Running is enjoyed by millions of people for fitness and fun. Many people are drawn to running because it is one of the most accessible sports and does not require a lot of special equipment. It is very important, however, to have good-quality running apparel, including running socks, to avoid discomfort or injury.
How to Choose Running Socks
There are several factors runners should consider to help them select the right running socks for their needs.
Consider the average distance covered while running. Runners who regularly cover distances of 10 miles or more may want extra cushioning to lessen the impact of the pounding. Distance runners also may consider compression socks, which help them recover more quickly after demanding workouts.
Runners’ socks should change with the seasons. Individuals running in hot climates often prefer lighter socks that allow ventilation and wick sweat away from the foot. Cold-weather running calls for socks that insulate the feet from the cold.
The Elements of Running Socks
Running socks come in many shapes, sizes, materials, and fashions, so keep the following in mind when shopping for them.
Synthetic materials are preferable because they are durable and wick problem-causing moisture away from the foot. Avoid 100 percent cotton socks, because cotton clings to moisture, making feet cold in the winter and causing blisters in the summer. Merino wool blends are a good choice for winter running because they insulate feet from the cold and don’t trap moisture against the skin.
Cushioning and Thickness
Some runners prefer socks with plenty of cushioning on the heel and the ball of the foot for extra comfort and shock absorption, especially for long-distance runs. Others like the lightweight feel of socks with little or no cushioning.
Buyers should keep their running shoes in mind when considering the thickness of different socks. If their running shoes have a loose fit, then very thin socks could leave too much room in the shoes, which could lead to blister-making friction. Alternately, thick socks worn with tight shoes could cause the feet to feel constricted and cut off ventilation. Also remember that feet expand somewhat in the heat.
Sock sizes can vary by manufacturer, so runners should consult each manufacturer’s size specifications before buying socks to ensure they choose the right fit.
The length of running socks varies from cuts below the ankle to knee-length socks. Sock length is mostly a matter of personal preference and style, but there are some comfort and safety considerations as well.
Socks that are cut very low can slip down underneath the heel during a run, so look for models that will stay above the collar of the shoe’s heel.
Additionally, winter runners should wear socks that are long enough to cover all the skin between the feet and the runner’s pants or tights; skin exposed to freezing air for even short periods of time can get frostbite.
Knee-high compression socks can improve circulation in runners’ legs and feet. Distance runners favor these socks because they have been shown to speed up recovery after long, intense runs. For compression socks to be effective, they should be tightest around the ankle and taper off in compression strength as they climb the leg.
Caring for Running Socks
It’s important for runners to clean their socks after each run – wearing dirty socks can cause blisters. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely for washing. Avoid using bleach or harsh detergents, which can damage the material, and dry socks on low heat unless otherwise noted.
Buying Running Socks on eBay
After determining which type of running socks meet the runner’s needs, visit eBay to shop a large selection of products. Begin the search by going to the category called Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories. To find women’s running socks, select Women’s Clothing, then choose either Sportswear, or Hosiery and then Socks. To shop for men’s socks, go to Men’s Clothing, then select Socks or Sportswear. Once in these categories, buyers can perform a search for running socks. Shoppers can also search for running socks in the category Sporting Goods.
Take note of how many socks the seller includes in one unit, as running socks often come in packs of two or more. It’s good to own several pairs of running socks so there’s a clean pair at hand for every run.
It’s important to check the feedback on the seller before buying products on eBay, and try buying from those with the most positive customer feedback. Most sellers accept credit cards or PayPal.
Wearing the right running socks can help keep runners on track with their fitness goals. Socks that are comfortable, fit well, and are made with the correct material will prevent painful blisters, protect the feet and legs from the environment, and ensure safe and enjoyable runs.