Green Day sings, "Never run in the rain with your socks on." Insightful. Thanks Billie Joe Armstrong. I say never run without socks designating which foot belongs inside each cotton, sweat-protection, heel-padded piece of heaven.
What's the key difference between the two pictures you see before you?
It's not Nike versus New Balance you're noticing. Better yet, seek out the tiny "R" and "L" located on Nike's addition to the ankle sock world. I always thought my best friend a bit O.C.D. when she grabbed her Sharpie after buying a new pair of athletic socks and marked the bottoms for each foot. I understood the concept but would not concede to allowing myself or my feet to feel so boxed in. I (and they) needed some breathing room.
Nike converted me. My toe's souls now follow the designated foot deity, and peeking into my drawer for socks for the day's run or work out regiment, if there is a clean Nike pair resting next to a plain, yet extremely comfortable New Balance free-for-all-feet sock choice, I go with the Nike. My toes thank me later.
Pulling these socks over my feet, lacing up my shoes, I can't help but notice the smooth fit nestling itself underneath each shoe. No lumps, no bumps, no wasted space or bunching fabric. Call me a matchmaker, but ahhh! the comfort my right foot underneath Nike's Dri-Fit "R" sock--what's that I hear in the background? Bonnie Raitt?