When it comes to the sport of running, it’s the little things that can really make a difference to your overall performance. If you are training regularly or covering off long distances, then your comfort in order to support endurance will be of paramount importance. Whilst of course your trainers are a crucial piece of equipment and will probably be your biggest and most carefully considered investment, don’t overlook the humble sock. Wear the wrong ones at your peril! You’ll have the blisters and the aching arches to show for it! A good pair of socks will be your friend, a great pair of technical running socks will enhance your performance and be your training ally. Let’s review some of the best running socks around and the reasons why we recommend you invest in a pair; or six!
The Best Running Sock
Saucony are well established when it comes to delivering high performance products with supreme comfort and support. Saucony Performance Comfort Running Socks deliver on so many levels with their moisture management system, meaning your feet stay dry no matter what extremes you push yourself to. With their additional mesh air venting and localised arch support, they provide critical comfort no matter how tough your training regime. The cushioned sole acts like a shock absorber so you can go hard and smash those goals and distances without worrying about over aching arches the next day. Fully machine washable too, they’re a great choice or gift for runners amongst you. They’re also pretty stylish looking too.
Run dry moisture management system
Mesh ventilation system for enhanced airflow
Arch compression engineering for stabilised support
Supremely comfortable cushioned sole
Durable and reasonably priced
All Belega running socks are technically engineered using the company’s proprietary DryNamix moisture management system. What that means for you is that your feet are kept cool and dry at all time with the maximum amount of free airflow. No hot sweaty feet with these seamless socks on your feet. They have of course been race tested so you can be confident of their reliability under pressure. They feature an extra deep heel pocket to ensure that they fit to perfection and won’t end up sliding under your foot whilst you’re out on a long run. They’re classified as a medium volume construction meaning they provide support without compromising on flexibility. They are also available in all the colors of the rainbow! With their 200-needle count fabric these are like the equivalent of the finest bed linen but for your feet.
Heel tab to prevent sock slippage
Seamless comfort toe closure
Structured and supportive elastane construction
Luxurious feeling under sole cushioning
Medium volume construction
- Weight2.4 ounces
Again featuring Balega’s innovative and patented DryNamix technology these socks are designed to keep your feet cool and dry. The Blister Resist socks are blended with luxurious Mohair which means they will also keep you warm in winter whist cool in the summer. Moisture wicking is an important component of a running sock as no-one wants hot sweaty feet that then get chills in the winter months or blister up in the summer. With this medium volume constructed sock, the two things you don’t have to worry about are your socks slipping off your feet or ending up with painful blisters. These really are a smart choice for anyone who loves their running. Make sure you also check our guide to the best plantar fasciitis socks.
Mohair and DryNamix blended mix
Moisture wicking technology
Seamless toe for seam free comfort and fit
High tab heel ensures the sock stays firmly in position
Medium volume construction
- Weight3.2 ounces
These Tesla Comfort socks are intelligently designed to offer plenty of support for a runner’s needs. If performance is important to you then you will love these 0 which have extra cushioning in the heel and the toe for your added protection. They almost act as internal shock absorbers allowing you to run harder and longer without compromising on form. The strengthened heel tab ensures the socks, whilst of a no show design, aren’t so low that they’ll just slip off your foot meaning annoying adjustments half way home. Tesla’s stay where they’re intended; right on your feet. They also have a breathable mesh venting system so air is distributed whilst you are running and doesn’t become trapped leading to an over-heated or sweaty foot. High performance in function but supremely comfortable to wear.
Low cut no show design
Breathable mesh airflow construction
Shock absorption style sole for superior support
Arch compression banding for stability
Multiple colors available
- Weight3.2 ounces
Physix running socks epitomise performance and design. Compared to most technological athletic sock, these are offer exemplary levels of advanced functionality to support you as a serious runner. First up they’ve been designed with gradient compression so they will totally support your feet as you push your body to its limited. They’ve also been engineered with what the manufacturer says is supreme arch to ankle technology that will be hard to find in other brands of sports socks. What that all means for you is a boost in circulation and continual oxygen blood flow that will encourage and support you in your goals to go harder, faster and for longer. Designed for comfort and support these really are the ultimate runner’s socks. The high level of compression also makes them a great option for any regular long haul flight takers too. Built for durability but very much engineered to provide unparalleled levels of sports performance.
Optimised Achilles tendon protector
Moisture wicking all day comfort
Sport Active Heel Fit
Seamless non irritating toe design
Metatarsus assisted arch compression stabilisation
- BrandPhysix Gear Sport
- Weight2.1 ounces
As you’d expect from Asics, Low Cut Cushion socks offer excellent levels of performance combined with comfort, support and supreme breathability. All that means that no matter what your sport, you can be sure that these socks will support your goals and help you challenge yourself further. Theyfeature a soft sole cushioning which, alongside their seamless toe construction, eliminates bulk and ensures these socks are stream line and a great easy fit. Of course they feature a moisture management system as you would expect from an Asics technical performance sock. They’re breathable with plenty of knit-in mesh for added on board ventilation. No excuses for a poor performance when you are wearing these socks. They’re been thoughtfully constructed to absolutely support you to excel.
