to top 10 table

10 Best Wool Socks for Sports and Running Tested

last updated: Jan 31, 2021
When you think of wool, you most likely conjure images of heavy and itchy sweaters, but that’s not the case with wool running socks! We make sure to select designs that are composed of lightweight wool fabrics that are soft and packed with advanced features to keep your feet comfy. Most brands utilize Merino wool, which is a type of material that is breathable and lightweight and looks and feels like a traditional running sock. We picked options that blend wool with stretchy materials such as Spandex to help hold them in place and allow you to toss them into the washing machine.

In this guide, we have selected some of our very favorite wool socks for running to keep your training going strong well into the winter months!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
Pure Athlete
96.6/100 our score
Features
96
Materials
97
Support
97
Style
96
Comfort
97
Pure Athlete
Why is it better?

Padding in heel and toe box

Great moisture-wicking properties

Available in many colors

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Pure Athlete
Test Winner: Pure Athlete
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
11
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1760
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
11
Products Evaluated

Best Alternatives to Smart Wool Socks

Sorting Options
Features Materials Support Style Comfort By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Features
96 %
Materials
97 %
Support
97 %
Style
96 %
Comfort
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Features
96 %
Materials
95 %
Support
96 %
Style
96 %
Comfort
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Features
93 %
Materials
94 %
Support
94 %
Style
93 %
Comfort
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Features
92 %
Materials
93 %
Support
93 %
Style
92 %
Comfort
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Features
85 %
Materials
89 %
Support
92 %
Style
92 %
Comfort
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Features
88 %
Materials
89 %
Support
88 %
Style
88 %
Comfort
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Features
90 %
Materials
88 %
Support
84 %
Style
87 %
Comfort
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.2
Features
84 %
Materials
84 %
Support
84 %
Style
85 %
Comfort
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Features
83 %
Materials
82 %
Support
82 %
Style
80 %
Comfort
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Features
80 %
Materials
81 %
Support
79 %
Style
80 %
Comfort
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (10.04.21)
Amazon Link

10 Best Wool Socks for Running

1. Pure Athlete

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Pure Athlete Merino Wool Socks Men
Pure Athlete Merino Wool Socks Men
Amazon Link
Features
96
Materials
97
Support
97
Style
96
Comfort
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Padding in heel and toe box

Great moisture-wicking properties

Available in many colors

Cons:

Slightly expensive

Pills after washing

If you are a little reluctant to try out wool, this design from Pure Athlete is a great option. What users love most about this design is that it is composed of a blend of Merino wool and stretchy materials for a secure fit. Plus, it packs in a few additional comfort features to give you a little extra layer of padding to keep your feet comfy.

Read more

Construction
This low-cut design is composed of 53 percent Merino, 36 percent polypropylene, and 11 percent of stretchy spandex materials. The blend of these fabrics works to really hug your foot and stay in place, while also wicking away moisture from your foot where it quickly evaporates on the surface.

Cushioning
In addition to moisture-wicking properties, this design also provides the wearer with a little additional comfort. It has bonus padding in the heel as well as the toe box for extra support. This additional padding also makes this design a lot more durable in high-impact areas than your run-of-the-mill running sock.

Color and Style
We also love that they come in a wide variety of color and design options as well.

Value
This design from Pure Althle costs a little bit more than your standard running socks, but the premium materials, as well as the added durability, make it an excellent value.

2. Darn Tough Vermont

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Darn Tough Vermont Men's Merion Wool Micro-Crew Light Cushion Hiking Socks
Darn Tough Vermont Men's Merion Wool Micro-Crew Light Cushion Hiking Socks
Amazon Link
Features
96
Materials
95
Support
96
Style
96
Comfort
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Extremely comfortable

Seamless construction

Variety of sizes available

Cons:

Only one color option

These seamless wool socks will get you through a run or a workout with cool, dry, blisterless feet.

Read more

Construction
These socks are made with extra thin Merino wool, so they are naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. Their seamless construction provides a smooth and snug fit that won’t cause blisters or chafing, nor will they slip down your ankle or get bunched up at the top of your shoe.

Cushioning
Half of the Merino wool yarn used to make each of these socks goes to the base of the foot, where they provide superior cushioning. Users praise these socks as being the most comfortable they have ever owned.

Color and Style
These socks will hit just above your ankle and are available in black only. They come in 5 sizes, from small to 2XL.

Value
These are an average-priced pair of wool socks.

