Our Favorite No Show Socks Tested
Running socks are often considered an afterthought when it comes to proper running gear. However, leading brands like Asics, New Balance, and Nike have entire lines dedicated to running socks. There are even brands like Swiftwick and Injinji that are 100% dedicated to creating quality running socks. These leading athletic brands wouldn’t put so much time and energy into designing something that wasn’t pertinent to the success of a run. We believe that it is time that you take your entire foot into consideration when looking for the top quality running gear.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Secure compression fit
- ROCKAY Accelerate
- Swiftwick MAXUS
- Drymax Run Hyper Thin
- New Balance Core Cotton
- Nike Elite
- ASICS Unisex Cushion
- Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light
- Adidas Superlite
- Feetures! High Performance Ultra Light
- Injinji Run 2.0 Lightweight
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Favorite No Show Socks
1. ROCKAY Accelerate
Secure compression fit
The Accelerate from ROCKAY is a great option for those looking for a low riding, no-show sock. Not only is this sock minimal, it is also packed with many other features that make it a perfect choice for runners.
With the needs of runners in mind in its creation, ROCKAY was able to create a design that offers optimal support, comfort, performance, and durability, all packed into a minimalist, stylish design.Read more
These socks are made with a durable merino wool, which helps to regulate temperature by providing maximum breathability without sacrificing support and compression. There is nothing worse than a sock that slips off when removing your shoes, but the material and optimal compression of the ROCKAY will prevent this annoyance from occurring.
Although this is a new brand, the durability of this sock is sure to withstand miles and miles of running and has proven so in its extensive testing. The Merino wool and alternative weave not only help with breathability and ventilation, they also improve the overall durability of the product.
Style and Durability
No one likes getting holes in the heels or toes of their socks, especially with the price of athletics socks generally being more than the everyday pair. With this in mind, ROCKAY has added extra protection in these areas to prolong their lifespan and increase their overall durability and keep them looking fresh and stylish for longer.
Overall the value of this sock is extremely high due to the fact that it will last a lot longer than other, less durable options. The best part about the ROCKAY Accelerate is that all of its features are packed into a minimalist and no-show design that won’t cramp your style.
2. Swiftwick MAXUS
Superior moisture wicking
Secure and supportive fit
So popular that they are sometimes on backorder
Swiftwick is the top competitor on our list for many reasons. To start, their mission and their guarantee is that their socks will be “The best socks you will very wear.” That’s a tall order to fill, but they really back it up with their innovative design, technology and high quality assurance. They are a brand that is comprised of athletes so they know the unique challenges and needs of athletes. Since their conception, they have been worn at some of the biggest races around the world including the Dirty Kanza, The Barkley Fall Classic and at Kona for the Iron Man Competition. All of this and for a reasonable price. It was a no brainer for us to give them the #1 spot.Read more
All Swiftwick socks are made with Swiftwicks patented Fiber First material. The Maxus also uses Hydrotec Yarns that are proven to be 42% better at wicking sweat than the leading brands. The sock’s main focus is keeping your foot dry and comfortable and the material that it has selected in its design reflects that goal.
This is a perfect sock for the runner who is looking for a little more cushioning than say, the DryMax Run Hyper Thin which is, as its name suggested, more thin than cushioned. The footbed is made using moisture wicking fibers and the upper is made from a breathable material. This means that the sock is simultaneously absorbing moisture and regulating temperature to keep the foot cool and dry. This sock also offers a compression fit that hugs the foot and helps promote efficient blood flow. They also guarantee that their socks will give you a blister free experience. They also come in four distinct sizing options to ensure that you are getting the perfect fit.
This sock comes in ten color options, including two new color combinations that are new to the Swiftwick line up.
These socks come with at an unbeatable value especially considering the quality.
3. Drymax Run Hyper Thin
Extremely light and thin
Superior blister protection
Anti-slip wedge in the heel
No Added Cushioning
The Drymax brand is pretty much obsessed with dryness. This is the key reason they made it to the top our list. They are a company whose primary focus is to ensure that athletes and non-athletes get to experience the difference that a skillfully engineered sock makes whether it is a workout or a workday.Read more
What sets the Dymax Run Hyper Thin Sock apart from other athletic socks is the special blend of materials. From the toes to the heel, this sock utilizes supreme wicking materials. The heel of the shoe is made using Drymax’s dual layering material. The inside layer features their patented wicking DryMax material while the outside layer is made using a moisture attraction material. Both work together to ensure that moisture is pulled away from the foot. This works to keep the foot both cool in warmer conditions and warmer in cool conditions.
