Even if you don’t wear Vibram Five Fingers, you will appreciate the performance toesocks from Injinji. Whether you wear them for blister prevention, freedom of movement, warmth, or the pure novelty factor, Injinji socks will make your feet happy in more ways than one.
In case you were wondering about the origin of the name, Injinji (pronounced In-gin-gee) is an African term which describes when a drumming circle reaches a climax, the peak in the performance. This is the point when all of the participants are at one with the rhythm, when everyone hits a stride and there is unison among all.
With the new Performance 2.0 line, Injinji classifies the toesocks according to activity, such as Run, Trail, and Sport. The socks are then further broken down by fabric weight (lightweight, original, and midweight) as well as length, making it much easier to choose which pair of toesocks might be right for you.
The Performance 2.0 tosesock collection is made from a combination of CoolMax XtraLife, Lycra, and Nylon fibers that help keep your feet cool, dry, and comfortable. Apart from the unique 5 toe design, Injinji adds an elastic dual welt compression band across your forefoot in order to keep the socks from falling down inside your shoes. There is nothing worse than your sock inching down inside your boots and causing pain or irritation.
The toesocks are not quite as quick to put on as a normal pair of socks since you have to be somewhat coordinated to get your toe into each sleeve. You may take awhile to get used to having something in between your toes, but in no time, your feet will be oblivious to the fabric, just comfortable and happy.
Injinji added some sport specific features to the toesock line, such as a mesh top on the run socks for ventilation and breathability. The trail collection adds a double elastic cuff to keep dirt out and further help hold your sock in place. Nice design details include the high back on the no-show length toesocks to protect your achilles from rubbing against the heel of your shoe.
I have been wearing the lightweight Run toesocks for both trail and beach running in minimal shoes. On the beach, the individual toe sleeves help keep sand from irritating in between my toes and they add a little extra warmth for cold weather runs in my Five Fingers, even when wet.
Where I really appreciate the toesocks is for hiking and even trail running, as they are extremely helpful at preventing any irritation or blisters between your toes. I have been on hiking trips and gone for long runs without having trimmed my toenails short enough. One errant nail digging into the side of your toe for miles on end can be extremely painful. Instead of resorting to Duct Tape or bandaids between your toes, the Injini socks focus on prevention in the first place, regardless of toenail length. The absence of seams between the toe sleeves also helps to cut down on possible irritation.
A bonus of wearing toesocks is that they are compatible with flip flops, perfect for rocking up to basecamp and kicking off your boots or taking a cycling coffee break with some foldable flip flops in your jersey pocket. Injinji socks can even enable you to wear your flip flops year round, kind of like the Californian equivalent of the German wool sock and sandal combination. With a variety of colors on offer, you can match your toesocks to any outfit.
The new Injinji Performance 2.0 line will be available for purchase at REI starting mid January 2013.