Monday, August 14, 2017

Rant of the day: Socks

Let's talk about socks for a hot minute. There are a few common lengths you can find when purchasing socks for athletic pursuits, although they might go by different names depending on brand or what store you are searching at. I've found some helpful visual aids to ensure we're all on the same page here. Here they are, ordered from least to most acceptable:
No-show socks do not show above your running shoes.
No-show: I feel the same way about no-show socks as I do about strapless bras or thong underwear. God forbid someone sees your panty lines, or bra strap, or freakin' sock, so let's invent something super uncomfortable but ask you to wear it with a smile in the name of fashion. No-show socks provide some of the very basic benefits of being a sock, but absolutely NOTHING where it really counts... my heels. My heels tend to be blister magnets. Zero stars, No-show.
Anklet running sock just touch the bottom of the ankle.
1/4 or Anklet: WTF, 1/4 length? You are like the less-cool cousin of No-show because you're visible above the sneaker-line, and therefore somehow uglier according to society. So I'd love to at least give you props because you're trying to be more functional, but I can't because you still leave me with bloody, mangled heels. Fail all around.

Knee-high running socks extend beyond the calf but not over the knee.
Knee-high: Enjoyed by soccer players and my grandfather. I actually had a few pairs of pretty sweet Superman knee-high socks for CrossFit, which I appreciated when box jumps were part of the Workout of the Day. I mean, if it came down to it, the socks were going to do jack squat if I ate it to keep me from getting bloody shins, but there was still some peace of mind there. Not really appropriate for running (unless you are using compression), because you might as well be wearing pants at this point, but these get an honorable mention as they do often play an important role in costumed, themed, or fun runs.

3/4 running socks cover the ankles but don't go very far up the calf.
3/4 or Mid: The ONLY acceptable sock length for running. My heels and ankles, while slightly whiter than the rest of my body, are well protected from the damage my sneakers can do from a long run. Unfortunately, I must be the only one in the state of Florida who has this problem because there is not a single running store that sells this magical sock. I can only find No-show. Heck, it's really hard to even find 1/4 length here, as if that extra tiny bit of sock is going to cause one to immediately suffer from heat exhaustion. I understand we get 100% humidity down here, but come on people. Really.

And barefoot purists, this is NOT your time to comment. I tried it your way last year, and ended up with an awesome stress fracture after running the Dark Side Challenge (despite training in minimalist shoes for four months) that left me sidelined for a good portion of the summer. I'm thinking your way is the right way... but only once you actually are at a healthy weight. Until then, sneakers... with socks... are for me.

Before I moved to Florida, I was a member of Roadrunner Sports, which carried all kinds of glorious socks. I swore by their R-Gear Dry Max socks, as they were reasonably priced compared to other brands of running socks (especially if you were a member!) and seem to last a long time for the number of miles I put them through. I let my membership expire since RRS doesn't exist down here, but started to get nervous as I picked up running in sneakers again last June and realized my sock collection was dwindling. So when I actually went looking for socks around here and could only find fucking No-show socks, I rejoiced when I was on the road in Colorado with my husband and... lo and behold... we passed a RRS! I made him stop for a few minutes so I could stock up on my favorite socks.

Star Wars Darth Vader dances when he finds a good running sock.
When I finally find 3/4 length socks, I be like...
Anyway, my socks seem to be wearing out again. Thank goodness for the internet and mail order.