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Like any other sports gear, sports socks wear out. Although they are more durable than casual or dress socks, you ask more work of them, and a thin spot or a hole can make the difference between blistering or not blistering during a long workout or an important competition. Also, socks that become too stretched out can bunch up inside your shoes and make you uncomfortable.
The key to happy feet: Monitor the condition of your sports socks, and when they are visibly worn, or if you notice uncomfortable rubbing in your shoes because they are getting thin, it's time to replace them. Recyclers, don't despair: Worn out sports socks make great rags. They are especially good for such projects as polishing furniture, when you need to get into a lot of nooks and crannies. Just slip the sock over your hand, add polish, and go. Then you can throw out the sock with a clear conscience.