Socks Appeal

So, I have officially worn out my pairs of 1000 mile socks.  At first I was all, like, “What crap!  I spent £10/each on these things!”

And then I realised: I probably have run/walked/biked in these pairs for 1000 miles.  I bought them back for my first marathon in 2010, which I started training for in 2009.  So, I’ve had them  a bit.

For those new to running: Socks have the same level of fierce dedication as running shoes.  There is, at last count, 2.345991 billion brands of running socks [1].  However, unlike running shoes, who have whole issues of magazines and several songs[2] sung in their honour, running socks don’t get the attention they should.  After all, the socks are hidden, wrapped in the meshed and carefully crafted running shoe that should [3] be on your foot.

So when I sucked it up and realised I would need to replace my socks in enough time for my half [4] in October I assumed, like those who get attached to a particular pair of running shoes, the socks would be available to me same as they were back in 2009.

Nope.  Because, like running shoes, they have to change variations every 3 minutes.

For those new to running: Running shoes change versions every 3 minutes [5].  As running gear can be minimal in scope (all you really need to run is a pair of running shoes and poof you are a runner) I suppose this is a market ploy to convince people that if you have the newest shoe you will be the fastest runner.  And so they lure you to a shoe which you fall in love with and then they change radically three minutes later leaving you moderately depressed and off to search again for the fastest, bestest shoe to place on your foot.

Oh, how the 2013 Brookes Avalanche rocked my world.  And then you changed it.  You cold, cruel shoe and sportswear company.  HOW DARE YOU MANGLE SOMETHING THAT WAS SO SPECIAL?!?!?

I digress.

So you would of course find that I was absolutely beside myself with shock that the running sock type I purchased 5 years ago was no longer available.  This meant that I had to search for new socks.

And this meant I had to read reviews.

Lots and lots of reviews.  Because when you plop down money for choice running socks you are looking at £10 – £15/pair.

(Obviously they are worth the cost considering that my old ones were 5 years old when a hole finally appeared.)

I found 3 where they reviewed no less than 20 pairs each.  So that is 60 pairs of socks out of the 2.345991 billion brands of running socks on the available market [6].  These reviews actually sectioned off into best socks for men and women, just so as to point out just how high tech socks are these days, and out of it I decided on the Balega.  One, because the name sounds fancy.  Two, because they are pink.  And three, because I had become so annoyed with researching each and every pair of sock I eventually just decided that points one and two were completely valid.

They arrived and I went out for a run in them.

I can now say without a doubt that you really shouldn’t wait 5 years to replace your socks because good quality running socks are actually really lovely to wear on your feet.  These grip lightly so they don’t slip, and I like my socks thin because my toes swell. (I had, in my early running days, thought that it would be a good idea to get thick socks so my foot stayed secure in my shoe.  Instead my foot swelled and I wound up with bruised toes that I had to paint for 3 months solid.  Lesson learned, people.)

So I’ve begun to say goodbye to my 1000 miles and hello to Balega.

I’m still keeping the shorts I first bought when I started running 10 years ago, however.  Okay, so I might have to pin them to my running top (which is 8 years old) but by all that is holy they wick away.  They wick away.

[1] Rounded to the nearest decimal.

[2] People talk of trainers, shoes, kicks but never the socks that go with them.  There is obviously a market yet to be tapped.

[3] I’ve seen barefoot running.  I’ve seen barefoot running in a MARATHON.  It’s crazy.  If you do it, well done you for your hardcore dedication.  I still prefer my mesh and rubber encasement for my foot, however.

[4] Oh, check it – running slang!  You have your ‘half’ for a half marathon or your ‘full’ for the full marathon.  Now you, too, are let in on the secret.

[5] Average.  I think it is like 2.3 minutes.  Or twice a year.  I can’t remember.

[6] I totally copied and pasted that bit of humour.

[7] There is no 7, but I felt that 7 had been left out of the post.   Oh, and I’m fundraising!  Join the group of crazy awesome donors who are guilting me AND honouring Uncle Steve and Mike (the two most awesome men evah): http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CristinMerritt

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