As a coach I get asked all the time, “Why do my feet burn?” While this can be caused by a few different factors, the main one tends to be the type of socks the athlete is wearing.
Can socks make that big of a difference?
As runners I believe that we have had the benefit of being frugal in our sport. We need very little to get out and participate. A pair of good shoes, some athletic shorts, a comfortable shirt and we are literally off to the races. Because of this, many people tend to overlook what is actually happening to our bodies as we run and they seem to go the cheap route when picking out a pair of socks.
First off, we sweat and we sweat a lot. If you live in Florida you know the summers can be brutal. While running, sweat will interact with fabrics in different ways. Cotton, being a natural material, will hold onto the moisture and cause the sock to become soggy and heavy against the foot. The foot the rubs against the sweaty threads causing hot spots or blisters.
The preferred type of socks by those in the know, usually consist of some sort of synthetic blended materials. My personal go-to usually have a mix of polyester and spandex. Synthetic materials tend to do a better job of evaporating moisture. They help pull the sweat away from the foot where then it will evaporate. This helps the socks to stay lighter and cooler. The threads of these socks are also woven tighter, which helps prevent blisters and hot spots.
The cost of these socks can cost anywhere from $3 to $15 a pair. As a secret, I always get mine from Ross or TJ Maxx. They normally have 6 packs of Reebok or Puma on sale for $7. Next time your feet burn while out a run, look at your socks and see if its time to make a small investment on your feet.