Drymax is on a mission to reduce blisters through their seamless design and their wicking material. This sock is labeled as the world’s lightest running sock. It is only as thin as a dime, but it is designed to provide a superior fit for the runner. The shoe is designed with stripe vents to help heat escape to eliminate the risk of hot spots and discomfort. Another design element the sock includes to make it very comfortable is the anti-slip wedge that it has along the heel. This keeps the sock from disappearing down into the shoe. The socks stays put mile after mile! It also comes in 5 different sizes to ensure the perfect fit and keep extra material from bulking up in the toe or heel area.
This sock comes in 5 different vibrant color choices.
The Drymax Run Hyper Thin Sock are at the mid to higher price range. However, runner after runner raved about the sock and were more than happy with their purchase.
4. New Balance Core Cotton
Lacks nwer technology
We had to include a more affordable, classic, high quality brand in our top three. Out of all of the more popular brand on the market, we found the New Balance Core Cotton Low Cut Socks to be the best choice. This sock, despite its highly affordable price tag, is made using some of the best technology and materials on the market today.Read more
The New Balance Core Sock uses a combination of Lycra, Cotton, Polyster, and Olefin in its design. It is made using dry qicking fibers that pull moisture away from the skin and help the foot regulate temperature. New Balance's Patented Dry technology keeps the foot dry and comfortable regardless of the weather or duration of the workout.
This is a very comfortable sock. A variety of athletes from runners to golfers to tennis players reviewed this sock and said that it not only grips the foot in all the right places, it also provides added cushioning too. This sock provides the runner arch support and prevents blisters. The footbed of this sock is cushioned and the heel and toes provide extra durability.
This sock is only offered in black or white options.
One of the key reasons this sock made it into the top three on our list is because of its affordability and durability. The sock comes in packs of 6 and costs almost four times less than some of the single, leading products. Reviewers also commented that these socks hold up against wear and tear and need to be replaced less frequently than their competitors.
5. Nike Elite
Trusted brand name
Let’s face it, you can’t have a best of anything athletic without including a Nike product. Nike takes running socks very seriously, and they create a variety of different options, but the unique fit and technological design of the Elite Cushioned No-Show Tab Running socks make this the best sock for our list. A combination of tech features and superior comfort make this a favorite with runners, but the slightly higher price tag kept it out of our top three.Read more
This sock uses a combination of Lycra and cutting edge Dri-Fit technology to ensure that the sock fits snuggly and wicks away moisture that can cause discomfort and odor. Nike’s patented Dri-Fit material pulls sweat away from the foot and it also is designed with air vents to keep the foot cool and dry regardless of the weather conditions.
In terms of comfort, this is a great sock. Nike added cushioning in key areas of the sock where the most friction and wear and tear are experienced including the toe box, the forefoot, underneath the laces, and around the heel. This sock also features a unique design element to add extra comfort, the contoured toe pocket. This keeps the feet secure and seamlessly provides a snug fit to reduce the risk of blisters. The socks also feature light arch compression. This sock comes in small, medium and large (and extra large for men).
The Nike Elite Cushioned No-Show Tab Running socks feature a unique dual colored style.
These socks are higher in price compared to some of its competitors. Reviewers did comment that these socks were on the pricey side, but they also said they were worth the price.
6. ASICS Unisex Cushion
Pricer then some others
Runners agree that Asics makes some of the best road running shoes on the market today. It should come as no surprise that they take that same level of expertise and apply it to their sock designs as well. The ASICS unisex cushion socks are ideal for runners who may experience irritation in their heels or sweaty feet.Read more
Asics uses an engineered mesh top for breathability while also providing plush cushioning at the sole with moisture management.
Athletes love the overall comfort that these socks provide. These socks feature breathability and plush comfort at the sole of the foot. There is also a moisture management system to keep your feet dry and comfortable. At the top of the foot, there is mesh for added breathability.
This sock has a"Y" heel gore fit with a single tab ankle fit that helps protect against irritation.
These socks come in a three pair pack. The price depends on the size, but overall for the price and all of the features, it's a pretty good value.
7. Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light
This sock takes all the features that runners love from the Smartwool Merino and put it into a no show option. One of Smartwool’s name sakes is that their products are nearly indestructible, so while they may cost more than their competitors, they will last you much longer too.Read more
The star of the SmartWool PhD Run is their patented 4 degree elite fit system. This means the the sock is made with 4 different types of elastic that ensure the sock won’t lose its shape and will provide superior grip and fit for the runner. The overall constitution of the sock is comprised of a combination of Nylon, Merino wool, and Elastare.
This sock is specifically designed for runners, and because of this, it is one of the most comfortable socks on the market today. The toe box is virtually seamless which eliminates unwanted friction that can cause blisters. It provides limited cushioning throughout so the foot feels more connected to the running experience. The sizes offered are the basic small, medium and large.
