I'm a new runner and I'm starting to get a little more serious. I read that it was important to use non-cotton wicking socks for longer distances so bought some Nike ones because they were cheap. However they don't provide enough cushioning and I'm planning to up my mileage to 40-50/week so I was hoping somone could recommend some good socks. I guess trial and error would be the way to find what's best for me but as a poor student this is out of the question.



  • Each to his (or her) own, Choon Tan - personally, I find that the cheap ones that come in packs of three pairs for £2.99 at JJB suit me better than fancy double-layered ones, and they'll survive even the university laundrette without suffering. But for every runner with cast-iron feet like mine, there are a dozen who will swear that they cannot wear anything but thousand-mile or Thorlos.
  • Choon Tan

    If you're after wicking and cushioned socks then I'd suggest those made by either Thorlo or Hilly. Comfy socks from Smartwool, Wrightsock and Running Bear could also be worth a try. Check out our retailer links for socks!
  • I like Thorlos and Falke RU3's
  • Choon Tan

    I had the same problem and went for a pair of Thorlo. What can I say about a pair of socks apart from I find then comfortable.
  • Grieg... Can you make them into puppets when you've finished with them?
  • Aaah. Jon. Puppet fetishist.
  • I feed them to the dog.

    Well actually after I've run and when I'm in the shower he likes to steal them and chew them. Actually though he's like this with all my socks but doesn't touch the missus'.

  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    on a side note, shouldn't your shoes be doing the cushioning rather than your socks?

    however speaking of socks i've been testing loads as i always end up buying a new pair when i go near a running shop. So far my favourites are the ankle version of Wrights Running Lites which are double-skinned socks. they go me through the marathon and all the training with not a blister in sight. I find the Thorlos way too thick - you might even need a larger shoe size to accommodate them.
  • Yeah this is true. In fact when I recently got a pair of falkes it took me a while to get used to them because they were so much thinner. Saying that though, they are goodsocks.

    Mark, why do you bother to get loads of different socks if you think the shoes should be doing the job?
  • I got a pair of Falkes and they were good but have started to go a bit thin on the arch. Not as durable as I would have liked for nine quid. Mostly run in Running Bear and they're erm lovely and represent good value.
  • I agree with Mark, surely the shoes should be providing the cushioning and not the socks? If that's not the case though, how about a pair of insoles like the sorbothane ones. Never used any, but they might do the trick. I always run in cheap sports socks and never have problems with blisters or anything.
  • Indeed, socks can't possibly provide the required amount of cushioning unless they are about 5 inches thick !
  • BTW, I remember reading an article (not in RW) about the Army testing the effectiveness of insoles. They had 3 groups: a. guys running in boots with insoles, b. without insoles, c. running in boots without insoles but who thought they did have insoles. Groups a and c reported the same amounts of injury and pain over a period of time, but much less than those reported by group b. I don't know where I read this (I think it was an outdoor gear website) or how true it is, but interesting if true to see how strong the psychological factor is.
  • I have a collection of socks. My 1000 milers are at the back of the drawer as i can't bring myself to throw out such expensive socks despite the fact that i don't like them. The two layers tend to crease and rub across the top of the toes where the seam is. The Thorlos need big shoes and i have to loosen the laces when i wear them in winter to keep my feet warm. The running bear pair are really nice and i wear them a lot, but being ankle length they don't meet the bottom of my leggings in winter. i always seem to end up with the Nike 3 for £9.99 from Allsports in town.
  • Well for what it's worth, I had some problems with blisters recently and so bought a few different pairs of socks to find the best ones for me. It's an expensive process, but the advertising blurb doesn't tell you enough about them to know how they feel on your feet.

    The results so far are:
    Thurlos - a bit on the thick side but the lumpy thickness is unnoticeable once my feet get warmed up. I'm not going to buy another pair but I won't throw these ones out.
    1000 mile - These are fine if I take the time to get all the wrinkles out before I put my shoes on, but unexpectedly they were the worst of the three pairs for my blisters!
    Falke - These are my favourites and I shall be buying more of them. They're comfortable and they solve the blister problem. But they're expensive :-(

    But then I was trying socks for comfort and keeping my feet dry and blister-free. I wasn't looking for cushioning because I pay loads for my shoes to that job.

    I wonder if cushioning socks might be counter-productive, after all, the shoe manufacturers wouldn't have factored in spongy socks when designing those clever stability/motion-control shoes would they?
  • I'm sorry but I think I did not express myself clearly when I said 'cushioning'. I have a decent pair of trainers from a specialist running store and they cushion just fine but these nike socks are so thin that they're actually wearing through after just a couple of months.
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    aha, see what you're saying now.

    Jon - i used to get a new type when i needed new socks so i could try them out for that magical transformation to my running they promised! have now settled down to the Wright Running Lites which are just about perfect except for my new Mizunos which are a v.close fit. I use single-skin coolmax ones for those.

    fwiw i found the Thorlos too hot in the summer though obviously i might start changing my mind as the winter approaches.
  • Just bought a pair of smartwool socks to replace my 1000 milers, and they work really well for me, although they can be a bit warm in summer.
  • I'm with V-rap on this one. I trained for and ran London this year on those cheap packs of 3 you can get anywhere and didn't have one single blister. I bought a new pair of running shoes yesterday and the guy persuaded to me to buy a pair of 1000 mile socks. With another marathon looming I'm reluctant to try them in case I get blisters from them which is rather ironic!
  • I love the Running bear socks,great fit and very comfy,keep your feet warp even when soaking wet.No blister problems.Plus £3 a pair.
    I have tried Thorlos and 1K miles,not near as good.
  • obviously they keep your feet warm not warp.

  • I always used 1000 mile in the past but they're rubbish after washing a few times and I wear holes in them after 3 or 4 races. No blisters though. I've just started using Ron Hill tactel racing socks - very comfy although they feel slippy inside the shoe but you get used to this. I did get one small blister in the Robin Hood but didn't know about it until I got home. My idea is to buy a different make every month or so until I find one that suits best.
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