Foot Fancy Review: Injinji Toesock Pt. 2
The Injinji-Tim Grover socks score high again.
As was mentioned in the previous review, as I was testing the newly-released XR Toesock for Tim Grover from the Injinji sportswear company, I was curious about the different sock heights in relation to the unique blend of the Toesock’s material, and I also wondered about whether the black or white socks made any difference.
I made arrangements and got in touch with the people at Injinji and was able to receive additional pairs to use for further testing. In the last bit, I told of how I used the socks after workouts and before workouts, but in my unscripted telephone interview with Tim Grover himself, he was telling me that the XR is for “the every-man and every-woman,” and that they don’t just apply to just basketball players, but for everyone who is seeking some revitalization from their footwear, specifically when it comes to socks; I proceeded in my testing, but used the XRs for more traditional activities.
On one occasion in my re-test of the XR, using varied heights and colors of the Toesock, I ended up wearing the sock as I painted an entire house to test its durability. I wore the sock to bed, I wore the sock (at one point) for a whole 24 hours. I washed the Toesocks multiple times and wore the Toesocks bare on the floor. And do you know what? They were still sound. In fact, the fit got better and color of the sock didn’t make a difference. There was no discomfort at all, my feet were still dry, no uncomfortable seams, and the construction of the Toesocks held their integrity. To state it clearly, the XR Toesock is a well-built accessory and utility piece in the wardrobe, and your feet are absolutely the benefactors of the wearing experience.
In speaking with Jan Kimbrell, the vice president of sales and general manager of Injinji, she shared that one of the great attributes of the XR was the resilience of the sock. The CoolMax material is a dominant fabric within the sock and it keeps the foot comfortable in shoes that even have poor ventilation, which is true (I own the Nike Dunk Hi Premium “Nike Air Trainer 3 Medicine Ball” and those joints are all leather and patent leather, with little attention for venting–the socks passed that test; they also passed the test in my wearing with the Brand Jordan Air Jordan XII Retro in white/gray-metallic silver). In speaking with her, I mentioned that the elasticity of the XR actually improved after it was washed–literally, after the Toesocks are worn, they mold to your feet, and laundering them only helps the fit. I took notice of how the crew length version of the socks were not as grippy to the leg and foot, but it improved as I wore them more and washed them. I still stand by my wishes for more Lycra in the sock, but it’s not at all vital to the comfort of the product. I also continued using the Toesock for post-cardio and post-weight training activities and there is a distinct feeling of relaxation that my foot felt. It was subtle, but the XR talked loud enough to tell the difference.
Fortunately, I was able to speak to Jason Battenfield, the president and CEO of Injinji, and was able to gather enough time from him to have a brief e-mail exchange to follow up our phone conversation. Here’s what he had to say about the XR Toesock:
SLAM: What informed you that Injinji and Tim Grover were a marriage that would be successful for the toesock?
Jason Battenfield: About two years ago Tim contacted us regarding the Injinji Toesock technology. We have two patents on this product one design, one utility and have been in the marketplace for close to 10 years. We felt Tim’s audience and his training techniques were a perfect match for a joint marketing venture.
SLAM: Where do you see the future being for the ATTACK Athletics toesock?
JB: The Injinji Peformance Toesocks technology has limitless possibilities. Tim is and will remain an integral creative force in our R&D. Understand this technology is completely new to this audience and incorporating this equipment into an ATTACK training program is the first step in better foot health performance for the long term.
SLAM: Your demographic is largely known in the West Coast and in the running community, but how far do you want the toesock innovation to take you, sports-wise and market-wise?
JB: This toesock is not a gimmick, but rather a competitive advantage and provides so many rewards to athletes in a variety of sports. Baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse and many other sports which all require you to use your feet can benefit from the anatomical characteristics of this construction.
SLAM: What do you think is the foreseeable future for the XR Tim Grover Toesock?
JB: Injinji and Tim Grover are a great match, because you have a well established patented product with an existing strong reputation in the marketplace and now you couple that with the premier trainer in the NBA. What better way than team up to educate and expose to high caliber, world class athletes. Bringing new technology and products to the marketplace is costly and time consuming but we are convinced the foundation is set in motion with this first product introduction this November thru Eastbay which will now open the door for a full range of Injinji XR (Xtreme Revitalization) powered by ATTACK Athletics.
Unfortunately, I was unable to reach Tim Grover himself for his thoughts on my testing, but methinks running one of the largest athletic facilities in the nation has something to do with that (and monitoring the progress of Gilbert Arenas, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant and the rest of his ATTACK Athletics athletes probably cuts into the time, too).
Basically, look for the Injinji XR Toesock powered by ATTACK Athletics if you looking for something different and beneficial for your foot health. It’s a wise investment and a truly healthy product for your feet.
(Another special thanks to Ryne Nelson here at SLAM, Jordan at On The Horizon Communications, and Jason, Ryan & Jan at Injinji.)
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist, fitness enthusiast, as well as an unrepentant Prince fan (for real). You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Associated Content and Twitter.