My FiveFingers

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Putting the AFX Toe Socks to the Test

by Brian Patterson » on Jun 01, 2012 2

A few months ago we did a review of the AFX toe socks and shared our thoughts and experience with them. For those that don’t remember, these toe socks are special because they have an innovative renewable anti-microbial treatment that can remove odors. Even better, the special treatment doesn’t go away, it is recharged every time they are washed (as long as there is bleach in the wash cycle).

Further Testing of the AFX Toe Socks

I didn’t want to just stop with that one review, though.  We asked the Permara guys (who make the socks) if they’d be willing to provide us with a bunch of pairs that we could send out to some of our readers for some more thorough testing.  They agreed and we found a group of willing test subjects via our Twitter account to test these socks out further.  We specifically selected testers who either had a big problem with the smell in their FiveFingers, were dealing with Athlete’s Foot, or both.

I asked each of the testers to really put these socks to the test.  I suggested they take the ‘Permara Challenge’, where they wear the socks 5 days in a row without washing them (which I did when I reviewed them).  After 10 days I asked them all to complete a simple survey with questions about their experience wearing the socks, any noticeable changes, etc.  While our sample size was only 10 people, so not a scientific survey, the results are still very enlightening as the responses are from real people with real problems with odor and/or athlete’s foot.

AFX No-Show Socks

User Survey Results

The results of the survey were pretty surprising.  We honestly didn’t anticipate people to like the socks as much as they did.  Here are some graphs that give you a good idea of how people took to these socks.

Likes & Dislikes of the Socks

We asked each particpant for their likes and dislikes.  Below are some of the freeform answers they provided:


  • They Felt very light and comfortable
  • The socks were no frills, simple, and did seem to really block the smell as they advertised
  • Toe-fitment and snugness was the best part about these socks.  Super comfortable.
  • Cut down VFF smell
  • Good fit and helped with odor control
  • I need to bleach them every wash (according to the instructions) to restore the technology, which I find annoying but still (I guess) worth it
  • My feet are tiny, so despite getting a smal size, the toes still seemed a bit long.
  • Mid-rise ankle cut is not a practical length for use with most FiveFingers
  • There is a spot in the back of both socks that is very hard like where the stitching was burned that rubbed a spot on the back of my akle

Getting Rid of the FiveFinger Funk

The reason that I love these socks is because they virtually eliminated all of the odors from my FiveFingers.  For those that wear their FiveFingers frequently, you know that the smell can sometimes be a big issue.  Everyone who participated in the experiment and survey had an issue with the smell, so their feedback was very interesting.  Some had great success, some modest improvement, and one didn’t notice any change.  Here are some of the interesting responses that were submitted:

I did sniff my FiveFingers twice daily (before putting on and when taking off), and I definitely noticed that they were significantly less pungent as the days went on. They also seemed cleaner on the inside, too.

They did help lessen the smell post wearing the VFFs. There still was a smell but not as bad as without the socks

They didn’t completely remove the odor but reduced it drastically.

No [the smell didn’t improve] – but this could be that my VFF’s smell so bad already.

Eliminating Athlete’s Foot

We had heard some anecdotal evidence that the renewable antimicrobial that Permara applies to the AFX  toe socks might also be effective in eliminating Athlete’s Foot.  I don’t suffer from that so I wasn’t able to review it, but I made sure that some of our test subjects did have Athlete’s Foot so that we could find out for ourselves how effective they are.  Based on these responses to the question of if they helps with Athlete’s Foot, it seems to us that these socks may be an awesome cure for it:

The Athlete’s foot problem was eliminated.

My Athlete’s Foot was MUCH less present after the first day or two of wearing them.

Yes it did both (eliminated odor and Athlete’s Foot) and I would wear them even without my FiveFinger shoes.

Final Thoughts

90% of the testers were either ‘Extremely likely’, ‘Very Likely’, or ‘Moderately Likely’ to buy these toe socks again, which to me speaks volumes about their effectiveness.  And, following that trend, 90% of them were also satisfied with their experience using the product.

Would you consider wearing these socks to get rid of FiveFinger funk or Athlete’s foot?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Submitted Comments

  1. Sheldon says:

    I get athlete’s fort regularly, and have been looking into vff’s as a cure and now with theses socks and the shoes I’m committed, not to mention getting connected with the way we were designed to walk barefoot

  2. Emily says:

    I would definitely give them a try, my five fingers don’t seem to take on too much odor but I also put a paper towel filled with baking soda in them after I take them off. I would give the socks a try if they were taller, they look a little short in the pictures. Thanks for giving an update on the original review!

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