If you're a keen runner, finding the perfect pair of running socks to see you through the countless miles is paramount. It can be surprisingly difficult to find the ideal running socks, so we've come up with this expert buying guide so that you know what to look for and can buy running socks you can count on whether you're running your first 5k or an ultra marathon.
Don't be halted by blisters
Your first port of call when looking for a new pair of running socks is whether they feature any anti-blister technology. If you run long distances or even if your feet are just prone to blisters, finding the right socks to stop them forming is a must. Of course, you can take other measures such as wearing blister plasters or slathering your feet in Vaseline, but surely wearing the right socks is much better?
Some socks are made with reinforced padding in areas of maximum impact (the heel and toes) and will have in-built anti-blister technology. It's definitely worth investing in a pair of socks like this so that pesky blisters don't ruin a potential PB or race.
Let your feet breathe
The next most important thing to look for in running socks is breathability. There are now running socks made from advanced fabrics which are super breathable and sweat-wicking, meaning your feet will stay dry no matter how much you sweat and this will prevent chafing.
Fabrics to look out for include Coolmax, which was specifically designed to improve breathability in active clothing and underwear and as such is one of the best materials for your running socks.
Reach for the high tops
The bane of any runners life is their socks slipping down inside their shoes. This causes an incredible amount of discomfort and can mean you have to cut your run short prematurely. Prevent this from happening by choosing running socks that finish mid-ankle.
It's best to avoid ankle socks or 'trainer socks' as they are sometimes called, as these styles are very prone to slipping down under your heel. You don't have to wear socks that pull right up your leg if you don't like them, mid-ankle socks should be just right.
Find the right size for you
Finally, you need to make sure you are buying the right size for you. Socks are notoriously difficult to get right when it comes to sizing and getting it wrong could be catastrophic.
If you're serious about finding the perfect socks, measure your feet from toe to heel in centimetres and compare this to the brand's size chart. It's important to remember that all brands follow different size guidelines, so check their individual sizing when buying a product from a certain brand.
Sundried Running Socks
£15 for a pack of 2 pairs
- Made with core spun CoolMax® and Lycra® blend for maximum breathability
- The CoolMax® and cotton blend pulls moisture away from the skin preventing chafing and blisters
- Hand-finished seamless toe area is incredibly durable and comfortable
- Anti-blister technology and super soft premium materials mean you can train and race with peace of mind
- Super soft cushioned heel provides superior support and prevents aching feet
- High rise design won’t slip down in your shoes
- Medium Size 39-43 EUR (UK 6.5 - 10)
- Large Size 44-47 EUR (UK 10 - 14)
Wearing fitness clothing as everyday wear is becoming increasingly popular. So when is it acceptable to wear sports clothes as athleisure wear?
When you need the extra motivation to actually go to the gym.
If you wake up early before work and really don’t feel like training, kitting out in your gym wear can be the deciding factor of whether you go or not. Think “I’ve got the gear on, I’ve got to workout now”. It’s a great motivational tool.
When you are all day active.
If you’re the kind of person that might go for a walk or run on their lunch break, or if you cycle to and from work, then smart activewear is for you. There are designs out there which can take you from office to active so that you can jump at any opportunity to be healthy and active.
When you’re doing something physically active outside the gym.
Physically active can pretty much be anything more than walking. Why wouldn’t you wear clothing that’s designed to move with your body and be comfortable? As long as you’re doing something active, then your fitness clothing is fit for purpose.
Sundried believe in keeping our customers educated about the life-cycle of our clothing, so you can make your purchases responsibly.
What Is Ethical Activewear?
The fashion and sportswear industries see a lot of what we call 'fast fashion'. This is where large quantities of clothing are produced at a rapid rate and sold very cheaply. When this happens, the people making the clothing are often not treated or paid fairly and the way the clothing is made is not environmentally friendly.
Our ethical activewear can be traced right back to where it was made and at Sundried, we guarantee that all of our employees are treated fairly, from the supply chain to the Sundried HQ office.
Not only this, every purchase made at Sundried gives a donation to charity Water For Kids. You can read more about that here.
The Sundried ethos starts at the very beginning with our materials. We select the finest quality technical fabrics which are produced in Portugal and Italy. All our material choices are made with the mitigation of harmful substances, pollution and other environmental hazards associated with raw material extraction in mind.
Our latest collection is made from 100% recycled materials, including plastic bottles and coffee grounds. These raw materials are sustainable and by recycling them into clothing, we are helping to reduce the global plastic pollution problem.
We believe you cannot be a health and fitness brand without promoting health throughout your company, from production to purpose. The fashion industry is the 2nd largest pollutant, widely known for terrible and dangerous working conditions and tragic disasters such as the collapse of The Rena Plaza factory which stole the lives of 1134 victims.
Sundried’s factories are based in Portugal and Italy and our staff are paid fairly and respected. We take pride in our partnership with European production which allows us to bring our products to you with a low carbon footprint. Larger production runs allow for lower per unit costs, but we know that producing cheaply means someone further down the line will pay the cost.
We ensure our factory conditions are safe, clean and have everything our staff need.
Our production will remain in Portugal or within the European Union for all further production as the European proximity allows us to control the working conditions of employees and make sure that European quality standards are maintained during the entire process. All our staff are paid fair wages, within EU guidelines.
Sundried Low Emissions
Sundried produce our activewear in partnership with The Low Carbon Innovation fund, to ensure we have as little environmental impact as possible.