Plush soft sole cushioning for added comfort
Moisture management system
Knit-in mesh for ventilation and breathability
Seamless design construction
Won’t chafe, irritate or blister your feet
- Weight1 pounds
The Feetures brand was created by a dedicated runner, Hugh Gaither, so you can be sure that he’s thought of all your needs having very much been there himself. Always a leading manufacturer of athletic socks, he wanted to merge his two passions, manufacturing and running, into a totally new and extremely technical sock. Hence his Elite running socks were born and they are nothing short of exceptional. For runners who want the maximum comfort but also high levels of technical support, these are truly exceptional. They are anatomically designed and engineered to prevent blisters. They also have their own high density cushioning that acts as natural shock absorption for all the sidewalk and road impact running. With patented i-Wick technology to keep your feet naturally dry and cool, these running socks really are elite. If it’s a feature stacked performance sock that you are looking for, then you’ve find your holy grail with these Feetures!
i-wick moisture wicking system
Anatomically designed with left and right foot structure
Seamless toe construction for non-irritation
Targeted arch compression and support
Dense cushioning for impact protection
- Weight1.6 ounces
Nobody likes blisters. Really they can be the bane of your life but especially so if you are a dedicated runner. Even if you are wearing your favorite high performance running shoes that have been tried and tested on many occasion, fail to wear the correct socks and you could be in for a world of pain. These Wrightsocks Running socks are specifically designed to be Anti-Blister with their double layer construction. The also feature a patented “stabilizer zone” to provide ample arch support. It’s a mid-weight flat knit sock so although it has the support you need to go those extra miles, it’s also flexible and not too restrictive around the foot either. For optimum and continued performance the manufacturer recommends that you wash before wearing and that you turn the socks inside out and just pop them into the washing machine. Couldn’tbe easier.
Anti-Blister double layer construction
Moisture wicking, cool and dry foot support
Mid-weight flat knit sock for comfort and flexibility
Perfect high performance running sock
With its network of mesh vents, this performance running sock from Stance is all about enhanced breathability. There’s a reinforced heel and toe for comfort and support and ultimate close fit. The socks have also been anatomically designed to perfectly fit your left and right foot correctly. They also feature a 200-thread needle count so you can be assured of their quality comfort. They’ve also been engineered to be durable and keep you running at full steam ahead for some time to come.
Comfortable and durable construction
Great arch support
Highly Breathable with mesh venting
Stylish and attractive looking sports sock
- Weight2.08 ounces
Adidas Climalite’s as you would imagine from the name are all about keeping your feet cool when they need to be and warm and cosy too. The socks totally adapt to your feet and the seasons requirements to ensure that you can always run easy and be sure of a completely comfortable ride. With their cushioned heel and toe construction and low cut design, no-one will know that you are wearing them but for sure you will benefit from having them on your feet. They feature 360 degrees of ventilation too so at all times, your feet are cool and totally in control of your performance. Our selection of the best dress socks offers more great socks like this so check them out.
Climacool technology keeps your feet cool and comfortable
Odor resistant with 360 degrees’ ventilation
Cushioned heel and toe construction
Adidas styling and performance promise
- Weight1 pounds
Thorlos design quality socks for people on the go and especially those who love to run. With their patented Thor-Lon fibers and Thor-Wick technology you can guarantee that your feet will be dry and cushioned no matter how far you’ve run. Better still, not a blister in sight. Thorlos Padded Running Socks feature plenty of supportive elastic but still retain their flexibility. They are also incredibly breathable too and should literally last you for years. Make sure you also check our guide to the best water socks for more great items like this.
Thin level cushioning support
Thor-Wick cool fiber moisture wicking technology
Cushioned supportive arch fit
Padded heel and ball shock absorption effect
Non irritating and non-chafing design
A very functional if not minimalist sports sock. This is an ultra-light sock that has ample cushioning to support your feet whilst they are pounding the streets or the treadmill. Wherever you choose to do your running, these Darn Tough socks will support you. They’re super easy to slip on an off and have a truly seamless construction so no fear of blisters Mister! Constructed from fine merino wool, they are breathable and moisture wicking and make the perfect all weather socks.
