The Inside Story
Don't undermine your trail-shoe investment with tired socks. A fresh set of condition-specific cushions will turn miles into smiles.
Traction HeroesGet the goods on the latest trail runners, tailor-made for speed, slop, and splash.
trail running socks
trail running socks
1. Wigwam Merino/Coolmax Trail Runner
These softies make feet feel like they’re bundled up inside cozy slippers. $11; www.wigwam.com
2. WrightSock Merino TRL Quarter
Wicking synthetic and insulating merino work together to decrease blistering friction. $12; www.wrightsock.com
3. DeFeet Levi-T-Ator No See ‘Em
The toe seam is tucked under your piggies, where it is less likely to chafe. $12; www.defeet.com
4. powerSox Power-lites Running Lo-Cut
Wicking fabric over the Achilles tendon helps keep these socks dry. $10 for two pairs; www.powersox.com
5. Fox River
AXT Wick Dry Off Road Quarter Fox’s merino-polypropylene blend is engineered for durability. $10; www.foxsox.com
6. SmartWool Running Medium 3/4 Crew
Generous cush around the midsole and heel helps stabilize your stride. $15; www.smartwool.com
The Arch of Progress
Your new trail shoes sure feel nice and squishy, don’t they? That’s the ethylene vinyl acetate working—the foamy layer under the manufacturer-supplied footbeds. But while EVA delivers decent shock absorption, it offers not a lick of motion control for overpronators—those of us who roll our feet inward while running. Neither does that bare-bones footbed. Avoid rolled ankles, shinsplints, and blisters by dropping extra coin on an aftermarket insert, like Shock Doctor’s new UltraRunning ($30; www.shockdoc.com). A rigid cup locks your heel in place on impact, a plastic frame combats overpronation by lifting your arch, and a raised area over the midsole improves stability on off-kilter landings. Other good options are Superfeet’s thickly cushioned Performance ($35; www.superfeet.com) and Montrail’s new Enduro-Soles ($35; www.montrail.com) plastic footbeds, which bake in your oven for a heat-molded custom fit.