These mid-weight Injinji toe socks are made for trail running. Pam LeBlanc photo

I first heard about Injinji toe socks about 15 years ago, when I hiked 27 miles on the Good Water Trail around Lake Georgetown with a group of retirees from the Sun City Hiking Club.

By the end of the all-day hike, I was hobbling, thanks to two blisters the size of unshelled pecans that had sprouted on my heels. One of the seniors suggested I try the socks, which look like something I might have worn in the 1970s, with separate cups for each little piggy.

Before my next hike, I purchased a pair. (Whole Earth Provision Co. and REI carry them locally.) I wore them, and voila – no blisters. Since then, I always wear Injinjis when I’ll be walking long distances. They got me through a 15-day backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail, a week in Glacier National Park and another week on the High Sierra Trail, all without blisters.

Testing the socks

Last week, a public relations company mailed me three new packs of the socks to test – one midweight, mini crew length pair ($16) specifically for trail running; one ultra-thin pair of anklets for road running ($13); and a set of thick socks without toes and an accompanying pair of ultra-thin toe liners ($29) for hiking.

At left, the Injinji hiking socks plus liners; at right the lightweight running socks, all by Injinji. Pam LeBlanc photo

I’ll admit, they feel a little weird when you first put them on if you’re not used to them. Once you put your shoes on, though, you hardly notice the difference. And the five-toe design swaddles each toe, preventing toe-on-toe friction and wicking moisture.

They work like a charm for me. I especially love the trail runners, when in the close-up photo at the top, which come up just above the ankle to keep out debris.

I’m planning to wear the hikers plus liners – or maybe the trail runners – when I hike from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon down to Phantom Ranch in a few weeks to join a passing group of whitewater rafters. And I’m sure I’ll get on that raft without a blister to slow me down.


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