Experienced joggers know that choosing the right running socks is just as important as picking what running shoes to wear. This is because quality socks are bound to improve your running experience while keeping your feet safe from blisters and irritation. At the same time, good running socks can and will provide a lot more comfort long-term than regular socks, especially when used with the right running shoes. That said, we should point out that the market has quite a lot to offer when it comes to running socks, which is why you should take the time and figure out exactly what type of socks best suit your running needs. To give you some pointers, we put together a list of the ten best running socks out there along with a short guide on what to look for when buying a pair.
Best Running Socks – Top List
10Merrell Men’s Low Cut Tab Sock
Made from 59% high-quality polyester, 31% nylon, 8% merino wool, and 2% spandex, the Merrell Men’s Low Cut Tab Sock is a running sock that features an easy pull-on closure. Featuring the latest Nano glide technology and a fresh guarding system, it helps to absorb all traces of moisture and keeps the foot dry at all times. It also comes with an armband at the top for optimal support and uniquely designed mesh zones for added breathability.
9ASICS Kayano Classic Quarter Socks
Popular for its sports gear and equipment, ASICS is a world-renowned brand that has come up with the latest ASICS Kayano Classic Quarter Socks. Offering a snug fit, optimal comfort and support and grip, these high-quality socks come with an inbuilt arch-band for a better fit. With side panels made of mesh, it provides proper ventilation. Featuring the latest NanoGlide technology, it comes with knitting in the heel and toe box and offers smooth surface to surface friction with proper absorption of moisture. Ideal for running and training activities, these socks can also be worn daily without any fears of tearing.
8Balega Silver Antimicrobial No-Show Compression-Fit Running Socks
Uniquely crafted from 75% high-quality drynamix polyester, 23% nylon, and 2% elastane, the Balega Silver Antimicrobial No-Show Compression-Fit Running Socks are an imported pair of sports socks that offer a compression fit. Thanks to the antibacterial silver ions present in the fibers, these socks keep the feet dry, away from germs and bacteria and odor-free. The special blend of knit patterns and premium fibers provide optimal support without disrupting movement. Constructed similar to the shape of a running shoe, these socks come with a seamless toe box, a high tab heel and a heel pocket that prevent chaffing, slipping and blistering.
7Drymax Run Hyper Thin Socks
Considered as one of the world’s lightest running socks, the Drymax Run Hyper Thin Socks is ultra slim and thin and takes up the least amount of space. Anti-bacterial, these socks will keep your feet dry and free from moisture and odor-free. Constructed and designed with an anti-slip wedge, it comes with a meshed finish which enables airflow and breathability. Made from 73 % olefin, 11% polyester, 11% nylon and 5 % elastane, Drymax socks are ideal for warmer conditions, as they absorb all traces of moisture and prevent blisters.
6Feetures! – Elite Ultra Light Athletic Running Socks
Providing optimal levels of comfort and support, the Feetures! – Elite Ultra-Light – Athletic Running Socks for Men and Women are durable, premium quality, no show socks. Featuring an anatomical design that optimizes fit and support, these socks prevent the feet from getting blisters and from slipping. Offering a cooler, lighter feel, they come with an ultra-thin construction that takes up less space inside your shoe. Thanks to their iWick fibers, they control moisture and keep the feet dry during the most intense weather conditions. They also come equipped with targeted compression zones that offer extra support and comfort.
52XU Compression Performance Run Sock
Offering optimal levels of comfort and durability, the 2XU Compression Performance Run Sock is crafted from 100% imported fibers. Featuring a premium design it provides high levels of power and flexibility to help protect the glute, calf muscles, quad, and hamstring. Thanks to its uniquely designed waistband and flatlock seams it offers additional comfort as well as a great fit. It also comes with special compression that helps increase the circulation of blood and reduces muscle stiffness after exercise. Ideal for running, gym and fitness, sports, hiking and more this premium grade pair of running socks is made from Invista Lycra, high filament yarns, and antibacterial UPF50+ fibers for protection from sunlight.
4Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Cushion Athletic Socks
Light in weight, ultra-durable, and very comfortable, the Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Ultra-Light Cushion Athletic Socks features a seamless design that enhances performance. Anti-slip, no blistering and bunching, these running socks offer a perfectly snug fit and grip. Made from high-quality merino wool, these socks are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. They also control odor and is are well-ventilated so as to absorb moisture and provide a great deal of breathability.
3Thirty48 Running Socks
Suitable for both men and women, the Thirty48 Running Socks feature a low cut, extra cushioned style that makes them comfortable with all kinds of sports shoes. With additional padding on the Metatarsal, the heel, and the Achilles, it provides optimal protection from abrasion and bruising. The specially designed tab at the heel keeps the socks from slipping off and provides a great fit. Constructed with the latest CoolMax Fabric, it helps keep the moisture away and keeps the feet dry and cool. Available in a variety of colors, these socks can be matched easily with your activewear and gear.
