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Running socks

Running Socks Review: Determining the 10 Best Sock Designs

“The 10 best running socks designs determined by 40 superfit feet. Read on and find out!”

With one of the best trail networks in the country and a population stocked with ultrarunners, speed hikers, and weekend racers, Boulder, Colorado, is the Mecca of athleticism. So many runners in one location also makes for an ideal place to put the latest and greatest gear to the test. We asked 20 ultrahealthy types, from trail runners to triathletes, to use and abuse a wide range of running socks made from Earth-friendly bamboo, antibacterial silver, and other high-tech fabrics. Below are the ones our testers liked best.

Running socks

Running socks review

Darn Tough Vermont Run/Bike 1/4 Cushion

Several ultrarunners raved about the cushioning and durability of these merino-wool socks. One even bragged about finishing seven ultramarathons–and all the training miles leading up to them–in a single pair.
Best For: Runners who prefer medium-thick socks for a wide range of distances, terrains, and sports all year round.
Price: $15
Contact: darntough.com

DeFeet Cloud 9 Regular Cuff

Testers appreciated the plush feel of these socks, which are made from a combination of moisture-wicking CoolMax fabric and abrasion-resistant Cordura nylon. Extra cushioning in the toes and heel, as well as two support strips on either side of the foot, yield a snug, stabilizing fit.
Best For: Long distances in cool weather. For fans of thick socks, these offer cushioning and support that are great for any terrain.
Price: $10
Contact: defeet.com

Bridgedale X-Hale Speed Diva and Demon

Overall, the Diva (women’s) and Demon (men’s) feel lightweight, which is remarkable given how much cushioning they provide for the heel and ball of the foot. The material used in these spots is a blend of merino wool and moisture-wicking yarn that keeps bunions and heels from getting red and chafing.
Best For: Any long run, no matter what the weather brings.
Price: $16
Contact: bridgedaleusa.com

Teko EcoMerino Wool Ultra-Light Micro

These socks are constructed of sustainable merino wool that’s soft and spongy–not itchy. Like all of Teko’s styles, they feature a tight-knit seam that is much less pronounced, cutting back on chafing across the top of the toes.
Best For: Shorter distances. While they retain warmth well, the Ultra-Lights don’t have the cushioning needed for longer runs.
Price: $14
Contact: tekosocks.com

Nike Elite Structure Running

The Structure features an innovative design that uses two layers of low-friction yarn to prevent blisters and a thicker weave in the heel and toe for cushioning and durability. Several testers noted how much they liked the extra support through the arch, provided by a Lycra band.
Best For: Marathoners, who’ll appreciate how these socks keep their feet dry and reduce foot fatigue during long runs.
Price: $16
Contact: nike.com

Feetures Bamboo & Wool Ultra Light Cushion Quarter

Made with 33 percent bamboo fabric–a material that helps wick moisture and kill odor-causing bacteria–these socks were the top pick of several triathletes for bike-to-run workouts. “They’re thin enough for my bike shoes and have enough cushioning to make a postride run more bearable,” said one tester.
Best For: Extra-sweaty runners and athletes who train in the heat.
Price: $13
Contact: feeturesbrand.com

Drymax 1/4 Trail Running

Our seasoned trail-runners loved the ribbed texture of these socks, which helped keep their feet from sliding around in their shoes. The socks’ somewhat bulky design has a wicking material on the inside and a water-repellent polyester blend on the outside.
Best For: Short treks, or for runners who want versatile socks for cross-training sports, such as hiking and snowshoe running.
Price: $11.50
Contact: drymaxsports.com

Injinji Performance Series Mini-Crew

Although the glovelike design of these socks felt a little odd at first, testers forgot about it once their shoes were on. The CoolMax inner lining and Lycra-and-nylon outer shell wick sweat well, and the anatomical five-toe design prevents friction between toes, resulting in fewer blisters overall.
Best For: Long-distance runners, especially those training in hot summer months, when chafing is more common.
Price: $12
Contact: injinji.com

Eurosocks Sprint Silver

The thickest pick of the bunch, most runners liked these socks best when the temperature dipped, since the bulk made their feet a little too sweaty in warmer weather. Testers who preferred the plush feel noted how well the polypropylene yarn and antibacterial silver fibers wicked sweat and didn’t stink up too fast.
Best For: Short, cold-weather runs when feet are least likely to sweat a lot.
Price: $13
Contact: angustrading.com

Pearl Izumi Silk-Lite and Ultra-Lite

Ideal for racing flats–or for runners who prefer thin socks–the Silk (women’s) and Ultra (men’s) use a microfiber mesh at the top of the foot to provide excellent breathability. Testers also liked how the compression panels wrapped and supported their arches.
Best For: Short races in warm weather. This sock is great for wicking away sweat but not for keeping feet warm.
Price: $8

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Your Questions About Triathlon Workouts Women

James asks…

I want to do a triathlon this summer and need some help?

