10 Best Quarter Socks Tested and Reviewed
Quarter socks might just offer the best of both worlds when it comes to running socks. You get the extra coverage you need to prevent friction and blisters from forming at your heels with the stylish, minimal look of nearly no show socks. This makes quarter socks an effective choice for most runners to balance comfort and style.
Additionally, there are many different quarter socks available, both for runners and casual wear. You want to make sure that you choose a running sock for its moisture wicking properties and features. Most of the popular athletic brands have their own version of quarter socks, at varying price points. There are also different kinds of features that you can look for, from blister protection to added mesh ventilation that can make running more comfortable. This top ten list covers the best quarter socks for running you can buy, based on consumer reviews, industry publications, and features.
- ASICS Intensity
- Moisture control
- Prince Performance
- Shock absorption
- Balega Enduro V-Tech Athletic
- Comfortable padding
10 Best Quarter Socks
1. ASICS Intensity
ASICS Intensity socks are available in sizes up to extra large in four color combinations. These socks tend to run about the right size listed, although a slightly thicker weave make them feel a little small in tighter shoes. They don’t suffer from shrinkage issues either if properly washed.
These socks use the Y heel design to add flexibility and provide a better fit in the heel area. Moisture control fabrics help keep your feet cool and dry even in intense running. There is added support in the heel and arch to help keep the sock in place and to protect your feet.
ASICS Intensity socks are made of polyester, nylon, and spandex for a flexible feel. A moisture control system moves moisture away from your feet quickly. These socks also use a seamless toe construction to reduce their size in the toe box and avoid blisters.
In terms of value, these socks are a great all-around alternative to lower cut running socks. They offer many of the same comfort and health features while providing a different fit for those looking for something else. If you are looking to try a quarter sock instead of your normal socks, the ASICS Intensity Quarter Socks are a great place to start.
- Quarter construction adds ankle protection and comfort
- Added padding and comfort features improve your overall endurance
- Moisture control helps your feet stay dry in the thicker construction
- Added padding may make these socks tight in tighter shoes
- Thick ankle band may make your ankle warm in warmer weather
2. Prince Performance
Prince Quarter Performance Athletic Socks run a bit loose. However, this can be a benefit when wearing loose shoes designed for other sports. They are available in men's sizes 6-12.
These quarter socks hae reinforced padding on the heels for added support in intense running and other sports that require hard stops. They are made of spandex and other materials that conform to the shape of your foot for a better fit. They also move moisture away from your feet for added comfort.
The Prince Men's Quarter Performance Athletic Socks are made predominantly of polyester with spandex and rubber components. A smooth toe seam prevents blisters in the toe box. Vents along the arch help ventilate your socks and keep your feet healthy.
In terms of value, these socks work best for sports that involve running in short bursts. The added padding works as shock absorbers which protect your feet. The moisture control also helps keep your socks dry to prevent blisters from constant direction changes.
- Moisture control protects your feet from blisters
- Shock absorption improves your overall comfort
- Spandex offers a better, more flexible fit
- Design may not be optimal for long-distance continuous running
- Sizes tend to run loose
- Improper washing could change the fit
3. Balega Enduro V-Tech Athletic
The Balega Enduro V-Tech socks are available in small and medium sizes. There are two color options available. The addition of an extra deep heel and non constricting compression bands make these socks run slightly big.
These socks use non constricting compression bands to help your feet keep their shape under pressure. An extra deep heel pocket improves the overall fit and adds protection against hard shocks. A medium volume construction makes these socks fit well on most foot shapes.
The Enduro V-Tech Quarter Socks are made of Drynamix, polyester, nylon, and elastane. The VT-ech arch support system adds the needed arch support to reduce pain from foot bending. Added padding in the heel and under the balls of your feet reduce foot stress over long runs.
In terms of value, these socks offer the most value as endurance running gear. The added features help you maintain your endurance so that you can handle longer runs in comfort. They are great for marathons and other distance runs that would normally wear your feet out quickly.
- Increased padding and comfort features improve your endurance
- Moisture control is great for your overall foot health
- These socks are more durable than many other options
- They can be pricey per pair
- Added support may not appeal to all runners
4. Darn Tough Vertex
The Darn Tough Vertex Quarter Crew is available in sizes up to double extra large. It is thinner across the top with dense padding across the sole which makes them still fit like a normal sock. It will have the right size fit while feeling like you are barely wearing a sock at all.
These socks are an ultra lightweight minimal sock with reinforced padding across the soles. You’ll get the benefit of minimalist running sock combined with the support of a thicker running sock. They are available in four color options including Grasshopper Green.
The Darn Tough Vertex Quarter Socks are made of Merino Wool which is breathable and antimicrobial. Despite a lightweight construction, they are durable and machine washable. They are constructed with an extremely high stitch count to make them dense without being hard.