2Thorlos Unisex Thick Padded Running Rolltop Sock
Made from 86% premium grade Acrylic, 13% nylon, and 1% spandex, the Thorlos Padded Running Roll-Top Socks come in a pack of three and are guaranteed to meet any runner’s needs. Featuring maximum cushioning and padding, these running socks offer optimal comfort and support with any type of running shoes. Uniquely designed and constructed with a roll top at the back, above the heel, these socks ensure they stay up during any running-related activity. Thanks to the thick padding positioned at the heel and under the ball, they offer high levels of protection from abrasion, impact, and friction while prevents blisters.
1Saucony Performance No-show Socks
The Saucony Performance Socks are made from premium grade polyester, rubber, and spandex, which means that they deliver a lot more in terms of comfort and breathability than regular running socks. Featuring a pull on closure, these socks are easy to put on and take off. Thanks to their unique dry moisture management and ultra-wicking fibers, they keep the feet fresh and clean all day long regardless of how active your daily schedule might be. Unlike most running socks, they contain air mesh vents that create an optimal airflow and better breathability. They also come with cushioned soles and an arch support system that offers an ample amount of compression.
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Running Socks Buying Guide
Even though many runners don’t fully understand the necessity of wearing quality running socks, they are just as important as running shoes, both short and long-term. For instance, breathable running socks are bound to reduce the risk of dampness, which in turn reduces the risk of irritation and discomfort. In the long run, quality socks are guaranteed to prevent blisters and to provide the type of comfort that maximizes your gains, even if you’re a casual jogger. That said, you have to understand that not all running socks are made to meet the same standards, thus the need to take your time and consider everything the market has in store before making a purchase. In this respect, here is what you need to look for when buying a pair of running socks:
Seamless Design – A seamless construction offers more comfort and keeps the feet dry with fairly less chaffing. This will not only prevent the feet from getting irritated but it will also prove a lot more comfortable long-term. In fact, you should consider a seamless design for your socks when it comes to everyday socks as well, both due to the comfort these socks deliver and due to how much more durable they generally are.
Thickness – Depending on the weather conditions and your personal preference, selecting thick or thin socks can affect not only your running experience but also the amount of wear your shoes experience per running session. This is precisely why you should bear in mind that thicker socks are sure to reduce the amount of rubbing between your feet and the shoes, whereas thinner socks offer better breathability.
Compression – Compression helps reduce fatigue, improve blood flow, boost recovery time, and helps you run for longer. Compression running socks can be either ankle length or knee length depending on the support you require and they are guaranteed to deliver a much more professional outlook overall. Not only that but all good socks tend to generally deliver some sort of compression, although some do it better than others.
Protection – Additional cushioning and padding definitely help when selecting the perfect pair of running socks. Look for these on the balls of the feel and the heel area as it helps protect the foot from impacts and blisters. At the same time, keep in mind that a good pair of socks should also protect you from irritation as a result of excessive sweating, which is where the material construction of the socks comes into play.
Ankle and Arch Support – Selecting running socks that have an elastic design and construction is imperative as this helps with proper support at the arch of the foot and to help provide extra grip for your ankles. If you are a regular runner, you will genuinely feel the difference between socks that offer ankle and arch support when compared to traditional socks that generally do not.
The Benefits of Wearing Running Socks
Moisture Control – A normal pair of socks, if worn during running and outdoor sports activities, would make you sweat eventually. This is only because normal socks are not designed to allow airflow. On the other hand, running socks offer a greater breathability and absorb moisture almost completely, keeping your feet fresh and dry, in turn preventing the formation of blisters and bruises.
Support and Protection – A normal pair of socks does not provide the protection and cushion against impacts that are faced when running or training. They are not designed to give the feet support at the arch and do nothing for pain. However, running socks are specially crafted with that additional arch support and an ample amount of cushioning and padding to give you proper support every step you take.
Increased blood circulation – Offering a proper compression and fit, running socks lessen the effects of any outer injury and increase blood flow. Normal socks are not made for this purpose. Compression helps to improve the blood circulation in the feet, in turn preventing pain, and decreasing foot fatigue and soreness. If you are a regular jogger, you should definitely consider the long-term benefits of proper footwear.
What Are The Best Fabrics for Running Socks?
Selecting the best pair of running socks not only depends on the style and fit but also the fabric. Choosing socks made from technical fibers and those that can absorb moisture and keep the feet dry, is a must. Regardless of whatever type of sock fabric you select, every run should always entail a fresh new pair of socks. In principle, you get the choice between natural fibers and synthetic ones, each with their own particularities.
Natural Fibers – Socks made from natural fibers are ideal if you enjoy long running sessions. Not only do they offer optimal breathability and ventilation, they also tend to be anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, which is bound to protect the feet against germs and odor. Merino wool is a great example of a natural fiber that reduces odor.
Polyester and Nylon – Some running socks are made from synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon, which are breathable, durable, and sweat-wicking. They are also much more reliable than cotton, even though cotton socks are usually more comfortable. All things considered, it usually comes down to personal preference more than anything.