5.13.2014

When to Change your Running Socks

The other day I was sitting down on my treadmill pulling on my socks and getting ready to lace up. It occurred to me that many pairs of my running socks have become "soft". By "soft" I mean the elastic snugness of the sock is gone. It then occurred to me I have never, ever read anything about replacing running socks. Not that I need an article to tell me to do so but it seemed odd with all you read about when to replace your shoes. Shouldn't your socks matter?

For giggles I thought I would google "when to change your running socks" and I found nothing of interest. But what amazed me was the quantity of questions asking how often should your running socks be washed. Seriously? This is a question too?! I guess no stranger than my own.

But I wasn't really questioning when to change my socks per se. I can see and feel it is time to buy new socks. I am fortunate that my socks stay in pretty good condition without any serious wear and tear through holes. They just lose their snugness in fit so I wonder if I am wearing them longer than I should since they do stay nice looking. I got to wondering how long a pair can really hold up until it is time to part ways because they don't wick as well, etc. Is there a magic formula? For those running shoes there is even if we are all a little bit different. I am sure you have heard to change your running shoes every 300-500 miles. I have gone through many pairs of running shoes over the years and many over the lifetime of my socks. And it does stand to reason that socks should hold up longer. Let's say I am rotating through three pairs of running shoes. I have many more pairs of socks so in all reality, they don't get as much wear and tear. And not the impact like shoes do. But how long do they last?

Before I go on further here is what I look for in a sock because I feel that will factor into the equation...at least my first requirement should. And that is, no cotton. I will not run in cotton socks. It is all about wicking. Second, I like the elastic arch support around my mid-foot not because I have high arches or anything like that but because it is comfortable for me. And third, I like low-cut. The no show seemed cool but sometimes they are just too low and some shoes rub against the back of my ankle and that just isn't cool. My third requirement, cut, should have no impact on the life of a sock.

I wish I had a hard formula to tell you but I got to say this, if your socks are showing signs of wear and tear in critical areas, replace them. If that snugness is gone, replace them. If areas that used to be "plush" are thin, replace them. I honestly feel I may have been pushing some of my socks past their limits of optimal performance.

The thing is, it has been over a year and perhaps closer to two years since I have bought running socks. This has me wondering if the socks I have grown to love are still there at my local Costco. Yep, I bought a couple of big packs of Adidas running socks there and they made my feet very happy. It is time to check it out! Okay, not until my next Costco day.

Is this a necessary purchase? Yes. Like I said, my socks have gone "soft" and I feel the stretched out worn down fabric isn't as conducive to keeping my feet dry, happy, and blister free. So yes, it is necessary.

How often do you replace your running socks? Do you have a magic formula to share?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for strawberries.
Daily Affirmation: I fuel my body well and it is okay to have a small indulgence here and there.

3 comments:

  1. I replace my socks when they feel loose or wear a hole in them. I don't want a bad "ride" in my shoes!

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  2. I found your blog by googling "how often to replace running socks..." through all the miles, we hear so much about shoes, but now as I'm oddly getting blisters after not having a blister for two years I'm wondering if it's my old socks. No holes, and no visible wear/tear, but possible not snug enough anymore (dryer heat slower kills elastic in things like socks and sports bras, so maybe the people who don't wash their socks as often don't have to replace them as much?)... Anyway, good to read I'm not alone in this. Now time for some new socks!

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    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoy your new socks!

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