Tough, versatile, reasonably priced and very fit for the job they have been designed to perform, the Inov-8 Speeds are a solid sock choice for trail runners.
Tight, supportive fit
Wicks moisture well
Non-recycled synthetic materials
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Inov-8 speed sock high: first impressions
Good for running, cycling, and walking in your best hiking shoes, Inov-8 Speed socks are extremely durable, very versatile and seem to be priced very sensibly, especially next to some others on the shelves (see more of the best trail running socks).
These socks are left/right foot specific, and this is clearly indicated on forefoot, next to the size, so you don’t have to faff about in the half light of dawn before a morning run trying to work out which foot to pull what sock on.
Like the best hiking socks, they feature extra padding around the heel and underfoot, which cuts down on the chances of you suffering sores and blisters (there are more tops on avoiding trail running injuries here). Materials are entirely synthetic, which isn’t so brilliant from an environmental point of view, but they will last ages and they wick moisture brilliantly.
• RRP (twin pack): $24 (US) / £18 (UK) / €20 (EU)
• Gender specificity: Unisex
• Materials: Nylon, Spandex
• Length: High crew
• Weight (men’s large, per pair): 20g / 0.7oz
• Sizes: S / M / L
• Colors: Black & Grey
• Compatibility: A very versatile sock that performs well on and off trails, in any conditions
Inov-8 speed sock high: on the trails
A hard-working and versatile outdoor-active sock, Inov-8 Speed socks don’t mess around trying to claim they are overly technical. They exist to do a relatively simple job, and they do it well.
As soon as you pull them on, the first thing you notice is that they are very supportive – the fit is tight, almost to the point of compression, which aids blood circulation when you’re working hard and reduces foot swelling.
This secure fit also means they stay in place really well, and don’t drop down and bunch around your ankles after a few clicks on the trails. This aids comfort, and means they supply decent protection from nettles, prickles and ticks.
They do feel very synthetic, and perhaps their next-to-skin comfort levels aren’t quite as sumptuous as some merino-based running socks, but they will last the distance and you will get many hundreds of wears out of these socks.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.