Top 10 Best Running Socks Tested

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Searching for Running socks? Take a look at the best socks of 2017, check out their Pros & Cons and know what to be aware of before buying them online or in a store.

When it comes to running, you have to consider many details and knowing what they are can really bring up your game. Socks really matter for the overall protection of your feet, and not just fancy compression socks. Whatever you’re putting on your feet before you stick them in your trainers is going to have a big impact on your comfort levels. There´s just no need to cross the finish line with bruised feet, check out our top picks.

Last Updated: October 2, 2017
By Brian Price:

Trying to stay up to date with the world of running socks, we’ve made a few needed changes to our guide. In addition to some updates to out list, we also added some info that we thought would be helpful to share.

Why Does Good Running Socks Matter?

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Our Top 3 Picks
CEP Dynamic+
  • CEP Dynamic+
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Plantar Fasciitis support
  • Price: See Here
Balega Hidden Comfort
  • Balega Hidden Comfort
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Seamless toe closure
  • Price: See Here
Stance Line Up Tab
  • Stance Line Up Tab
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Reduces sore feet
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Running Socks

 

1. CEP Dynamic+

Rounding out our list is a truly top of the line sock from CEP. These are a shortened compression sock that are great for people with foot/ankle issues. They are form fitting, help fight plantar fasciitis and generally improve blood flow. A great sock to add just that tiny extra percentage to your performance.
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Comfort/Stability
Their ankle compression system improves circulation providing the best comfort.They have extra padding in the heel that has been medically tested.

Durability/Quality
Socks are made up of synthetic materials that are odor resistant plus moist absorbing.

Cost/Value
Their cost is affordable but a bit higher than the rest of the products on this list.

Conclusion
These socks will do just fine if you want that extra cushioning and support in your ankles and heel. It can also be used in cold weather.
Pros
  • Gender specific
  • Great arch support, formatted
  • Good ankle support
  • Mesh, moisture fighting material
  • Form fitting, contours well
Cons
  • Hard to size just right

2. Balega Hidden Comfort

Forget about sweat and moisture with this synthetic mesh, which is available in various colors. These socks have special elastane designed to fit perfectly and stay there. Placing your feet in one of these socks comes very close to walking over clouds.
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Forget about sweat and moisture with this synthetic mesh, which is available in various colors. These socks have special elastane designed to fit perfectly and stay there. Placing your feet in one of these socks comes very close to walking over clouds. Thanks to sock’s elastaine construction and its plush under sole, the Hidden Comfort is key in this product for giving an overall excellent experience to users, plus the synthetic quick wicking drynamix material will absolutely keep those moist areas dry. It´s also very worth noting that Balega is not only about clothing and accessories, they also have a serious commitment to social responsibility. The company helps and works with children from KwaZulu Natal, South Africa,that are physically disabled and visually impaired. You will feel good, look good and will be helping a worthy cause.

Comfort/ Stability
The name says it all "Hidden comfort". The word hidden relates to the no-show design, because this is more of a blatant comfort.

Durability/ Quality
These socks last a lifetime. After several washes, the material will still look as good as new. Feedback from our users back up these claims.

Cost/ Value
The socks have an average cost, but an enormous value

Conclusion
If you´re looking for a mixture of low cost and high value, this is your choice.
Pros
  • Warm and extremely comfortable
  • Guaranteed for life
  • Optimum airflow 
  • Highly durable
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Probably not ideal for trail running

3. Stance Line Up Tab

This is one of the so called designated footed socks in which the right and left sock are designed for their respective foot for more comfort. Its heel protection and breathability make it perfect for hard runs.
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This brand is well known for making NBA themed products. The run collection is simply off the hook, stellar, classy and one of the best out there. They are elegant and practical.

Comfort/Stability
These socks were designed for your comfort and having a specific sock for your right or left foot will really make the difference.

Durability/Quality
Materials here are made to last and we found that the mesh is really breathable. There is also a tiny bit of arch support for those runners who tend to pronate a bit. Another nice touch is the reinforced heel and toe area that helps to prevent blisters.

Cost/ Value
The cost is slightly higher than other versions but still well within the average. The cost is well worth the value.

