Tired of blisters making runs and hikes painful? For days after a big run or hike you put up with blisters, redness or pissed off skin. The unwanted hangover after a big session! Rather than choosing socks purely as a separating layer between your shoe and sock, why not choose socks for optimizing foot function and health? Are toe socks the answer to prevent blisters?
I used to get blisters on my second toe on most trail runs over 20km and often that turned into another blister on top of that if I didn’t rest up enough! But hey, there’s a solution. It’s a simple one too. It’s a matter of knowing why most blisters happen and then solving that problem. Let's dig into it, bit by bit.
Before we get to that, I'll point out the obvious that yes, we may seem a bit biased being a toe socks company that makes awesome merino toe socks, but all we are going to do is lay out the information for you.
The blister problem
We all love to get out for a good long run to clear the head or a multi-day hike to get in touch with nature, or even nab a Instagram worthy shot. But sore, bruised and blistered toes often seem like a forgone conclusion for some.
Blisters are just inevitable when your on your feet, pounding the pavement or tackling the trails for so long. Right?
That’s the thing, blisters aren’t inevitable and a lot of them can be prevented with well fitting shoes (we’ll cover this in another post) and the right socks.
What causes blisters on your toes?
Let’s get straight to it. Tim Finn said it best “There’s a fraction, too much friction”
That’s it, that’s what causes so many blisters. Not just on your toes either but your arch and heel. Out toes often get the worst of it though because in most socks, even the specialized, high performance hiking and running socks, your toes are still wrapped up together.
So why is that bad? Isn’t that how most socks are?
Well, let me tell you. Just because that’s how it’s always been done, does that make it the best way?
All performance socks, heck, almost all socks for that matter, contain 2-5% elastic fibers and because the standard sock shape is a tube, they act to pull your toes together. Think of it a bit like a light rubber band around your toes. It’s not strong but just enough to keep your toes in contact with each other more often than not.
Take that skin-on-skin contact and add in a whole lot of repetitive pounding.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is how blisters are made... amongst other things.
It’s a lot like how many runners get chafe on their inners thighs. Just like your thighs can, your toes rub and rub and rub. First they are a bit red and unhappy and this can even be just from long days on your feet at work. But with thousands or steps and just as much rubbing, hot spots and blisters are sure to form.
Are toe socks the solution to your blister?
The short answer: Yes.
The long answer?
Toe socks form seamless little sleeping bags for each toe, wrapping each toe with moisture wicking, low friction fabric to give you two awesome benefits to battle the blister.
Firstly, they immediately stop the skin on skin rubbing while also helping draw moisture away from the skin when standard shaped socks simply cannot.
Secondly, though, they allow your toes to spread, grip and creep naturally, just how they should. As long as your shoes aren’t too narrow then your toes can splay with movement and minimize the pressure, improve aeration, and as a bonus improve toe alignment and feel.
Toe socks do prevent blisters and are one of the best ways to reduce the rubbing to stop hot spots and blisters from forming by separating your toes and letting them move naturally. If you haven’t tried them, you’ll be amazed how how surprisingly comfortable they are, let alone how many foot problems they can help with.
So, get your feeters in some Creepers Toe Socks. Our toe socks here at Creepers socks aren’t just designed for seamless comfort but are 50% ultra-fine merino wool, which has a lower friction coefficient than coolmax and other synthetic fibers, giving you the most comfortable sock you might ever wear. Check them out HERE