Monday, May 16, 2016

Injinji: Compression OTC Sock and Go Hat Review

Injinji is one of my favorite brands that I rely on when I need high quality performing gears for my running and cycling. Injinji was founded by Randuz Romay in1999 and is based in San Diego, California. Their premise is simple: that our feet play a vital role in almost everything we do. It’s really a no brainer…we need to protect our feet! And there’s no argument on that.

Injinji, as most people know, is synonymous to toesock. Unlike the traditional sock which just covers only the foot, the toesock basically acts like a compressed glove that protects not only the foot but every little piggies as well. Over the years, Injinji has developed a wide varieties of socks that span in almost every sports, from running to cycling to golf and even yoga, Injinji got you covered. On top of that, they also have essential gears that are not only fashionable but highly functional as well.

I have the privilege to review the Compression OTC (over the calf) Sock and the Go Hat. I’ve been testing them for over two weeks now and I’m really amazed with its performance. With that, here’s my review:

Material (Go Hat)
·       100% polyester

·       COOLMAX fabric shell
·       COOLMAX fabric terry headband
·       Lightweight design – less than 2 oz
·       Adjustable rear buckle
·       Machine washable

·       60% COOLMAX polyester
·       20% Nylon
·       20% Lycra

·       Anatomical 5 toe fit system. Prevents blisters and promotes proper posture and balance.
·       Graduated compression that increases from the ankle thorough the welt band.
·       Mesh top provides maximum ventilation and breathability.
·       Designed to support arch.
·       Reinforced heel and toes along with COOLMAX Xtra Life fiber for increased durability.

Fit and Functionality
The Go Hat: The hat is actually manufactured by Headsweats (the best performing hat in business) but it also carries the Injinji logo at the front. I tested the Go Hat on several occasions where the temperature was close to 90oF. The Go Hat has been my ideal gear during those hot runs. Not only does it protect my head from the direct heat, but it also provided some cooling effect with the help of COOLMAX fabric shell technology. The material is very light, soft and thin and it provides good air management and breathability. It has an adjustable band at the back for proper fit. It is made of gusseted materials sewn together which helps maximize the air flow and wick the moisture out. One of the best features of the hat was, they incorporated a different color under the visor. They chose the black color in order to diffuse the glare of the sun that could irritate our eyes. I thought it was no big deal but I just realized the difference when I wore my other hat that has a white color underneath. More importantly, it dries three to four time faster than a cotton hat and a terry head band that wraps around the hat to minimize the sweat from rolling down and sting my eyes.

The Compression OTC Sock: In today’s market there are too many compression socks to choose from. Some runners use them during training, races and most especially…to recover. The perceived benefit here is that it compresses the veins, arteries and muscles making the circulatory channels smaller pushing the blood to travel faster back to the heart, thus supplying our muscles more oxygen.

The toesock is Injinji’s bread and butter and one of their best-selling socks is the compression OTC sock. I workout almost every single day and there were days that I do doubles: morning run and afternoon bike ride. I’m not young anymore and my body doesn’t recover quickly enough compared when I was in my 20’s…Yes I’m old:-). The compression OTC sock helps me to recover faster. Unlike the regular sock, the compression sock takes a little muscle to get it on. It might be challenging at the beginning but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. Each toe needs to be guided into its sleeve. The five toe sleeve design allows the toe splay naturally and align properly, enabling greater stability, balance and comfort. With each toe protected, there is no skin on skin friction which prevents blisters and hotspots. One important note that I want to point out that the sock is left and right specific.

The OTC sock has a graduated compression from top to bottom and it tightens (but not to the point that it’s constricting) as it goes down to the foot. It has enough padding at the bottom that provides the extra cushion. I didn’t experience any hot spots, blisters or overheating during my test runs and never did I adjust them, it literally stayed in place and the breathability is next to none. If I didn’t have any issues during the hot days, I bet this will perform even better in colder days. It provided a good support and it minimized the jarring of my calf muscles which help lessen the fatigue from the hours of pounding the road.

My Verdict
Running long distances is not an easy task, so I’ll take whatever gears I can to make my running easy. The Go Hat is an easy choice for me, it’s one of my favorite gears that I would never leave the house without it. It’s light, soft, thin and wicks moisture faster than any other hat.

Training is just half of the equation and we need to be reminded that recovery is equally important as training. The compression OTC sock is one of those gears that can be use during and after the training and the benefit of using one is simply amazing.

Overall, I’m really impressed with the two gears I tested. Exactly what I expected from the brand. You can grab the Go Hat for as low as $18 at Amazon and the Compression OTC Sock at their website or at retail stores for $49. Is it expensive? Not at all. The cost is within the normal price range in comparison with other brands. 

Give them a try and feel free to share your thoughts. Thanks again for reading and always have fun working out.

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