This post is sponsored by Zen Paws, FYI links in this post may be affiliate links.
Have you ever been in a yoga class and just found your feet slipping all over the mat? Or maybe your feet just get cold? Well, you’re not alone. While I go barefoot at home a lot, when I’m at the gym I wear yoga socks during my yoga practice. But what are yoga socks and why are they a good idea?
If you’ve been to a yoga class, no doubt you’ll have seen someone wearing socks during their yoga practice. Yoga socks are like regular socks but they have little grippy dots on the underside to prevent you from slipping around on your mat. Some are toe-less, some have toes. They come in different sizes, shapes, lengths, and colors.
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I’ve been wearing yoga socks occasionally during my practice since I bought my first pair around 2001. Why did I buy them? At the time my issue was that my feet would slip on my mat. Despite being non-slip, due to weather or sweat, you can sometimes slip on the grippiest mat.
In Winter I wear them a lot, simply because I suffer from permanently cold feet. So simple to add socks to stop my feet slipping and keep my feet a little warmer. If I’m honest I wear them round the house too!
7 Reasons to use Yoga Socks
Still not sold on the idea of yoga socks? Here are 7 reasons you might consider using them during your yoga practice:
- Cold Feet. Like I said this is a biggie for me. I like my feet to be toasty rather than blocks of ice. Our yoga studio can be cold in winter, and I’d rather not walk barefoot on the cold floor. Plus the gym can be cold purely from the air conditioning.
- No Slipping. My yoga mat is definitely non-slip but the studio/gym floor isn’t! I’ve almost gone head over heels, sliding into the splits when walking around to observe class members at the gym. Lesson learned. These are also great for vacations, doing yoga on tile or wood floors.
- Protects your feet. Most yoga studios have a strict no shoe policy for the studio floor. If the thought of walking barefoot on a dirty floor gives you heebie jeebies then yoga socks are a great way to protect your feet from dust and grime.
- Hygienic. While yoga studios have no-shoe policy gyms don’t. There are some nasty germs on gym floors. I don’t walk around the gym showers without my flip flops, why would I walk on the studio floor without protection?
- Cover Up. Some people just don’t like to be barefoot, or their feet to be on show. Or maybe you have a tattoo on your feet that you’re not sure others would appreciate? Perhaps you’d just feel more comfortable covering up with yoga socks?
- Staying in the moment. Yoga is about being present on your mat. That can sometimes be difficult if you’re thinking about your feet slipping and inadvertently doing the splits. Or if you’re thinking about how cold your feet are. For me wearing yoga socks takes me out of my own head and anxieties and helps bring me present on the mat. Especially in winter when my feet get cold. Did I mention I don’t like having cold feet?
- Fashion. Let’s face it, it’s just nice to wear something that’s a talking point. I get asked about my yoga socks often so it’s always a nice ice breaker for students. I admit to wearing my yoga socks around the house too as the dots can give a nice gentle massage when walking on tiled floor.
ZenPaws Yoga Socks
Recently, I got the chance to try out a pair of yoga socks from ZenPaws. Their yoga socks really got put through a rigorous test last weekend as I attended the Yoga Source conference at Yoga Nook for 12 hours of continuing education. I was also eager to get on my mat to try them during my outdoor practice. A poolside yoga flow put these socks through their paces.
The big test for me for yoga socks is how well they hold up during downward-facing dog. Especially 3-legged-dog. Easier to slip with just one foot grounded. The ZenPaws socks held up really well. No slipping on my mat. I also love the way my feet felt super connected to the floor in pyramid pose. I felt strong and stable in the pose and was able to fully connect body and mind thanks to the grippy dots on the underside of the sock.
My personal preference for socks during yoga is for toeless. Purely because I have small feet and small toes. My husband calls them stubby toes, I like to call them petite! Either way, socks with individual full toes covering tend to be too long for my toes, so I opt for toeless. Obviously as with all things that come into our home they have to be inspected thoroughly by Pixel, and he gave the ZenPaws a spotted paw of approval!
The ZenPaws were my first pair with the open foot design on the top. I liked this design feature a lot, which was unexpected as I tend to usually like a lot of arch support. It felt like it gave my feet more freedom and breathability but that could just be me. As for color, teal is one of my favorite colors, so it’s definitely got a thumbs up there.
No-slip doesn’t just apply to mats and floors. Some poses require you to put your foot on your own body, like tree pose. You might find your foot slipping on your yoga pants in this pose. I definitely would have in these shiny reebok capri pants! Thankfully my ZenPaw yoga socks meant I could snugly place my foot into my thigh and keep it there! All in all, I really liked the ZenPaw yoga socks and wish they came in more colors so I could coordinate with my outfits.
All in all there are many reasons to use yoga socks, both on and off the mat. For me they are mostly something to keep my feet warm, to stop slipping in warm weather, or to protect my feet from dirty gym floors. If any of these are issues for you, I highly recommend socks for your yoga practice.
- Do you practice yoga?
- Have you used yoga socks before?
- Does being barefoot give you the heebie-jeebies?