Because we get to see what people order for gifts, we have a good idea of what the popular sock presents are for the holidays.  Toe socks are probably one of the most popular styles.  They’re different and fun and great stocking stuffers.  And if you’re a toe sock convert, a present is the best way to try and win others over to the joys of toe freedom.

Now, what about folks who totally should get toe socks for the holidays, but aren’t exactly a stripy, tabi, goofy kind of person?  That’s where beautifully engineered, premium toe socks come in.  We’ve written about Injinji before, when we first brought them in and again this summer, when telling you about Coolmax® fiber.  They’re a little pricer than novelty toe socks, but that’s because of all the brain power that went into designing them.

Designed for performance, with a comfortable welt cuff, smart shaping in the toes and heel, a bit of built-in arch support and available in three sizes, Injinji toe socks take that quirky toe sock present to the next level.  Their most basic sock, the Performance Micro Toe Sock, is comfortable as all get-out and even comes in more options than boring old black and white.

After the jump we’ll highlight a couple more of their styles and let you know just who they’re perfect for (and just maybe they’re perfect for you!).  Plus, we've got a review from a Vibram FiveFingers wearer about the Injinji Performance Liner styles!

For your eco-conscious friend who likes a little colour, the Eco Performance Rainbow Quarter Crew Socks are a wonderful choice!  We go into more detail on the coolness of the, um, Coolmax® EcoMade that they’re made with earlier in the Sock Journal, but it’s 97% post-consumer recycled material!

And if you’re shopping for someone who wears those five-toe shoes, then the Performance Liner Crew and Performance Liner Anklet are perfect!  They’re whisper-thin, so they’ll fit just right in snug five-toe shoes—but they’re designed to prevent chafing and blistering and encourage proper alignment.  This is what a Vibram wearer says:

The whole point of those silly looking finger-shoes is to be doing active stuff, but if you wear them naked they chafe pretty bad. So you just need SOMETHING between them and your skin. Your feet'll still get cold and the shoes'll still get stinky, but the socks will prevent blisters. They also make the shoes a lot easier to get into, interestingly.

The Injini liner-weight socks work pretty great for that. I also picked up some of their medium-weight ones, and those work great too. It'll depend on how tightly your shoes fit, but I think you can probably count on at least the liner-weight ones working.

Our wonderful reviewer also warns: "The liner-weight ones will tend to come apart a little bit at the point right between the toes, and I was worried about that at first, but it's not turning out to be a problem. They're staying structurally sound, and the holes aren't making any opportunity for chafing and don't seem to be spreading."  I got a quick snapshot of the kind of wear he's talking about and it's true, though the bit between the toes is a bit frayed and has holes, there is no indication that it's going to go further than that.

Of course, not everyone rocks toed shoes, but toe socks made as well as Injinji fit just as comfortably (if not more so) in regular ol’ shoes.  If you’re looking to gift someone even more than comfort, the Ex-Celerator Knee High Compression Toe Sock is lovely enough to make your “big” present. From 14 mmhg at the ankle to just below 8 mmhg at the cuff, this gradual compression system goes to one of the stronger weights you can get without a prescription and is perfect for lightweight, everyday use.  They're designed especially for muscle recovery after working out.

Two styles you may want to snap up for yourself or others before they go away are the Travel Toesock and the Injinji Split Toe Quarter Crew.  They’re both Zap! styles and no longer available from Injinji, so the last pairs we have are it!

Have you picked up a pair of Injinji for yourself or as a gift?