By Jeni Goodwin
I recently had the opportunity to try out a couple pairs of XOSKIN toe socks. XOSKIN creates performance apparel with ergonomic designs to reduce friction and enhance movement. With technical base layers, bottoms, socks, sleeves, and even hats, this company has many options for training, racing, and recovery. All items are created with their RAPIDriCOPPER™ technology which is said to reduce odor, promote skin wellness, protect against blisters and chafing, and wick moisture. They manufacture all products, and every aspect of the process, in the USA.
While they do offer traditional socks, I prefer to run in toe socks, as it helps to keep my toe blisters at bay. This was my first experience with any XOSKIN products, and I decided to go with both the quarter crew and ankle toe socks.
Before I get into the details on the socks, I was excited to see that the packaging doubles as waterproof pouches. You can reuse them for drop bags, keeping your phone dry, etc. I definitely appreciate being able to reuse the packaging instead of pitching it.
Now, on to the good stuff.
QTR Crew XOTOES Light Weight: ($24.00, 3 size options, 4 color choices)
● The QTR Crew XOTOES socks are a nice light-weight material made from US Patented PTFE and Copper yarns. This allows the sock to be worn more than once prior to washing. Additionally, the material is stated to help reduce bacteria and improve moisture management.
● Care instructions are not listed on the socks nor the packaging. However, per XOSKIN, they should be washed on gentle cycle with like fabrics and air dried or on the gentle cycle.
● When I first put on the socks, the toes felt a little rigid and big. I did not know if this would interfere once my shoes were on. However, I did not notice any friction or shifting of the sock while running. When I took off my shoes after the run, the individual toes of the sock had formed to my foot nicely. The next time I wore them, they immediately took the shape of my individual toes vs. the initial boxy feel. I was in a unisex size 2 sock. My running shoe is typically a size 8.
● The sock covers about 3 inches above the ankle, offering plenty of coverage without being a full crew sock. A gaiter could be worn over them if needed for trail running.
Sock in Action:
● I took these socks out on a couple shorter runs (3-5 miles), and then, on a longer run of 10 miles. My feet felt dry, comfortable, and I did not experience any blister formation. If you are prone to blisters, these may be a nice option for light weight toe socks.
● Even with the light weight design, my feet did not feel too cold in the crisp Chicago weather. I did not experience any inclement weather when wearing the socks, so I cannot speak to how they hold up in cold/wet weather conditions.
Anklet XOTOES Light Weight: ($22.00, 3 size, 4 color options)
● This is the same great sock in a lower profile. The material is the same as the QRT Crew XOTOES.
● The ankle of this sock had an additional tab in the back. This had just enough coverage above the ankle to keep from any rubbing from shoes. I would not use a gaiter with this sock.
Not only did I take these socks on some runs and gym workouts, I have been wearing them as general socks for bopping about in my tennis. These are great for general wear on top of performance type of activities.
Quick Conclusion on XOSKIN toe socks:
Pros: Comfortable, light weight, toe socks. Can be worn more than 1x before washing. Great fit. Reusable packaging.
Cons: Only request would be for more color options! Which lead me to this interesting piece of information—I learned toe sock machines are not sophisticated enough to make brightly colored patterns. Companies like injinji, who make unique designs, knit the toe/bottoms of the foot portion on a toe sock machine, and the top portion on a traditional sock machine. Then, join the two parts together by a process called hand-linking.
I look forward to getting more miles in with XOTOES and will definitely give them a go in my upcoming ultramarathons. I will update this review in a few months to let you know how they are holding up!