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The X-Code Blog

Jul
16
2013

Running Socks: Fun over Functional

Published at Tuesday, July 16, 2013 by XCode     0 Comments
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What is the appropriate sock for running?

We all have wondered at times about what clothes and what equipment we need for the workout that we do or the sport we are going to perform with.Sometimes we even start the sport with any clothes available in our closet, thinking that the equipment is necessary only to professional athletes. But the proper equipment has nothing to do with the level of professionalism and how many hours we practice or daily practicing but to understand the need to protect our body from injury and keep it as possible physically and mentally healthy, to continue undiminished our workouts. In particular, the right running equipment is certainly helpful to enjoy more running. Taking in mind of course that the hobbyist and the professional work everyone to their limits trying to overcome themselves. Runners must protect their feet which are receiving incredible pressures and work harder than any other part of the body. Basic philosophy is: "Do not ruin your feet and your shoes with a bad pair of socks."

Why do we need them?

A high quality running sock is not just a piece of "cloth" but the intermediate functional link between the foot and the shoe that comes in direct contact with the skin. Is the material that manages moisture away and is the surface that will protect your feet from pressures, frictions and shocks while it will properly support the foot with it’s selected anatomical reinforcements.

What should I avoid?

Even if they are labeled "Running" you have to keep cotton socks out of the running shoes. For running and exercise that lasts longer than 30 minutes, it is a very good idea to use a sock made of materials that are less friendly to water and more capable of moisture transmission. The terms "hydrophilic" and "hydrophobic" meaning respectfully moisture loving and moisture fearing refer to the property of a sock to repel moisture. Cotton absorbs moisture extremely well.In fact, it never wants to let it go! Cotton socks will absorb the moisture, swell, lose their shape and compress while continuing to hold up the moisture until the end of the exercise. More specifically, the amount of perspiration dramatically increases during exercise to assist your body in cooling. For example, athletes who train can produce 1500-2000ml sweat per hour during intense exercise in a hot environment, and there are those to whom the amount produced can reach up to 3700ml per hour. The highest concentration of sweat glands is found in the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet. The foot has the most sweat glands of the entire body-in total about 250,000 to 300,000. Thus, the body sweat is produced so rapidly that it doesn’t all manage to evaporate, resulting in the legs and therefore ending up in your socks.

Results

From the above, along with the fact that the foot is preserved and closed in the shoe and not sufficiently ventilated, creates several problems: blisters, corns, inflammation, fungal infections on the athletes feet and all that can occur from a bad fitting sock made of unappropriate materials. In fact the use of unappropriate materials may result in feet Keratolysis - as unpleasant sound occurs in feet which have suffered from excessive perspiration, sweating, obstruction, recurrent presence of moisture resulting in an increased surface PH of the skin. And as far as athlete's foot always remember: "Dark, Warm, Moist environment in the leg is fungous heaven".

What to choose?

For Running sports where the perspiration is intense and constant for a long time the most appropriate and frequently used fiber in manufacturing socks ideal for running is Coolmax. Coolmax material is considered to be the most suitable for the management of accumulated moisture adding that it is fully compatible with the materials that the shoes are made of. Synthetic fibers are hydrophobic, meaning that because they do not like moisture they carry it away from the foot by vaporizing it. Beyond selecting the appropriate fiber that is friendly to your foot during running, the high-quality running socks are necessary to also have further advantages that can optimize your performance. An important feature is the “seamless” feel by handmade toe closure, which eliminates the chance of rubbing and the discomfort from irritation in the top of the toes, the special designed reinforcements and built-in anatomical zones for stability in movement, the “Y” heel pocket in order to fit the shape of the foot properly. Moreover, the sock fiber structure and the knitting pattern with the selected zones and the designed ventilation channels, allows moisture to move away from the feet faster and helps the sock to "breath." For more information see in the Sock Finder our models Marathon, 2P.Speed, Compression, Jogging, Crosstraining.

More technical information about "Coolmax VS Cotton"

The fibers made of materials that tend to swell while retaining moisture, as we can all understand tend to lose their shape. Natural fibers seems to swell more than synthetic: Cotton swells by 45%, wool about 35%, while the acrylic will increase only about 5%. Cotton is more than 2 times resistant to the flow and retention of moisture. It absorbs and retains moisture and appears to have multiple retention than a sock made of Coolmax. When the cotton sock is wet, additionally looses it’s shock absorption capacity, which is very important for a runner. Moreover, it can not breathe while the swelling of the fiber and the surface of the sock, results to block with the accumulated moisture.

  • Drying Comparison: In a comparative test for the drying time of different fibers, after 30 min. Coolmax it has lost 95% of moisture while cotton 50% of moisture.
  • Drying Performance: In the comparison of the drying performance capacity % in the same time the Coolmax has 2.5 times more capacity than that of the cotton’s.
  • Overall wear comfort: In the evaluation of the overall performance and comfort, the Coolmax rated "very good" (1,9 rate) while cotton "poor" (5,5 rate). The scale assessed with a rating of "very good" to "unsatisfactory".

 

The below video is referred to the ideal moisture management function of Coolmax socks:

COOLMAX® Jumbotron from Koch Creative Group on Vimeo.




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ZITA TOPS Co.

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