10 Best Invisible Socks Fully Reviewed
Running is a high impact and rigorous sport. It requires repetitive movement, and an impressive amount of physical stamina. It also requires the help of reliable apparel and running gear. An article of clothing that’s comfortable under other circumstances can be completely obnoxious when you’re trying to run for any length of time. One of the most distracting and uncomfortable things you can deal with mid-run is a sock that slipping out of place. Or one that gets a hole and catches your toe repeatedly. Not only do they bunch up and cause issues with your stride, they can also expose sensitive parts of your foot to friction and blistering.
Socks are there to protect you, and to do this they need to cover appropriately and have moisture wicking properties. A sock that slips is ineffective and can put additional stress on your feet. Believe it or not, socks act as a support mechanism within your shoe—and do more than just stop foot odor. This is why we’ve put together a list of “invisible socks.” These socks fit so well that you’ll forget they’re there. We looked at reviews, research and specifications from all over the Internet and brought the best products together in one convenient place.
- ROCKAY Accelerate
- No slip design
- Balega Hidden Comfort
- Microfiber Mesh Ventilation
- Thorlos Experia XCCU
- Achilles Tendon Support
10 Best Invisible Socks
Even taking your shoe off doesn't take the socks with it. And on the breathability end, the Accelerate is well vented throughout.
The sock is constructed with compression zones in all of the appropriate areas, all designed to provide only the amount of compression that is needed, without overdoing it.
Even though the goal is to have a sock that doesn't show, a good thing to think about is issues with blisters or rubbing around the heel. The Accelerate has a decently designed tab to prevent those problems as well.
They don't slip and bunch up inside the shoe
No baggy areas in the fit
Could use a few more color options
Balega's proprietary wicking combination, Dynamix, is woven into the fabric throughout the sock, pulling moisture away from the foot and keeping it dry and cool.
The Hidden Comfort is constructed with specially constructed ventilation panels that are made of microfiber and reinforced, allowing maximum airflow around the foot, keeping things cool and reducing discomfort due to sweat and slipping.
Balega's Hidden Comfort is a more cushioned version of previous socks they have produced but that doesn't take away from the quality at all. Focusing on the sole, heel and toe area, they are reducing shock on impact as much as possible without creating a bulky sock.
The combination of breathability, cushioning, protection and support is what places the Balega Hidden Comfort in the forefront of this genre of socks. They pay extra attention to the small details, keeping the sock in the right place, providing for airflow and reducing shock impact. This is the ideal combination in a running sock.
Dense cushion design with 2-needle-count fabric
Drynamix moisture-wicking fibers keep feet cool and dry
Reinforced microfiber mesh ventilation panels allow air flow to feet for added comfort
Enhanced elastane and seamless reinforced toe and heel prevent sock from falling into shoe
Pay attention to sizing when purchasing - even a half size too big could cause rubbing
2. Thorlos Experia XCCU
The unique blends of yarn and synthetics wick moisture away from the foot into the outer sock, reducing odors and discomfort from sweat and rubbing.
An engineered mesh top allows air flow into the sock and around the foot for extensive breathability and odor reduction.
High impact areas are covered with additional cushioning from the SoftAir Plus yarn used in this design. While the entire sole is covered, the heel and forefoot are slightly thicker, allowing maximum protection in both areas.
Encompassing the entire sock, the operative word is comfort. The Asics Kayano Single Tab checks all of the boxes and then some. Keeping the foot cool and comfortable, adding cushion and reducing blisters and rubbing, this sock is more than equipped to take you on your longest run yet.
Superior breathability and moisture wicking properties
3. Saucony Performance Comfort Fit
Ultra-wicking fibers are woven into the entire sock for Saucony's Performance Comfort Fit sock. This "run dry moisture management" system is designed to wick moisture away from the foot into the outer portion of the sock, reducing odor, discomfort, and chafing.
The top of the sock is designed with a breathable air mesh for maximum airflow, keeping the foot cool and dry, evaporating moisture as quickly as it is produced.
