A heel tab is a small section of material at the back of a shoe or sock that shields the heel from friction and blisters. It is usually made with a denser and more robust material than the rest of the shoe or sock and may have extra padding or traction.
Heel tabs are commonly found in athletic shoes, like running shoes, as well as in hiking boots and work boots. Some heel tabs are adjustable, allowing for a tighter or looser fit, depending on personal preference. In socks, heel tabs serve a slightly different function.
What Are Heel Tabs For?
Athletic socks often have heel tabs, which are small pieces of material that extend upward from the back of the sock above the heel. These tabs serve various purposes, such as:
Preventing blisters: One of the purposes of heel tabs is to prevent blisters from forming on the backs of your heels when you wear shoes that rub against your skin. Friction can cause painful blisters, but wearing socks with heel tabs can provide a barrier between your skin and shoe.
Keeping socks in place: Heel tabs keep your socks in place while wearing them. During the day, some socks may slip down or bunch up without warning as you move around. But heel tabs create an extra contact point between your foot and sock, reducing slippage and keeping everything in place.
Adding extra cushioning: Many heel tabs are also designed to provide extra cushioning for your heels as you walk or run. This added layer of padding can help absorb shock and reduce the impact on your feet, making it easier to stay comfortable during long periods of activity.
Improved fit: Socks with heel tabs provide a better and more secure fit as they conform more accurately to the shape of your foot. This is particularly helpful at the back of the foot, where socks tend to slip down.
The Best Running Socks with Tabs
Conclusion: What Are Heel Tabs?
If you enjoy running or need more support during daily activities, consider investing in socks with heel tabs. These small additions provide extra cushioning and support, reducing your odds of getting a blister while providing extra comfort during physical activity.
There are plenty of options available to suit your specific needs and preferences. Give them a try and experience the comfort your feet will thank you for.