The Smartwool PhD Run comes in four fun color options: black, mountain purple, white, and light capri.
These socks are certainly a bit more expensive than others on our list. However, they do feature Smartwool’s Indestructawool material. This makes these socks virtually indestructible. They need to be replaced far less frequently than other socks, so in the end, they are an investment.
8. Adidas Superlite
Fun color options
The Adidas Superlite no show sock is about giving the athlete an affordable product from a trusted name brand. This sock comes with fewer of the technological frills of some others on our list, but this is a simpler sock that comes at a more affordable price tag. Sometimes you don’t need all the bells and whistles because you are just looking for a high quality sock that fits your budget.Read more
This sock is made from a combination of synthetic materials: polyester, elastane, and latex rubber. It is also made with Adidas’s patented Climalite fabric which is super lightweight and does an amazing job of wicking moisture away from the skin.
This sock is very comfortable. It affords the runner the right amount of cushioning, but is also extremely lightweight as to not add any unwanted bulk to the running experience. It also is designed with a ribbed cuff. This serves a dual purpose. The first is that it provides added cushioning around the top of the shoe to reduce friction and rubbing between the skin and the shoe. The other is that it helps the sock stay in place so runners don’t have to worry about losing their sock into their shoe during workouts.
This sock comes in packages of 6, and it comes in two distinct color options. The first is two socks in each of your basic black, white, and grey. The second is one sock in pink, white and pink stripes, orange, orange and white stripes, green, and green and white stripes.
The value on these socks can’t be beat. They come in packs of six this greatly lowers the overall price tag. This is for the runner who not only cares about quality, but value as well.
9. Feetures! High Performance Ultra Light
Lifetime replacement guarantee
No left and right specific fit
Less wicking than other models
Feetures is one of the only brands on our list that is willing to offer a lifetime replacement guarantee for their products. Runners loved these products and were happy with the durability and fit that they provided.Read more
The Feetures! High Performance Ultra Light sock is made with a combination of synthetic materials. It is part polyester, party nylon, and part spandex. It also features Feetures! Patented iWick fibers to pull moisture away from the foot. It is made with a mesh top to support ventilation and help regulate the temperature of the foot.
There are a few key elements that help to make this a highly comfortable sock. For one, the sock features what Feetures! call Power Bands along the top of the sock. They are made from Lycra and help keep the sock in place. Speaking of keeping the sock in place, this sock will not slide down into the shoe because of its Y-heel design. Although it is very lightweight, it does feature added cushioning in high wear and tear areas to help protect the foot against friction.
This sock is features in five color combinations ranging from basic (black) to fun (magenta).
Not only are these socks less expensive than their competitors, they also come with a lifetime replacement warranty. If you are ever unhappy with the product, just contact Feetures! And they will send you a replacement pair.
10. Injinji Run 2.0 Lightweight
Superior blister prevention
Ventilation to help regulate temperature
Can’t be tumble dried; must be line dried
The Injinji 5 toe design is not going to be for all runners, but many runners who try them find them very comfortable. They take some getting used to, but you won’t find a sock that offers better blister prevention.Read more
This sock features a combination of Injinji’s patented CoolMax material, Nylon, and Lycra. This combination works to wick sweat away from the foot and reduce blisters and irritation.
Some runners couldn’t get used to the 5 toe design of the Injinji Run. However, some runners found the fit to be superior. The five toe design eliminates skin on skin friction which is the leading cause of blisters. This is a perfect shoe for the longer distance runs on your training list. The heel tab works hard to keep the runner safe from chafing. It also helps the sock stay in place and guarantees that this won’t slip down into your shoe.
The sock certainly has a unique look to it and it also comes in 7 unique color options.
This sock is slightly less expensive than others on our list. However, runners reported that the single toe design tends to lose its shape more quickly than a traditional design.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The key difference between an athletic sock and an everyday wear sock is the variation in fibers. The materials that are used in the construction of the sock is what makes or breaks it when it comes to how athletic socks feel and perform. A quality athletic sock will feature synthetic fibers and moisture wicking elements. They will also be soft, comfortable, fit well, and will feel great no matter how long you wear them and regardless of the type of athletic shoes you are wearing. In general, runners should look for a material list that contains synthetic materials and stays away from cotton. While cotton is soft and durable, it does manage moisture as well and can leave your feet feeing wet, cold, and itchy by the end of the run. Runners need to keep the type of sock in mind as well when thinking about the fabrics that are best for their needs. These are no show socks so they are made to be short in length. So, for good fabrics you will want something that is soft and protective of the ankles but there won’t be much need for compression support with thee sort of socks so tighter fabrics are not necessary. Above all the fabrics used in your socks need to be comfortable!