Light cushioning over the entire sole of the sock works to decrease the shock impact of each footfall without taking too much space inside the shoe.
With so many great design elements, the Performance Comfort Fit sock by Saucony is one of the better options. Moisture-wicking fibers, mesh top for extra air ventilation, cushioned sole, and arch support, what more could you possibly need for a perfect run?
Breathable mesh fabric on top
Excellent arch support
Perfect for the gym or trail
4. Feetures! High Performance Cushion
The entire foot is woven with iWick fibers that wick moisture away from the skin and into the outer layer of the sock. They've also added a mesh construct on the top of the foot for increased airflow and to allow some of that moisture to evaporate faster.
The mesh construction on the top of the Feetures High-Performance Cushion sock allows increased airflow into the sock, keeping the foot cool and comfortable.
High impact areas of the foot are covered by a high density cushioning in addition to the 200-needle knit construct that is durable and supportive.
The Feetures High Performance line is designed for exactly that, comfort. With the Y-heel, they've removed the frustration of invisible socks sliding into your shoes while on a run. With the extra cushion for the high impact areas of the foot, they are reducing shock on feet, joints, and knees, and fighting foot fatigue. With the Perfect Toe and Achilles tab, there are no seams and no rubbing to create blisters and chafing. This sock is extremely protective and comfortable.
Lycra power bands hug entire foot for a snug foot
iWick fibers pull moisture away from skin for a cool, dry feel
Y-heel design keeps sock from sliding down into shoe
The Perfect Toe provides a seamless toe box with no rubbing or chafing
Take care when washing because these may shrink under high heat
5. Injinji Run Lightweight
The RUN Lightweight sock is 27% fiber and 68% COOLMax technology. The entire sock wicks moisture away from the foot, effectively reducing moisture retention, foot odor and discomfort. The top is also mesh, allowing additional airflow to keep the foot cool and dry.
The top of the Injinji RUN Lightweight is a full mesh design, other than the supportive arch band, allowing additional air to flow into and around the foot space.
Since this is a lightweight sock, there is not much additional cushioning to be added. The 200 needle-count design does create a smooth, durable sock but does keep it feeling skin-like and less cushioned.
Overall, this sock is extremely comfortable, like wearing a lightweight, airy glove on your foot. The separation of the toes reduces rubbing and provides additional moisture-wicking, for a more comfortable forefoot and a better run. The arch support and mesh design on the top of the sock also fit seamlessly but provide that extra hold that our arches need when we've been on the road or trail for a while.
Separate toe sections relieve rubbing and reduce blisters
Mesh top increases breathability
Additional coverage over Achilles to reduce rubbing
Supportive band provides additional arch support
Separating toes can take a little getting used to for comfort
Lightweight design doesn't provide excessive cushioning
6. Thirty 48 Ultralight
Thirty 48's high tech moisture wicking and dissipating fabric, which is a proprietary blend of nylon, lycra spandex, wick poly, and cotton, draws moisture away from the skin, increasing circulation, and keeping skin dry and comfortable. Reducing moisture will decrease the growth of fungus and bacteria, keeping feet healthier as well.
The stretchy ultralight fabric has such a lightweight design that air flows smoothly over the top of the foot. In combination with the increased circulation from the wicking material, the breathability on the Thirty 48 Ultralight running sock is well beyond expectations.
Denser padding in the heel and toe relieve stress and shock from each foot strike that typically hurt or damage feet, legs, and joints. Additional padding in the Achilles area also protects from bruising and blistering.
Overall comfort from advanced technological material as well as cutting edge moisture wicking and breathable fabric is exactly what Thirty 48 had in mind. They are snug to the foot with a seamless toe enclosure reducing possible foot pain and abrasions.
Seamless toe for reduced friction and chafing
Moisture-wicking, lightweight mesh for increased breathability and comfort
Second Skin technology for an anatomically correct fit
Heel pull tab for ease of use
Snug design may translate as a tight fit. Size up for additional space.
7. Darn Tough Merino Wool Double Cross
The Darn Tough design has a natural wicking effect that pulls water away from the foot, keeping it dry and comfortable.