In terms of value, these socks are best in all weather minimalist running. They can significantly reduce the weight of your feet which reduces your fatigue. On top of that, they provide plenty of support so that you can have a more minimalist running feel without wearing out your feet. Darn Tough Vertex Quarter Crew Ultralight Cushion Socks also have a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing flaws so that you can get the most out of your socks.
- Ultra lightweight design make these a great option for any runner
- High stitch count makes them soft and durable
- Antimicrobial wool is a major benefit for foot health
- Thin design may not offer enough support for some runners
- Sizes tend to run small
- Wool may be susceptible to shrinking if washed incorrectly
5. HUSO Striped Print Athletic
The HUSO Athletic Quarter Socks are available in men’s sizes 6-11 and women’s sizes 5.5-12 (US measures). The stitching is thin so that they fit well in most shoes.
These quarter socks have a unique tie-dyed look. Reinforcement padding in the heel and under the balls of the feet add extra support where needed. Sorbtek fabrics in the construction control moisture and keep your feet dry.
The HUSO Athletic Quarter Socks are made of Sorbtek, spandex, elastic, and polyester. Sorbtek is great for moving moisture away from your feet. Added cushioning in the right places greatly improves your comfort.
These socks are at their best for running and hiking with a different look. The added support makes a big difference in improving your comfort. The moisture control also improves your comfort over long distances, which makes them great for hiking in uneven terrain.
- Unique look helps you keep your own style
- Moisture control improves long-term wear comfort
- Added padding makes these socks very comfortable
- Thicker feel may not appeal to some runners
- Padding can be too thick in some areas for high-speed runners
- Padding makes these socks run tight
6. Balega Blister Resist
These Balega socks are available in sizes up to extra large. With a medium volume construction, they fit comfortably on most runners in most shoe constructions.
They have extra padding across the soles. The addition of a high heel tab keeps them from sliding down into your shoes. Drynamix also helps control moisture. Combined with Drynamix, mohair helps prevent friction blisters on your feet.
The Balega Blister Resist socks are made of Drynamix, mohair, wool, acrylic, nylon, neofil, and elastane. The heel pocket is extended for a better feeling fit. A medium volume construction fits most runners’ feet more comfortably.
These socks are great for running in more extreme conditions. The combination of blister-resistant fabrics, moisture control design, ventilation, and added support padding makes these socks more effective at protecting your feet.
- Added foot protection for extreme running speed or distance
- Blister-resistant design helps you keep running on a regular basis
- More comfortable in low profile running shoes
- Thickness may cause rubbing in the toes which can cause blisters
- May not fit well in tighter running shoes
- Sizes run a bit small
7. Gold Toe Harrington
The Gold Toe Harrington Quarter Socks are available in sizes up to double extra large. The extra padding may make them run tight. In looser shoes like hiking boots, these socks fit well.
Added padding across the entire sock makes these socks great at absorbing shocks. In colder weather, they can keep your feet warm and dry with aquaFX cotton. A pull-on closure makes them slide on easily and stay in place.
Gold Toe Men's Big and Tall Harrington Quarter Socks are made mostly of cotton with added polyester, nylon, and spandex. Thick padding offers extra comfort over long periods. Moisture control helps keep your feet clean and dry under most circumstances.
In terms of value, these socks are best when you are doing a slower, but physically intensive sport like hiking. They are great for keeping your foot comfortable with extra padding. Plus, they are exceptionally great at keeping your foot warm in cold weather.
- Socks hold their shape during machine washing
- Socks provide cushioning for the entire foot and ankle
- Aqua FX cotton absorbs moisture to keep your feet dry
- Design is not as conducive to running, although it can be used for hiking or slower motion sports
- Design makes these socks warm even in cold weather, which can cause overheating
- Thick construction may run tight
8. Feetures! Elite Light Cushion
Feetures! Elite Light Cushion Socks are available in sizes up to extra large. With extra padding on the sole, these socks can feel tighter than other options.
These socks have added padding across the sole which acts as a shock absorber and helps you maintain your endurance. The addition of Sock-Lock technology adds a level of compression where you need it to keep your feet comfortable over long distances.
These Feetures! quarter socks use high density cushioning in an anatomical design to provide support where you need it most. Venting helps keep your feet cool. Compression bands support your arches for a more comfortable feel.
In terms of value, these socks are great for runners that are not getting enough support from their socks. These socks add superior support through clever design changes that make them more comfortable. For runners with sensitive feet or that push the limits of their endurance, these socks will help you avoid fatigue and injuries.
- Anatomical design keeps support where it is needed
- Added padding improves your overall endurance
- Temperature control keeps your feet cool and dry
- Added padding makes these run small in tighter shoes
- Added padding may feel restricting or heavy to some runners
- Improper washing will damage these socks
9. Nike Lightweight
These socks are available in sizes up to extra large. The added padding gives them a slightly tighter feel while providing compression where it is needed.
