The Injinji trail midweight mini crew toe socks in combination with the Altra Lone Peak 3.5 trail shoes are the best remedy that I have ever tried for toe blisters and overheated feet. My toe socks weigh 55 grams while my Altras weigh in at 632 grams for a pair in size 44 EU. This is a review for the Injinji toe socks so I won’t go into the specs for the Altras, but it is important to say that this system in combination works for me.
I have used this combination since the beginning of 2018 on the Skåneleden Trail in Sweden and I haven’t experienced one foot or toe issue since. The socks don’t take long to get used to. They were a little strange at first but once you start walking with them you soon forget about them and enjoy the freedom of no toe blisters. In the past I always experienced those little annoying toe blisters, those ones between and under the toes, when the temperatures started rising and my feet overheated. But this is a thing of the past now. The Altra’s wide toe box also contributes to this solution but the toe socks are the cream.
I have arthritis in my left foot and specifically the second smallest toe suffers with this inflammation. It’s a little deformed and swollen, so it takes a little to get them on that foot, but once they’re on they’re good to go. Other than that I have no gripes about these socks. I have read on-line somewhere that some people have issues with durability but I can’t identify with that. My total pack weight including food, fuel and water never really exceeds 11 kg. Yes, this information is correct. See my packing list for my 5 day Kungsleden hike last year. The toe socks and the Altra Lone Peaks cope well and wear perfect together with my pack weights. If you’re a traditional backpacker with heavy loads then none of my recommendations would apply in any of my articles. Hence the lightweight and ultralight backpacking theme. I’m careful to always stop and empty my shoes if they start to to fill with small stones or sand so I guess this helps to maintain the durability of the socks also.
When I was on my Lapland hike last year above the Arctic Circle I also used this system. I walked straight through all the streams and water crossings and climbed what ever mountain that was thrown at me. My shoes & socks dried while I was walking. There were a lot of rocks; I have to tell you. With the pack weights that I carry you don’t need ankle support and hiking boots. Some other hikers in traditional high walking boots were shocked to see me not take my trail shoes off for the water crossings. I just said “water in, water out”. At night I dried my socks on a line in my shelter and my Altras dried overnight in the vestibule. There was no need for hiking boots and thick walking socks which, in my experience, are the perfect recipe for foot and toe blisters from overheated feet.
The washing instructions say to wash the socks at 40℃ but I just wash them together with wool items at 30℃. This seems to work out fine for me.
I have two pair and when on trail I alternate them so as to spread the wear between them. So far I can’t see any wear on these socks.
The Injinji trail midweight mini crew toe socks are brilliant! I defiantly recommend them.
Edited May 12th 2019
I’ve received a large response on Social Media about this article and therefore I’ve decided to add the below notes.
This combination is very effective in keeping your feet from overheating. There is a lot of room in the toe box of the Altra Lone Peak 3.5’s and with the material between the toes, resulting in minimal friction, blisters just don’t occur.
That said, everything is relevant; when the temperatures drop and the winter season approaches I swap the sock out for something warmer like my Darn Tough socks. Overheating is not an issue that time of the year and so the toe socks are not needed. When I’m wearing my Injinji toe socks I need cooled feet and the system works to perfection.
I still use them on my Swedish Lapland hikes. The temperatures that time of the year can drop to around freezing at night. In the daytime you can experience temperatures anywhere from 3-4 ℃ and up to 20℃. I hike anywhere between 25-30 km on a normal day so my feet don’t get a chance to cool down. The cool stream passings are welcomed.
I use a three sock principle of wet, dry and warm. I hike in the Injinji toe socks and they’ll most probably get wet. The waterproof DexShell Ultra Thin socks are my dry socks and I can use them alone or over my warm socks. Darn Tough socks are my warm socks and I use them for sleeping in or if my feet get cold. They should not get wet at any time.
I wrote on this subject when I published my packing list for Kungsleden last year. You can read it here.
If I’m only going on a 2-3 day hike and I know the weather will be dry and without rain forecasted, then I’ll just pack one pair of Injinji toe socks and wear one pair. If the temperatures are mild or warm then I’ll sleep without socks on. If it is a cold season then I’ll pack some warm Darn Tough socks as my second pair. It all depends on the weather conditions.
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