Conclusion
This is a great choice if you´re looking for a formidable price, and high quality.
Pros
  • Thick, plenty of padding
  • Clinically tested padding in the heel
  • Durable, high quality
  • Proven reduction in sore feet
Cons
  • Probably not ideal for colder weather

Tesla No Show

Tesla No Show
If you look for socks which have low cut, aren’t visible very much and are perfect for running, Tesla has something for you. These are available in many colorful options so you can be fashionable and feel comfortable at the same time. See What are the features of these socks.
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Comfort/Stability
These socks have special venting breathe mesh that provides more airflow and your feet are less likely to sweat. These have additional cushioning at the heel and toe to give you more protection while running. They have special cuff to prevent slipping down. There’s a lot of arch protection in order to avoid injury. They have this special band structure which provides more stability to your feet. They’re available usually in 3 sizes.

Durability/Quality
It’s mostly made from Polyester and cotton so it’s high quality product. These socks are supportive even in very harsh weather conditions. They are a little bit thicker than the other pairs on our list.

Cost/Value
These socks are high quality and not too expensive at the same time. They usually come in 6-pack so it’s great deal.

Conclusion
These socks have everything that good running socks need to have. They’re breathable, comfortable and they’re not expensive.
Pros

Lip on the heel prevents from rubbing on the back of the ankle

These socks are lightweight and breathable

They don’t roll down

The pricing is really reasonable

Cons

Some people encountered problems with sizing

5. Feetures!

5. Feetures!
Everyone likes a clever name, and the good news is there is far more to like about these socks than wordplay. These socks have many runner friendly traits such as: ventilating fabric panels to wick moisture, seam-free toes, an anatomically correct foot design, extra heel cushioning, and arch support. These socks are a home run!
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Comfort/ Stability
The extra heel cushioning and arch support make this a pretty comfortable and stable set of socks.

Durability/ Quality
The materials such as polyester and spandex make this a strong set of socks.

Cost/Value
The socks come at a reasonable, average price. They offer great value since they are specifically designed for your comfort and needs while running.

Conclusion
The Feeture socks definitely come with many features that will blow your mind and keep your feet dry, protected and ready to take on the road.
Pros
  • Solid arch support
  • an anatomically correct foot design
  • Ventilating panels
  • Good cushioning system
  • Specified foot design
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Sizing is tough

Balega Hidden Contour

Balega Hidden Contour
This is the second appearance of Balega on our list so this brand can really boast about running socks. They’re usually in 4 sizes. There are many colors that are extremely nice looking and our favourite is Lavender. Let us show you the other features.
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Comfort/Stability
These have mesh at the top to let your feet breathe. The heel and toe are reinforced so you don’t need to worry about too small amount of protection. There’s special DryNamix technology that helps to deal with moisture and as a result your feet stay dry during the running. There’s also bigger boost of airflow. You don’t need to think about abrasion anymore as there is hand linked seamless toe. The heel pocket is deep enough to prevent rolling down during running.

Durability/Quality
These socks are called Hidden Contour because the contour of the sock really adapts to your feet and even after many washes, it’s still the same.

Cost/Value
The price is similar to Balega Hidden Comfort, it’s not low but we think that these socks are worth every dollar.

Conclusion
Really nice pair of running socks, high quality and good fit will make you want them.
Pros

They have snug fit but they don’t give too much compression

They have enough cushioning without feeling too bulky on the feet

They really stay in place and you shouldn’t have problems with blisters even after long run

Cons

For some runners, they were too long

Thirty 48

Thirty 48
Next great socks with adored by the runners low cut design. These are available in so many color versions that it may be really hard for you decide which is the one you want. This is high quality footwear and if you want to know more about these socks, check the details.
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Comfort/Stability
Metatarsal, Achilles, and Heel are the places where’s extra cushioning added to boost comfort while running. The abrasion won’t be also a problem for these socks. You can easily forget about blisters and bruises after running. There’s special Coolmax Fabric that keeps your feet dry as it helps to move the moisture away from your feet. There’s boosted air flow so you won’t have problem with sweaty feet. Additional arch support helps to prevent from injuries and gives you more stride control.