The Low Carbon Innovation Fund has strict policies and regulations which we must adhere to.
We minimise our carbon footprint throughout the full lifecycle of Sundried apparel through:
- Local production in the UK and Europe (vs. the rest of the industry which is mainly produced in the Far East).
- Using materials that use little carbon in their manufacture, little energy in their maintenance and are recyclable.
- Carbon offsetting where a zero/low carbon choice isn’t currently viable
- Advising our products are “washed cool and sun dried” to minimise our footprint after purchase.
Our vision is to enable people to feel good inside and out before and after exercise through premium, exciting and ethical technical activewear which is stylish, smart and made with consciousness.
Ethical clothing is sweeping the nation and there is an ever-growing demand for more sustainable ways to produce fabric. With a rise in ‘fast fashion’ over the last few years, the mounting production of cheap clothing has meant that important values have been lost and not only does the environment suffer, but so too do the workers.
Sundried are proud to support ethical, sustainable activewear production with our range of apparel made from coffee. You’ve probably heard of fabric made from recycled water bottles, but coffee is the latest development in responsible sourcing.
First developed by a Taiwanese company in 2008, the use of coffee grounds to make clothes has been on the rise ever since. The fabric produced has a number of benefits, especially for activewear and gym clothing. It is fast-drying, sweat-wicking, and de-odorising, all benefits which are hugely important for performance clothing. Not only that, it does not require the high-temperature treatment that other materials require which reduces CO2 emissions leading to a greener planet.
How do recycled coffee grounds become clothing?
The fabric is made from the waste product that is created when making coffee. The used coffee grounds usually just end up in a landfill, so this recycling process is truly ethical and responsible. The coffee grounds are processed in a low-temperature, high-pressured environment to make them into yarn which is then woven into naturally high-tech fabric.
The clothing that is produced from used coffee grounds has fantastic benefits, including odour control, sweat-wicking, and it dries over 200 times faster than cotton. It is also naturally anti-bacterial.
Responsibly-sourced materials are the future and ethical brands like Sundried are leading the way to a brighter time ahead for our planet. Did you know that most polyester blends are made from the chemical reaction that occurs between coal and petroleum? Hardly what you'd want to be wearing to the gym when you think about it! The manufacture of fitness clothing from recycled materials has a significantly lower CO2 emission and therefore is kinder to the environment.
When we think activewear, we think women's activewear. But what about sportswear for men? Sundried give you the dos and don'ts of men's sportswear.
There's a lot to take in when it comes to men's sports clothing. Do you go high end or cheap? Highly technical or basic? Fashionable or practical?
Before you even start, think about what training you do and what your goals are. Certain brands are better for certain sports, such as Sundried specialising in triathlon and all triathlon-related sports such as cycling and running. You want a brand that knows your sport inside out and can provide high-quality, luxury, technical apparel for men.
If your main concern is to look good in your fashionable sports clothing, you won't need to worry so much about the technical qualities. However, if it's performance you're after, you definitely need a brand that has a history in sports and knows what it's doing.
You should have a few pieces of kit for different weather conditions and the changing seasons; don't underestimate the importance of base layers such as men's leggings and tights and long sleeved training tops to supplement your gym tops and gym shorts. Check out the fabrics that the brand uses- are they high quality and luxury or cheap and basic? Great materials to look out for are Merino wool which is naturally insulating and sweat-wicking for colder training sessions, and recycled materials which are great for the environment and provide superior technical qualities to enhance your performance.
Depending on your sport, you may wish to wear men's leggings or tights under your gym shorts for added coverage and protection. If you play a fast-paced sport like football, tennis, or rugby, you may find that leggings inhibit your movement and don't give you the freedom you need to move. However, if you practice a sport like hiking, running, or golf, then wearing a pair of leggings as a base layer could be a great addition to your sportswear line-up.
For gym workouts, wearing leggings under your shorts can add coverage for high intensity workouts and can add protection for barbell workouts like Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting where the bar scrapes against your shins. Wearing leggings on their own is usually frowned upon in the gym, but only if they're too tight or unsightly. If your leggings are thick and stylish, there's nothing wrong with wearing them if you are comfortable. What you wear to the gym depends slightly less on performance and can be more largely impacted by how you want to be perceived by others.
Mens running leggings
When it comes to running, your men's sportswear needs to perform well and be highly technical. There's nothing worse than having to cut a run short because you are not comfortable in your sportswear. If you are going to wear leggings or tights for running, you want ones that won't slip down or ride up as you move and will keep you in place where it counts.
You also want running leggings that are going to wick sweat away from your legs so that they stay dry and don't chafe as you move. Wearing leggings under your shorts for running can prevent your thighs from rubbing together as you run which can be a great bonus and improve your comfort throughout the run.
When bodybuilding, you want to look good to feel good. If you have been working out for some time, chances are you'll have a physique you're proud of and want to show off. In this case, muscle tanks and gym vests are for you. A good sleeveless gym top will enhance your figure by bringing out your chest and flattering your stomach. Look out for vests with patterning that might help to do this, or ones that might do the opposite.
At the gym, you have a lot more freedom with what you can wear than with other more performance-based sports like running or cycling. You may be tempted to wear sweatshirts or track pants, but these may not be the best when you begin to sweat. Thick, heavy materials won't be sweat-wicking or technical and you may end up with sweat rash or just be generally uncomfortable. Make sure you wear appropriate technical wear at the gym that will still look good but perform for you too.