– A good swimrun sock can almost replace a shoe!
(Old Jungle Saying, the ‘Phantom’)
Many of us spend plenty of valuable time researching and trying out the perfect shoe, but hands up all of you who spend the equivalent time on socks? A good pair of socks should treat your feet like royalty, help decrease or to avoid the risk of general discomfort, blisters, fungus, toenail problems and even odour. In swimrun they should also help release heat, promote movability and help discharge excessive water.
Finding a good swimrun sock takes time.
At the end of March, World of Swimrun (WoS), Swimrun France (SR-F) and Swimrun Germany (SR-G) teamed up in Marseille, France for the 1st ever international swimrun equipment test. During 4 days the team tested and debated swimrun equipment from over 40 manufacturers, among them, different types of socks. An important note here is that we only tested different types of socks from the same brand, i.e. NOT as a comparison between brands. There are many good socks on the market why you should test several before deciding.
Socks come in different colour, shape, form and level of complexity in stitching. There are multiple factors to take into consideration such as if they are seam-free, come with differently stitched panels, the type of fabric used, if certain wear-and-tear areas are reinforced, how they stretch when running and how they fit your favourite shoe and so forth. In swimrun you’ll see most racers use socks that can be put into 4 different type-categories e.g.;
- Long 1-piece,
- Medium (ankle high),
- Short (ankle-low) and
Our preferred model – The Medium (ankle high)
Our overall test winner was the medium version (ankle high). Its reasonable height on the lower leg will help prevent sand, mud or rocks from coming in on the inside, while running and during transitions. At the same time as allowing for proper ventilation in hot races. It’s also a good choice if you want to have the option to use a separate set of swimrun calfs. This sock we tested is specifically made for running off-road on, rocky, uneven and muddy surfaces, designed with extra attention to support and moisture management, which drained well and remained light even when being wet.
Long 1-piece – The Robust Protection
The long 1-piece was our second choice. Even though it doesn’t give you the same feeling of ‘freedom’ as the medium model, this one provides full support over the foot and calf. It will protect you from sand, mud and stones but also sun and bushes when running on the trail. If you want you can insert floating material on the inside for buoyancy purposes, or why not gels, bars or waste during a race. They carry many usage options. Plus, if you race in teams of 2, they provide good visibility in the water for the person swimming behind. If you are prone to heating up they can become a bit too warm, especially in shorter warmer races. The compression version will help increase circulation in the calf.
2-piece – The Choice of Flexibility
If you want to maintain the feeling of ‘freedom’ around the ankle, you should opt for the 2-piece. The testing team fund this one to be a good choice when balancing between a lower type socks, where still wanting the benefits of compression. Also the option to change the type of sock depending on the type of swimrun race.
Short (ankle low) – The Minimalist Choice
This short-type sock is perfect for running however, it does allow for small stones or mud to enter inside, which can be a nuisance. If you’re the hot-type of swimrunner, you probably want go for this type anyway.
By swimrunners – For swimrunners
På återseeende – Tschüß und Auf Wiedersehen – Entendre en arrière – Until next time – Zbogom!
/The WoS Team, Swimrun France & Swimrun Germany
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- READ ABOUT OUR 2017 PADDLES TEST HERE
- READ ABOUT OUR 2017 SHOE TEST HERE
- READ ABOUT OUR 2017 WETSUIT TEST HERE
- READ ABOUT OUR 2017 GOGGLES TEST HERE
We want to thank all manufacturers that helped us by providing equipment for our test:
We also want to extend a BIG thank you to www.randorunning.com for helping us with the logistics, Fix parents for housing the testing team, and last but not least, all you swimrunners who have followed us over the weekend, liked what we do and asked us so many intelligent questions.