January 31, 2012

Socks…I Had No Idea (for James)

Socks…I Had No Idea

New socks.
Two socks.
Whose socks?
Sue’s socks.

~ Dr Seuss, Fox in Socks

So shortly after I start writing this blog I got a very enthusiastic note from my friend James Zervios. James is the Director of Communications for the Obesity Action Coalition, of which I am a board member. In the time I have known James, he has completely transformed his health and his body, losing over 50 pounds, lowering his blood pressure and more. One thing James has been doing is running.

So anyway, he send me the following note:

I thought of you the other day with your running blog. I finally ran in my new shoes and it made an incredible difference. But, there was something else that I thought was interesting. I bought “running socks” at Fit2Run in Tampa. Let me tell you that they made a big difference. I ran once with them and once with my usual cotton ankle socks. With the cotton socks, I developed blisters on my toes after a 9 mile run. With these, my feet were much more comfortable and no blisters. Anyway, just thought you might find the “sock” debate interesting.

He also sent me a link to the socks – if you are really curious, you can look at them here: Balega Hidden Comfort Sock

When I first started running part of the appeal was the (fantasy?) of the lack of stuff I would need. All you really need to run are the shoes right (and some would even argue against that…)? But here’s what I learned very quickly: You buy the shoes and then you need socks.

This actually happened when I went to buy my second pair of running shoes at the running store:

Guy at store: So what kind of socks do you wear?

Me (in my head): I am supposed to have an answer to that? Do I tell him that mostly I borrow from my 10-year-old’s sock drawer?

Me (outloud): White?

Guy at store: Are they over your ankle? Below? Thick? Thin?

Me: Uhm…

Guy at store: Let me show you.

Then he leads me to what is – literally – a wall of socks, and I realize I am way out of my league when it comes to the vocabulary of this very small bit of clothing.

Seriously, who knew?

I look, I feel, I finally tell him that mostly I go for about a medium weight sock that sits below my ankle. To make a long story short, along with shoes that day, I left the store with a half-dozen pairs of socks to just sort of see if any of them were very different from what I was wearing or from each other.

If you are a runner, I am sure you already know the answer to this – all socks are not created equal.

So then, I get this thing from James. Let me emphasize that James is someone I really trust and respect. He has edited my articles many times and gives great feedback and can write a press release or make a public statement like nobody’s business. So of course I looked at the socks.

The first thing I thought was “James, you have got to be kidding me, I am not going to spend that much money on socks unless you tell me that also give me a foot massage…” But then I bought them anyway. A cute little baby blue pair while I was at it because they match my running shoes.

This is what they look like:

And I have no idea why – but I put them on and I ran in them and they really do feel very good. I have never had an issue with blisters (I may just not run far enough for that yet), but what I did notice was that my feel felt very dry in these socks and the material (which I think is mostly wool) is wonderfully soft. After a couple of weeks I had to admit that I was washing them as often as possible to re-wear them. I finally caved in and bought more…

So let me first say – Thank you James. Then let me next say that my birthday is in June and you know what you can get me because it’s sort of your fault I am developing an expensive running sock fetish.

The other lesson I seem to be learning – new activities beget new gear. New gear begets more gear. I am now thinking about things like: what do I need to run at night, in the cold, on the sand, in inclement weather…oh and I definitely need glasses I can run in and I still have not solved my issue about headphones.

This is sort of like when my son started water polo and I thought the only gear we would need was a pair of swimming trunks…why is it that some lessons never seem to sink in the first time…

But for today, here’s to happy feet.



Leave a comment
  1. JamesZ
    January 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm #


    Thank you very much for the compliments. They mean a great deal coming from someone like you that I respect so much. I am glad you like the socks and I will definitely keep in mind that your birthday is in June! And, as usual, excellent blog post.

    • Jacqueline Jacques
      January 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      Means a lot to me that you read the blog! And I do love the socks. We will get to run together one of these days, right?

      • JamesZ
        January 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

        Absolutely, in fact, with this year’s ASMBS in San Diego, there will be some beautiful weather to run.

        • Jacqueline Jacques
          January 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm #


  2. Pam D.
    February 1, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    You two run and I’ll sit on a nearby bench with cold water for you!

    • Jacqueline Jacques
      February 1, 2012 at 2:25 am #

      Love it! Will you serve coffee too 🙂


  1. Socks…Again | Not Born to Run - May 1, 2012

    […] read about where it all started, you can take a peek here at this entry wherein I write about my wonderful discovery of Balega socks. I love Balega […]