Socks and Shoes


It’s easy to understand how a good pair of running shoes can significantly affect your running in a positive, or negative way.  But socks?  I will go into detail on both, what I wear, and why it matters to you!

When I first started running I had no clue that there were running shoes.  I thought a tennis shoe was the same no matter what.  I found out the hard way that shoes really DO matter.

I had been running distance (and by distance I mean 3-4 miles) for a couple months on a pair of Nike’s (cannot remember the name).  They were not fitted to my feet, and were definitely NOT running shoes.

Now, before I go any further, I am not discounting Nike shoes by any means.  Nike makes fantastic running shoes.  I was just not wearing them.

I began to have intense pain in my right knee.  Like barely able to walk pain.  I would stumble to class (about a 20 minute walk each way) and then sit for an hour or two.  After class was over it was very difficult to move my knee.  I would be in terrible amounts of pain and at this time had no idea that it was resulting from my shoes.

After talking with a professor (remember I studied exercise science), I decided to go to a running store.  I was referred to Running Wild, which is located in Coralville, Iowa.  There are other branches in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and West Burlington (all in Iowa).  This store is now equivalent to a chocolate shop for me- it is AMAZING!  I had a professional watch me run and walk (barefoot) to see how my foot struck the ground.

PLEASE check out Running Wild!

The result was that I severely overpronate.  Simply put, when I strike the ground my heels tend to roll in.  This rolling in motion causes my feet and ankles to have problems stabilizing my body, and shock is not absorbed appropriately.

Okay so I overpronate, but why was that causing my knee problem?  The lack of stability and inward motion of my feet was causing stress on my IT band.  The IT (iliotibial) band is a thick ligament that begins around your hips and connects to the outside of your knee.  I was experiencing a common running problem known as runner’s knee, or IT band syndrome.

After getting the appropriate shoes and taking about a week off, I was back to running pain free!

The shoes that I got were Brook’s Adrenaline and I absolutely loved them.  I wore Brook’s for two years, and then decided to switch up my shoes and have been wearing Saucony’s Hurricane shoe ever since.  I no longer have knee pain.  Both the Adrenaline and Hurricane were specific to my overpronation issue.  Depending on your strike, you will have a specific type of shoe that will work best for you.

The average running shoe has a lifetime of about 500 miles.  If I forget to keep track of the mileage on my shoe, I just get a new pair every time I start to have minor knee pain.

Also, ONLY wear your running shoes to run!  Do not wear them to walk, bike, or anything else.  The wear and tear of regular activities can break down your shoes.  A good pair of running shoes will cost around $100-$150, so you want to save them specifically for running.

Now lets talk socks!

I never thought I would be discussing what type of socks I prefer.  Argyle? Plaid? The truth is, I don’t care what pattern or color my socks are for running as long as they are effective.

Why does it matter what kind of socks you wear for running?  Cotton socks are out!  Running socks differ greatly from everyday cotton socks.  Most running socks will have an elastic feeling band around the sock that will allow it to fit snug around your foot.  Also depending on the run, the material is different.  Cotton socks do not wick away moisture like real running socks.  For everyday running (no more than 10 miles) I wear Saucony socks.  For longer runs and marathons I wear Injinji socks.  They are toe socks, and can take some time to get use to.  They are great at preventing blisters for the longer runs.  Go to this link to better help you determine what socks work best for you:

photo 2(3)



9 thoughts on “Socks and Shoes

  1. Hi There,
    I hava a knee problem but I could still comfortably run with that. Its more than a pain I would say it more feel like an ache. So I went to the shoe store and they told me I overpronate so they recommended me a motion control shoe. So I bought an Asics brand Gel-Forte Womens size 8.5 so I brought them home and run on the treadmill and it felt good but at the same time I felt like its rubbing with my foot and the side of the big toe I already kind of a have a pain but not noticeable every time though. But after running with that shoe for 3 day I didn’t feel much ache on the knee but since there is not enough room infront of my toe since my one foot is bigger than the other I decide to get a bigger size and I got size 9 on them and it has a space of thumb width at the front but I still feel the ache on my knee after running with them on the treadmill. So my question is, is the shoe size is correct or should I go back to size 8.5. Also, does it take time for knee ache to disappear or you will notice the difference immediately. Please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks.

    • Tharani,

      It sounds like you have the same type of problem that I have! You might want to go back to the shoe store to find out if there is a shoe with a larger toe box area, as our feet tend to swell when we run. I switched the the Saucony Hurricane series because the toe box is slightly larger, and is also a good stabilizing shoe for my overpronation problem.

      As far as the size- it is important to have about a thumb in between your toes and the end of the shoe to account for the swelling later. It also helps with the pounding; which can result in loss of toenails quicker or actually hurt your toes if the shoe is too small.

      How is your knew ache now? You should try some IT band stretches to help strengthen your IT band. I have to do these stretches several times a week for injury prevention since our feet over pronate.

      I hope this helps!


      • Hi Courtney,

        Thanks you so much for your reply. I still have a question for you. After started using the motion control shoe Asics my knee problem got solved but then I started having foot pain. If I run with my regular shoe that I was using before, I don’t have the foot pain. So do you think changing to a different brand motion control shoe might help me with my foot pain. I am thinking of buying the Saucony brand. Please let me know at your convenience. Thank you

        • Tharani,

          What type of foot pain are you having? I wear Saucony’s and love them, so I would highly recommend them. I wear the Hurricane’s, which sound like they might suit your needs as well. However, just try on a few pairs and see what works best for you.


          • Hi Courtney,

            The Saucony Hurricane shoe you mentioned is it an stability shoe or motion control shoe because they recommended me the motion control shoe and the shoe I bought from them is a motion control shoe and the shoe you mentioned Saucony Hurricane they have it under stability shoe. Please let me know.

  2. Hi Courtney,

    The type of foot pain I have is, the foot ache when I run for sometime with that Asics brand shoe and afterwards I couldn’t stand up on my feet for long at my work because the feet ache. But, after stop using them for two days and started using my neutral shoe the foot ache has been decreased like 80% to 90%. So I was planning to go with Saucony Powergrid Stabil to see how it works.

    • The shoe (Saucony Hurricane) you mentioned does it categorized under motion control or stability shoe. Because they do have the shoe you mentioned under stability. So please let me know if I should go with stability shoe or motion control shoe.

  3. I have found Asics ankle socks to be very comfortable! So much so I’ve already worn out my first pack lol. Need to go pick up some more. What I particularly like is how the “mouth” of the socks (the part that goes around the ankle) flare rather than tighten. I tend to have swelling in my ankles and legs really bad (nothing to do with running either) and this keeps the socks from cutting in.

    And my feet feel great after running! Just let me say that after doing 7 miles tomorrow – ack.

  4. Pingback: When to get new shoes |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *