Grip socks are an essential part of any Pilates practice, but not all non-slip socks are created equal. Curious to learn which ones are worth the investment and will help you make the most of your studio fitness classes? Keep reading to find out!
What are grip socks for Pilates?
Let's start with the basics: Grip socks for Pilates are specially designed socks that feature rubber grips typically made from silicone or Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). These grips are strategically arranged in patterns on the sole of the foot to prevent slipping or skidding during studio fitness classes like Pilates, yoga, barre, dance and trampoline, where shoes aren’t worn.
Why grip socks are a must-have for your Pilates practice
If you've been practicing Pilates for any amount of time, grip socks are definitely already on your radar. For any newbies reading this–let me introduce you to your future workout BFF. Grip socks give you the traction and stability you need to rock those moves and keep your balance in check. Without them, you’re much more likely to slip-and-slide on the mat or reformer, making it harder to nail those deep stretches and muscle toning moves -- and increasing your risk of an injury.
Aside from avoiding accidents and injuries, can you guess why so many fitness studios make grip socks a non-negotiable part of the dress code? It’s to avoid funky bare feet!
Let’s be honest — bare feet can be pretty gross, and when studios offer back-to-back classes in the same space, socks can go a long way in helping to keep floors clean; Who wants to experience foot odor or stare at flaky skin when you're trying to get your sweat on and focus on self care?) Investing in a good pair of grip socks that will last and enhance your Pilates experience is a no-brainer.
Essential Qualities to Consider When Choosing Grip Socks for Pilates
Grips + grip treads
When it comes to workouts that require precision, not all grip socks are made equal, especially when we’re talking about the grips themselves. The non-slip rubber pads on the bottom of your grip socks, also known as grippers or treads, are what separate average grip socks from high quality ones. To ensure your pair will provide superior performance, comfort and durability, be sure to assess grip material and coverage.
- Grip material: Your grip material should be firm — not stiff and flexible, not rigid. One way to test this firmness is to press your finger nail into the grip tread; Your nail won’t leave an imprint on high quality and durable grips. Also try to scratch the grip tread to make sure it appears securely glued to the fabric of the sock and that the rubber material won’t crack or crumble (sounds crazy but it happens more than you think)! Lastly, check to make sure that the grips are level, that the rubber material is distributed evenly across each grip.
Grip coverage: Look for grip socks with good grip coverage — meaning that there are sufficient, well-placed treads over the entire sole of the foot to keep you en pointe, whether you’re balancing on your tippy toes or anchoring your shoulder bridge with your heels.
Material + fabric content
When choosing grip socks for Pilates, it’s important to consider the material content or fabrics used. Look for socks made from breathable materials that wick sweat and help keep your feet cool and dry. This is especially important if you plan to use your socks while wearing shoes for exercises where you tend to sweat a lot, like H.I.I.T and running.
You’ll definitely want to avoid socks made from synthetic materials, such as polyester, which can trap moisture and lead to damp, smelly feet. You’ll also want socks with a high percentage of moisture-absorbing cotton content. These kinds of socks tend to be more expensive, but are well worth the investment.
Thickness + cushion
When it comes to choosing the right socks for Pilates, finding the right mix of features like thickness, adequate cushion, and support is crucial. Socks that are too thin will likely not provide enough cushioning on the balls and heels of your feet. If you workout and wash your grip socks regularly, thin socks can also become problematic by becoming threadbare or developing holes around pressure spots. While extra comfy, socks that are too loose and puffy/slipper-like have their own set of issues — specifically, they may not properly adhere to the floor and prevent you from slipping; on the other hand, socks that are too small or tight could slide off your heel.
Fit, stretch + support
Finding the pair of grip socks that fits you just right is kind of like a Goldilocks situation — you might have to test a few to see which one works best for you. That said, high quality grip socks should provide a snug fit that molds to the contours of your foot.
Socks that fit just right and tend to last are a little magical. They typically have a visible zone of compression across the arch of the foot; this zone not only helps give you that snug fit you want during a studio workout, it’s also responsible for giving you arch support, which offers several other helpful side benefits like improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation.
While the design of the sock is an important factor to consider when choosing grip socks for Pilates, don’t forget about style. Select grip socks that suit your preferences and workout needs. Whether you prefer crew length or rock ankle length with a heel tab, choose a design that aligns with your aesthetic preferences.
High quality grip socks are going to hold up in the wash. Yes, it helps when you turn your socks inside out so the grips are not directly exposed to the highest heat of the metal dryer drum, but realistically we can’t remember to do that every time. Look for reviews that tell you that the grip socks hold up wash after wash, both the integrity of the rubber grip and the sock material.
A generous return policy:
Opt for grip socks sold by a company that lets you return socks if they don’t work out. GripCity socks has a 30-day Peace of Mind Guarantee: If you're dissatisfied with your purchase for any reason, you can contact us and we’ll make it right, either with a refund or a new pair.
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Selecting the right pair of grip socks will take your Pilates practice to new heights. Prioritize safety, stability, and hygiene by investing in these essential accessories and unlock the full potential of your workouts.
As you might have guessed, Grip socks aren’t exclusively useful for Pilates; they are a practical investment in your well-being and making progress on the mat and reformer. So, embark on your shopping journey with these tips in mind and get ready to take your workout to the next level!
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