The Best Running Socks, According to Ultramarathoners


The Western States Endurance Run is the international’s oldest 100-mile race. This weekend, nearly 400 runners will spark off from Squaw Valley, California, and head west along the crest of the Sierra Nevada, by means of exposed high-alpine terrain, rambling streams, and dense wooded area.

A race like Western States requires the perfect stage of willpower, physically well being, and mental preparation. Of direction, it moreover calls for high-functioning equipment—like, you recognize, excellent socks. These are the socks that 8 Western States runners will put their faith in this weekend.

Fruit of the Loom Heavy Duty Reinforced Crew Socks ($30 for 10 pairs)

(Courtesy Fruit of the Loom)

Gordy Ainsleigh

Western States advanced from a 100-mile horsepacking race typically referred to as the Tevis Cup. In 1974, Gordy Ainsleigh, a chiropractor from Auburn, Colorado, became the principle explicit particular person to run it on foot, finishing merely 18 mins beneath the 24-hour time limit and thus founding the enduring instance. This 12 months, the 71-year-old hopes to secure his 23rd Western States finish, and he’ll be working in Fruit of the Loom crew-cut paintings socks—which he moreover wears for gardening, landscaping, and maintaining local trails. “These American-made work socks are simply astounding for the way they feel on my feet, especially when I’m running long distances,” Ainsleigh says. The socks are a mixture of cotton, polyester, and spandex. Ainsleigh cuts off the elastic band at the top of the sock, because of it’s constrictive and bounds stream. “The socks hold up without them just fine,” he says.

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Injinji Run Lightweight Mini Crew ($12)

(Courtesy Injinji)

Meghan Laws

At 57, Meghan Laws has finished Western States 11 circumstances—along with ten top-ten finishes. The Californian runner, trainer, and mom swears by way of five-toe socks from Injinji. “Without them, I get blisters between my toes,” Laws says. Injinji has a patent on its trendy five-toe sock design. The lightweight mini crews are a minimalist sock made with synthetic, breathable Coolmax and nylon.

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Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew and Injinji Liner Crew NuWool ($24 and $12)

(Courtesy Smartwool; Injinji)

Jesse Marco Haynes

Jesse Haynes, a 45-year-old Southern Californian with 4 Western States finishes, has an “interesting and complicated protocol” in terms of socks. He layers Injinji’s thin, light-weight wool liner socks with Smartwool’s merino medium-cushion staff that’s designed with an extra-durable knit. The five-toe Injinji socks defend his ft from blisters, and the Smartwool supplies further cushion to battle soreness. An nearly seamless toe prevents abrasion, and mesh zones sell off heat. The taller staff height moreover shields Haynes’ ft from debris at the trail. “I am all about the wool,” he says. “It’s durable, moisture-wicking, cool in the heat, and warm in the cold.”


CEP Women’s Ultralight Socks ($60)

(Courtesy CEP)

Fiona Hayvice

Fiona Hayvice is still looking for the right kind sock. The 42-year-old from New Zealand has worn CEP Ultralight Socks for the former 3 years, along with 1 Western States finish. The compression fabric will building up stream in her lower legs. “The snug, knee-high fit really does stabilize my joints and muscles,” Hayvice says. “Ultimately, they help me run faster for longer and recover faster, too.” Compared to CEP’s other compression socks, the Ultralights are lower amount and further breathable. That discussed, Hayvice’s ft have been plagued with blisters that hindered her potency at Western States ultimate 12 months. “Sock choice may not have made any difference. However, I’m pretty keen to find out if the issue can be mitigated with individual toe socks,” she says. This 12 months, she’ll take a look at the Injinji Ultra Compression ($49), a lightweight sock with compression that starts at the ankle and step-by-step will building up as it moves to the upper calf.

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Compressport Pro Racing V.3 Trail Sock ($18)

(Courtesy Compressport)

Paul Giblin

“Western States is a hot race,” says Paul Giblin, a 40-year-old professional ultrarunner and trainer. Temperatures all over the race regularly hit the nineties and normally even inch their means into triple digits. Compressport uses an ultra-breathable mesh that keeps air shifting by means of all the foot. Giblin says seamless sock with a bolstered cushioning beneath the toe and a roomier toe box keeps his toenails intact. “These just feel like a natural part of your feet,” he says.

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Drymax Running Socks ($40 for 3 pairs)

(Courtesy Drymax)

Karl Meltzer and Ian Sharman

Two-layer Drymax socks have a hydrophobic inside layer that attracts sweat and water clear of the pores and pores and skin and proper right into a moisture-attracting outer layer. So even if your socks don’t have a possibility to dry out, the moisture received’t cause friction that ends up in blisters. Drymax’s gadget works so correctly that many of the Western States runners we reached out to have been speedy to recommend the style. (Drymax moreover sponsors a large number of them.)

“I never have problems with socks, blisters, or feet issues,” says Karl Meltzer, who holds the arena record for one of the vital ultramarathon wins (he’s received 38 100-mile races). He always opts for Drymax, and the style even named a model after him, known as the Speedgoat. Ultrarunner Ian Sharman, who moreover worked with Drymax to increase his personal sock, supplies, “I like a decent amount of cushioning in the sock, nothing too light around the toes, robustness and moisture-wicking.” These socks read about these kind of boxes.

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