The Nike Lightweight Quarter Socks have many of the features needed for multiple sports including Dri-FIT which controls moisture to keep your feet dry. Added half-cushion terry improves impact resistance. Ventilation is provided by vents across the sock. Arch support is added through compression bands around the top and under the sole.
They are made of wool, terry, and Dri-FIT which controls moisture. The extended quarter design fits high-top shoes and keeps them from rolling down into your shoes. Reinforced padding in key areas adds comfort support and durability.
These quarter socks are one of the best well-rounded options available. You can use them as a general sports option while using them for running as well. They offer the extra support that you need to be able to handle different sports effectively without switching socks.
- Added padding is good for shock absorption
- Combination of features makes these socks good for multiple types of sports
- Arch support helps you keep your feet in good condition for longer
- Well-rounded design may not appeal to speedrunners
- Reinforced heel and toe may not appeal to runners
- Thick design makes these feel tighter in thicker shoes
10. Balega Ultralight
These socks are available in four sizes. This includes Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. However, not all of the sizes are available in all of the sizes. Balega socks are known to run smaller than other brands, so make sure to error on the side of a larger sock or to try one on first before ordering a large quantity of them.
The Balega Ultralight Quarter Athletic Running Socks have reinforced cushioned heels and toes to promote comfort and to extend the life of the sock. Included heel tab aids help to prevent socks from slipping into your running shoes. An elastic arch support found in the arch and ankle provide additional support.
These socks are extremely thin and light, which is a great option if you like minimalist running shoes and socks. The Ultrafine Hi-Tech performance yarns used in these socks are light without compromising protection. The Left and Right construction method provides a better fit, though you won’t be able to interchangeably wear these socks on both feet.
This sock is available at a moderate value. It is among the more expensive socks from the Balega brand, though it is also the thinnest. If you love thin socks that don’t compromise on features, this is a solid choice.
- Thin socks with a lightweight feel
- Reinforced toe and heel
- Can run small
- Not as durable as other options
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Quarter Socks
The quarter sock is one of the more popular types of running socks out there. Because of this, there are so many different varieties of running quarter socks offered by nearly all of the top running brands. To decipher which options were the best, we evaluated each sock against four set criteria: size, features, specs, and value.
For running socks, size can make a big difference. Not all socks come in every size. Some socks have multiple size options to choose from.
Features refers to the intentional design elements that add value to the quarter socks. This might include ventilated mesh, blister protection, or arch support.
The specs are what the socks are constructed with. Since most of the quarter socks are made from a synthetic blend to reduce moisture, this is examined, too.
When it comes to value, we examined a few factors. We looked at the cost per sock for each option, as well as how these prices compared to similar socks available from other brands. We wanted to know how much value the socks delivered in terms of the features it offers and price.
Other Important Factors to Consider
When it comes to buying a new pair of quarter socks, it is important to find a pair that you’ll find comfortable to wear for every run. To do this, you’ll need to understand your own preferences when it comes to running socks. However, here are two important factors to consider in your buying process for quarter socks.
There are a variety of styles available in quarter socks. This includes the color of the socks or if they have any patterns. All of the socks in this guide have the quarter sock style.
One of the most common challenges runners face is getting blisters when they run since blisters form where your shoes rub on your feet. The socks you choose to wear can be an effective form of protection against blisters. Some of the quarter socks on this list have additional cushioning, special synthetic fabric, and other features to protect against blisters. No matter what other features you would like in your socks, blister protection is an important one to look for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What material are the socks made from?
A: Most running socks are made from synthetic materials with moisture-wicking properties that can keep your feet dry. Cotton socks should be avoided for running because cotton doesn’t wick moisture away.
Q: Is there ventilated mesh?
A: Ventilated mesh is sometimes added to running socks to help keep your feet even more comfortable and dry. It enables more air flow through the sock. If you sweat a lot when you run, ventilated mesh might make you more comfortable.
Q: What kind of padding and support does the sock offer?
A: To promote comfort, some running socks have extra padding in the heels or pads of the feet. This can give you extra support and protection against blisters when you run.
Q: Why should I wear compression quarter socks?
A: Compression socks can increase circulation in your legs while you run. Unfortunately, there are not many compression socks in the quarter style because the compression should ideally take place in your calves. If you’d like to try out compression quarter socks, start with an individual pair to see if you notice the difference. Many runners who want to go with a compression sock choose a crew style.
Q: Does the quality matter when it comes to quarter socks?
A: Yes, though only to a certain extent. When you purchase any running socks, you want to make sure that you have a sock that can provide you support and moisture-wicking properties when you run. However, there are some quarter socks that are overpriced simply because of their brand without delivering extra features. In this case, you could end up overpaying for socks that are more or less the same than those offered by competitors.
Q: Does the sock run large or small?
A: It is extremely important that you find socks that fit. Some brands run larger or smaller. It is worth reading through customer reviews to see if the socks run large or small, as well as trying on the socks.