Injinji socks: it has come to this [vff]posted in Running on Sep 28, 2010
I have passed the point of no return, guys. I can’t do “normal” shoes anymore. I have been saying that for a while now, but I think it has finally come to pass. In the last year getting to know my VFFs, the one last major hurdle that has stymied the ultimate switch, the last hurrah for those heavy, foot suffocating shoes that I have in my closet was the cold. If it got cold enough, I would have to wear socks. As mighty of a man that I am, frigid temperatures will still stop me from being that extra bit of awesome* (* “awesome” in this case means wearing Vibrams).
But finally, out of nowhere, this invention of all inventions has found its way to my doorstep: Injinji socks! Now I can wear my Vibrams all year ’round. Suck it, nature!
Truth be told, I did hear about these socks a while ago, seeing them advertised on the Vibram site. At the time I really didn’t take any heed. There was no great need to buy socks in the summer. What kind of vagabond would be so strange to do so? Now, though, many moons later, as our hemisphere tilts so adamantly away from the sun, I look towards these socks for comfort in the coming months.
As you have already surmised, Injinji socks follow the same rules that Vibrams do: the rule that minimalism and individual toes are better. To be perfectly honest, I am not fully aware of how these socks really throw down the gauntlet versus regular socks in the “minimalist” arena – socks already are pretty damned minimalist. The main difference between these socks and most others are the individual toe-edness of them that we have all grown to love with our Vibrams. It’s just nice having that extra range of motion in your feet after being used to it for so long wearing the Veebs. Additionally, they feel thin in terms of the material itself, aiding in the insertion into the shoe. And they are super soft. Or here is a more fancy way to put it (from the socks’ product description):
Anatomical Interface System (AIS) is engineered to separate your toes with a CoolMax moisture wicking lining and a resistant nylon outer shell built with Lycra fibers, to create a thin, anti-friction membrane that is both lightweight and breathable. Seamless in construction, the tetratsok forms to every contour of your feet. This allows for true restriction free movement from your heel to five toes,encourages healthy circulation, and eliminates skin on skin contact between your toes to prevent blistering from occurring.
Once the insertion is complete (I think I just like writing the word “insertion”), the shoes feel the same as you’d expect, but just with a little more padding. I have not been able to run in them yet (that will be a later post), but just walking around in them in the apartment felt pretty good. There honestly is not a great deal to say in this regard; if you have worn socks in shoes then you are pretty aware of what the feeling was that I experienced.
I have read some complaints regarding the fourth and fifth toe having too much material, causing them to not fit properly. I did experience this to some degree, but I am absolutely not worried about it. I understand the mechanics of creating a product, and I am sure the lengths of those toes are what most people, on average, have. They can’t cater to ever single customer specifically. Get over it. The other reason why it doesn’t bother me is that even though I experienced some – as I will dub it – “flappy-toe,” once I put them in the shoes and walked for a bit, it went away. When I pulled them out, they stretched out nicely and were snug around all my toes. It was great. An additional plus was that while wearing my Classics, they covered the spot above my heel where my Classics are prone to rub.
The big downside with these buggers that I have come across so far is the price. These bad-boys aren’t three for $5 like or whatever socks go for nowadays. They were about $10 a pair, pretty steep. They seem to take pride in being more of a “performance sock,” if that makes any sense, so I am hoping that they don’s break down any time too soon. Be aware when shopping for these guys that you will pay a premium, and these, I believe, are just the basic sock that they sell. Longer socks get higher in price as you go. I ordered mine from Amazon, and I think they had a little discount, but they were still over ten bucks.
I hope to have some more thoughts on these after I have put some mileage onto them. Right now I am pretty pleased. I like the feel and they fit in my shoes, the two things I needed and wanted.