3. CloudLine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
CloudLine Merino Wool 1/4 Top Running & Athletic Socks
CloudLine Merino Wool 1/4 Top Running & Athletic Socks
Amazon Link
Features
93
Materials
94
Support
94
Style
93
Comfort
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Ultra-fine merino wool

Great for summertime

Additional arch compression

Cons:

Expensive

Too tight for some

If you need something that really wicks away moisture when running on hot summer days, this option from Cloudline is worth checking out. This simple design is the thinnest design in the CloudLine lineup, which means that it is the perfect design to keep your feet cool and dry. While they cost a little bit more than some of the other designs that we have seen, the smart design of this sock makes it an excellent value.

Read more

Construction
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it is incredibly thin. It is composed of ultra-fine gauge Merino which keeps your foot light but also works overtime to wick away sweat, bacteria, and moisture. This design is composed of a blend of 57 percent Merino wool, 37 percent nylon, and 6 percent spandex.

Cushioning
The higher nylon and spandex thread count in this design means that it really hugs your foot and won’t bunch up in your shoe at the end of a long run. It even boasts additional arch support that provides slight compression to your arches to keep your feet pain-free at the end of the day.

Color and StyleValue
We love that it is composed of ultra-fine Merino that wicks away moisture and sweat without overheating your feet. This design proves that wool can also be worn in the summer!

4. Swiftwick Pursuit Four

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Swiftwick- PURSUIT FOUR Ultralight Trail Running and Cycling Socks
Swiftwick- PURSUIT FOUR Ultralight Trail Running and Cycling Socks
Amazon Link
Features
92
Materials
93
Support
93
Style
92
Comfort
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Lots of colors to choose from

Breathable

Cushioned

Provide support

Cons:

Some don't like the mid-calf fit

The Swiftwick Pursuit Four are a pair of really breathable and durable socks that will help keep you comfortable during all of your runs.

Read more

Construction
These socks are designed in the USA and have a reinforced heel and toe. They are made of natural Merino wool. These grant a contoured fit for maximum comfort and their seamless design will prevent blisters and chafing.

Cushioning
They provide both cushioning and support to ensure you stay comfortable during all of your runs. They are specifically good for those of you who like to run off-road and or on the trail.

Color and Style
These socks come in lots of color options and stop just below mid-calf.

Value
Pricey for a pair of socks but a decent price for Merino wool socks.

5. Sockwell

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Sockwell Women's Circulator Moderate Graduated Compression Sock
Sockwell Women's Circulator Moderate Graduated Compression Sock
Amazon Link
Features
85
Materials
89
Support
92
Style
92
Comfort
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Superior stretch

Comfortable

No seams

Cons:

Not a lot of wool in construction

The Sockwell Sock layers your foot with support and security. They are also designed to prevent slippage inside the shoe. They keep the foot feeling dry as well and are perfect for those who suffer from circulatory complications.

Read more

Construction
Starting at the top of the sock, you have a turn-welp design that secures it and looks neat. The compression starts at the lower part of the sock and has a gradient looseness as you get to the top.

Sockwell moves the blood up and helps with soreness and swelling. This feature has assistance from the spandex material throughout the sock, which is seamless. No seams means no unwanted rubbing or pressure spots.

Spandex bands are also sewn in at the arches to add support and keep the foot from sliding inside a shoe.

Cushioning
As we mentioned, the Sockwell Circulator is made with sewn-in spandex arch support. The heel is also a Y design that also aids in keeping the sock itself from sliding while cradling the foot and acting as an extra layer of supportive skin.

Color and Style
These are made to prevent fatigue and boost blood flow. Being wool, the style also keeps you dry and thermoregulated. 19+ colors and styles to choose from.

Value
This option costs a bit more than other wool socks. However, they are worth every penny.

6. Zeal Wood

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
ZEALWOOD No Show Running Socks
ZEALWOOD No Show Running Socks
Amazon Link
Features
88
Materials
89
Support
88
Style
88
Comfort
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Money-back guarantee

Very durable

Doesn’t fit too tight

Cons:

Not a no-show sock

What runners love most about this design from Zeal Wood is that they are insanely comfortable. It is composed of a blend of fabrics that contour to the shape of your foot and stay in place, while also working to wick away moisture to keep your feet cool and dry. This option comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, and clocks in at a surprisingly affordable price point.

Read more

Construction
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it has smart design features to keep your feet comfortable as well as enhance its durability. It has reinforced fabric on the toe box and heel that increases durability without a lot of extra bulk that can make your feet feel too hot and sweaty. It also boasts a seamless toe box to cut down on irritation.

Cushioning
We also love that this design boasts just a little over 1 percent of spandex. This lower percentage means that it holds its shape and won’t slip down into your shoe, but it doesn’t fit too tight. If you hate the feeling of super tight running socks. This design from Seal Wood is worth a look.

Color and Style
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this design from Zeal Wood. It is composed of simple yet durable materials that hold up well to miles of hot-weather runs.

Value
These come with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you feel that they just aren’t working for you.