The sustainably sourced Merino wool is the key to these socks and their natural air flow. The yarn construction allows maximum breathability, keeping the foot cool and odor-free.
The combination of Merino wool and nylon create a cushioned effect in both the heel and pad of the foot. The Achilles is protected by a small lip that comes up the back of the foot and is reinforced by additional padding around the ankle.
Constructed from fine gauge Merino wool
Seamless construction for optimal performance
Fast-drying and breathable all-weather sock
Repels bacteria and odor
Lightweight design with a minimal amount of cushion
Can be a snug fit so size accordingly
8. Softbreath Performance
The inclusion of cotton in the overall concept not only adds cushion, it absorbs a good amount of moisture, wicking it away from the foot. The design on the top of the foot features two mesh sections, allowing air flow in and over the foot to reduce sweating and chafing.
The mesh top allows air movement through the sock and over the foot, reducing sweat and odor while keeping the foot cool and dry.
The mix of materials, with a heavy focus on cotton, allows for a soft, cushioned feel to the bottom of the foot as well as the heel and toe area. A rear tab along the Achilles heel cushions the foot and keeps it from rubbing against the shoe, preventing blisters.
The cushioned feeling on the bottom, the mesh design on the top, and the overall construction of the shoe with cotton, elastic and spandex, creates an incredible sock that almost makes you forget you're wearing socks. Your feet stay cool and dry but feel like they're supported and protected.
Secure fit that won't shift mid-run
Soft, cushiony bottom
Mesh design, breathable top
Rear tab to prevent Achilles blisters and rubbing
Recommended for more casual runners over longer, more strenuous runs
Unisex design, so be sure and get the right size
9. Thorlos Experia Thin Padded
The mesh design of the X-Stretch support system over the ankle and arch include moisture-wicking padding at the forefoot and the heel keeping the foot cool and dry during all seasons, for all of your favorite activities.
The Experia Thin Padded sock features the mesh, X-Stretch support system over the arch and ankle, keeping the foot cool and allowing maximum airflow.
This sock provides so much padding, Thorlo included it in the name. The ball and heel of the foot have the breathable yarn padding that adds cushion without sacrificing airflow. The Experia also features a subtle, lightweight Achilles tendon pad to protect against rubbing and chafing.
The lightweight construction and the mesh design of the sock make these almost invisible. The lightweight yarn padding adds very little weight and the moisture wicking in key areas keeps the foot dry while the mesh enables airflow over the entire foot. This sock is complete comfort in all areas.
Nylon covered Lycra for a glove-like fit
Exclusive THOR-WICK COOL technology adds cushioning as well as moisture management
X-Stretch ankle-arch support system
Lightweight Achilles tendon pad protects against rubbing and chafing
Minimum protection for runners who prefer stronger support
The Criteria We Used To Find the Top 10 Invisible Socks
Invisible socks are made to be less intrusive and have a lower cut than standard products. If you’re looking for something warmer, then you may prefer tube socks, but most runners don’t want to deal with the fabric sliding down their calves midstride. Not only do they use less fabric, they also use synthetic materials that increase cushioning and breathability. You don’t have to worry about moisture gathering in your shoe, which can lead to excessive friction and injury. Most runners think that their shoes are the most important element when it comes to gear. Overlooking socks is a huge mistake, and invisible socks can make all the difference in the world.
We use a very specific set of criteria when choosing our products. All of these socks have been tried and tested under stressful conditions and proven themselves to be the very best. These are just some of the factors that we took into consideration.
Moisture Wicking Properties
This technology is built into the very fibers of the socks we selected. It pulls excess moisture away from the feet, keeping them dry and comfortable when running, avoiding slipping inside the shoe as well as friction generated from the extra movement. This is a requirement for anyone running more than 5 feet and for anyone wearing shoes over a prolonged period of time.
