I once wrote an article about exercise clothes and mentioned that I wear $15 running socks, and some people really freaked out in the comments, calling me elitist. To be honest, if loving $15 socks does make you an elitist then I’m guilty!
I have six pairs of these socks; four for summer, and two for when it gets really cold out. If you do the math, that’s $90 worth of socks — just for running — and they don’t last forever, I need to replace all of them every 18-24 months.
But you know what? These socks are totally worth it.
The main reason they’re worth it is because of self-efficacy — a motivational theory that explains when people do things that enhance their confidence prior to engaging in a new behaviour, it increases the likelihood that they’ll succeed and continue with it. In other words, having high-tech socks on for a run makes me feel better about my capabilities than if I had some lousy tube socks on.
So what is it about these socks that make me such an awesome runner? Well, I don’t think they’re that awesome. I mean, one pair of socks isn’t going to transform anyone into a competitive marathoner overnight (there’s a lot more that goes into that). However, they will protect my feet — and that brings me to my second point.
When you run as much as I do, protecting your feet is critical. This past week, I’ve been running more than usual because I’m on vacation and my bike is at home. If it weren’t for the socks, I wouldn’t be able to do it.
Most runners get blisters when they start out. The biggest thing about these socks is that they dramatically reduce the incidence of blisters. If you’re just getting started with running then you don’t want to get derailed having to regularly take days off because your feet are too sore to put your shoes back on. What’s more, having blisters decreases your enjoyment and reduces your positive reinforcement because they really are no fun. If you associate running with bad feet, you’ll never want to do it again.
In the hard-to-keep-up-with world of running gear and fashions, protecting your feet is far more important than what others may think about your style. And it’s also what’s going to get you improving everyday. I’d say that’s definitely worth the $90!
What keeps you feeling great while exercising?