Happy feet, not just for penguins

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite shows, Modern Family, demonstrates Gloria discovering the wonders of comfortable feet. After insisting on wearing 5″ heels to Disney World for the day, her husband Jay ends up forcing her to try on some comfy slippers instead. Her demeanor instantly changes from irritated to affectionate. Jay ponders if she gets angry, “from time to time,” because she never wears comfortable shoes…

As much as I didn’t want Jay to be right and for Gloria to be able to strut around on those stilettos pain-free, happy feet are not to be underrated.

Watch the whole interaction here…

One of our family friends told me the other night that she couldn’t remember the last time she saw me in shoes. This is true. She normally sees me at the beach when I’m running around barefoot all summer long. She has no idea that she pretty much described what could have been my future had I continued to date that guy I met right when I moved to Portland…

But outside of the beach, though I generally don’t have qualms about getting barefoot in most places for certain circumstances (ie, yoga poses…), I’m a socks and shoes kinda gal. And whatever lets me walk, yoga, explore, stay active for longer and feel better, the better. As much as I love heels, they’re just NOT going to be nearly as comfortable as sneakers. Doi. I do have an assortment of comfortable heels, but I’m mostly in wedges or boots for casual wear.

I love being able to test my technical shoes! Getting on the treadmill at running stores, walking up the faux rock hill in hiking boots at REI. Something I discovered on NOLS but that I think is true across the board is that you’re just a happier person when your FEET are happy!

Shoes are kind of a given. What I think can be especially challenging but often overlooked are socks! Wearing the appropriate socks can be an absolute game changer. I hate when they slip down and I blister, or they’re too thick and my already-tend-towards-sweaty feet are on fire.

Socks may not be the most exciting or sexy topic, but there’s a science to it that runners, hikers, and skiers all have to work out for themselves. Here’s what I’ve discovered works for me:

Sockettes

I LOVE the low profile socks for flats and running shoes when I’m running errands or having a casual day. They’re super light weight and have a sticky band around the top of the heel so they don’t slip down. Also perfect to wear with my booties on travel days!

High profile ankle socks

Re-discovering these have been a lifesaver while running and trail running. They’re thicker, giving me a little extra padding. And the higher cut means there’s no way they’ll slip down my heel, which is especially important with my trail runners.

In-between

I have a few pairs of socks that are perfectly in the middle of the two above, in weight and cut. Great for booties or road runs.

All three of these styles of socks I get from lululemon. We all know I’m a fan of the brand as a whole, but these styles just work for me. With socks, I find that you figure out what works and then buy in bulk. Especially since it’s a given the dryer will eat a third of them at some point in the future.

Merino Ski Socks

I have these old knee-high lightweight merino wool socks from Patagonia that are my favorite ski socks. Except for the coldest of days, they’re the perfect weight for squeezing into snug ski boots. The merino is soft, durable, and warm.

They also make for a great apres-ski look!

Knee-high Socks

I’m a boot wearer. Looooove me all the boots. Most of the time, ankle socks aren’t going to cut it. For warmth, for blisters, for all of it. So for all of my tall boots I have an assortment of tall socks. Some are basic colors, some have cute patters, some you’ll see popping up over the top of the boot. It can be a fun way to play with the look.

Snuggly Socks

When my feet are cold, I’m cold. So I always stock up on snuggly, fuzzy socks to wear around the house for the winter.

Snuggly puppy not included.

The ones pictures above I believe are Birkenstock, intended to be layered with sandals. Which I refuse to do! (Outside of my home or pre-trail run at least.) My other favorites are some ridiculously soft, fuzzy ones my aunt got me for Christmas years ago that are like putting a cloud on my feet. Ah-mazing on those cold, rainy Portland winter days!

Tech Socks

I can be such a creature of habit. I find what I like and I stick with it. But I’ve been given the opportunity to try out some new tech socks over the years, and I do have to admit they make a world of difference!

I fell in love with the high profile ankle sock for running with these Balega socks in an event swag bag.

My studio manager in Breck gave me my other favorite pair of ski socks as a present on Christmas. I resisted trying them because I thought they were too padded, but once I did I fell in love!

My latest obsession by trial? Tabio! 

They are originally from Japan, but are on their way to the US! They are a favorite of many elite and Olympic athletes. And I see why.

I got to try out the Signature Run Sock. The fabric is high quality, and they are breathable, flexible, durable, and skidproof!

When was the last time you wore socks with the grippies on the bottom? Talk about underrated… I’m even loving them around the house. My mom shared (and imparted) a fear the other night of carrying laundry down the stairs and slipping. I immediately put these babies on.

Due to my holiday travels and getting back from being sick, I haven’t had a chance to hit the trails for a long run with them quite yet. But they’re engineered with patented arch-support technology that is supposed to help with foot fatigue during and after my run. This was something I noticed happening regularly during my longer-distanced runs: my feet were really starting to hurt around mile 10. Some of it might be I need trail shoes that have thicker soles, but I’m also really excited about hitting the trails with my new Tabio socks when we get to Asheville this coming week.

Wanna try them out, too? Tabio is hosting an Instagram challenge from now until December 25th. All you have to do is go follow them on Instagram and you’re entered to win! They’re selecting someone daily to win. YAY FREE SOCKS!

Disclaimer: I received product from Tabio, but all opinions expressed are my own. I appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.

*Feature image by Stark Photography.

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