Great shoes need great socks
Great athletic socks are the key ingredient for a harmonious relationship between your hardworking feet and the amazing walking and running shoes that allow them to perform at a high level. Here are the five most important things you need to know about socks.
Number one: They fit like gloves, only for your feet. Good athletic socks are made in four and sometimes five different sizes. Each sock size fits a small range of shoe sizes, so read the label carefully to find the sock size that includes your shoe size in its range. If your size is near the bottom of the range, consider going down to the next sock size because high quality socks usually have a high spandex content allowing them to stretch to fit.
Number two: They get the sweat out. Wicking is the ability of the sock to move moisture (yep, sweat) away from the surface of your skin to the outside where it can evaporate. Wool is the only natural fiber that wicks effectively, but high performance synthetics are even more effective. Cotton, though comfortable when dry, can be murder on your feet when wet; cotton absorbs moisture rather than move it, and a soaked cotton sock loses its shape, puckers inside the shoe and promotes the formation of blisters.
Number three: They have seamless toes. Before you put your foot in a sock, stick your hand in there and see if you can feel a rough seam in the toe area. Good performance socks should feel very smooth because their seams are turned under. If, on the other hand, you feel a roughness up there, prepare to deal with some angry toes.
Number four: The sock silhouette is your call. Sock silhouettes range from the ever-popular “no-show” low-cut to crew height (what we usually associate with dress socks), and everything in-between. As long as your socks fit your feet well, how high up they go from there is strictly up to your whim. Good running and walking socks are available in every height there is, including over-the-calf compression socks.
Number five: You get what you pay for. Yep, that’s probably true of most things in life, but ponying up ten bucks or more for a pair of great athletic socks is worth the investment when you factor in their amazing durability and, more important, the happiness of your feet. Consider it blister insurance.
Fleet Feet Davis stocks an amazing array of socks designed especially for running, walking, or just being comfortable from Balega, Feetures, Smartwool, Injinji, and others.
Track your fitness progress with your watch!
GPS (Global Positioning System) watches conveniently relay pace and distance information to your wrist during your workouts via satellite communication. Comfortable and easy to use, they’re a great way to monitor where you’re at in your fitness endeavors. For the half or full marathon runner, keeping tabs on your starting pace could make the difference between finishing strong or tanking early. Or for anyone looking to run or walk their first 5k, knowing exact distances can help you follow your training program carefully to safely build your endurance. If hiking is your sport of choice, these watches are trail and mountain friendly, too!
GPS watches have come a long way in the past five years. No longer brick-sized appendages worn only by the tech-savvy ultra-marathoner, GPS watches are becoming increasingly user-friendly. Garmin offers several different models of GPS watches to accommodate a wide range of exercisers.
If you’re new to GPS watches, consider the Garmin 10. Among the more affordable of GPS watches ($100), the Garmin 10 is sleek and easy to use. It comes in 3 different colors and allows the option of doing run/walk intervals. Its Auto Pause® and Auto Lap® features allow you to stop and start for crosswalks, refueling, or a quick chat with the neighbor without affecting your total average pace. With adjustable screens and easily read data, the Garmin 10 can help you push your workouts to reach your goal performance level.
Interested in tracking not only your pace and distance, but your heart rate and calorie expenditure as well? Take a look at Garmin 210 with optional heart rate monitor. The 210 carries additional features like a 1000 lap history over which you can track your individual lap pace, and powerful battery with an 8-hour life in training mode or up to three weeks in power save mode.
The Garmin 610, which also has a heart rate monitor option, offers just about everything you could want out of a training watch. Do you thrive on competition or just need a little push from time to time? With Virtual Partner® and Virtual Racer™, you can train against a digital partner or compete against other activities. The Garmin 610 has a touch screen for ease of use and it automatically syncs data from your workout directly to your computer. The 610 offers the option of sound or vibration alerts, which can come in handy if you like to run in silence or with music, or if you’re in a crowded race with two hundred other apparatuses beeping around you. The 610 includes advanced workout options with which you can use a pace alert to warn if you’re straying too far above or below your goal pace. It even has a training effect function that measures how an activity affects your fitness levels.
All three models are water resistant and come with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Each model allows you to plug into Garmin Connect—an online program that uses your own personal data to help you mark your progress and reach your fitness goals. Whether you’re just starting a walking program, completing your first trail run, or looking to PR at the Boston Marathon, Garmin has a watch for you, and the friendly staff at Fleet Feet Sports in Davis is happy to help you make your selection.