Happy Feet (& giveaway!)

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a giveaway and even though my feet aren’t terribly happy right now (read: bruised toes, nails falling off), I want yours to be!  So let’s talk socks…

When I first started racing in 2009, I suffered from major blisters usually on my left foot, right on the inside of the sole- the spot that (if my form is correct) hits the ground first when running.  Yeouch!  As a racing newbie and doing 5K after 5K when I started, I would typically push through the pain, keep on running, and complain to anyone who would listen about my painful, bleeding feet afterwards.  I finally realized that the cotton socks I wore + the amount of sweat I produced = the dire need for an authentic athletic sock.

Wright Sock CoolMesh II

My first stop was the Wright Sock CoolMesh II sock that, with double layered Dri-WRIGHT™ fabric, promised to wick away the moisture, leaving feet dry and blister-free.  They definitely did the trick for those 5Ks.  I would get just a little bubbling beneath that top layer of skin but these socks did the job of keeping my feet dry and happy.

When I stepped up my distance to the 10K level, however, the blisters returned.  Not to the fault of the Wright Sock at all, but to my freakish ability to produce buckets and buckets of sweat when I run.  (Attractive.  I know.)

Body Glide

Still enjoying the performance of the Wright Sock, I then picked up a tube of Body Glide (worst name for a sports product ever) and rolled, rolled, rolled, rolled, and then what the heck, rolled it some more on the hots spots of my feet right before putting on the socks.  Body Glide is an anti-chafe balm and claims to prevent blisters- most every seasoned runner I know swears by it, so I figured I would give it a shot!

Guess what?  It didn’t work.  It didn’t work on my feet, that is, but as a barrier against chafing for other parts of my body while running (like my jog bra straps) Body Glide is the best!

So, still at the 10K level, on I searched for The Best Running Sock ever and found…

Women’s Enduro 3 by Balega

… and bought 3 pairs and really don’t know why.  While the Balega Enduro 3 claims it allows for added ventilation with better construction to keep the sock in place thereby decreasing friction, they didn’t work for me at all.  Blister City.  Added the Body Glide, and still no luck with the Balegas.

Gold Bond Powder

Not wanting to completely abandon my Balegas (as I had read so many great things), I tried a third layer of defense against those persistent blisters- Gold Bond Powder.  So on went the Body Glide, followed by just a couple squeezes of the powder in each sock and that worked just fine at absorbing moisture at the 5K level and fairly well at the 10K level; however, when I started getting ready for my first half marathon, Wright Socks nor Balegas nor Body Glide nor Gold Bond Powder nor any combination therein completely prevented those stupid blisters from coming on and completely distracting me while running.

So I just endured the blisters until I started training for my first marathon, figured 26 miles of that blister pain on top of the pain of running 26 miles would probably kill me dead so I kept up the search and asked my coaches and running friends for their opinion and finally found my holy grail of the athletic sock:

Thorlos Experia

… the Experia sock by Thorlos. The best running socks ever, in my opinion!  They have great padding at the ball and heel of the foot that provides a really good cushion when running as well as CoolMax fabric that increases protection against rubbing and chafing in those areas.  At the 5K and 10K level no additional balm or powder is needed to keep me blister-free in these socks.  At the half marathon level, I’ll balm my feet and squeeze a little powder in each sock just to be on the safe side and that works fine, but when training for a marathon, all of that only gets my super sweaty feet so far without blistering… about 20 miles, to be exact…

Good ol’ Vaseline!

Pretty ironic that after 3 years of racing the item that finally solved one of my biggest running issues can be found at any drugstore for $3- Vaseline petroleum jelly!  So now, I slather the hot spots on my feet with the Vaseline, don my Experias and pound the pavement happy and pain free!  Problem FINALLY solved!!!

With that, I would like to offer you a chance to win 2 pairs of Experia Thorlos and 1 tube of Body Glide!

To win please leave a comment here letting me know what keeps your feet happiest while running, for an extra entry “like” Running4theReason on Facebook, and for even one more entry- now that I am finally on Twitter- re-tweet this giveaway!  Please leave a comment here letting me know you did and I will randomly select a winner next Thursday, May 10th (I will ship just to the U.S., sorry to my international readers!).

