The Benefits of Toe Socks

Have you ever worn socks with toes?!

If you’ve ever lived in a snowy climate, you’ll know that wearing gloves (where each finger is encased in a separate sleeve) is much more practical than mittens (where only the thumb is separated from the fingers).

And yet – a lot of people have never heard of, let alone considered wearing, toe socks!

I’ve been sharing lots of tips for happy feet here on the website – from basic foot care, to knowing what to look for in running shoes. This month, we’re going to look at the role of the humble sock, and in particular, the benefits of toe socks.

why wear socks?

Why Wear Socks?

Wearing socks is as important as choosing the correct footwear, for the health and wellbeing of our feet. I know, I know – socks just don’t look appealing with all types of shoes!

However, if you are participating in any type of sport or physical activity, wearing socks with your shoes is essential. Here’s why:

  • We have numerous sweat glands in our feet, so socks are primarily worn to absorb sweat;
  • Socks not only help keep us (and our shoes) dry and comfortable – they also reduce our exposure to the bacteria which causes Athlete’s Foot;
  • And if that’s not enough to convince you to wear socks and shoes next time you go for a walk or run – they prevent foot odour as well!

When it comes to sports and performance, not all socks are created equal. Because I work with many clients with a keen interest in active and outdoor pursuits, I often find myself recommending toe socks (also known as finger socks, digital socks and glove socks). They’re not just a crazy fad from the 70’s and 80’s – toe socks actually have many benefits!

Toe Socks Benefits

toe socks benefits

1 – Moisture management. By having each individual toe wrapped, the foot will be dryer and more comfortable than in traditional socks – which is especially important if you are hiking, running, or participating in any form of sport. Plus, it will reduce the likelihood of problems such as infections and odour.

2 – Prevent Blisters. If you are are keen on running or hiking, you are likely wincing as you read this! The good news is, toe socks reduce the friction caused by your toes rubbing together, or against your shoes – and that means less chance of blisters developing.

3 – Sensory Feedback. Traditionally, distance runners wore toe socks to prevent blistering but also to provide them with valuable “sensory feedback”. The connection between our brain and our foot (and vice versa) is strengthened as toe socks provide much more sensory stimulation, than when all the toes are clumped together in one little bag. This is important as it allows the runner or athlete to focus their attention to a proper toe push-off phase, during their strike.

4 – Total Foot Utilisation. Even if you are not into sports, toe socks ensure that your toes are properly aligned and splayed so that your body weight is distributed evenly. This allows your entire foot to be engaged as you walk. Toe socks optimise the biomechanics of your foot, and the sensory loop between your foot and brain.

When you visit your local podiatrist with any foot concerns, they will not only assess the appearance of your foot, and your biomechanics perhaps through the use of a digital gait scan, but also your choice of socks and footwear, so that they can make specific recommendations for your individual needs.

That’s why we now stock Injinji Toe Socks at our Redlands podiatry clinic.

Introducing Injinji Toe Socks

The design and construction of these socks is second to none.

In addition to  a seamless design for maximum comfort, Injinji toe socks keep your feet dry and cool thanks to a mixture of quality materials:

  • Cool Max – a moisture management fibre with wicking properties;
  • Nu Wool – a non-itchy Australian merino wool, which provides temperature and moisture control; and
  • Lycra – a flexible material with bio-directional stretch, for comfort and durability.

The Injinji range includes socks for different activities, eg running, hiking, work and business, each with different padding, thicknesses etc; and in various styles such as crew socks, knee highs and no show socks.

There is even a range of compression socks, perfect for boosting circulation in diabetics, and to relieve muscle fatigue in active people.

So next time you visit our Redlands Podiatry Clinic, ask us about whether toe socks would be of particular benefit to you!