5 Best Athletic Socks – 2022 Buyers Guide

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Swiftwick FLITE XT
Test Winner: Swiftwick FLITE XT
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Standout Picks

Great compression, high-quality wool, and optimal temperature control. Average price.
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Boosts stability, provides modest compression to keep your feet feeling protected and supported.
Composed of supportive yet lightweight materials, and it stays in place while your run. Modest price tag.
You will want to check out this option from Gold Toe. It is composed of super-tough materials. that hold up incredibly well over the years. Plus, they are incredibly plush and comfy for those long days.
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Saucony Performance Comfort is assured with this supportive, durable, and comfortable sock. It has performance technology running through every thread. What’s more, They are very affordable.
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The Best Running Socks for 2021 are the Rockay Accelerate.

We tested and reviewed dozens of top sock models and the Rockay Accelerate outperformed all of them. What put the Rockay Accelerate socks ahead was the combination of performance and value.

Read our full reviews below.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

A sock needs to be made of materials that can breathe, that is durable, and some materials may even offer unique abilities like anti-bacterial properties, extra cushioning, or compression.

If you’re choosing a sock for any athletic endeavor, you should choose a synthetic fiber. Cotton might sound like a comfortable option, but it is a poor choice for athletes. It fails when it comes to moisture management, and isn’t a good choice if you’re going to be working up any kind of sweat. Like other parts of our bodies, our feet do sweat, and it’s important to choose a material that can handle sweat. Synthetic fibers are much better at dealing with moisture and tend to dry a lot faster than non-synthetic ones.

Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule. Merino wool is an often used material for athletic socks providing excellent moisture management, comfort, and antibacterial properties. It also can keep feet warm when it’s cold out and cool when the weather is a bit steamier. Wool socks are also easier to care for than other fabrics, and it doesn’t hold onto odors like other materials. This is a pretty big bonus when we’re talking about sweaty feet. Many will prefer a material like Merino since it’s more natural and comes from sheep making it a renewable resource.

Apart from the material of the sock, the way the sock has been sewn together is also important. Choosing a sock with minimal seams will ensure that you’ll stay blister-free. Seams increase the chance for friction between your foot and the sock which is something all runners and athletes want to avoid.

Comfort

Comfort depends on what kind of material you prefer.

Some folks will opt for natural fibers over synthetic ones. It also has to do with whether you prefer to have cushioning or none at all. So how did we evaluate comfort? We simply took a look at what people had to say about a particular sock. Did most people find it comfortable, or were there glaring issues like blister formation, too many seams, or itchy fabric? Those were deal-breakers, obviously.

Some materials can cause allergic reactions as well. While Merino is an excellent fabric choice for most, some can become irritated by it, so make sure you choose a fabric that feels nice against your skin.

Breathability

Moisture management is one of the most important things a sock needs to do.

It is basically its #1 job besides staying on your foot. If a sock can’t actually wick moisture, then it’s not a good choice. We all sweat and our feet sweat too. Without a moisture wicking sock that can sop up all our sweat, the chance that blisters and hot spots will form goes up exponentially.

The wicking ability usually depends on the combination of materials that make up the sock. Most synthetic materials are pretty good at mopping up all your sweat. It’s a good idea to avoid cotton because it’s pretty bad at wicking moisture away from the body. It doesn’t dry quickly either, so you’ll end up with a heavy wet sock at the end of your workout.

The socks on this list are all made of breathable, quick-drying materials. No cotton in sight.

Style

Most runners and other athletes will deny that they consider style when choosing gear, clothing, and accessories.

Let’s be honest, though, it’s always nice when you get a choice of colors. We’ve settled on socks that offer a bit of variety, have attractive designs, and that won’t look like your grandpa’s socks peeking out from your athletic shoes.

Value

Many runners and athletes are quite shocked the first time they head out to buy a pair of running or sport-specific socks.

If you’re used to buying 3-packs of socks at Costco, you’re in for a surprise when it comes to athletic socks.

They are indeed pricier, but that’s because they’re made with durable materials meant to last, and they are made up of technical fabrics perfect for runners that will keep you comfortable.

5 Best Athletic Socks

1. Rockay Accelerate

Where to buy
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Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women
Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women
Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women
Amazon Link

Great compression, high-quality wool, and optimal temperature control. Average price.

Read more

This sock is made from high-quality Organic Merino wool so it enables optimal balancing temperature regulation. Merino is a highly durable high-quality material that does give prolonged durability.

This is a compression-fitting sock that is designed to give optimal temperature control regardless of which season you are out running in.

The moisture-wicking properties in these socks prevent friction and blistering. The sock design ensures a compressive FIT. Both the toe and heel are padded. These socks are sold at a price that translates into value.

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2. Swiftwick FLITE XT

Where to buy
Swiftwick FLITE XT Zero Tab
Swiftwick FLITE XT Zero Tab
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Boosts stability, provides modest compression to keep your feet feeling protected and supported.

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What makes the FLITE XT unique is that it boasts GripDry Fibers. These proprietary fibers are what are responsible for that very unique grip on the heel and toe box.

The lower sock is Olefin-infused GripDry materials which are grippy and tough but soft underfoot. The performance of this sock provides an extra layer of high-end cushioning and support!

The upper is built to be nice and breathable. Provides just enough compression to feel well supported. It costs more than an average pair of socks but does give good performance and value.

3. PUMA

Where to buy
PUMA Women's 6 Pack Runner Socks
PUMA Women's 6 Pack Runner Socks
PUMA Women's 6 Pack Runner Socks
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Composed of supportive yet lightweight materials, and it stays in place while your run. Modest price tag.

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This blend of materials is composed of 80 percent rayon, 15 percent polyester, and 5 percent spandex which contours to the shape of your foot and locks it in place.

It has a higher concentration of spandex along the arch of your foot for extra support and protection. The thin materials limit thick seams rubbing into your foot, and also work to wick away moisture to keep your feet cool and dry.

They are available at an affordable price tag. Good durability and support.

4. Gold Toe

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Gold Toe Men's 656P Cotton Quarter Athletic Socks
Gold Toe Men's 656P Cotton Quarter Athletic Socks
Gold Toe Men's 656P Cotton Quarter Athletic Socks
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You will want to check out this option from Gold Toe. It is composed of super-tough materials. that hold up incredibly well over the years. Plus, they are incredibly plush and comfy for those long days.

Read more

Made from a blend of 81 percent cotton, 14 percent polyester, 4 percent nylon, and 1 percent spandex.

The materials used are reinforced in key areas in your toe and heel to prevent wear and tear over the years. The higher concentration of cotton delivers premium cushioning while the nylon and spandex additions hold it in place and wick away moisture.

This design comes in 4 different height options that include crew, short crew, ankle, and no show.

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5. Saucony Performance

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Saucony Men's Multi-Pack Bolt Performance Comfort Fit No-Show Socks
Saucony Men's Multi-Pack Bolt Performance Comfort Fit No-Show Socks
Saucony Men's Multi-Pack Bolt Performance Comfort Fit No-Show Socks
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Saucony Performance Comfort is assured with this supportive, durable, and comfortable sock. It has performance technology running through every thread. What’s more, They are very affordable.

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Made with a 5 percent spandex/rubber mix, you get durability and extreme elasticity with longevity. The rest is polyester, which wicks and evaporates sweat.

This material is made into a mesh design that allows for maximin air penetration. The cushioning is strategically placed for added shock absorption.

Air-mesh venting gives these advanced sweat-wicking athletic socks a boost in dryness and breathability. You get a high-end athletic sock in a pack of 12 at the price of some costing for two pairs.

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