So, apparently socks which bind your toes together into one foot-wide flippery lump can affect your balance, stability and grip. To allow your foot to move in a more natural way you should allow each toe to flex and stretch as it needs to. And there might be something in this, with Vibram’s FiveFinger shoes being insanely popular in the barefoot running scene, and even going back to Nike’s Goatek (more info) in the late 1990s.
The first thing you notice about Injinji toe socks is how difficult they are to get on. I’m no Olympic level sockputter but it doesn’t take me that long to slip into a pair of socks, even on a bleary-eyed morning. Getting in to the toe socks takes a minute or so because unless you have dead-straight toes, they won’t immediately line up. It’s more like putting on a pair of gloves, where a bit of wiggling and fine-tuning is needed.
At first they feel weird. It’s not normal to have two layers of fabric between your toes and you’re very aware of it. But this soon fades and I forgot I was wearing them after a while. It’s only when you do something new that you re-notice. Climbing a hill for instance, you realise that your toes are sliding over one another as you roll forward on your foot. Do they do that in a normal sock, where they’d be bound together by sweat? I don’t know, but the separation-is-good theory then starts to hold some weight.
The advantage of separating each toe on a longer walk or run is the reduction in likelihood of blisters, as damp skin moves over itself. I don’t tend to get blisters on my toes, but if you are a sufferer, then it might be worth looking into a pair of these socks.
The Midweight performance toe socks are so named because they have a medium (couple of mm) of fabric padding at heel and toe. They also have a top layer of Coolmax fabric, which works well to wick away any sweat.
SUMMARY: As socks, they perform well to wick off sweat and keep your feet regulated well. I’m not 100% convinced that there’s a difference in my gait wearing these, but then again I’m wearing non-separated-toe boots. Perhaps I’d see more of a difference in some Five Fingers. That said, they are strangely comfy and cosy. They’re a bit of a pain to get on though.