Okay so I’m a runner already, in highschool and I do XC and Track, and used to be very good at it. I got out of shape because I had some heel and knee injuries but I’m back now. I’ve been wanting to do a triathlon for a long time now and my family just joined the YMCA near us so I finally have somewhere to swim. My questions are, 1. Some tips for training, (I know basically what to do but just any good workouts is greatly appreciated, but my main question 2. What do you think would be a good starting race for me, and also any in the New Jersey area. I’m very competitive and love a good challenge, I’m looking for something with a 5k run and like a 1/4 mile swim. Don’t care about the biking. Is their a name for a race like that? I’m really confused with this stuff so please help. Also would I be out of place at a triathlon since i’m only 15. I don’t really care if I am because I dont care what people think…. But I just don’t want to be like mocked for people saying I shouldn’t be there you know what I mean? Sory for the long question, but I would greatly appreciate any help Thank YOU!

Mike Rich answers:

Excellent.

What you’re looking at is a “sprint” triathlon. Go to trifind.com or trimapper.com to find a triathlon in your area.

For training you first need to work up the endurance levels to A) Swim for 15 minutes, B) Bike continuously for 1 hour, C) run for 3 miles. If you can swim for 30 minutes, bike for 90 minutes and run for 1 hour you should have no fear of not finishing and should work on gaining speed (spin classes, tempo runs, swim interval practice/efficiency practice).

There are quite a few training plans out there for sprint triathlons. I would suggest 3 runs, 3 bikes and 3 swims per week as a general guideline. You will often do more than 2 workouts per session.

These should be centered around a Swim + Bike or more commonly Bike + Run pairing. We call these workouts BRICKs — referring to the Bike + Run pairing because coming off of a 1 hr bike, your legs are going to feel like bricks for the first 1/2 mile.

Depending on your goal — a) Just finish happily, b) Place in the top 3, c) Leave both men and women in your age division coughing in your dust — your training plans and intensity levels may vary. There are a lot of resources online as well as books. I would suggest these 2 sites…

Beginnertriathlete.com
trifuel.com

See you at the starting line!

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Triathlon Bike

Bike Accessories to Remember When Purchasing a Bike

“Thinking of buying a bike for your next Triathlon race? Never miss these bike accessories. Read what they are below!”

Bike accessories

Bike Accessories: Lock, lights, helmet, track pump and lockable skewers.

1. Bike lock

Suggestion: Kryptonite New York 3000
Price: £65
In-store or online: In-store (Cycle to Work = 40% off woo!)

What came first? The bicycle lock or the bike. It doesn’t matter, because unless your bike looks like you’ve just hauled it out of a canal then its going to get stolen. The first thing you’ll need therefore, is a decent lock. It doesn’t get much more decent than the Kryptonite New York 3000. It’s a lock that will resist all but the most persistent attacks.

2. Bike lights

Suggestion: Knog Boomer and Blackburn Flea
Price: £25.49 and £21.99
In-store or online: Online (Probably don’t have these in store)

Even if you the thought of repairing a puncture makes you run and hide under your bed covers you’ll still be able to install the Knog Boomer and Blackburn Flea. Both are beautifully simple to install and with USB charging you’ll save a bundle from not having to replace batteries. Plus they both provide plenty of light and look great.

3. Helmets

Suggestion: Bell helmet
Price: £31.49
In-store or online: In-store (Cycle to Work = 40% off woo!)

I hear gasps at the back? I’d be hearing even more gasps if I didn’t give a shout out to the bicycle helmet. Long a point of contention – to wear one or not to wear one? I’ll leave the choice up to you. I’ve written about bicycle helmets previously. The Bell helmet I recommend is a bit of an “out there” choice for those that want to look cool on their bikes.

4. Track pump

Suggestion: Topeak Joe Blow Sport
Price: £24.99
In-store or online: In-store (Cycle to Work = 40% off woo!)

Life before buying a track pump was tenuous. My mini-pump, try as I might, could barely ever reach the required tyre pressure. The track pump on the other hand makes light work of empty tires and means I can cycle without wasting energy due to flat tyres. I highly recommend the Topeak Joe Blow Sport.

5. Lockable skewers

Suggestion: Pinhead Four Pack Locking Skewer Set
Price: £53.99
In-store or online: In-store (Cycle to Work = 40% off woo!)

You may have mistakenly believed the fifth item I’d mention is mudguards. You can’t have the pleasure of road muck spraying on your back if someone’s run off with your wheels, saddle and handlebars. That’s exactly what the Pinhead system secures and it is worth having if you are riding an expensive bike.

More at 5 accessories you need with a new bike purchase

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