ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ Herman's blog

A case for socks with toes

Yes, I wear toe socks. Yes, they're amazing.

Toe socks

I've exclusively been wearing toe socks for the past 8-ish years. Every now and again (say I enter a house which has a no-shoe rule), someone will spot them and find the concept strange, commenting on how weird they look, and if the material between the toes gets annoying. I'm here to tell you why these kinds of socks are the best, and why I can't go back to foot jail.

I started wearing toe socks after a broken metatarsal (which healed a bit crooked) from my high-school days started annoying me on long walks. I found that if my toes weren't jammed together in a little package that pain went away. A good comparison is that regular socks are like mittens. They do their job and are comfortable, but each finger lacks autonomy. Toe socks are more like gloves, allowing your feet to move freely with each toe following its own muse. Your toes get to spread out a bit more and, more importantly for me, your big toe isn't pulled off-centre by the material.

I'm not going to get into the (fairly spotty) science about bare-foot running shoes. I'm here to talk about the tangible reasons that toe socks are better than regular socks and why you should probably give them a spin.

  1. They're plain better for your toes. Toes want to spread out and be free. Having your toes cramped together by a sleeve all day will fundamentally change the way the foot is shaped and how you walk.

  2. You have better balance. The more surface area your foot has, the better your stability. And even inside a pair of regular gym shoes, with my toe socks on I find I am more firmly planted on the ground.

  3. You don't get sweaty between your toes. One of the main functions of a sock is to wick moisture away from your skin, and regular socks miss the places where this is the most important. Between your toes. If you've ever gotten a fungal infection (like athlete's foot), you know exactly where it thrives. Toe socks do a good job at preventing this.

  4. Inexplicably, they don't slide down. Regular socks slowly work themselves down into your shoe over a day (depending on the build quality), but toe socks break sock physics and just...don't.

  5. You don't get blisters between your toes. If you are a distance runner or hiker, you'll know how annoying those specific blisters are. This is due to toe-on-toe friction. Since this is now sock-on-sock friction, your toes remain unharmed.

  6. They're delightful and serve as a conversation starter. They look silly. But this is just because they aren't common. So many good conversations started with a wayward glance at my form-fitting feet fashion.

The reason toe socks aren't commonplace is just that they're harder to manufacture than regular socks. People are used to regular socks and it's only the weirdos that wear them. Every person I've convinced to try toe socks has since made the switch. So go on. Give it a try. I promise big toe sock isn't paying me.


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