This is an update to my original post on this subject. Because of the advent of shoes designed for pickleball, I reexamined my choice of socks. It is a long post, but, hopefully, an interesting and informative one.
I suffer from something called “Morton’s Neuroma.” Morton’s neuroma is a benign, or non-cancerous, growth of nerve tissue that develops in the foot, usually between the third and fourth toes. Basically, this condition makes you feel like there is a fire between your toes. No one knows the cause of this condition – there are, however, a lot of theories.
I first encountered the foot pain about four years ago after we had been in North Carolina white water kayaking for several weeks, as well as hiking and playing pickleball. Basically, we kayaked every other day and, on the days we didn’t kayak, we played pickleball in the AM and hiked in the PM. My feet, therefore, got a pretty good workout.
I had no problems with my feet until we returned home. I had to mow about two acres of grass with my walk-behind mower and, all of a sudden, my left foot started to burn. The pain was so extreme that I actually had to stop mowing. I thought my work boots had suddenly gone bad, so I tried Dr. Scholl’s inserts, thicker socks, and so on. I also iced my foot whenever it felt hot and massaged it as well.
The condition varied in intensity depending on what I was doing, but the pain was fairly consistent. I finally went to see a podiatrist after suffering for a couple of months – that’s when I got the diagnosis of Morton’s Neuroma. The podiatrist offered a couple of reasons why I developed it. He said that participating in high-impact sports, like pickleball, may subject your feet to repetitive trauma. Also, activities that feature tight shoes can put pressure on your toes.
Also, he suggested that my workout routine—an hour of elliptical trainer very morning followed by either pickleball or hiking in the afternoon—was probably responsible. The elliptical trainer puts a lot of pressure on the bottom of your feet, and that’s where the nerve bundle resides.
SEARCHING FOR SOCKS AND SHOES
I am a big fan of Thorlos socks and used to wear them exclusively for tennis. Because of knee issues, I don’t play tennis anymore, but play pickleball instead. Still great exercise, but not as much knee stress. Anyway, I rummaged through my sock drawer and found a few pair of Thorlos tennis socks. I used them and found that they worked okay. They weren’t great because they were pretty thick, but they were better than what I had. Then, I thought – I wonder if Thorlos makes pickleball socks. If they did, I was going to try them. Guess what? They do! So I got a few pair. Did they work?
They did, but not in my tennis shoes (I was using Nike at the time). So, in addition to searching for socks to wear for pickleball, I began searching for shoes. Here are just a few of the shoes I have purchased and used for pickleball: Skechers GoRun, Skechers Glide-Step Flex, Skechers Astral Tri-Mesh (nice soft shoes I use for whitewater kayaking), and Brooks Addiction Walkers (have to get 1/2 size larger because of thick socks). I also bought a new pair of Nike tennis shoes thinking that a new pair would be roomier. They were not.
Bottom line is this – I mainly used my Brooks shoes with Thorlos socks for pickleball. That worked out fine to a certain degree. The Brooks shoes were great for forward-backward motion, but not necessarily for side-to-side motion.
PICKLEBALL SHOES AND SOCKS
Up until last year the only shoes (that I was aware of) that could be used for pickleball were tennis shoes. Having gone through the expense of buying a lot of different types of shoes, I was not about to start trying out different brands of tennis shoes, so I just stuck with my Brooks shoes and Thorlo socks.
Then at a Tyson McGuffin camp last year I learned about Skechers new pickleball shoes. I ordered two pair and started playing with them. They worked well for pickleball, but I could not use my Thorlos socks. They were just too thick and I felt like I was being jammed into the shoes. I tried different socks, including Skechers Athletic socks (worked okay), Throlos Experia socks (too thin), Damn Tough athletic socks (great socks for hiking, but not for PB), Smartwool socks (again, great socks, but not for PB), Nike Trainer socks (pretty good for PB but not as good as they used to be – wear out quickly).
Since my Thorlos weren’t working, I began defaulting to the Nike socks (not shown in this photo – there are too many).
But then I discovered Acacia Pickleball shoes and got a pair of the Dinkshot shoes. As I said in a previous blog, these were designed for pickleball. Read my review here: https://theadventurousboomer.blog/acacia-pickleball-shoes-review/.
Because these shoes have a wider than usual toe area, I was able to wear all the socks I had bought in the past, including my Thorlos. The Thorlos, however, felt a bit cramped, so I still wanted to find socks made specifically for pickleball. This is not a knock on Thorlos socks – I still use them for everyday purposes.
Anyway, it was by mistake that I found that Acacia also made pickleball socks, so I bought a three-pack. Here is what Acacia says about the socks: Plush, low-cut, high-quality socks designed for the unique needs of Pickleball players. Breathable mesh material promotes comfort and dryness, while an ultra-soft foot bed provides heel to toe cushion for long days of wear on the court. Lateral compression arch reinforcement helps sock stay secure around the foot, while anti-roll tabs allow for easy adjustment. Invisa-seam toe construction minimizes friction for a smooth wearing experience. Copper-ion infused fibers support circulation while also offering anti-microbial protection to reduce odor-causing bacteria.
My guess is that “Invisa-seam” is shorthand for “invisible seam.”
Normally I read specs on websites and chalk them up to marketing, but the truth is that these are great socks for pickleball. Yesterday I played two hours of intense PB in my Acacia shoes, and today I played another two hours in a pair of my Skechers shoes. In each case my feet felt comfortable and my neuroma did not flare up.
So, these are my PB socks from this point on.
If you are interested in these socks, go to the website below and use this code for 10% off—Boomer490.
Here is the website address: https://acacia-sports.myshopify.com/discount/boomer490