The essentials: Part 2

A key piece of kit in any runners wardrobe should be a decent pair (or pairs) of running socks. When I began my marathon mission, I was running in old anklet socks which I'd owned since I last wore trainers - about 10 years ago!

On a friend's advice I bought a pair of specialist running socks, and was honestly astounded by the difference they made – especially as the miles got longer. Not only do they provide much appreciated cushioning, but support too, and most sports socks are made from sweat wicking fabric, which keeps the feet cool preventing swelling and subsequent blisters.

There’s nothing glamorous about marathon running – sorry to kill an illusion you may have had left! Here’s my pick of the best running socks around.

Name: Sweaty Betty Blister Proof Run Sock
Description: These are the most understated looking running socks I could find. They are double layered, with grip support to keep your foot firmly in the trainer.  Mid arch support is a key product detail.
Price: £12.00
Available from: Sweaty Betty
Name:  Thorlo Experia Ultralight Coolmax Sock
Description: Cushioning pads on the toes and heel offer added comfort, and sweat wicking fabric keeps the foot cool and dry.
Price: From £12.00
Available from: Runners Need
Name: Wright Sock Double Layer Running II Sock 
Description: The sock's hatch pattern is added sock structure offering support around the entire foot. A wide ankle band offers further comfort, and prevents rubbing
Price: £11.00
Available from: Wright Sock
Name:Wright Sock Women's Double Layer Running Anklet Sock
Description: Wright Sock products contain a patented anti-blister system ensuring comfort, and a thick heel tab protects the heel from rubbing too. A mid arch support protects the foot whilst running.
Price: £11.00
Available from: Wright Sock
Name: Thorlo Lite Running Women's Mini Crew Sock

Description: This sock has a thinner bosy than many - designed to keep the foot cool, but a thick heel and sole cushioning ensures proper support
Price: £11.00
Available from: Runners Need
Name: Thorlo Running Mini Crew Sock
Description: This sock offers the most protection of the Thorlo socks featured.It's wide ankle band offers added comfort, and the merino wool content makes it perfect for winter running.
Price: £10.00
Available from: Runners Need
Model: Gemma Sanderson at Storm
Images and retouching: Steven Farmer