That extra moisture can also contribute to bacterial and fungal growth. If you’ve never dealt with athlete’s foot, then count yourself lucky. The burning and itching can put you off of running for days. When your socks are breathable and prevent the buildup of moisture, you’re less likely to experience this type of discomfort. It also prevents infections from setting into blisters or other open areas on the foot. Keeping your feet healthy is paramount to good running performance.
Whether you’re a zero drop, minimalist runner or someone who loves a Cadillac of comfort on your foot, the cushioning in your sock is still important. Typically, they are lightweight but add padding to the key points of the foot, the heel and toe/pad area. This small amount of extra padding will not only give your foot a soft hug every time you put them on, it will also have an impact on the shock your joints and legs experience with each step.
This final criterion is a combination of everything that has been mentioned thus far. If you have breathability and moisture wicking as well as good cushion, the sock will likely be comfortable. But we went a step further. We needed this particular style of a sock to stay up on your heel and not slide down into the shoe. We also found a few pairs that were seamless to reduce potential irritation and chafing.
A Few More Things To Think About
Experienced runners have their own ways of doing things. This includes the type of gear that they choose and what they wear while they’re running. Some prefer a minimalist approach, while others like as many advantages as they can have. Aside from our initial criteria, we tried to include a few other factors that might matter. Obviously, things like durability and value will matter to most consumers, but you may have additional concerns. Read through the reviews, and don’t be afraid to do little more research if you still have questions.
You should check the product’s durability, for one. Knowing if this particular model has any design defects or people are wearing through them in one long run could be key information that would have an effect on your decision.
The last thing you want are socks that develop holes mid-run. Distance runners understand the importance of having gear that’s as durable as they are. This means that the socks need to be made of strong material, and able to withstand repetitive friction. Not all fabrics are created equal, and getting a superior product is definitely worth the price. We looked at the length of time a product is expected to last, and the types of abuse that it can withstand.
Maybe you’re looking for more of a value. Multi-packs are available in many brands, so you should check for them both online and in the stores.
Type of Activity
Your running habits may vary. You may love mud runs, trail runs, city runs and the occasional marathon. Some people prefer a different sock for each activity. Take a look at your own preferences before jumping into some of the pricier socks. They’re more of an investment, so it’s good to do a little research.
While we love to research the latest and greatest and offer them to you here, you should always compare your personal needs to the description to see if it’s the right fit for you. In the end, your goals are the main priority.
Q: What material should my running socks be made from?
The best running socks are made from synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic, and some form of wicking synthetic because they’ll wick away moisture. Look for a breathable material that has an anti-chafe element.
Q: Why wear running socks?
Socks are worn to absorb sweat and provide warmth in the cold but running socks amp that up to still keep feet warm but to be breathable and reduce sweat and odors, to add support and be a barrier to avoid blistering and chafing.
Q: How do running socks help?
Ideally, the sock will be so comfortable you don’t even think about them on your feet while running. And while they are hiding in the shoe, they are reducing the possible blisters and chafing, they’re allowing the foot to breathe while removing moisture as soon as it’s produced, reducing odors and keeping fungi at bay. But they are also providing additional support along your arch and midfoot. Socks are doing many jobs to help your run.
Q: How long do running socks last?
This will depend on the brand, model, your running style, and terrain. If you’re running more elevation, you might see more wear than if you were running a straight race. Also, keeping toenails trimmed would reduce additional holes to the toes. Proper washing and care also ensure they will last as long or longer than the manufacturers claim.
Q: Where can I buy running socks?
Almost all running socks have a manufacturer website so you’d have to look online. The Top 10 list here is available online. You can also go into any sporting goods store to the shoe section and you’ll find a selection of running socks and even many of the big box stores are now stocking a smaller selection of running shoes.
Q: How do I choose running socks?
We have established criteria in the article above but you should also take into account the type of running you’re planning to do, the weather, and the shoes you’ll be wearing. If you’re doing a half marathon in the early spring when it’s still a bit cool and you have extremely lightweight shoes, you may want warmer socks with a bit more cushion. But you’ll have to establish your own list of requirements and then, looking through each sock’s description, find the perfect fit for you.