Sunday, February 14, 2010

Time for My Injini Review

When I mention Injinji to runners, most immediately know what I'm talking about. Everyone seems to have heard about them. Like most runners, I had seen them and they piqued my curiosity, but I wa never sure if they were worth trying. After all, I had a formula for socks and shoes that seemed to be working. Well, that all came to a head about three weeks ago when the organizers of the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K contacted me and asked if I would review a pair of Injini socks. I gladly accepted! Time to figure out whether these funny looking socks really work or not!

Now, I know most people aren't real picky about socks. At least until you have had you're feet chewed up and spit out by a bad pair (happened to me in my first marathon). For me, the farther my training run, the more important a good pair of socks . I can run 3 miles in a pair of cotton crew socks. But, once I get out beyond 10 or 12 miles, I better be wearing a pair of socks that can do the following:
  • Comfort: They've got to be comfortable. No seams or threads that rub strange places and create a hot spots.
  • Grip around the ankle: No floppy socks for me. I must be OCD, because if my socks slip down on my ankles, I'm going home.
  • Non-slip: The heels better be formed and snug. I do not want to find my socks bunched around my toes when I'm done. I do not desire blisters on my toes
  • Wicking: I sweat. A lot. If my socks don't wick, my shoes end up soaked, shortly thereafter everyone knows I'm coming from the smell of the toxic waste dumps I'm wearing on my feet.
  • Arch support: This is a personal preference. I love the feeling of a snug sock and shoe. I'm not the type of person who likes the stuff on my feet loose.

So, let's talk about how Injinji measures up.The sock I received is an Injini Tetarsock Mini-Crew. They are ankle high socks. There are two other styles, a mini (below the ankle) and a crew (calf high).

First, I did not just wear the socks once and rush into this review. I spent a lot of time just looking at the construction of the sock. I'm not sure how they do it, but the thing that was most interesting was the lack of any seams, even between the toes:

Then, I wore the socks for three weeks*. I ran through all my different training pieces with them. Short runs (4 to 6 miles), tempo runs (10 and 12 miles), and long runs (20 miler). The final test were under race conditions at the Surf City Half. I wanted to make sure that the socks were appropriately tested.

Let's see how they measure up:

  • Comfort: A+. Can you say cashmere? Each time I put them on, they feel a little strange. I think it's that my piggies aren't touching each other that makes it feel weird. But, once I'm running, they feel like cashmere on my feet.
  • Grips around the ankle: A. As I push forward in a workout, they do get a little heavy around the ankles, but they do not sag. But neither do they grip and hold on tight. Kind of like I'm not even aware that I have socks on!
  • Non-slip: A. Okay. I'm going to ay this fo the third time. Once they are on, I don't even feel them on my feet. They do not sag and they do not slip. Put them on and they say where they need to be.
  • Wicking: A+++. I have *never* had a pair of socks that wick like these babies. One of the reasons these sock get heavy in the ankles is because they are busy wicking away sweat. It's almost like there is a magic vacuum in my shoes. Even after 20 miles, my shoes were noticeably less moist inside. Which also leads to the asterisk (*) above - I was able to wear these socks repeatedly without washing (ewe! Gross!) *because* they wicked so well. My shoes didn't smell like thre day old road kill, and if I laid my socks out, they were dry the next day! Amazing!
  • Arch support: C. Here is the *only* fail in these socks. But once again, this is a personal preference issue. I normally wear these socks from Road Runner Sports: As you can see, there is something *just* a little extra in the arch area that pulls the socks up nice and snug and gives them that oh so comfortable feeling that I like. These Injinjis seem to be missing that. While they are very comfortable on my feet, they just do not have that snug feel that I like. I need to wear them a but more to see if this is something that I can get used to on race day.

Bottom line? If you are looking for an *uber comfortable* sock that you just want to put on your feet and forget about, then you should try a pair. If you are looking for a sock that keeps your feet dry and comfortable and don't need or desire that *snug* fit that I like, then you should definitely get some of these socks! I will be adding a couple pair to my training inventory.


  1. Cashmere for your feet? Ok, now you're talking. Funny, they don't look like monkey feet anymore:) !

  2. Hm! I think I need to get a pair. I also want to get a pair of those gorilla toe shoes for my weight days at the gym..just so I can look like a weirdo. :)'ll be so proud of me...I lost my second toenail on my left foot. Aaaaah...such a runner moment that was. It was even painted pink. I did NOT take a pic, tho...sorry. LOL

  3. I absolutely love my injinjis. I had a horrible long run while training for the marathon two years ago, when I had stupidly cut my toenails that morning. can we say "ouch, and a lot of pain?" Then Penny told me about the injinjis, and I've never had any problems with bandaids coming off every 1/2 mile since. or toe nails cutting other toes, or blisters. Seriously. love them!

    But, please tell me you're kidding and you didn't wear them more than once without washing?!

  4. Still, they are kinda funny looking though? I have not had much problem with socks. Never had a blister issue or toe nail problem. Yet, I am always willing to try something different for the just because of it all. I will give them a try just for that.

    I just noticed your comment on my possible running the OC Marathon. YOU BET! Plan on being there if I do it. I can use your advice because it sounds like your training runs are on this course. You can help me out as well during the race if you want - throwing me a can of ensure or extra water if needed.

    Thanks Glenn!

  5. Sorry Glenn...i really thought i was going to a Sabres game Saturday night, but with Miller in the Olympics I guess Brian didn't think it was such a good idea. I mean Im not complaining since I did get to get dressed up for a fancy Vday dinner but you know a Sabres game would have been great too!!

  6. Awesome. i think i'm going look in to getting some. Thanks for the review.

  7. Hi Glenn,
    Thanks for your made me smile:)

    Great review on the super socks!! Maybe a pair of those would help with my toe issues! I am glad that you tested them with several distances and types of runs...way to do your homework!!

    Thanks Glenn, I hope that you have a great Monday!!

  8. Thanks for the review Glenn. I wish more sock companies would give out "trial" pairs of their socks, because if I'm plunking down $$$$ on socks, I want to make sure they work first.