7. Wigwam Snow Sirocco

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Wigwam Men's Snow Sirocco Knee High Performance Ski Sock
Wigwam Men's Snow Sirocco Knee High Performance Ski Sock
Amazon Link
Features
90
Materials
88
Support
84
Style
87
Comfort
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Good fit

Slight compression

Great cushioning

Cons:

Heel tab might be too snug

Here is a good example of a very active sock. The Wigwam Snow Sirocco is versatile and regulates temperature well as it wicks and cools while the wool blend adds warmth.

Read more

Construction
Wigwam added cushioning and comfort into every ounce of the Snow Sirocco. They are reinforced to keep the shape and add cushioning with stay-put technology in the heel, toe, and knee areas.

Cushioning
The reinforced shin design of the Wigwam Snow Sirocco protects from rubbing and chafing. This addition creates a more cushioned sock as well as making them more durable.

Color and Style
Wigwam added spandex and stretch-polyester in the wool blend, which allows them to stretch without losing their shape or elasticity. These are durable and have a slight compression feel to them all the way up the shin, which makes them great for running outdoors in the winter.

Value
These will keep you comfortable, regulated and blister-free. You get a lot for the cost, which is pretty average even for a brand likeWigwam.

8. Pembrook

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.2
Pembrook Wool Sport Socks
Pembrook Wool Sport Socks
Amazon Link
Features
84
Materials
84
Support
84
Style
85
Comfort
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Great for cold weather

Excellent durability

Reinforced toe box and heel

Cons:

Slightly expensive

If you are heading out into cold and snowy conditions, this design from Pembrook is a great choice. It is composed of a thick layer of merino wool in addition to stretchy materials that help to hold its shape. This design rides up over the ankles, and works to really hold in heat while wicking away moisture so you aren’t left with hot and soggy feet at the end of the day!

Read more

Construction
What makes this design ideal for cold weather is the higher percentage of Merino wool. It is composed of an impressive 60 percent Merino wool, with the remainder of the fabric utilizing stretchy materials that help it to stay in place as you run. These socks are pretty thick, but not so thick that you won’t be able to comfortably slip them inside of your running shoes.

Cushioning
One of the things that runners love most about this design is that it has reinforced cushioning along with high impact areas on the toe box and the heel. This provides users with an added layer of comfort, heat retention, impact absorption, as well as durability. It even boasts a high layer of stretchy materials along the arch for added arch support and compression as well.

Color and Style
If you are in the market for a great wither-weather sock that is thin enough to slip inside of your trainers, and thick enough to keep your feet warm and dry, this design from Pembrook is worth checking out.

Value
They are slightly more expensive than some of the other options that we have seen, but we feel that they are worth every penny!

9. Smartwool PhD

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Smartwool Womens PhD Run Ultra Light
Smartwool Womens PhD Run Ultra Light
Amazon Link
Features
83
Materials
82
Support
82
Style
80
Comfort
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Many color options

Cut to a woman’s foot shape

Ultra light

Cons:

Not very durable

This sock is tailored to fit a woman’s foot, and is engineered with the moisture wicking abilities of wool plus added mesh to increase ventilation.

Read more

Construction
The 48% Merino wool, 48% nylon, and 4% elastane construction has many benefits. It is ultra light, yet cushions your foot against rubbing and impact without feeling bulky. The two types of elastic give it supreme stretch power to ensure a snug and comfortable fit.

The “Virtually Seamless” toe helps prevent discomfort and chafing while you run. Some users have said that these are not the longest-lasting socks, but they do have a great fit.

Cushioning
It provides minimal cushioning so it is not bulky in your shoe, allowing you to run comfortably and naturally. An Achilles pad offers blister and chafing protection to the back of your foot.

Color and Style
This sock is made to fit the naturally narrower dimensions of a woman’s foot. It is available in 3 sizes and 11 different color schemes.

Value
Depending on the color you select, this could be a very inexpensive or a very high priced wool running sock.

10. Forcool

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Forcool Running Athletic No Show
Forcool Running Athletic No Show
Amazon Link
Features
80
Materials
81
Support
79
Style
80
Comfort
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Seamless toe box

Cushioned heel

80 percent Merino wool

Affordable

Cons:

Fits small

Not very warm

Many of the designs out there on the market typically only utilize about 50-60 percent merino in their designs. This option from ForCool, however, is composed of a higher percentage of merino. This design really wicks away sweat and moisture while keeping your feet warm in the wintertime. Plus, it boasts breathable features that allow this design to easily transition into summer running.

Read more

Construction
The most notable feature of this design is that it is composed of an impressive 80 percent lightweight Merino wool. This higher percentage helps to really wick away sweat and moisture, and also retains heat as well. It boasts vented panels along the top of the foot that works to lift hot air up and away to keep your feet cool and dry.

