Toes are meant to be able to move independently. They’re not meant to function as a single unit; Instead, each toe has a role that traditional socks are inhibiting by strapping them together. The Injini Midweight is an outdoor toe sock designed to correct this fundamental flaw, and I like them.
These socks are essentially gloves for your feet. Instead of stuffing your foot into a tightly woven sack, these are constructed to fit the shape of your toes and allow the individual phalanges freedom to wiggle about like happy little earthworms. They’re constructed primarily from Merino Wool, well known for it’s ability to protect, prevent odor, regulate temperature, and to stay dry in stuffy conditions. They’re also 33% nylon and 3% lyca to improve stretch and fit. They come in various colors and styles, and are available now for $20.
What I liked
The first moment you slide your ground hands into a pair of foot gloves, it feels a bit strange. Having fabric between the toes feels a bit foreign and obtrusive, initially anyway. Quickly, this sensation evolves into something of a childish glee as the freedom starts to leak through the gaps. Having the ability to fully move the toes about feels great, inside and outside of my boots. I’ve found them wonderful for prancing around my house on cool days, and admirable on the trail with a pair of light hikers as well. The durable wool does a good job of protecting my feet from blisters when paired with a soft boot, while the close fit and immaculate stitching virtually eliminates friction points and hard seams that could otherwise cause blisters. They’re instantly comfortable and do a fabulous job of staying in place while hiking, even after miles of downhill.
Unexpectedly, my favorite thing about these socks isn’t the obvious ability to move my toes; It’s temperature regulation. Simply having space in between the toes increases the surface area, allowing my feet breathe better with fresh air moving in between them. When paired with a pair of breathable boots, I can prevent my feet from becoming sweaty even on balmy days in the humid forest. If I do start to sweat, the wool wicks the moisture away, drying them quickly and providing a nice cooling effect. They manage to keep my feet warm too thanks to the naturally insulating properties of the wool construction. This makes them flexible and usable in a wide range of conditions as they’re never too hot or too cold.
The Midweight Crews have been holding up quite well. Wool is famous for it’s innate durability, and when paired with the high quality stitch work and nylon, the result is a tough, reliable sock that’s yet to fray or show any signs of wear, even after walking around “barefoot” on rocks and carpet. I’ve had several pair of Injinji socks over the years and I’ve only managed a tiny hole in one, right on the big toe nail after many, many miles of vigorous use.
These socks pair very well with lightweight, flexible boots. Having the toes expand naturally when walking helps improve grip, control and maneuverability, without adding weight or bulk. They function best with light hikers, trail runners, and even sandals (there are no fashion runways in the woods).
What I didn’t like
Using the socks with heavy, stiff boots isn’t ideal nor terribly appealing. The design allows the foot to move freely, but also feel more freely also. The fabric is somewhat thin with little padding, and it always sits directly on the skin. Hard boots with thick seams and stiff bends will certainly be felt. Throwing these inside heavy duty footwear diminishes most of the maneuverability gained from the free toe design too, so choose your footwear wisely if you want the benefits of these socks.
I don’t consider these socks entirely adequate for winter. They will certainly get you by, but due to their ample ventilation, I’ve found them less than toasty when used on frozen ground in traditional boots, although insulated boots fare much better. They work, but there are better options for those conditions. Consider Injinjis snow line for that, although I’m yet to test them personally.
The Injini Midweight Crew socks represent a change in the way of thinking about hiking shocks. The design allows the toes to spread on impact and adjust to the conditions underneath them, in a natural way, instead of keeping them bunched up in a wad. The sensation is freeing, and feels far more natural than a traditional sock, once you get used to them. They’re lightweight, regulate incredibly well, and do a great job of protecting the feet when paired with appropriate footwear. I also adore letting the breeze flow through my toes after a long, sweaty hike in the mountains.
Thanks so much for reading! If you like what you see here, don’t forget to follow our blog by simply clicking on the follow button on the right. You’ll get notifications of updates and reviews, and it helps us out too. If you have any questions or comments, post below or send us an email. We’ll get back with you as soon as possible. We love hearing from you. You can also find us on Twitter or Facebook (links on the right).
For more information on Injinji and their excellent line of gear, check out www.injinji.com
I wanted to send a special thanks out to Injinji for their continued support and for providing this excellent piece of equipment to review. We couldn’t do this without their help. Thank you so much! Our full disclosure can be found on the about me/contact page.