Injinji Compression Toe Socks

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

When you pay $38 for a pair of socks — that’s $19 per foot, not including tax — they had better be something special. The EX-Celerator Socks from Injinji Footwear Inc., which have individual toe slots and an over-the-calf compression fit, do indeed qualify as special.

Putting them on is a task. The compression legging, made of a calf-squeezing nylon/Lycra fiber blend, is a tight fit. Add Injinji’s patented “five-toe-sleeve technology,” where each piggy has to be wiggled into place, and pulling on a pair is no fast feat.

But once adjusted and on, the socks feel great. They fit like no other sock I have worn, hugging toes, feet, ankles and calves like a second skin.

Injinji EX-Celerator Socks.jpg

Injinji EX-Celerator Socks

There is an adjustment period to getting accustomed to the feeling of your toes separated. But on a run or hike, you forget about the “foot gloves” below after a few minutes on the go.

Injinji, which sells a line of toe-socks, touts the toe separation as preventing common foot problems like blisters, hotspots, moisture build-up, and “fungal conditions.”

In my test, including running and hiking in the EX-Celerator socks, the fabric-between-the-toes fit did noticeably prevent rubbing. However, I do not commonly get blisters between my toes, so I couldn’t assess the socks’ effectiveness in that area.

The second technology story with this sock, the compression leg, is marketed as “fueling circulation to promote faster muscle recovery and prevent fatigue during and after exercise.”

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Posted by Keyvan - 12/04/2009 11:30 AM

Stephen,
Do you have any thoughts on how these would work as ski socks? The thin fabric sounds potentially perfect.

And thanks for the blog. I enjoy checking in from time to time to see what’s new.

Posted by Ryan - 12/04/2009 12:04 PM

Stephen – I second Keyvan’s question about ski socks…I’ve been frustrated with ski socks for years. How smooth is the surface (I’ve been wearing SmartWool ultra-thin’s which are great but leave a dimpled like texture on my skin)? Do you think the toe separation will lead to cold toes? How do they compare to the CW-X socks?
Thanks!

Posted by mike - 12/04/2009 12:30 PM

I can’t speak to the compression aspect of these socks, but I can speak to the blister prevention. I use the coolmax crew version of these as liner socks for backpacking. I used to get lots of blisters between my toes, but the injinji toesocks have ended that problem. I dont think I will be trying the compression socks anytime soon, but I have gone through several pairs of these for backpacking and I can only say good things about them.

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 12/04/2009 12:37 PM

I have not tested them in alpine ski boots. (Used them mainly for running and hiking this fall.) Not sure if the compression technology is appropriate or needed in the confines of a tight boot. For warmth, there are definitely warmer socks on the market. Like the old gloves vs. mittens debate, the separation of the toes is likely not as heat conducing as a regular sock. Anyone else have experience in cold weather with Injinji?

Posted by Ryan - 12/04/2009 01:09 PM

I wonder if the compression’s promise of increasing blood flow would lead to warmer feet while skiing. I have never found that thicker socks (besides being worse for boot feel) have never been much warmer for me – they tend to bunch and then cut off circulation. Another leading compression company seems to offer compression socks specifically for skiing: http://www.cepsocks.com/cep-skiing-o2-sportsocks.html

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 12/06/2009 09:55 PM

Not made for the cold! Tested today on a winter mountain-bike ride (20 degrees, covered bike shoes, about 25 miles). Toes FROZE! Then switched to regular socks, and was fine.

Posted by Keyvan - 12/07/2009 09:02 PM

Stephen, Thanks for the update on their use in cold weather.

Ryan, thanks for the link although I am not ready to spend $60 on ski socks.

I thought that these might be a modern day version of the old blaxsox. I have one pair and love them; they are incredibly thin, use compression in key areas, and my feet stay warm.

Posted by Michael Potter - 01/12/2010 11:57 AM

We have a ski sock. Contact REI or backcountry.com. They should have them soon.

Posted by Sandy - 11/24/2010 04:59 PM

Aloha,

Do you have gradient compression stockings (8-15mmHg) with a separation for only the big toe? I don’t even know if they exist. I wear sandals that have a toe loop or sandals that are the thong style. I don’t want toe stocking with indiviual toes (like gloves).

Thanks!

Aloha,
Sandy

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