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To sock or not to sock

Old 05-10-10, 04:35 PM
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bjh000
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To sock or not to sock

Just wondering what everyone does for socks at the race. Is there an easy way to get socks on wet feet? Other than starting with them already scrunched up. I went for a ride for the first time without socks and was fine but then on the run portion of my brick I had to cut it short because my foot was not happy at all. Any suggestions on a shoe that may have a sock lining built in? I don't really want to dick around with socks in transition. Not really for times sake, just because it's a pain in the neck.
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Old 05-10-10, 05:39 PM
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Good question. I prefer to ride & run without socks - but I don't due super long races either. If I were to wear sox, I'd probably put them on after the bike as then my feet are dry and the sox are less likely to get caught in my bike shoes velcro when coming into transition. This happened to me the one time that I put sox on for the bike. I slipped my feet out of my shoes only to find that the sox and velcro were very happy to stick together.

I definitely train with sox but racing seems easier without. That said - once I start doing some longer races i may change my thinking. Noticed at a recent IM event that none of the fast guys wore sox. Although some had compression stockings on the whole time - which I don't buy.
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Old 05-10-10, 05:47 PM
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Anything below IM - no socks on the bike (single strap tri shoes left on the bike in transition) and for the run no socks under half IM. Slowly increase run frequency and run length without socks in training to let the feet get accustomed to running without socks.
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Old 05-10-10, 05:56 PM
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Im a sock man. At T1 I have a towel on the ground to wipe my feet, mainly for grit more than drying, I talc my socks and have had no problems getting them on.
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Old 05-10-10, 06:08 PM
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Socks. It takes about 10 seconds to put them on. That time can be made up in the run.
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Old 05-10-10, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by travelmama View Post
Socks. It takes about 10 seconds to put them on. That time can be made up in the run.
+1 also that 10 seconds gives you a little breather, could allow you to make up a minute. I do feel much better on the run

Last edited by Daniel Frost; 05-10-10 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 05-10-10, 06:28 PM
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Better to be comfortable and have to make up the 10 sec or so to put the socks on during the run than be uncomfortable for the whole thing. I have only competed in one tri at this point and threw socks on in T1...I also have road not tri shoes, so it may be slightly different on when to put them on. Unless you are losing your AG by less than the time it takes to put socks on, no need to worry about it IMO
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Old 05-10-10, 06:42 PM
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I have yet to compete without socks and I put them on in T1. That being said, my race in two weeks will be the first time to cycle without them, however I will be running with them. That is something I have yet to train and I refuse to risk a horrible race due to blisters because I wanted to look cool or save 10-20 seconds.

I agree with the above statemnet to ease into training without them. Then it isn't any risk.
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Old 05-10-10, 11:25 PM
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I think the best way to do it is to put on your socks before the race, then roll them off so there is only toe room left, then when you get to T1, all you have to do is pull them over your toes, roll them to the heel, and you're done. This won't work too well with compression socks (I have yet to try this with compression socks), but heel length socks will work fine with this method.
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Old 05-11-10, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sirious94 View Post
This won't work too well with compression socks (I have yet to try this with compression socks), but heel length socks will work fine with this method.
Thats what I use and how I do it, I just get them on so I can get on the bike then pull them up during cycling or when I start or get on the run.
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Old 05-11-10, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Frost View Post
+1 also that 10 seconds gives you a little breather, could allow you to make up a minute. I do feel much better on the run
Depends whether you are at the pointy end of the field or not. 10 seconds is a long time and can impact the results... You already had your breather coming into transitions whilst you were slipping your feet out of your shoes.

I'd rather use the saved ten seconds to be already moving - same with shoes on pedals in T1. Yes you can take a little longer slipping them on when rolling but you are already rolling means you are closer to the finish.
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Old 05-11-10, 08:18 AM
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No socks on the bike for me, even at IM distances. I use tri shoes on my tri bike, and I train in them. Road bike has a different set of shoes, which I do wear socks with, though.

For the run, Oly and shorter, no socks in my Newtons. I do end up with minor blisters and red spots the next day, but not enough to bother me during the race. Longer than an Oly, I put socks on, the time taken is well worth it.
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Old 05-11-10, 08:21 AM
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Oh, one thing to note about shoes already clipped in on pedals: many IM sponsored races are not allowing amateurs to do so anymore, and only letting the pros (that is, the actual pros, with their professional card) leave their shoes clipped in.