It doesn’t matter how cost-effective a product is or whether or not it uses the right materials if it doesn’t feel right on the foot. Comfort is the most important thing to consider when you are looking for a good pair of athletic socks to add to your wardrobe. Many athletic socks today go so far as to feature anatomical (right and left) design. This helps improve the overall fit and helps the sock stay in place so it doesn’t bunch and shift around as you are running and working out. Some brands ae kicking things up a notch and are even making socks designed for the unique needs of men and women. Things like fit, heel size, arch support, and top foot support and compression are things that are becoming more commonly seen in athletic socks. In general, you should look for a seamless, or limited seam design so there is less chance of something rubbing and irritating your feet. Consider what design elements your pair of socks offer and what it can bring to the table. Does it come with a specific heel engineering to keep the sock in place? Does it features ventilation on the top of the foot to keep you cool and dry? Does it feature compression bands or a ribbed cuff? These are all elements that will increase your overall comfort and will help you find the right choice of athletic socks for your needs.
This might seem like a moot point when dealing with a sock that is a no-show design, but just like underwear – we would like to know that they look good, even if it isn’t obvious to those around us. We looked at color options and styling options for each of our socks so we could present you with the best no show socks for runners. Style can impact your runs and workouts in many ways. You want to feel good and if a bright and colorful pair of socks is what makes you feel motivated to knock out the extra lap or that extra mile on your run then that is what the socks are good for! Style also has to do with the thickness of the materials and any special features that they have such as breathable panels, moisture wicking areas, padded and cushioning support, and so forth. It is the little styling touches at times that give the best final results for your socks and is why styling is something important to consider as well.
In general, socks are one of the least expensive pieces of equipment in your running arsenal. Since you tend to spend over $100 on your running shoes, it is understandable that you want to keep the cost of your socks as low as possible. However, you do not want to just sap on a pair of socks that cost you one dollar. They won’t hold up well and won’t complement all the great benefits you get from your shoes. We looked at not just the initial price tag when we made our list, but also how long the socks last for. We also considered what the packaging options were as well. Value is more than just the price, it is how the price translates into use and advantage and benefits and that is the key point we wanted to make with each of our no show socks we chose to feature on our list.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Many people complain about their socs that they wear out or don't fit well after they have been used for a few months or they start to get holes or become stretched out. One of the biggest reasons for this is that people actually do not take proper care of theeir socks. Follow the care label carefully if you want your socks to last and serve you well!
A good pair of socks are worth the money any day of the week. Whether your an athlete, an outdoors man, or anyone in between, if you have issues with your feet, you are coming in last place. Drymax socks are designed to keep your feet healthy and they do just that!!
Other Factors to Consider
Not all socks come in specific sizes. In order for running socks to be as comfortable as possible, the sizing options need to be more specific than your average casual sock. Look for sizing options with a smaller range. For example, stay away from socks that claim a small is anywhere from a size 4 to a size 7. There is a large difference there, and you certainly don’t want added material at the heel or the toe of your running sock.
While most products are available in local retailers, some of the socks on our list might be harder to find. Products that are less mainstream and designed specifically for athletes might need to be ordered online. Sometimes, these products are on back order and will take longer to arrive. These are all issues to consider when purchasing your next favorite pair of running socks.
Frequently Asked Questions
The socks on our list run the gamut from less than $3 a pair all the way up to $15 a pair. We don’t think there is any reason to spend more than that, and if you are spending less than that, your product might lack the basic elements that ensure comfort and durability.
Generally speaking, no. A high-quality athletic sock should be versatile enough to take you through any athletic activity whether it is running, cycling, hiking, or playing tennis. However, there are certain brands and certain models that are specifically designed for the unique needs of certain activities. We don’t believe it is necessary to purchase socks for different activities as long as you have a high-quality athletic sock, but it doesn’t hurt to check out those options.
We have brands on our list that specialize in athletic socks. They spend all of their time and energy designing only socks for athletic, but we also have brands on our list that produce a plethora of high-quality athletic gear and products. We don’t believe you must purchase from a sock-only brand, but there are pros to investing in a brand that lives and breathes athletic socks.
Most people just toss their socks into the laundry with the rest of their clothes. But if you want to have your socks last then a little more care is usually needed. The best way to take care of your socks is to follow the care instructions on the label or packaging. But as a general rule, you will want to wash your athletic socks by hand and let the air dry flat. This will help prevent them from getting stretched out and will also help preserve color and style elements that may be present as well.
- Why Your Running Socks Are Just As Important As Your Shoes, Webpage, Mar 06, 2016 ,
- Why Runners Should Care About Their Socks, webpage , Oct 21, 2013 ,
- How to Choose the Best Running Socks, ,
- How to Choose the Right Running Socks, ,