For strength training in the gym, I like a thicker sock as I tend to sweat like a stuck pig perspire more. For walking or straight cardio, a thinner sock seems to work better. It makes sense that if I’m choosing which workout shoe to wear based on what I’m doing, that I’d want to consider different socks as well.

My favorite brands of workouts socks are Balega, Thorlo, and Asics. (They’re not paying me anything to say that, either. Although I wouldn’t be above accepting it, if they offered. Even if it’s just a pair or 10 of free socks.)

For another list of recommendations (probably from someone more learned than yours truly), click here.

Bet you think I’ve exhausted my knowledge of socks, don’t you? Well, you’re wrong. Two more, and then I’m on my way.

1) In an embarrassing display of “do as I say, not as I do,” I will caution you to inspect your socks for wear and tear and get rid of them when they begin to look worn. For one thing, the wicking might be less effective, and also, even a teensy, tiny hole can cause a blister. (I’m working on this one, I promise. I now have the world’s largest collection of dust rags to prove it.)
2) Don’t forget to take your sports socks with you to try on athletic shoes. Street socks just don’t cut it for determining how well shoes will jibe with the socks you wear when working out.

And that’s it! I’m done!

Oh wait. No, I’m not. It probably doesn’t have to be mentioned, but I’d be remiss (negligent, even) if I didn’t mention that socks should be laundered after each use. I’m all for cutting down on our water usage, but workout socks should be exempt from double usage.

Okay, nowww I’m done! If you have any sock info or a favorite brand to pitch, or even a cute design for a sock puppet, feel free to shout it out!

I hope you all have a marvelous week!

And a sekrit message to those of you who indulged in chocolate-y goodness over the weekend: it’s not the end of the world. Chin high as you embrace a fresh week! You’ll be fine!