Product Spotlight: Injinji Compression 2.0 Socks

The compression market is certainly a crowded and finicky one.  Som runners use full-length compression socks and others that use calf sleeves.  Some use them while running, others use them for recovery only.  No matter what your style or method if use, if you are a fan of Injinji, you should at least take a look at their Compression 2.0 product…the only compression performance toe sock on the market.

Description
Injinji Compression is a full-length graduated compression sock using Injinji’s toe sock design.  It is made of a blend of polyester, nylon, and lycra.  They are designed to provide graduated compression from bottom to top of the calf in order to enhance circulation, performance, and muscle recovery.

Injinji Compression 2.0

Price: $49

Review
I am typically one of those finicky compression users that I mentioned at the start of the article.  I usually wear calf sleeves during events so that I can easily change socks if needed and socks during recovery for the full benefit.  Either way, I decided to give these a try in both scenarios so that I could provide a well-rounded review.

Comfort
In terms of comfort, you really need to rate compression socks a bit differently and I would rate these as positively.  The compression was consistent and not overbearing.  There were no spots where the sock felt or rubbed weird. On my 20 mile long run in them, never once did I have to adjust them or did I find myself wishing I would have worn different socks.

Protection
Protection was a non-issue on the road.  It provided a solid amount of padding underfoot to protect my feet while on the pavement.  On the trail, I am not sure I like it as much.  The overall feel of compression sock material tends to be a bit more abrasive in my opinion.  I should call out though that I have this problem on the trails with EVERY compression sock I have tried.  This is why I typically use calf sleeves and my Trail 2.0 socks when running longer trail distances.  Others may be different and not have the same issues.

Breathability
Nothing really to note here.  My feet seemed to stay a pretty consistent temperature during my long run, which indicates to me that they were pretty breathable.  They didn’t feel hot whatsoever during my test runs.  I also experienced no issues wearing them around for recovery during the day.

Moisture
I didn’t get them too wet during my use, but the bit of dampness I did experience wasn’t an issue.  They do a good job at wicking away water and sweat.

Conclusion
The Injinji Compression 2.0 offers consistent, graduated compression from the foot to the top of the sock.  I would say that it is at least as effective as any other high quality compression sport sock on the market, plus the added benefits of individual toe design that Injinji does better than anyone.  The one thing I did notice about this sock is that it does take some time to get it on.  I am not saying that the time required to put them on is some long, drawn out process, but the compression material combines with the individual toe design does require a bit of patience.

As far as personal preference, the materials that are required to make a good compression sock are not what I would choose for long trail runs since I prefer a thicker, softer feeling sock.  The polyester/nylon/lycra blend just doesn’t provide this for me.  At the same time, they provided a good experience on the road and an even better one as a post run recovery sock.  It offers solid compression on top of the unique features that I love about Injinji.  I am definitely glad that they decided to introduce it into their lineup.

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Product Spotlight: Injinji Performance 2.0 Snow Socks

New from Injinji for winter 2014 is the SNOW, a new product within their Performance 2.0 line of socks.  I love seeing that, as Injinji continues to grow, they continue to expand their product line to include socks that are much more specific to a purpose or activity versus having a few multi-purpose variations.  By going the route of specialization, they can ensure that their socks provide the best comfort and protection for all of the specific activities that we do.  The SNOW is a perfect example of how they are branching out.

Description
The SNOW provides the right combination of warmth, cushioning, and performance for any of your winter endeavors.  It uses Injinji’s nuwool, which is their unique wool blend.  It combines that with a well padded foot and OTC (over the calf) graduated compression design meant to improve blood flow and performance in your legs.

Injinji Performance 2.0 Snow

Price: $30

Review
Snow has been rather scarce early in the season here in Salt Lake City, but I finally got to take these out recently for a bit of snowshoeing.  I would classify the SNOW as a cross between Injinji’s Compression and Outdoor lines.  It comes with the warmth of the Outdoor model and a bit of the full leg compression that you get with the Compression line.  Overall, I was very happy with these.  Here are my thoughts across the key sock categories:

Comfort
I love wearing the Outdoor as an everyday sock in the colder months, so considering that the SNOW have a similar feel, I was not surprised that they too were very cozy and soft.  They aren’t as tight and restrictive as the regular Compression line, but still offers much of the endurance and recovery benefits of OTC compression.  These were so comfortable that I even found myself leaving them on for most of the day after I was done snowshoeing.

Protection
They provided ample cushioning, from under the foot to the top of the sock, to keep your legs protected from obstacles and the elements.  I wore regular (non-insulated) trail shoes with these while snowshoeing and my feet stayed pretty warm for the most part.  One of my big toes was starting to get a bit cold, but warmed up as soon as I started moving a bit faster.  With insulated footwear, such as a ski boot or winter hiking boots, your feet would definitely remain nice and warm throughout your activity.

Breathability
There was a good balance here.  My feet did not get sweaty at all while at the same time, they weren’t so breathable that they let cold air in to my feet.  Even wearing them around the house afterward, my feet remained at a constant, comfortable temperature.

Moisture
This one is hard to tell because Utah has the “best snow on earth”.  In other words, it is powdery and dry versus wet and sloppy.  My feet were not wet and neither were the socks after I was done snowshoeing.  However, if they are truly like the Outdoor line (which is my impression), then you shouldn’t experience any more issues with these than you would any other wool blend sock.  In fact, Injinji’s wool blend often outperforms many other wool blends from what I have seen.

Conclusion
The SNOW is the perfect blend of warmth and compression that will keep your legs fresh for hours of activity.  At $30, these are less expensive than most compression and in line with many OTC ski socks.  This would be a good addition to your cold weather apparel, whether your ski, snowshoe, hike, or run in the winter months.  For extra warmth and protection, you may even pair them with the Injinji sock liner if that is your thing.  I will likely find myself also using these as a winter post-activity recovery sock.

If you like this post and would like to stay up to date when future gear reviews, race reports, and other related posts are released, please follow my Facebook page at Ultrarunner Joe!

The Inaugural Ultrarunnerjoe.com Giveaway!

***NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED!  Like my Facebook page, Ultrarunner Joe, for notifications of all future giveaways!

Less than 6 months ago, I decided to start this little blog as a venue for sharing gear reviews, race reports, training tips, and other insights from out on the trails.  Little did I know, people would actually enjoyed reading what I had to say so much that it would grow quickly enough to have already reached my first major milestone: 10,000 views!

To celebrate, I am kicking off the first of what I hope to be many giveaways at ultrarunnerjoe.com. You all know how passionate I am about Orange Mud, hands down the best hydration pack solutions on the market for endurance athletes. What better way to celebrate than to give away one of their newly released handhelds!?

Orange Mud Handheld Ad  OM Handheld Front

HOPEFULLY I SET THIS UP CORRECTLY, SINCE IT IS MY FIRST GIVEAWAY.  I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE CONTEST (BUT WILL ONLY DO SO IF I SCREWED UP)

To qualify, click on this link: OrangeMud Handheld Giveaway.  Follow the instructions to be entered up to 3 times.  Be sure to enter by Saturday, September 20, 2014.

A single winner will be chosen at random once the contest has ended.  I will notify the winner afterwards and announce it in the comments on this post.  Good luck!

Thanks once again to Josh and Orange Mud for supporting me as an Athlete Ambassador!  For more information on their products, visit their website or read my gear reviews.