Here is an interesting product to check out that just might solve the issue of blisters with some of you out there. Fortisocks are a nylon slip-on that are intended to decrease friction and help decrease the opportunity to debilitating foot blisters while you play. When breaking in a new pair of boots, there is always a risk of blisters and discomfort if your new pair need time to loosen and adjust to your personal foot shape. We receive a lot of emails from players who are struggling to find the right comfort level in a new pair and they face the dilemma of returning the boots or sticking it out.
In general, my advice will always be to swap them out and find a more suitable boot to their foot type. But for the ones that want to persist, these will now be a product I suggest as a possible option. To really test them out, I took a gamble and picked out a tighter fitting pair of Puma evoSPEED to wear them with. Although it played no role in reducing the discomfort from the tight feel, I managed to get through an entire training session without any blisters and that is a bonus. I also wore them through the initial break-in phase of the Nike Superfly, although instead of wearing them directly on my feet, I placed them over the socks. The key here is the fact that they remove friction and give you a better foot hold against the inner lining of the boot. The majority of blisters are caused by foot movement, and general rubbing against the surface.
Need directions for how to use them? Included in the packing is the below note – love the additional detail! The material used in these is 98% Nylon – so they are composed in the same fashion as pantyhose (who knew the answer could be so simple?)
So the all important question is “do they work?” The answer is really inconclusive from my experience. The results will depend on who is wearing them and the boots they are trying to break-in. They felt comfortable to wear, were easy to slip in my bag as needed and I’d definitely recommend picking up a pair to have on hand in-case you encounter any issues with a new pair and are looking for an alternative solution. The key to success is insuring you have the right fitting boots for day 1 that don’t need a solution – but we all know that is not always going to happen!
For those that want to check them up, they ship for free from Australia – $14.99 gets you a pack containing 3 pairs of the socks. Head over to Fortisocks website for more details!
Final note, we wanted to give the folks at Fortisocks an opportunity to tell you about this product for themselves. Here is what they had to add.
The life of Fortisocks is dependent on a wide variety of factors including training intensity, boot tightness and physiological idiosyncrasies of the athlete. Further an altered gait during running caused by existing blisters or other injuries may also affect the life of Fortisocks. As they are ultra-thin, they do not have a prolonged life, however this trait is essential to their blister prevention capabilities and is a contributing factor which makes Fortisocks so comfortable. For example, Australian National hockey team players and Commonwealth Gold medalists, Rachael Lynch and Ashleigh Nelson trekked the traitorous Kokoda Jungle for 9 days wearing Fortisocks and to the amazement of guides as well as fellow trekkers, did not experience blisters even though they we wearing brand new shoes. Further they did not even require one full pack for this period. However with different athletes, under different conditions, participating in a different activity, Fortisocks may have only lasted one week of trainings before having to change pairs. Therefore their life is dependent on numerous, co-dependent factors including the type of athlete who is using them and their activity. Taking this into consideration we enclosed 3 pairs of Fortisocks per pack, to ensure that every athlete should be able to “break in” their new boots with one pack.