Good luck and here’s to Happy Running Feet!

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51 thoughts on “Happy Feet (& giveaway!)

  1. I”m still looking for something to keep my feet happy. I have a 1/2 in 3 weeks and running with 2 blisters and a black toenail : ( A much needed pedicure will make them happy this weekend!

      • Try vaseline on those blisters, girl, it works miracles! And ice for the toes! :)

        Once, I had a HUGE blister like 3 inches with a race on the books, so I wrapped my foot in waterproof tape and that worked for the race but as it is pretty tight around the foot, I don’t recommend tape for everyday.

  2. My husband bought me Thorlo’s for Christmas along with a new pair of shoes. You are right. They are fantastic! My feet are happy when I avoid uneven cobblestone. My feet are happiest when I am at Lake Eola among other runners, dogs, and beautiful swans!

  3. My feet aren’t very happy either :( I think I will try the Thorlos too. I do use body glide on my feet. I don’t tweet and I already like you on Facebook!

  4. Ack. Feet and happy? Really? Well, I have socks that I like, I just know them when I see them at the store and they work to a point. I need them to be thin enough not to rub too much in the shoe, but thick enough for the long run (1/2 marathon). I am always up for trying new socks…in fact, I tried those geeky compression socks,thin, and I LOVE them. So there you go. And I already like you on FB and will tweet away now…

    • Compression will be a whole ‘nother discussion, I have been preferring the long compression socks lately too! Like a warm hug around my legs.

  5. I was going to post something about blister control too! Funny that vaseline ended up doing the trick. As you know, I run in Vibram Five Fingers, so I was going sockless for a while until I started half marathon training. When I hit 9-10 miles, blisters started appearing at the balls of my feet and on the bottom of my big toe (just the right one, for whatever reason.) They’ve since toughened into lovely calluses. I tried Body Glide, which was only mildly useful. Then I invested in Injinji socks that helped a lot. They’re not perfect, but really keep the blisters at bay in most conditions.
    I do have a pair of Thorlo hiking socks, and while I have nothing to compare them to, they are really great.

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  7. Fortunate to have you as a running friend! Your recommendations on bras (and now socks) are spot on. I can’t remember how much I paid for the thorlos I have. But they are super comfy. And my feet thank you :)

    • Oh. And one more thing. My feet are happiest when I run in my Sketchers. Mean to talk to someone about that as them old shoes has proved to be better for my feet, knees, hips, etc. than any “running” shoes I own. Go figure.

      • Aw, thank you! :) I just love the blogging community!

        I know someone who also swears by Sketchers for running too- as long as you’re comfy, you’re happy, so whatever works!

  8. I don’t see my previous comment showing up- so the thing that makes my feet happy are soft socks and new shoes!

  9. My only problem spot is my right big toe. I rub some body glide on and make sur I put my Adidas Climacool socks on the right feet and I’m good to go. I also started to wear my shoes a half size larger and that has helped significantly on long runs.

    I am running a marathon this fall, so will pick up a pair of the Thorlos and give them a try.

    • I have tried those socks as well and they are so thin, I use them for other sweaty activities like spin class. May try the half size larger thing on my next pair- my 2nd toes on both feet are REALLY suffering right now but my marathon is in 4 weeks (gulp) so no new shoes until after that!

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  11. I have this crazy fear of losing toe nails while running – so, I was given the advice to get regular pedis to help make them happy. So my feet are happiest with a pedi and dri-fit socks from Road Runners in Concord :)

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  13. My mother-in-law gave me a few pairs of the Thorlos Experia socks (pink ones) for Christmas, and I totally love them! I only wear these during races and long runs and have never gotten a blister. Try them!

  14. The Experia’s are great for me too. I only wish they came up a bit higher on the back. Wright sox were my first sox and I still love them but the Experia’s are more cushy and my feeties are happy!
    Wish they weren’t so $$ but my feet are worth it!

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