October 29, 2011

Beloved Injinjis

I have loved Injinji Toe Socks since I received my first pair as a race souvenir at a 5 Peaks race several years ago. Since then, I've been slowly growing my collection and have come to realize I wear them probably over 95% of the time now. Why would I write about toe socks on a 'barefoot alternative blog'? Because I think they are a healthy product for our feet as they allow absolute freedom of ALL the toes. I find whenever I wear regular socks now, my toes feel squished and constricted. I wiggle my toes a lot and stretch them out after standing for a long time (which I do a lot because I have a standing desk to work at) so love that I can stretch all my toes out as far as they can go when wearing Injinjis.

A friend recently asked me what kind she should buy so I thought I'd write a post about the different kinds I have so she can decide which pair (or pairs) will work best for her. What better way to do that than with pictures? So here are some pictures and captions of the different models of Injinjis I have. Keep in mind, these socks aren't new and are well loved. :)

Performance Series Original Weight Mini-Crew Black. Just above the ankle, mid-weight toe sock great for running and hiking in minimalist shoes or just wearing around the house.

Outdoor Series Mini-Crew Slate. Wool toe socks which are the thickest and warmest Injinjis I have. They are quite warm around the house but don't fit well in tight shoes. They are great for cooler temperature walks or hikes with boots or a wider shoe. The wool doesn't conform to the feet as well as the synthetic material does but they are definitely not itchy against the skin.

Performance Series Eco Mini-Crew Rainbow Black. These have become my favourite Injinjis, mostly because of their colours. :) They are mid-weight synthetic socks but come in funky rainbow colours. They are the same thickness as the Original Weight Mini-Crew Black toe socks above so are also great for running and hiking but mostly I wear them for more casual outings as I don't want them to get stained with dirt.

Performance Series Lightweight No-Show Grey. The thinnest and smallest of my Injinjis. They really don't show much while wearing any minimalist shoe. Because they are so thin, they fit very well in tighter shoes. They probably won't last as long as the mid-weight socks, however, and don't provide that much warmth, which isn't really the point of them. They are a thin interface between your skin and your shoes and do a great job preventing blisters.

Performance Series Lightweight Mini-Crew Black. I've folded down the top edge in the picture to show that, if you want, you can have Injinjis that don't show any brand markings, not that Injinjis' are obtrusive in any way. Still a thin interface between your skin and your shoes but won't show any stains.

Performance Series Lightweight Mini-Crew Grey. I ran a muddy trail with these and, although they performed beautifully, I haven't quite gotten the dirt stain out of them yet. These have become my go-to toe socks for trail running. :)

Performance Series Lightweight Crew Black. These fit great under boots! A thin interface between your skin and your footwear that go up mid-calf. I wear these a lot with my motorcycle boots.
That's my current collection. They are all well-loved and worn much.

When do I go back to wearing conventional socks? The only time I've found I wear regular socks is riding my motorcycle when it's cold (between 0-5C). Because Injinjis have separate toe pockets, they're like gloves for your feet. Regular socks are like mittens; they keep the heat in a little better and the warmth evenly distributed across your toes. Although I can wiggle my toes in my motorcycle boots, the lack of activity doesn't allow me to create enough body heat to keep my toes warm enough in such cold weather with separate toe pockets. But my toes are definitely NOT as happy in regular socks as they are in toe socks!