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How to find the right running sock

Wearing the right socks is just as important as finding the right shoes

It’s obvious that runners need a good pair of running shoes, but finding the right pair of socks is just as important. No matter the distance, wearing the wrong socks can break your run. Since Christmas is less than two weeks away, here are some tips on finding the correct socks for running.

Material

One material you should avoid buying is cotton. Cotton absorbs sweat and will withhold moisture, which causes blisters. There are no excuses to buy cheap cotton socks for running. You will want to look for something that is moisture-wicking and breathable, made of synthetic materials like polyester. Synthetic materials will wick sweat to keep you dry and comfortable on your run.

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The fit

Like shoes, you’ll want your socks to fit. If your socks are too big, they can cause blisters. The ideal fit is snug but not too tight.

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Cushioning

You don’t need a thicker sock, but you will want to ensure they are cushioned in the areas where your foot makes contact with the ground. These areas are likely to develop blisters if they aren’t protected by cushioning.

The extra support will also help absorb shock on impact, which will protect your joints. Having a pair of high cushioned running socks can be important if you are running or training for a marathon.

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The sock length

There are many different styles of sock length, and there isn’t one right length for runners. For the most part, sock length is a personal preference and different lengths will work for different types of runners. The most popular sock length/style is no-show, which sits below the ankle and is usually made of polyester or nylon to increase breathability. Another popular style is the crew length that runs halfway up your calf. They are cool to show off in the summer and are guaranteed to keep you warm in the winter.

Compression socks

If you are leaning towards compression socks, they can be good if you want to reduce swelling, shin splints and promote blood flow.

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If you are buying socks at a run specialty shop, ask the staff member to try a few different lengths to see what works best for you and your training.