Fully cushioned protection
Fast drying, moisture wicking and breathable
Antimicrobial and odor resistant
Heel tab for easy slip on and off
- BrandDarn Tough
- Weight1.76 ounces
Running Socks Buying Guide & FAQs
How We Chose Our Selection of Running Socks
We considered all of the essentials when pulling together this guide. Performance is clearly important but so too is style and budget. So we’ve pulled together a cross section of socks that will cater for the casual as well as the competing runner.
There are of course all kinds of different categories of running too and if you run trails rather than the road, your requirements are likely to be slightly different. Again, we’ve attempted to pull together a comprehensive selection to tick lots of different boxes.
Not everyone likes compression but some of you might need extra support. Some of you might even prefer to do your running at night so could benefit from a pair that feature luminous patches. Others of you might be looking to make a bold statement! Whatever your needs, hopefully our selection has something to suit and that will help give you happy feet!
Features To Look For In Running Socks
There are more features to consider in choosing the correct technically supportive running sock than you probably ever imagined. It’s not just about the colour and design or even the material. There are so many additional extras that can turn your athletic sock into a valuable ally in your pursuit of sports excellence. A good sock will support you, a great sock will help you smash your personal bests. Yes, really, the correct socks really are that important. You’re going to want to look out for some of the below features:
- Moisture-wicking properties
Additionally, you want to invest in a technical sock that can offer Arch Support as well as Ankle support. If you are regularly running long distances this becomes critical. Lycra is often used to help keep the sock in place whilst you are running and to provide that extra bit of comfort and support to your arch. The same again for around your ankles which really can take quite a pounding if you’re are hitting the roads frequently. Think about the pressure that goes through your ankles. Surely it makes sense to ensure they have some extra protection.
Also look out for anti-blister technology. You’ll be thankful for it as every runner knows, blisters can be a nightmare and seriously hamper your progress and performance. Chaffing and rubbing, causing friction to an area that is already sensitive, can end up putting an end to your run. So look out for a technical sock that has two layers of fabric that run against each other, rather than against your delicate skin.
We also recommend you take a look at a seamless pair of socks as again, this is going to help minimise awkward chaffing.
The other major feature of a running sock to consider is compression technology. Whether its an ankle or longer length sock, many come with gently compression which help to improve blood circulation. Don’t underestimate the importance of this, especially again for those of you who run longer distances or more intense bursts of activity too. Compression socks have been proven to improve endurance, performance and to boost recovery times so they are well worth looking at if you are dedicated to your sports performance.
Running Socks FAQ
Q: How are running socks different from your casual socks?
A: Anyone who is dedicated to the sport of running, especially longer distance running, will know only too well the value of a decent pair of technical running socks. They are nothing at all like a regular pair of socks. Whilst yes, they still keep your feet warm and dry, they will have additional features to ensure the most comfortable of rides. Most importantly they will have been designed to prevent blisters. Oh yes, blisters and missing toe-nails!The very obvious signs that you run a lot.
As we touched upon above in the features to look out for in your running socks, one of the key differentiators will be the presence of compression technology. The compression could be at the ankles, calves or shins and feature in both ankle and longer length socks. Serious runners swear by the positive virtues of compression for helping them running further, for longer and in better times and overall more comfort.
A running sock will probably differ in that its likely to have additional protection too. Think about it, your feet and ankles are going to be taking quite a pounding. So look out for extra padding across the areas of contact, like the toes, heel and ball of the foot. That way, your sports socks almost act like shock absorbers, minimising some of the overall impact.
Q: What is the best material for running socks?
A: The fabric constitution of a technical running sock is absolutely critical and is one of the key components setting a running sock apart from a casual one. Whilst you might opt for a cotton sock with your dessert boots, what you probably never realised is that whilst they are undeniably comfortable, a cotton sock actually holds onto moisture. Not good when you are running. In the colder winter months this can cause your feet to get unnecessarily cold and in the summer will lead to blisters. So it’s important that an athletic sock designed to fulfill a technical function is made from the right moisture wicking fabrics that will draw moisture away.
Another top tip from running pro’s it to regularly change your socks too. In fact, really you should be wearing a fresh, dry pair every time you exercise so stock up on your recommendations and get yourself a good sock stash!. You shouldn’t just be wearing your technical socks for the obvious activities like running and cycling only. Ideally for any exercise be that aerobics, spin, a gym workout or even a hike, a technical sock will allow you to put your best foot forward and help keep your feet fresh.
When it comes to choosing of fabrics there are plenty so let’s take a look at a couple of the options you need to look out for.
Natural fibers - opt for something with a superior construction, like a fine merino wool. Naturally breathable and moisture wicking, they are also anti-bacterial too so no need to worry too much about sweaty stinky feet! I’m sure your other half complains enough already about your trainers without having the added issue of sweaty socks to deal with too.
Polyester and Nylon – popular and budget-friendly options. Moisture wicking and breathable but also fairly durable too so should be longer lasting than a natural fiber sock over time.