“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” – Leonardo da Vinci
The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons. The 52 bones in your feet make up about 25 percent of all the bones in your body. Despite this intricate design, we’ve treated our feet and toes like clowns in a circus car. Yet, for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts alike, there’s nothing funny about the fact that the very nature of the traditional tube sock may work against your feet’s natural form and function.
Injinji Footwear offers patented Performance Toesocks™ that are designed to enable the human foot – from the heel to the five toes – to function naturally and efficiently inside a shoe. The key design principle in the development of the Injinji toesock was to create the best possible interface allowing the entire foot to perform naturally and freely inside our shoes, just like being barefoot.
Whether the discussion topic is barefoot shoes, or barefoot styled socks, proponents of the barefoot revolution will tell you that it feels more natural and prevents injuries, but you’re skeptical. Can those weird gloves for the feet really feel more comfortable than my regular socks? Can Toesocks™ actually aid in performance while offering greater protection for my feet?
These are the very questions we had when Injinji first offered to supply our team with several of the Injinji Performance Toesocks™ for review.
The Injinji First Date…
We all know that first dates can be uncomfortable and awkward, and the same can be true for the life of a gear guru upon the arrival of a new product. When the Injinji box arrived and was opened, it happened… that moment of slight awkwardness when our team stood there staring into a box of socks, with toes. As the slew of Toesocks™ sat there comfortably staring back as if to say “what’s the problem?”
Just like in life, an awkward moment of silence here or there doesn’t mean the date is destined for doom – nor would we let it deter us from opening ourselves up to the Injinji experience. Instead of worrying about the possibility of the date going wrong, we took a few pointers from “How To Prevent An Awkward First Date” and applied them to the review process…..
1. Wear something you’re comfortable in….
When it comes to first dates, you’re always better wearing something you’re comfortable in. Thankfully, whether we’re talking about the Performance, Outdoor or Yoga series, all Injinji Toesocks™ are engineered with Injinji’s patented AIS: Technology™ and built with superior fibers (each series has its own unique combination of fibers ranging from CoolMax® to NuWool with a touch of Nylon and Lycra for a conforming fit) that help keep feet dry, cool and comfortable.
The individual toe sleeves are seamless, and the fabric blend feels very nice against the skin. The double-layered welt top holds the shape of the sock and keeps all the parts positioned where they’re supposed to be. So from the first date to the last, Injinji’s got you covered in comfort.
2. Do an activity you can enjoy together.
It’s a rock steady rule of thumb: ‘go with what you know’. Since Injinji and our gear heads share an affinity for the outdoors, getting to know Injinji a little better was no problem.
Despite an impressive level of comfort, Injinji’s primary marketing strategy isn’t related to the sock’s comfort – it’s in how the sock helps your foot perform more naturally while running. Like us, you may be surprised to find to find that injinji socks have some serious advantages over traditional tube socks:
- Your footfalls are more evenly spaced, and your spine is better aligned when running in fivefinger shoes, leading to better balance. It just makes sense that this means comfort!
- The real magic of Injinji is the individual toes. Even the best performance socks that wick away moisture cannot prevent friction between the toes, especially when hiking and climbing. By providing each toe its own ‘sleeve’ Injinji’s unique design allows natural restriction-free movement and eliminates skin-on-skin friction which is one of the primary causes of blisters.
3. Never bring up past relationships…
I doubt our Injinji toesocks would have protested us chatting about our former love affair with the standard sock, but that being said, there’s some issues we needed to lay out on the table. Toes truly play an essential role in stabilizing lower body movement. Specifically, the toes help to take care of steadiness, thrust and equal weight distribution while walking. With injinji socks, toes are liberated so your foot can move as freely as if you were barefoot, offering uninhibited control and flexibility.
Everything about the conventional tube sock works against your feet’s natural form and function. As noted on Injinji’s website, just take a moment to consider the difference between gloves and mittens: Mittens keep your fingers together to create a warmer, oven-like environment, while gloves offer less warmth but more dexterity. The same principles can be applied to our feet.
When you take a little time to understand the intricacies of the human foot, you’ll wonder why you’ve been cheating your feet with the conventional tube sock. In short, Injinji’s Performance Toesocks™ help you harness the foot’s natural mechanics which aids in overall balance and also provides a greater tactile feeling which can be an enormous advantage for runners who are running over rough terrain.
4. Be yourself, no one is perfect…
“Better to be criticised for being different than compared for being the same.” – Anonymous
True, compared to a normal tube sock, fitting the Injinji toesock is going to take some time and getting used too – especially on the first few wears. After a lifetime of wearing conventional socks, the natural design of Injinji won’t necessarily feel “natural” at first. Then again, it’s good to be your quirky self, and Injinji is nothing if not unique.
It’s Injinji’s unique identity that provides your feet greater freedom resulting in a a better tactile feel of your environment, stronger sense of balance, and a new sense of adroitness our review team appreciated time and again.
Not every first date results in a long term relationship. Similarly, not everyone will fall in love with the fit and feel of Injinji. That being said, Injinji converted our male and female gumption gurus turning them into true believers. The Injinji difference is their advantage, and in turn, that can pay huge dividends for you as an athlete. Go ahead and take that first date with Injinji, but be prepared for the long-term relationship that will develop.
Manufactured by Injinji Footwear, Injinji socks range from $10-$26 and are offered in a rainbow of colors, sizes and styles depending on your activity. They can be purchased from the Injinji Store, or retailers nationwide.
*Our thanks to the Injinji team for providing us the opportunity to not only put several of their toesocks through the paces, but affording us the time to truly become familiar with the product and the brand. After all, from the perspective of product reviewers, more time means more familiarity with the product, which hopefully results in a better review for you, the reader.