When I reach into my sock basket, I find myself always looking for toe socks. No matter what the activity or footwear, my subconscious just prefers them. I say my subconscious because I don't spend a lot of time thinking about socks - I guess I delegate that decision to a different plane of my brain. All I know is that when I reach in to get a pair of socks, a pair of toe socks is almost inevitably what comes out (and NOT because they are the only type I have!).

Injinji Performance 2.0 - Toes

When I sat down to think about why, these were the reasons I was able to come-up with:

  1. Toe socks give more freedom for the toes. I hate restricted toes. A lot of sport socks can be very restricting in the toebox, not unlike narrow toebox shoes. Why buy a pair of anatomic shoes with a gloriously generous toebox to just have your toes restricted by a pair of socks? Toe socks eliminate this problem and ensure maximum toe splay in anatomic shoes.

  2. Toe socks reduce hotspots. On occasion while on long hikes I have had hotspots form where my toes rub together - most likely from testing a pair of shoes that don't have the greatest toebox. I have found that toe socks reduce this problem. (Having a wide toebox obviously helps too).

  3. They work very well with Vibram FiveFingers et al. I have always worn FiveFingers with a pair of socks. It helps to reduce that famous VFF funk, and also helps prevent chafing, blisters, and hotspots. They also work with various flavors of sandals like Lunas, Xeros, and Unshoes - footwear that might require putting stuff between your toes to hold them in place. And flip-flops (but you don't use those, right?).

  4. You can wear them with Correct Toes. While I had some difficulty keeping my Correct Toes on while wearing toe socks, apparently some people find they work quite well together.

  5. Toe socks look cool. At least I think they look cool. And I ran out of more reasons :-)

Lat summer at Outdoor Retailer, I went to the Injinji booth and they told me all about the toe sock reboot they were doing - dubbed Injinji Performance 2.0. Basically, they were taking their already good product line and making it better by adding more durability and more comfort.

Injinji Performance 2.0 - Packaging

More durability sounded good, that was my biggest complaint of Injinji from the past, they seemed to not hold-up as well as other sport socks I had owned. Comfort had never been an issue for me, so I wasn't sure what that meant, but was open to the idea as long as it didn't compromise any other qualities I liked.

So, in an effort to not turn this into a 1000 word review on the topic of socks, I will brief and say this:

  • Did they succeed in making them more durable? Yes. The Injinji 2.0 socks seem to hold-up much better than earlier versions of their products. I haven't tried the latest iteration of their wool ones yet, but the synthetic ones have been holding up great.

  • Did they succeed in making them more comfortable? Yes. This actually surprised me a bit. The fabrics used for Injinji 2.0 socks is more comfortable and appears to better retain that comfort over time. Additionally, they have added some cushioned (i.e. that loopy knit) models to the line. I am not a huge fan of sock cushioning - I prefer thin flat knits - but have found their mid-weight running and trail socks to be surprisingly good. Good enough that my subconscious does not try to avoid them when reaching into the sock basket.

  • Bonus round... They have improved the way they look. Because having socks with toes and a funky name like Injinji isn't quite so cool anymore, they also added a higher-tech look with multiple color yarns, and meshes and stuff. They have more of a high-tech sports sock aire to them. I still think they look cool :-)

Injinji Performance 2.0 - Heels

The Verdict?

Toe socks are still my favorite sock, and Injinji is still my favorite brand - with Injinji Performance 2.0, now more than ever! - Although they are starting to get some stiff competition!

How about you? Do you like toe socks? Why or why not?