Gator Tip Toes for Cold Toes

September 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care Products, Footwear, Footwear Products, Sports 

When I was at the Outdoor Retailer’s Show in Salt Lake City in early August I talked to a sales rep for Gator Sports. They make high performance cold weather gear.

Their socks are made with neoprene in a closed cell construction, meaning it is filled with closed air bubbles. These serve as insulators, just as styrofoam does. Because the cells are closed, the neoprene itself is waterproof. Gator uses three thicknesses of neoprene. Their basic products are 1.5 mm, with nylon laminated to each side. They use 3.0 mm for products that require greater warmth. They also use a fleece lined 1.0 mm neoprene for added comfort when worn against the skin. I like neoprene socks for their warmth.

Gator Tip Toes

Gator Tip Toes

I came home from the show with a pair of Gator Tips Toes. These are pictured here on my feet. They are thin, with flat-stitched seams running side to side, and are made in a one size fits all. I wore them against my skin and added socks over the top. The price is right at only $9.99.

If your shoes are snug to start with, these may make the fit too tight. I wore them without problem in my cycling shoes and they worked their magic. I get cold toes while riding and on this morning’s two-hour ride my toes were comfortable. I know they will fit inside my running shoes. These are a great addition to your sock drawer when the temps start dipping. I know they will help me this fall and winter.

In addition to the Gator Tip Toes, they make low cut sport socks, basic neoprene socks, fleece lined socks, and Icelander socks. The sport socks could be perfect for running and riding because they come up over the ankle.

Here’s the link to Gator Sports. Check them out as you plan for transitioning into cold weather.

Compression Sleeves and Socks

September 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care Products, Footwear Products, Health, Sports, Travel 

This blog post is written by Laura, a firm believer in the value of compression wear. She is a running enthusiast, and writes about the world of compression wear at Compression Info.

The Benefits of Compression Sleeves

When it comes time for your next big race or even weekend hike, wearing the proper footwear can be essential for ensuring the best experience for your body. Yet, as you open up your sock drawer, you see you have your compression socks alongside your compression sleeves. For the best experience possible, this time, you should choose to wear your compression sleeves.

What is the difference between compression sleeves and compression socks?

Compression socks will cover the entire foot- from the tip of the toe all the way up to the calf or even the knee. There are different types of compression socks, though for runners and hikers the typical choices feature graduated compression. This means they provide gradient (or reducing) pressure up the leg. Compression socks can be difficult to put on and often times needs to be fitted by an expert to ensure proper functionality for the wearer.

Compression sleeves start from the top of the ankle and go up to the bottom of the knee. Compression sleeves can be easily worn by any athlete or those looking for added comfort when they run or hike. Compression sleeves are much easier to put on and off than compression socks, especially if the foot is wet from sweat. In fact, compression socks are difficult to remove from a sweaty foot and nearly impossible to get back on once they’ve been removed.

Wearing compression socks in a race can be risky- especially if you need to visit the first aid station due to an injury and you need to remove your compression socks. If there’s any sweat, you’re going to have a difficult time removing your socks and you can forget about putting them back on.

Benefits of Compression Sleeves for Running and Hiking

Compression sleeves

Compression sleeves on a runner

Compression sleeves can bring several added benefits to active runners and hikers. Wearing compression sleeves can increase the overall running or hiking experience, as well as the recovery period after it’s all over. A few of the main benefits of wearing compression sleeves include:

Support

The added support from the slight pressure of compression sleeves can give runners and hikers a more comfortable experience when they are hiking or running. According to runnersworld.com, the added pressure will support the muscles of the calves, while at the same time controlling the muscle movements. This added support and control will help prevent muscle oscillation that results after endless pounding from the impact of running.

Circulation

Recent studies have shown that adding compression sleeves to your run or hike will enable your arteries to dilate, allowing more blood – and therefore more oxygen – to flow through them. As stated at fleetfeethartford.com, arteries can have an increase of 40% more blood flow during the activity and an increase of 30% of blood flow during the recovery period.

Recovery

After a long run or hike, wearing compression sleeves can assist in the muscle recovery. Dr John Jakeman states that compression sleeves can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the muscles due to the rate of cellular membrane turnover in the damaged muscles following exercises such as running or hiking.

In summary, compression sleeves can truly benefit your next run or hike. Whether you notice the benefits during or after the extended exercise, your legs and feet will be thanking you and you won’t want to run or hike without your compression sleeves ever again.

Editor’s Note – Getting the socks on your foot and leg: When I was at the Outdoor Retailer’s Show in Salt Lake City I learned a great tip that helps when putting on compression socks. One at a time, put your hand down the some from the top into the sock’s heel. Hold the inside of the heel and turn the top of the sock inside out down over the bottom of the sock. When the sock is rolled over the heel take you hand out and you have the opening into the foot part of the sock. Slide you foot in and work the fabric onto the foot so the toes are set in the tip of the sock. The simply roll the sock up and over the foot and heel and up your leg. This is much easier than struggling to pull the sock over your foot, ankle and calf.

Compression socks and sleeves are also valuable then flying or doing any long distance travel where you are seated for an extended period of time.

I came home from the OR Show with one pair of compression socks, a pair of toeless compression socks, and a pair of compression sleeves. Over the coming months, I’ll report more about these.

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