Cushioning
Users also love that this design is free of itchy and uncomfortable seams that sometimes distract from a good run. It has a stretchy elastic cuff that runs just above the ankle bone that ensures that this design won’t become lost inside of your shoe at the end of the day. It also boasts a cushioned heel for added durability as well as comfort.

Color and Style
We love that it is composed of 80 percent Merino wool to wick away moisture, and the seamless design keeps feet irritation-free. It comes in loads of colors and design styles.

Value
If you are in the market for something that is simple and seamless that works to wick away moisture 12 months out of the year, this design is worth checking out since it's super affordable.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

The material when it comes to wool socks should be durable and comfortable. Wicking ability is another good aspect to take into consideration. A pair of good wool socks should help evaporate absorbed moisture and sweat from the feet.

Support

The thickness of your running sock is often a personal preference. While some may prefer a thin, minimal sock, others may prefer to have a significant amount of cushion. When deciding on thickness, consider the sort of running you like. Some long distance runners prefer to have some added cushion in their sock, while shorter distance athletes prefer a lightweight sock.

If you are running in a colder climate, having a thicker sock may help keep your feet warm. Lastly, it is important to consider the running shoes you will be wearing with the socks. Thicker socks may result in your running shoes fitting too tightly.

Style

While the style and length of a running sock can depend on personal preference, there are a few points to consider. If you are running on a trail, you may want to consider crew length, or even knee-high socks, to help prevent debris entering your shoe, scratches from shrubs, or even dangerous insect bites. Consider the fit of the trainer you will be wearing, and if there are any parts of the shoe that will be rubbing against your heel, then you may want to protect it with a taller sock.

Running specific socks are typically measured in shoe sizes. It is imperative that you wear a properly fitting sock. Wearing socks that are too big may lead to friction issues, painful hot spots and blisters. However, wearing socks that are too small may be equally damaging by constricting blood flow, toe movement, and potentially changing your running biomechanics.

Comfort

For many runners, comfort comes from the compression and support of their socks and the way they fit and mold to their feet while running. Compression socks are currently all the rage and for good reason: the increased blood flow due to graduated compression may help with recovery or preventing issues such as muscle cramps and shin splints. However, compression socks may also become uncomfortable over time if the compression they provide causes the sock to become too tight. If you choose to run in compression socks, be sure to wear the correct size, as your feet may swell over the longer miles.

Wearing the right pair of socks while running will help keep your feet dry and cool, prevent blisters, and the buildup of unwanted bacteria. Be sure to keep the above tips in mind when shopping for wool running socks, to keep your feet happy and healthy.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Features
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
Materials
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
Support
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
Style
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#5
Comfort
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Moisture-wicking

The natural material properties of wool actually make this fiber a better choice for athletic wear than cotton. Instead of absorbing sweat, it wicks it away from your feet.

Not itchy

Because of the way they spin some merino fibers, the material does not cause any itching or irritation to the skin.

Other Factors to Consider

Water Resistance

We know some of you like to run on your favorite trails--or might find yourself getting stuck in the rain or hitting some puddles--so we made sure to include some waterproof and water-resistant socks as well. If you know you might get wet, a pair of waterproof socks is vital.

If you really need this type of socks, then make sure they are waterproof and not water-resistant. These tend to be pricier than other socks because waterproof socks require advanced technology and an expensive design to ensure that they don't let water seep through.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Why should I use wool socks for my running?

a:

A common, sometimes painful mistake often made by inexperienced runners is wearing 100 percent cotton socks. Chances are you have tons of these socks in your drawer already. However, cotton gear tends to absorb and hold moisture. When choosing a running sock, look for synthetic materials such as acrylic, polyester, or other types of quick drying, moisture-wicking technical materials.

For cool weather runners, or simply those looking for natural materials, wool socks which will also help wick away moisture while keeping the feet warm.

q: How does wearing the right pair of wool socks affect my running?

a:

The great cushioning, wicking ability and breathability wool provides will prevent or reduce blisters, offer support to the feet, aerate the feet by keeping away moisture and maintain an ideal temperature.

q: Do you recommend compression socks to enhance my running performance or are regular socks enough for me?

a:

Compression makes you recover faster and more efficiently. It is the perfect choice if you suffer from calf soreness or pain.

q: What kind of cushion levels are there when choosing socks?

a:

You can find ultra light socks, recommended for keeping your feet cool; light cushioned, these provide some protection in high impact zones; and heavy cushioned, that give you the perfect blend between performance and comfort. The latter ones can be too warm during summer.

Sources

  1. Editorial Team, Outdoor Socks, Running website
  2. Staff, All you need to know about Merino wool, Blog
  3. Staff, How to wash and dry wool socks, Lifestyle website