Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for the ‘WRIGHTSOCK Challenge’

Published September 7th, 2009


With the WRIGHTSOCK Challenge in its fourth and final week, I decided I needed to put at least one pair of socks to the ultimate test.  I already tried my new socks on two 20-mile runs, a half marathon race, the Hood-to-Coast relay (where I wore a different pair on each of three legs) and various short runs ranging from 4 to 10 miles.  While each performed fabulously, I still questioned whether they could hold up to the rigors of the marathon.

Yesterday I had my answer.

For Michelle’s Grande Ass Marathon — a point-to-point race hitting six different Starbucks along the course — I turned to my SLXs as they had treated me well for one of my 20 milers.  I threw caution to the wind and decided not to lube up my feet, although I did carry some moleskin in my pack just in case.  Although we awoke to a downpour, the rain tapered off by the time of the race.  In fact, the first part was perfect for running — cool and cloudy.  But as we left the fourth Starbucks at around the 14- to 15-mile mark, the skies opened up again.  UGH!

The final 11-12 miles were a sopping wet slog (toward the end I questioned why I was even dodging the puddles — I couldn’t possibly get any more wet), but fortunately I felt nary a blister nor hot spot on my feet.  They were completely soaked, but stayed warm during the run.  Can’t ask for anything more.

Of the six pairs sent by WRIGHTSOCK, my favorites are the SLXs and the SLRs.  Both hug my arches and are extremely comfortable.  My next favorites are the Running IIs and the Cool Mesh.  They’re both double-layered, however, I find they crease easily when putting them on.  But once I smooth them out they stay that way.

Because we’ve had such hot weather, I only tried out the Cushioned DLXs once.  They too are quite comfortable, and I’m sure they’ll be one of my go-to pairs come winter.  As for the ultra-thin SLTs, I probably won’t wear them for running as they’re just TOO thin.  But they’ll be great for gym or for slipping on aprés race.

I’d like to thank WRIGHTSOCK and the Runner’s Lounge for letting me participate in the challenge.  My feet really appreciate it!

Published August 17th, 2009

WRIGHTSOCK Challenge, test 2

Socks have it tough.  When they work well, there’s not much to say about ’em.  When they don’t?  Well, you can bet there’ll be a LOT of gripin’ going on.  Fortunately I’ve been experiencing the former with my WRIGHTSOCKS, but that means this post will be brief.

Last Thursday I tested the SLXs on a 20-mile long run.  While I normally lube up the ol’ feet with Body Glide, I decided to forego it in order to truly test the WRIGHTSOCK mettle.  Thank goodness I had absolutely no issues — no blisters, not even any hot spots.  Like a few of the other pairs, these socks “hug” your arches, which I really like.  They’re medium weight, which are good for both warm and cool climates.

Next up were the SLRs.  Frankly, I didn’t see much of a difference between them and the SLXs, other than they’re all white whereas the SLXs are grey and white with a red stripe.  The SLRs are touted as having more cushion, but I didn’t really notice.  I wore these for my half marathon run on Saturday and really liked them.  Again, I’d wear them year-round.

For my 7-mile trail run on Sunday I tried out the Running IIs.  Whereas the SLRs and SLXs are single-layered, the Running IIs are double-layered.  By the time I hit the trail the temp was in the 70s and my feet did get pretty hot and sweaty.  However, that was due more to the trail running shoes I was testing, which are coated in Goretex.  Once I switched to my regular, breathable trail shoes my feet were quite comfortable.  That said, I probably will save these for cooler weather.

So there  you have it — another successful test.  I have one more pair to try, then I’ll be wearing each pair several more times.  My tootsies are lovin’ it!

Published August 12th, 2009

WRIGHTSOCK Challenge, test 1

Last night I was a product-testing fool.  Just before I headed out on my run I swigged a glass of POM pomegranate juice (more on that in a later post), threw on a pair of my new WRIGHTSOCK Cushioned DLX double-layer socks and slipped my feet into a pair of trail running shoes I’m testing (not sure if I can talk about the specifics yet).  My plan was to run about four miles along the “trails” in Woodland Park near my house, then change into regular running shoes for an easy loop around Greenlake with friends.  Since I’d be running on a couple of different terrains, I brought along another pair of WRIGHTSOCKS — the ultra-thin SLTs.

The DLXs are indeed cushy, however, since they’re double-layered I found the inside layer creased a bit when I put my shoe on.  But once smoothed out it stayed that way.  They were extremely comfortable and I had no issues with them, however, I’ll be saving them for cooler weather as my feet got quite hot (the shoes contributed to that as they were pretty darn heavy).

I had stored my regular running shoes and the SLTs in my friends car, and when I switched out the trail runners and DLXs with them it felt like I had lost about five pounds.  The socks lived up to their ultra-thin name as I could barely tell I had any on.  While I didn’t have any issues with these either, I prefer a slightly thicker sock, as well as one that goes above the ankle (even though I still manage to get rocks and dirt in my shoes with the latter style).

Tomorrow will be an even better test, as I’ll be heading out on a 20-mile run.  Not sure which socks I’ll choose to wear, but that’s part of the fun!

Published August 11th, 2009

Sock it to me

wrightsocWhen I first began running I gave little thought to my running gear. I’d wear cheap cotton shorts and socks, an old cotton t-shirt and shoes from the discount mart down the street. Eventually I started wearing race shirts, but they were still cotton as this the B.T.W. era (before technical wear). As I entered my second running phase in 2005 I replaced my cotton gear with technical fabrics, plus I got myself fitted for better shoes at my local running store. But my socks? They were still the $9.99/6-pair special at Costco.

Then I got into long distance running.

Sure, I balked when I saw many of the blister-free, moisture wicking socks were $8-$12 a pop. But as someone who stands on her tootsies all day, I knew I had to take care of ’em. I think the first pair of technical socks I bought were the Injinji toe socks. Yeah, they’re goofy looking and take some getting used to, but they work. I’ve then tried several other brands — Brooks, Asics, New Balance and Feetures — with mixed results. I don’t even know the brand of my favorite socks, just that they have cute blue & yellow forget-me-nots on them. They were the ones I wore when I BQ’d, and of course they were the ones I wore when running the 113th Boston Marathon (the blue & yellow matched the Boston colors; it was meant to be!) Alas, not clipping my toenails have done a job on them and I’ll have to throw them out.

Fortunately, thanks to the folks at WRIGHTSOCK, I now have plenty of replacements.