Thursday, September 8, 2011

the sock experiment: Old Navy Mesh Athletic Socks

Today, I get back to the real reason this entire experiment began, to determine if expensive running socks are really better than inexpensive cotton socks. For comparison to the fancy brands I have been wearing lately, I have spent the last 2 weeks wearing newly purchased, inexpensive, cotton athletic socks from Old Navy.

 I came across these cotton basics on sale at Old Navy and couldn't pass up the opportunity for this sock experiment 'control group' showdown. I should note that these are 'athletic socks', so they do come with a mesh feature for 'ultimate breathability'. They are composed of 67% cotton, 31% polyester (yikes), and 2% spandex. They come in a pack of 3 for $6.50, which makes each pair $2.17. No fancy fibers, no complex moisture management systems, no specialized cushion zones. Just cotton, polyester, spandex, and my feet.

*Ranking system.

And my feet, apparently, have no qualms with polyester. Although I did notice a slight difference in performance when compared to Balega Enduro, these cotton socks didn't leave me wanting. I was satisfied and my feet were content. If the price were the same between the two, I would choose the Enduro hands down, but at only $2 per pair, my feet and my wallet just can't justify the added expense. When evaluated in my ranking system, which weights prices heavily, these Old Navy athletic socks take first place.

Please forgive my bloody ankle and the streaks of blood down my running shoe. This morning's run, it seems, was not completely injury free.

Dear fancy running socks, I'm sorry, but you just aren't doing it for me.

But, for the sake of completion and a thorough academic comparison, I am giving one more pair of running socks a go. Hold your breath folks, the long anticipated finale to the sock experiment is almost here.


  1. Sara,

    This would make your experiment longer, but did you consider making longevity of the pair of socks a variable? Purely anecdotal, but my more "running specific" socks seem to last longer, which of course would decrease their cost per use. Just a thought....I'm glad the less expensive socks seem to work well for you!

  2. @Amy. yes, i did consider that very thing. but, too much to track in an experiment (at least for me). a good point though for sure!

  3. You wouldn't believe how many socks I have with holes in! But, I'm starting to think it's just my weird toes... ;p

  4. Maybe you could try a washer/dryer strategy to determine longevity versus wearing them. Washing all of your socks repeated times and see which lasts the longest. Good idea Amy B.