1001 Things to do with a Tetrasock

Posted: January 6, 2015 in Equipment
Tags: ,

Like every other triathlete I assume, I can be a bit of an equipment or “gear snob”.  Yes, triathletes are the techies of the sporting world, it’s true.  If it in any way enhances, cushions, protects, builds, wicks, strengthens, or optimizes, like, anything, we’re totally 100% onboard.   Count us in.  I have seen some triathletes set out for their planned 10k runs kitted out with just about everything short of a full kitchenette.   From the looks of all the shit dangling from their fuel belts, they look more like Batman running off to save Gotham City from the latest super villain than they do a runner simply going for a jog.  The other aspect of this is that if any us should ever randomly discover something that we feel successfully does any of the things listed above, we’ll inevitably preach about it to no end to anyone who will listen (or lacks an immediate escape route) until the greater world at bay also buys in and is also reaping those same benefit. Triathletes are very supportive of one another that way and my Coach and I are no different.

Often, during one of our long bike rides or runs, the conversation would inevitably switch to whatever that new thing was in our training program that we’ve recently discovered and believe to be reaping the benefits of be it a new brand of running shoe, cycling short, Garmin tracking devise, training website, what have you.  Many kilometers have been passed while actively discussing the numerous pros and cons of every new gadget, gizmo and article of clothing available on the market.  Sometimes we agree with one another on something specific and sometimes we disagree but, whatever the case, at least we’re open to talk about it.  Such was the case with my Coaches new discovery, the ‘Performance Tetrasok’.

At first, I listened intriguingly.  After all, it was coming from the Coach and when the Coach speaks, you listen.  But then, she mentioned these socks were of the “toe design” variety.  Crap.  Now, I admit it, at this point I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as she was as I’m not a fan of the whole “toe design” thing that she apparently is; I think they’re pretty gay.  Now, first there’s the Neil Patrick Harris kind of cool gay, and then there’s the complete “Siegfried and Roy sing show tunes” kind of gay, and these toe socks are definitely part of the later classification.  In my mind, they were kinda like this:

Believe me, I felt the same way about the Vibram Fivefingers barefoot running shoe craze as well. I’d rather be slathered with honey and staked to an anthill than be seen in public wearing these things.  However, my opinion not with-standing, a pair of these socks mysteriously ended up under our Christmas tree after our annual Christmas Open House a few weeks back.  Oh boy.  Apparently, she’s not giving up that easy.

Here they are:

DSCF2260

Now, I appreciate what she’s doing here, don’t get me wrong, and on paper they sound pretty damn excellent.  They brag being constructed with 70% “CoolMax moisture wicking lining and resistant nylon outer shell built with Lycra fibers”.  Now, I have no freakin’ clue what “CoolMax” is exactly, but it definitely sounds pretty awesome.  Whatever it is, the benefit is intended to create a thin, anti-friction membrane that is both lightweight and breathable.  Again, sounds pretty awesome right?  Furthermore, they “conform to the contour of your feet allowing for true restriction free movement from your heel to five toes”  encouraging healthy circulation and eliminating skin on skin contact between the toes to prevent blistering.  Really?  People blister between  their toes?  That’s probably a bit of a stretch but, again, it still sounds cool.  Regardless, those five toes still look ridiculously gay so I’m still sitting steadfastly on the fence.

One the one hand, there’s the recommendation from someone I know and trust and whose opinion I respect but on the other hand – gay.  So when it comes down to it there’s only one sure fire way to know for sure I guess.  Yup, I decided to give them a test drive, err, run, whatever.

Now, first, I think it’s important to give you the full scope of my concerns. The whole “five toe design” is fine and dandy providing your feet are as perfectly anatomically correct as, say, a runway shoe model.  Mine feet however?  Well, not so much.

Just take a look at these misshapen hooves:

DSCF2239

DSCF2240

I know what you’re probably thinking:  “Holy fuckfarts are those ever gross!”   Yeah, not exactly model material are they?  Hopefully, I didn’t just put you off your dinner.  Shit, I can barely wear sandals in the summer without developing a complex.  These are feet you’d expect to see sported by some gnarly looking hillbilly playing a banjo on a porch somewhere.

The big toe (also known as the ‘hallux’, or “Big Toe”), second and third toe (“long toe” and “middle toe” respectively) are fine and dandy, but the real ugly begins with my fourth toe on each foot, known as the “ring toe” which is all puffy and clubbed.  They’re like pudgy children acting all shy and trying to hide away from the other toes. Likewise, my baby (“pinky”) toes are  practically attached to their neighboring ring toes like baby spider monkeys clinging to their mama’s.  How are they ever going to separate enough to fit individually into each specific “sleeve” within the sock itself is anybody’s guess.

Here’s my first attempt on fitting my left hoof into the sock:

DSCF2243Looks a little off, right?

The big toe and long toe are definitely no problem but the other three, well, not so much.

Here’s the other hoof:

DSCF2245

Even uglier, right?  In fact, it looks like I’m missing a toe altogether.

Here’s the full effect:

DSCF2248

Yeah.  Who feels sexy?  Not this guy.

Dr. Scholl is probably somewhere doing this right now:

After much stretching, pulling, manipulating, maneuvering, grunting, groaning, huffing and puffing, I managed to get the Tetrasocks on in such a way that they slightly resembled what normal toe socks must look like when they’ve been put on correctly.  This whole process only took about 45 minutes.  I swear, I could probably put socks on a rooster quicker than it took to wedge my deformed digits into these things.  And while I’m on the topic, I learned that I definitely need to do more yoga since the whole process of bending over to fight with my toes was not easy in the slightest; hence all the huffing and puffing.

Anyway, once on they felt, well, weird; as one might expect for the first time having your toes separated by a thin strip of lyrca.  It felt like I had poker chips inserted between my toes and I found it to be very unpleasant.  I think my toes might actually have started to miss one another.  I pressed forward with my planned run despite the discomfort and laced up my shoeing thinking that the weird feeling would subside once I had my runners on and I had started actually running…

…I thought wrong.

Within minutes that weird, uncomfortable feeling gave way to sheer annoyance and then a complete freakout of epic proportions.  I wanted to stop, rip off my shoes and literally chew them off with my teeth right then and there like a rabid coyote.  And given that my neighbors already have enough to shake their heads about what with my current running tights, not to mention my leaping and skipping drills, I figure the addition of seeing me sitting in the middle of the road attempting to chew off my gay toe socks would not help my social game any.  I’d probably be added to the neighborhood ‘Block Parent’ watch list for sure!  My next thought was that this gift was more a case for my Coach’s inane “schadenfreude” condition where she derives pleasure in the misfortunes of others…namely, mine.

I had barely made it home, like 5 minutes later before I stripped them off and replaced them with a normal pair of running socks so I could continue on with my run.

The instant they were off I was all like:

I definitely feel bad but at least I gave them a try.  Sorry Coach.

However, a gift is a gift and it was very thoughtful, so at the very least so I figure I still have to find something – anything – that I can utilize them for so her kindness does not go unappreciated.  Here then are some of the different ideas I’ve come up with as alternative uses for these Tetrasoks:

Running gloves (obviously):

1.a

Handling hot pans on the oven:

1

Preventing dish pan hands:

2

Washing the car:

3

Dusting the woodwork:

4

And my favorite:

5

Yeah, I’m sure there are lots of other more creative uses for these things but, what can I say, I’m a pretty simply cat.  Simple is pretty much my jam.  And with that in mind, I think I’m going to stick to wearing socks of the normal variety of socks.

Sorry Coach, it was a nice try though.

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