Durability/Quality
This is a blend of Nylon, Polyester and cotton so this product is rather durable. The colors don’t fade even after many washes.

Cost/Value
These socks are a little bit more expensive.

Conclusion
These socks have low cut stylish look, they are breathable, lightweight and comfortable at the same time. Give them a try and even if they’re more expensive, they’re an investment in bigger comfort while running.
Pros

Many users liked the cushioning of the heal area

A lot of color options

The socks are thick but soft and they help to prevent blisters

Cons

Some people said that there was a rubbing on little toe

Thorlo Running Mini-Crew

Thorlo  Running Mini-Crew
This brand is less known but we’ve discovered that they offer high quality socks so here we go. If you’re a big fan of colorful socks, we’ve got bad news for you- there’s only one color available. These are a little bit longer than the others on our list, so they can be visible from the shoe. See what are the features of these socks.
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Comfort/Stability
Special THOR-LON fibers were used in construction to keep your feet dry all the time. There’s big amount of cushioning around the toes as it’s the place very prone to blisters. You can also find the cushioning in arch area. They’re available in two sizes. They’re elastic but they’re not too tight. The breathability is okay but could be a little bit better.

Durability/Quality
THOR-LON fibers also make socks much more durable. Some people even said that they last for many years and nothing happens to them after many washes.

Cost/Value
This is an average price for the running sock, it’s not too big but it’s not also the cheapest option.

Conclusion
Nice running socks, high quality, very long lifespan and comfortable wearing- do you want something more?
Pros

 

These socks are well padded and they do great job when it comes to wicking the moisture

They are really praised for the durability

People really liked the minimalistic design of these socks

Cons

It’s sometimes hard to pick the the right size

9. Saucony Performance

9. Saucony Performance
Another trusted name in the runner’s world, Saucony has created a pair of socks for women that do exactly what you need to do. Keep you dry, protected and comfortable. Coming in a 6 pack, these socks are a steal for the price!
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Comfort/Stability
Its arch cushioning, breathable air mesh, and moisture management system make this very comfortable socks.

Durability/Quality
This is top notch technology and quality that is designed to last.

Cost/Value
Since it is a six pack, the cost per pair of socks is lower than many others in this list.

Conclusion
The different colors in these socks are lively and young. Once you put one of these on your foot you will know why they are well worth your money and time.
Pros
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Air mesh venting, keeps you nice and cool
  • Extra cushioned sole
  • Durable
Cons
  • Not available in single pairs

10. ASICS Cushion Low

10. ASICS Cushion Low
A highly respected name in the running market, ASICS Unisex Cushion Low Cut will serve the athletic purpose it sets and beyond. The list of positives about these socks could be quite long, but the real standout feature in this sock is the special “NanoGLIDE” knitting in the toe and heel areas which serves to smooth contact/friction and keep things dry.
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Comfort/Stability
The unique “NanoGLIDE” knitting in the toe and heel helps smooth friction for the prevention of blisters.

Durability/Quality
They are made of resistant polyester, spandex and nylon, which makes for a durable product.

Cost/Value
These socks have a low cost but their multiple qualities are rich.

Conclusion
It´s materials, feel, and the protection these socks provide are outstanding. They also have a reasonable price.
Pros
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Designed for a perfect fit
  • Strong arch support
  • Sweat wicking, keeps you dry
Cons
  • They usually only come in three colors.

 

There are several things you need to consider before buying a pair of running socks, some of those details anti blister technology, whether or not they are made up of special materials, with special cushioning for less impact, have individual toes, or are designed for a specific foot (left or right). There is nothing worse than socks that are too tight or slide around on your feet if they’re too big. You also don’t want to be running in thick calf length socks in August, or to end up with ankle socks that leave your heel too exposed to abrasions.


The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of The Best Running Socks

A good pair of socks can really make the difference between a blissful run and painful blisters. A good combination of great shoes and socks can make your run smoother.

