Nothing beats a solid pair of socks, and we’ve come a long way since socks were made of animal skins and matted hairs. One of the latest, greatest developments in footwear technology is the Injinji toesocks, which is designed to form to the anatomical shape of your foot. Let’s take a look at this unique piece of hosiery and provide some answers to the one question you have on your mind: why should I wear toesocks?
1. Total Foot Utilization
In recent years, there has been a greater push for a natural foot shape in footwear design. See, the human foot is designed to have its toes spread apart and extended, allowing for optimal balance and a comfortable gait. Footwear that inhibits this natural toe splay squeezes the toes together and elevates the heels, causing the foot’s shape to change over time. After a while, this causes weakened muscles, an abnormal gait, and various foot problems.
Toe Socks to the Rescue!
Toe socks are designed to allow each toe its own space to move and extend. Supporting a natural foot shape and toe splay allows your feet to function as they were intended, eliminating foot issues and preventing new problems later on. A natural toe splay has shown several positive outcomes, including:
- • Correction of:
- Ingrown toenails
- Lower leg pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- • Improved balance in athletes and the elderly
- • Reduced injuries
BONUS BENEFIT: In addition to supporting the foot’s natural shape and function, Injinji’s toesock design promotes circulation in the feet. In fact, Injinji’s line of products received the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance and is often recommended for those who have diabetes.
2. Moisture Management
You may not realize it, but you sweat throughout the day, regardless of temperature. It’s not always pretty, but sweating is your body’s way of regulating its internal temperature and staying cool when it’s hot out or when your nerves are stimulated. The mechanism of cooling operates via good ole fashioned physics. Basically, as sweat converts from a liquid to a gas, it takes some heat with it, evaporating into the less moist air. In humid areas, cooling off is more difficult as the air is already heavy with moisture, giving your sweat nowhere to go.
Unfortunately, sweating has plenty of downsides, especially for your feet. Moisture causes your socks to become heavier and more abrasive to the skin, leading to more friction that inevitably creates blisters. Then there’s the smell. Sweat itself is composed of basically salt, water, and, in some parts of the body, plasma. None of these ingredients is particularly stinky. The stink of your feet is actually caused by bacteria that feed on sweat—the bacteria’s waste has a particularly strong odor. So it’s not the sweat itself but the bacteria in it that causes unfortunate stinky-feet situations.
The average person has about 2.6 million sweat glands spread all over his body. Each foot has about 250,000 sweat glands, resulting in up to a pint of sweat a day from your feet alone.
Toe Socks to the Rescue!
Toe socks help you manage moisture. Injinji toesocks are generally made from Coolmax® fabric, which is a synthetic material that promotes wicking, the process in which moisture is pulled away from the skin. This premium fabric is designed to provide ventilation, allowing for plenty of air to grace your toes and carry the moisture away. And because each toe is wrapped, more skin is covered in wicking material than regular socks. Some toe socks, like Injinji’s Outdoor NuWool socks, are made with wool instead. Wool is a great natural moisture-wicking material.
3. Blister Prevention
Blisters are the bane of many an athlete, making the mere act of walking an utter nightmare. Blisters are caused by various things, including:
- • Burns
- • Cold
- • Irritants or allergens
- • Infections
- • Reactions to drugs
However, for athletes, most blisters are caused by friction of a sock or shoe rubbing against the skin of their feet. This friction causes mechanical fatigue in the epidermis—the outermost layer of skin. With consistent friction, the damage causes the top layers of the epidermis to separate. The resulting space fills with a fluid called serum or plasma. The pain comes from the inflamed, irritated skin underneath the balloon of plasma.
While some situations require you to drain the fluid, most blisters should be left alone to heal on their own. The plasma, which is essentially blood without the red blood cells, is there to act as a cushion to prevent further injury and keep your tender skin from coming in contact with bacteria.
Toe Socks to the Rescue!
Toe socks prevent blisters in the toes and feet by reducing skin-on-skin friction and cutting down on moisture. The separation of toes also keeps your foot from getting too hot, reducing the risk of blisters popping up.
Don’t take your feet for granted. They are what carry you through the day, whether you’re running a marathon or trying to navigate your busy office. Toe socks are a simple way to pamper your feet and give them the space and comfort they need. Treat your feet right, and you’ll be amply rewarded with better health and performance, allowing you to put your best foot forward.
- • American Medical Podiatric Association
- • http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/10/what-causes-blisters/
- • http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/beauty/blisters-high-heels1.htm
- • http://answers.webmd.com/answers/1178939/what-causes-blisters
- • http://www.2toms.com/knowledge/the-best-socks-to-prevent-blisters/
- • http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-blister-fluid.htm
- • http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/information/anatomy/how-sweat-works.htm
- • http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/information/anatomy/question514.htm
- • https://nwfootankle.com/correct-toes
- • http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/p/polydactyly/prevalence.htm
- • http://www.healthcommunities.com/foot-anatomy/foot-anatomy-overview.shtml