Intrigued by barefoot running but wary of cold feet? These toe socks conform to your foot’s contours, preventing hot spots and blisters that can result from toe seams, too much ill-fitting fabric, or toe-on-toe friction. “These are now my go-to running socks,” says a tester whose wide forefoot but normal-width heel makes many socks uncomfortable.
Bonus: The CoolMax/nylon blend wicks like crazy, preventing chafing, chills, and odor for another tester who wore them with Vibram FiveFingers shoes over several months of hiking. Caveats: The socks are a chore to pull on, and not all testers liked the feel of fabric between their toes.
Also, there’s no cushioning, which both helps (by improving ground feel) and hurts (by removing a layer of shock absorption). As with minimalist footwear, they’re meant for people who fully embrace a barefoot or “natural alignment” philosophy.