With two design patents, Injinji performance toe socks are hardly a gimmick. Per CEO Jason Battenfield, Injinji toesocks “provide each wearer with proper toe alignment which improves posture, gripping and balance, strengthens the muscles in the foot and leg, encourages healthy circulation, manages moisture, and prevents skin on skin friction.” That’s a pretty tall order for a pair of socks, so the staff here at IndustryOutsider set out to test a couple pairs, and see if we could verify these claims.
The socks we tested were the Midweight Performance Toesock™. A mix of 60% CoolMax®, 35% nylon, and 5% Lycra®, these socks feature seamless construction, including the five individual toe sleeves. In theory, this allows for unrestricted movement of each toe individually, while the highly breathable fabric does double duty – wicking away moisture and preventing skin to skin friction that can lead to blisters. Naturally, there is a specific left and right sock.
Originally, the plan was for me to put a pair through their paces cycling, hiking, and walking, and my associate would wear his pair while training for an upcoming half marathon, as well as whatever hiking he did with his Scouts. Things got off to a very slow start for me, as my monkey toes could not get comfortable in the sleeves. Despite wearing them around the house for an hour or more at a time, and trying them in different shoes, they never got to the point where I felt I could adequately test them. Still, this should not necessarily be viewed as a design shortcoming. With only four sizes available, they are not going to fit everyone. The heel to toe length was fine, but my toes just weren’t happy being separated.
That left John to do the real work here:
I found the Injinji toesocks to be quite comfortable. However, being constructed with 60% CoolMax, the expectation was that when paired with a well-ventilated running shoe like the NewBalance 560, my feet would be kept a little drier than they were. Since there are plenty of marathon runners that swear by them, there’s no question that they are effective for some users. During my regular workouts and running, the socks provided a little extra cushioning, less friction between toes, and overall performed well. The quality of the construction provided a great fit. It did take me a couple of days to get used to how they felt though. In conclusion, there is a performance advantage to these socks, but I do not see the benefit of wearing them to sway my decision to switch to them exclusively. This may be because I have not had any major problems with my feet during extended runs. If you’re someone who does have excessive moisture that causes frictions and blisters, I suggest you give the Injinji toesocks a try.
For more information, check out Injinji.com