Are toe socks the latest trend in fashion? Or are they a super healthy and comfy way to keep your feet friends and toes healthy and strong? Have you ever wondered what the best socks are? We’ve found out the truth behind a new sock fad: toe socks and wide toe box, foot-shaped socks!
We already know all the benefits of barefoot shoes. Thanks to the toebox shape, which mimics our natural foot shape, and the thin and flat sole, they allow the feet to move in the same way they would if we were walking barefoot.
For most of the year, however, shoes are not worn on bare feet, but combined with socks, which, like shoes, have an important influence on the position of the toes in the shoe. And unfortunately, even regular socks can restrict toe movement.
Unfortunately, socks that are too short, too tight and too snug constrict the toes in the same way as inappropriate shoes, preventing them from moving.
Nor do regular socks, which are made of highly elastic materials, bring any improvement. Because even if the material of the socks can stretch sufficiently, our toes always occupy a position in the sock where they do not need to exert any energy to maintain that position (i.e. they choose a compressed position).
The only solution to the problem is normal socks that are wide and big enough for toes to spread, foot-shaped socks, or simply toesocks.
Below, I’ve given you a brief overview of all the options available to you, with all the pros and cons of each sock.
Regular socks are not the optimal choice because they are more difficult to provide sufficient width at the toes, especially if your feet are wide. If you still don’t want to give them up, I advise you to:
- pay close attention to choosing the right size. Buy larger socks in which the toes will be in a natural position without having to stretch the material to maintain this position.
- stretch the socks well in the toe area after each wash, as they shrink during washing. Show this to your children too!
- be careful when putting on your shoes – in some shoes, your socks can be pushed back when you’re putting them on, even though you’ve loosened them before!
The X-ray on the left below shows very well the position of the toes when wearing normal socks and when barefoot. The right photo shows the position of the toes in a normal sock when the sock is too tight (right image – left) and when the sock is wide enough (right image – right).
Foot-shaped socks have been developed to negate all the disadvantages of conventional socks, while retaining their great advantage – the speed with which they can be put on.
1. Plus12 socks
For me, the best foot-shaped socks at the moment are the Plus12 socks, which are available for both children and adults. The socks are available in different colours and have a distinctive red mark at the big toe that makes it easier to distinguish between left and right socks. A dot on the heel allows you to check if the sock is the right size.
The socks are available on the official Plus12 website and have been added to the range by Wildling Shoes.
*the link to the Wildling Shoes website is an affiliate link
2. Babaruda Knits
Babaruda Knitis socks are custom-made to match your foot shape. They are made by a very nice lady in the UK. She sent me the first pair of hand-knitted socks to test and I liked them so much that I bought two more pairs.
3. Be Lenka socks
Be Lenka also makes foot-shaped socks, but the shape of their socks is a mix between the shape of regular socks and the shape of Plus12 socks. Their socks are wider than regular socks but run quite small, so be sure to choose a bigger size . However, I would not recommend Be Lenka socks for wide feet.
* the link to the Be Lenka website is an affiliate link
Toe socks are far from the uncomfortable socks that were available 20 years ago. Today, there are brands that produce extremely high quality toesocks that are made from excellent materials and, thanks to the knitting technique, will not bother you between your toes. In fact, good quality toesocks have no seams – so no rubbing around the toes! There are also models made of very thin materials, which are suitable for those who have concerns about wearing them.
Toe socks have many advantages. In addition to the complete freedom of the toes, the separation of the toes means better blood circulation, less friction between the toes and, thanks to the good absorption of moisture and sweat, you can avoid any blisters or fungus on your feet.
The only downside is that they take longer to put on, which can be done very quickly once you get used to the way they are put on.
The choice of toesocks today is vast and includes socks for all occasions – running, leisure, yoga and different materials (wool, cotton, nylon, bamboo, silk,…).
Below, I’ve put together my top picks for toesocks. I paid special attention to comfort, durability and quality of materials. There are a whole bunch of more affordable toesocks that I haven’t tried, so you won’t find them on my list.
Knitido is a brand of toesocks made in Japan, with a very wide selection of extremely high quality adult toesocks. Their toesocks are my favourite toesocks and I haven’t found a better option yet. In all the years I’ve been wearing them, not a single pair has fallen apart and despite many washes they are still in great condition.
Their toesocks are suitable for all occasions and are available in a variety of materials (merino wool, everyday cotton socks, silk socks, organic cotton socks, Coolmax socks, with silver threads for antimicrobial effect, etc.). The Knitido+ series is specially developed for yoga and pilates.
American brand Injinji uses a variety of materials for its toesocks – CoolMax, NüWool and cotton combined with different combinations of Lycra, acrylic, recycled polyester and nylon. The toesocks are available for different activities (running, walking, hiking, casual, etc.) and in different thicknesses and heights.
The toesocks are easy to put on and extremely comfortable around the toes, but their higher models grip the calves tighter. I find this feeling a little uncomfortable. I have not noticed these problems with the lower models.
From the official site Injinji only ships to the USA, for European buyers they are available on various EU sites.
10% discount with code BU10 (affiliate code)
ToeToe is a British brand of toesocks that are suitable for many occasions (everyday, running, cycling, golf, tennis, yoga, pilates, etc.). They are available in different heights and are made of different materials – cotton, silk, CoolMax, etc.
Their range of socks also includes yoga and pilates socks, as well as a collection of tights and knee socks. This is something unique on the market and a great choice for women who want to wear tights and don’t want their toes to be pinched together when walking.
Their tights are only available in one size, so I haven’t tried them yet, but I have their knee-high legwear. They do not have the sheer look of normal tights.
American toe sock brand Toesox sells socks primarily for yoga, pilates and other barefoot activities, but also has a few everyday models. I have not tried this brand yet, but I put it on the list because of the positive reviews I have read.
Toesox can be purchased directly from their site or from various retailers worldwide.
©Toesox – Deutschland (Images are published with kind permission of Toesox – Deutschland)
And of course, we shouldn’t forget about tights, which are often even more restrictive on the feet and toes than traditional socks due to their materials.
Of course, if the tights allow it, you can also make the toe cut yourself (some tights may rip when you do this).
To sum up
Good quality socks that don’t pinch your toes are a great investment in the health of your feet. Of course, they require a few changes of habits, and you also need to get used to the way they look. But wasn’t it the same with barefoot shoes?
Besides, life is too short for boring socks 😛
I think there is no better way to conclude this post than with a quote borrowed from Joe Nimble.
you don’t have
(Joe Nimble, https://www.joe-nimble.com/int/, november 2019)