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Name: merrymishaps (Lauren)
Home: Annapolis, MD, United States
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

wrightsock challenge - final

By now, I've tried all of the socks graciously provided by WRIGHTSOCK and the Runners' Lounge.

The last two:

I took the Running II pair out on a 10-mile run a couple weeks ago. It was warm, humid, and hilly so I really put them to the test. I was still recovering from the 10 miles I did while at the beach, but those trouble spots weren't too bad considering the conditions. My feet were comfortable and I barely noticed my socks.

I tried the final pair for the first time a few days before the triathlon. I was mainly going for a bike ride, but knew I wanted a short run as well, so I put on the SLX. These felt great! But I only ran for a mile.

I tried them out again this weekend on a 9-mile run. It wasn't too warm out, but really humid. I was quite pleased with the socks. Despite the sticky conditions, my feet were feeling good. By the end, I had trouble again with the callous-blisters that have been bothering me for a couple weeks, but I can't really blame the socks for that.

Overall, I've really liked all of these socks!

My favorites are the Coolmesh, which will be coming to Virginia Beach with me for my next half marathon on Sunday. The SLX, SLR and Running II are quite comfortable as well. I especially like fit of the SLX -- no annoying toe seams!

The thin SLT, which I thought I would like the best, come in behind the others. I found I preferred the slightly thicker socks, and got a better fit around the toes with the others.

That leaves the DLX as the loser. But that doesn't mean I didn't like them! It was just too hot for thick socks. I'll be happy to break those out again in a couple months!

Thanks again to the Runners' Lounge and WRIGHTSOCK for inviting me to this challenge. While it is technically over, I'm going to continue to test them against my old socks as the weather changes. I may have to start investing more in my socks!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

wrightsock challenge - three and four

Wednesday was not a good-weather day here at the beach. When I woke up to gray skies, I stayed in bed a little longer. And when I finally did arise, it hadn't improved.

Clouds, light rain, and grumbles of thunder continued throughout the day. We would occasionally see flashes of lightning across the sound. I settled onto the couch with a book, and waited for the storm to pass. I wanted a short run that day, and don't mind the rain. It's the thunder storms that concern me!

Well, the storm seemed to be stalled. The sky would get brighter and I'd get hopeful, and then a crack of thunder would shake the house. Back to the book.

I did start, and finish, an entire book that day. And I even did get my run in by the late afternoon! Finally, the thunder stopped.

I wasn't planning on going too far, about three miles, so I chose the WRIGHTSOCK Cushioned DLX.

The WRIGHTSOCK Challenge

They're much thicker than what I usually wear this time of year, so I was concerned about them being too warm. Like all the others, they felt good when I put them on. Less bulky than I expected. I think I'm going to like these in the fall and winter.

With the so-called storm, the weather cooled to 75 degrees that day, but with 89% humidity, it still felt pretty warm out there. And the socks were kind of hot as expected. I can't really evaluate them otherwise since my feet were still recovering from Monday's 10-miler. No new problems, just re-irritating the old ones!

Today was a bit cloudy, but nothing that would stop us from sitting outside on the deck. (We just didn't want to drag all our stuff out to the beach, just in case). A little after lunchtime, it started to sprinkle a little bit, and then a light rain started. No thunder -- perfect! I got changed for another short run.

This time, I picked the SLR.

The WRIGHTSOCK Challenge

It was 80 degrees and 74% humidity according to weather.com, but since they didn't realize it was raining I'm guessing it was a bit more humid. Yuck!

The rain would have been refreshing, had it lasted. It stopped completely within my first half mile, and only sprinkled lightly for the rest of my four-mile run. It was a tough one today. I was really hot. My feet were really hot, too.

I'm pretty sure they would be at least a little hot in any socks, but it is possible that the cushioning may have made them a little warmer than a thinner sock. Otherwise, they were comfortable, and my problem areas felt fine. Much better than Wednesday, actually.

I can say with certainty this is the most I've ever run while on vacation. I biked 12 miles yesterday, too. And kayaked a mile. (Uh, yeah, I wore my Garmin kayaking.)

It's been a great trip. I'm sad to head home tomorrow!

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Monday, August 10, 2009

wrightsock challenge test two - slt

This morning I actually set an alarm -- while on vacation -- to get up and run. It was going to be a hot one, and I really wanted to get a 10-miler in.

I hit the road a little after 7 a.m., and chose the WRIGHTSOCK SLT since they are the lightest and most similar to the socks I usually use. It was 80 degrees / 84% humidity when I started my run.

The WRIGHTSOCK Challenge

Much like the first pair I tested, the fit was perfect and the fabric felt better than my usual cheap socks. During the first few miles of my run, I kept forgetting to pay attention to my socks so I could review them, so I guess that's a good thing.

The happy feelings didn't last, unfortunately. My already-calloused right toe rubbed a couple of small blisters by the end, and I was feeling a hot spot on my left heel.

I can't really blame the socks, though. I was asking a bit much of them.

I'm positive that the heel hot-spot is related to my orthotics. I've temporarily switched back to my older pair, since I'm having new ones made based on the others. I used to get blisters on that heel, and never linked it to my old inserts. Until now. I actually noticed the difference in the heel as soon as I laced up. Despite the irritation, I didn't get a blister there.

The callouses were already pretty bad, so it's not surprising that they rubbed after 10 miles. (Note to self: buy a Ped Egg.) Also, I was using old inserts. Hopefully my new ones arrive before the sock challenge is over so I can compare.

These new socks were still pretty good, though. Even with the blisters, my toe is less-sore than it was the last time I used my cheap socks. So that's something.

I guess I should have tested one of the double-layer anti-blister socks today, but they're a bit thick and I was worried about the heat. I'll save those for the shorter runs!

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

the wrightsock challenge

I've tried a lot of running socks, and I have a few favorites. But I usually stick to C9 from Target low-cut socks. They're cheap, and I actually like them better than some of my pricier socks. They're really thin and light, and are pretty much all I use in the summer.

In fact, I had a pair on when I arrived home from work today. I was dressed for my run already, and had a few minutes to stop in to grab some water ... and change my socks!

Because look what arrived today:

The WRIGHTSOCK Challenge

Thanks to the generous folks at WRIGHTSOCK and the Runners' Lounge, I've been offered the chance to challenge my old running socks.

For the rest of the month, I'm kicking my old socks to the curb and putting WRIGHTSOCKs to the test.

I chose the double-layer Coolmesh® socks for my first run:

The WRIGHTSOCK Challenge

My first impression was very positive. They are light and soft, and felt a lot better than my Target socks.

The double-layers are supposed to prevent blisters by reducing friction. I've (knock on wood) had pretty good luck with blisters lately, though I have been having some trouble with callouses.

I'm an over-pronator, and I seem to have worn through my old orthotics. That was one of the problems they corrected. After my last few runs, I've been pretty sore in two places on the inside of my right toe.

Well, I wasn't expecting any relief until I got new orthotics ... but my toe feels fine tonight. I ran the same distance on Tuesday, and actually my run had more hills tonight.

Now, on Tuesday I might have been recovering from a trail race on Sunday that was particularly hard on the feet ... but I want to believe that these socks have solved the problem!

Another nice thing is the sizing. I'm a size 6, which usually falls in the smaller end of the size range. I have quite a few pairs of socks where the heel hits halfway up my ankle.

The WRIGHTSOCK "small" range is size 4-6, and they were perfect.

Well, that's surely the most I've ever written about (or thought about) socks. And I soon will have entire series of posts about them. I never saw that coming!

I'm looking forward to the rest of this challenge. So far, I'm impressed!

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