You know I like Tabio. Their socks are great, and if I'm wearing brogues or any other shoe that might necessitate my socks showing, they'll probably be Tabio (I can't be doing boring black). But Tabio sports socks...?
A while ago now the lovely people at Tabio sent me three pairs of their sports socks to try out after I mentioned I liked the look of them. I am a runner, but a bit of a rubbish one at the moment, because after running the London Marathon in April it's nice just to have a run for fun and not be military about a schedule (which you have to be when preparing to run 26 miles).
So, I've taken the last month to really try these socks out. The first thing to note is that they are not cheap - they cost about £28 a pair, which even for me if quite pricey. Most of my sports socks are either the Nike ultra light ones or Thorlo that run to £10 a pop. However, you get more features than you would do on these socks - the banding, grip and tabi toe features do make for a souped up sports sock and they hold their features in the wash well too.
I am quite fussy about my sports socks - I prefer thin ones to those with extra padding as I find I always get blisters if there is too much cushioning. Not blisters here. And despite being a thickish weave they are very comfortable and don't ride up or down whilst on the move. I can't say I noticed HUGE amounts of difference between the regular socks and the tabi and individual toe versions, but I did like the sensation of having a free big toe to wiggle about in the tabi version - like running was more stable almost.
Personally I would say the area where I've noticed the most difference is when I'm having sessions with my personal trainer. We do a lot (and I do mean a lot) of strength work - lunges, single leg exercises and so on - and I find that during this one of the things that starts to hurt are the arches of my feet. Sometmes it's so bad I have to stop what I'm doing, take my shoes off and have a little stretch out. No amount of rolling them out on little nobbly massage balls seems to get rid of the tightness, but wearing these Tabio socks the noticeable arch support really helps and has made strength exercises, if not easier, then more bearable.
So. Tabio sports socks. Would I buy them? At almost £30 a pair they are super expensive, but if you are serious about your running or exercise then investing in one or two pairs for your races (and practicing in them first) would be no bad thing. There's nothing worse that bad socks ruining your run. I never understand why people put up with poor kit - I saw so many people pulling off their trainers and socks on the London Marathon to reveal horrific blisters. Why train for all that time and end up hobbling the last 4 miles in bare feet for the sake of a pair of £2 Primark 'sports' socks?
I liked the Tabio socks because they 'feel' more expensive on your feet, a bit when you're wearing a dress with great construction and you just know that it's be designed rather than made. The usual sports socks yadda yadda about heel cupping, arch support and grip (which promise the earth but feel no different to, you know, regular socks), actually translate into reality with these.