Too many accidents right past the mount line when amateurs who have not practiced getting their feet into shoes while on the bike, and are trying to do so for the first time.

I don't leave my shoes clipped in, I have little enough coordination as is. I put the shoes on in T1 and can run pretty well through T1.
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Old 05-11-10, 03:27 PM
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most tri's I've seen (only raced one so far) also tend to have grass or packed dirt transition areas...a lot easier to run on that than on blacktop
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Old 05-11-10, 07:08 PM
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WRT clipped shoes in transition - at the moment I prefer not to & run barefoot with bike past T-zone and then slip shoes on/mount bike at same time. Its not pretty but works for me and has improved my speed/hassle through the T-zone. Coming in I have my feet out & on top of shoes from 100m or so out and then jump off & run through to change into run shoes. Sometimes I carry my bike on my shoulder as the shoes are so long ( size 13) that they drag on the road otherwise. I have Nike tri shoes with two straps that I use sox with when training but not racing. Part of my brain seems immune to pain when racing....put it down to adrenaline.....although the shoes are not painful, just better with sox if you've got time to worry about such things.

Note - I'm only doing club races here, not anywhere near elite level ( ...yet, he says hopefully....)
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Old 05-14-10, 08:11 AM
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Some good advice I learned here and at Slowtwitch. Are you competing at a world level? Do fractions of a second or even a few seconds really count? I ride with no socks all the time and I run with them, my feet are dry by the time I get off the bike and it takes a couple seconds to put them on, well worth it.

I did the same thing with having my shoes clipped in, I realized I spent more time dicking around trying to do it right it was faster to run with them on and just go, and pop them off when I got to transition. When I make it to the Olympics (read: never) I'll learn, till then I can live with the extra 30 seconds in a 2 hour+ race.
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Old 05-14-10, 06:17 PM
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No socks on the bike! Proper tri cycling shoes are designed with this in mind. They have extra padding.

Socks on the run! Like someone said. It takes 10 seconds to put them on in T2. I know I'd lose more than 10 seconds if my feet developed chafing and blisters.
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Old 05-15-10, 03:24 PM
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FWIW, I don't wear socks at all for races under half ironman sometimes not even at HIM.

Anywho I ride without socks and then put them on before the run when I do wear socks.
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Old 05-27-10, 06:12 PM
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How do you no-sockers deal with blisters?
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Old 05-27-10, 06:20 PM
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On the bike, I don't get blisters. My tri bike shoes are tri shoes, and they are pretty well made and designed to prevent blisters.

On the run, I start to get hotspots and then blisters after about 8 or 9 miles. So, I wear socks on HIM's and IM's, no socks on anything shorter than that. If I trained exclusively no-socks, I would probably toughen my feet eventually so that I could run an IM with no blisters, but it would take a lot of pain to get through all that training.
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Old 07-19-10, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pedalpedalpedal View Post
How do you no-sockers deal with blisters?
Band-aids
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Old 07-20-10, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisGleim View Post
Band-aids
Bad Boy Scout! NO! Never band-aids.

Duct tape for hot spots, moleskin for blisters.
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Old 07-20-10, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sirious94 View Post
Bad Boy Scout! NO! Never band-aids.

Duct tape for hot spots, moleskin for blisters.
Darn, even in sarcasm I can't get it right. Oh wait, Lance says grown men can't use emoticons. "LOL Lance!"
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Old 07-29-10, 06:43 AM
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i did a sprint without socks, but that was also before i got clipless pedals. i generally don't get blisters, though. my feet just rub raw, which is worse. my shoes still have a bloody stain on them from that race. i don't have tri shoes yet. i just did an olypmic race where i rolled my socks on, and it was worth the extra two seconds (i finished 20 minutes slower than predicted due to severe cramps).

my next move is to get tri shoes for the bike and running shoes that work with bare feet. as a minimal runner, that shouldn't be as hard as it seems to be. zoot makes shoes that are not only "ok" for bare feet, they actually perform better bare than in socks. but they have a lot of cushion, which ain't my thing.

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