I used to do some work for a premium headphone brand. Prior to starting with them, they shared a story that I want to share with you.
Most of us have the latest, greatest mobile phones. We will often spend anywhere from £300 – £800. When we first buy the phone, we get it home and open up the shiny new box. We power it up and take out the headphones that came with the phone. We plug them in, turn on our favourite tunes and off we go. We think we are happy with our new purchase.
If you then unplug your headphones and plug a premium set of headphones into your phone and listen to the same tunes, you experience something completely different. The same song has much more depth to it, you hear instruments clearly that you couldn’t hear before and clearer richer sounds are heard. The experience between the two sets of headphones is dramatic.
But before you plugged in the premium headphones you were quite happy with the sound you were experiencing. You didn’t know what you were missing. In short, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Well, technical running socks are exactly the same. For many of you, running in your “6 pairs for £10” work just fine. You aren’t getting blisters and your feet seem pretty happy. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know. It isn’t that everybody should run in a technical sock but it will make the experience of running much more pleasurable. We invest in a good pair of running shoes but then we put on a cheap, non-technical pair of socks. The sock is the interface between our feet and that wonderful new pair of shoes you have invested in.
So what is the difference between a basic multi-pack run sock and a Balega running sock? Let’s start with the yarn. Balega socks are produced with premium yarns that are manufactured in the US. A premium yarn will add an incredibly soft, non-abrasive feel to the sock: no rubbing with Balega.
Next is the construction method. We use an extra 30% more yarn in the heel of our socks which creates a nice deep heel pocket for the foot to sit in to. The sock is contoured to the shape of our heel so it does not pull down into the shoe when we run. This also means we don’t need a tight band around the collar of the sock as it’s just there to keep the band in place as opposed to keeping the sock up.
Our seams are all hand linked. This means that the seams around the toe of the sock are stitched with great care and attention to detail. Rough seams cause blisters. We actually take about three times as long to make a pair of socks as most other technical sock brands and five times longer than your multi-pack socks.
There is no cotton in any of our socks!! Cotton traps heat, allows moisture to build up, and creates the potential for rubbing and blisters. Our drynamix yarns are both hydrophilic and hydrophobic. The layer closest to the skin will pull the moisture from the feet and then disperse the moisture around the sock to help it dry quickly.
We lock the sock in place with carefully positioned banding around the heel and the midfoot. This way the sock does not interfere with the biomechanics of the foot but it is locked in place and won’t slip and slide around.
Moisture, rough seams and sock movement are the key reasons why people get blisters. You can see that Balega addresses each of these issues.
And finally, we pre-wash and inspect every pair before they reach your feet. Our quality control is second to none.
On the face of it £13 – £15 sounds like an awful lot to invest in a pair of socks but will your multi-pack last you 500–1000 miles of running? Balega are incredibly durable and keep a softness that you cannot find in any other sock. No more crinkly, crunchy running socks. If you actually look at the “cost per wear” on a pair of Balegas you will find that they are usually less expensive than the multi-pack basics.
So now you know a bit more about what makes our socks special, how they differ from your general sports socks and why you should try them. A plush, technical sock between a comfy running shoe and foot is an essential piece of kit.
Remember, we don’t know what we don’t know……