Technology invested in running gear is constantly increasing, socks have experienced dramatic improvements in the way they are manufactured (materials) and designed. The benefits you can get from them in very specific circumstances have also had amazing advances. In the end it will obviously be you who will decide how much time, energy and money you want to spend on buying socks, depending on how serious you are about running. Nevertheless, we hope this guide is helpful at saving you some time and maybe even a couple of bucks, when it´s time for making that purchasing decision.

top-10-running-socks-legs

Here are some suggestions to look at that can make you decision easier:

Synthetic Materials 

Make sure your socks don’t get wet and even more, make sure they don’t stay wet. That’s why 100% cotton socks are not your best choice when looking for running socks, they can cause blisters in the summer and make your feet feel cold in the winter. You need socks that wick the moisture away.

Polyester and acrylic are the most popular materials you find when looking for running socks, those materials are used by most of the manufacturers because they wick away moisture. Always choose socks that provide good breathability.

Mind the season

Running during summer is very different than doing it during winter. We recommend you buy socks to use in the summer and some others to use during winter. It may sound obvious to keep the season in mind, but if you don’t pay attention to it, you can end up with blisters that can have you taking some time off from running.

top-10-running-socks-water

For winter we recommend to use wool blends or double-layer socks. Thicker socks provide additional cushioning regardless the season you’re in. They are also great, specially if you do off-track runs. For summer times, we recommend lighter socks with a lot of breathability. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money and time looking for the best seasonal socks, there are also some options that work well for every season.

Usage

Depending on how long your runs are, you can choose from different specialized materials and styles of socks. There are people that use the running socks during the day so when work is over and its time to run, they don’t have to change. The odor factor plays a major role if you use your socks for the entire day. If you want to use your new running socks for longer than your run, make sure you get a pair made of anti-odor fabric.

Style

Socks come in different shapes, colors, lengths and motifs. One important thing to have in mind if you prefer no-show socks, is to buy some with a band that goes above your running shoe and over your heel. This way your shoe does not create friction directly with your skin and irritate it, or even create a blister.

Preventing blisters  should always go on top of the list when you are trying to buy socks. We recommend you choose a non stylish pair of socks that will keep you away from blisters rather than a very stylish pair of socks that will make you regret that lovely run you planned. You can also get both features, that´s what we’re here for.

Size

Most brands manufacture unisex socks and they are sized up to your running shoes. So you don’t need to worry that much about sizing. We can also give you some tips for whenever you´re buying the perfect shoes and want them to match your socks or vice versa. Make sure you try on shoes with the socks you’re going to be running in because some shoes will require you to buy socks that are higher in your calf.

top-10-running-socks-size

If you take your running very seriously and want to find the best socks for you, make sure to find socks that are designed specifically for your left and right feet, those can definitely provide the best performance.

Other important factors to consider when buying running socks

Anti-blister technology

Blisters will affect your running performance and can be extremely painful. If you get blisters easily, we recommend you use two-layer system socks that will definitely prevent blister formation.

top-10-running-socks-blisters

Individual toes

Many runners claim that individual toes socks give them a better range of motion and can enhance their performance. It also protects your toes and feet from the heat and moisture produced during training. You´ll have to try them yourself to find out.

top-10-running-socks-toes

Padding

Padded socks keep your feet protected from impacts when you run. If you want to feel the ground you are running on, then we recommend you don´t use light padded socks. Padding is very recommended for .

top-10-running-socks-padding

Ankle support

Some socks provide extra ankle support by making the elastic material on the ankle area thicker. You may also want to try additional ankle support underneath your socks.

top-10-running-socks-heelArch support

Same technology used for ankle support is also used for arch support. Elastic material thicker on your arches will provide that extra support you may need when running.

top-10-running-socks-arch

Dedicated footed socks

Some serious runners have said that dedicated footed socks can bring the best performance in their runs. They certainly provide an optimum fit you can’t get with other socks, since they adapt to your left and your right foot specifically. Getting some of those only depend on how serious is our run.

top-10-running-socks-dedicated-foot

Ventilating Mesh 

Using materials that allow the evaporation of sweat is key here. The incorporation of mesh uppers can allow better ventilation to your feet.

top-10-running-socks-ventilation

Achilles Heel padding 

It reduces friction that causes chafing and blisters in the heel area. Since the heel was a semi god´s weakest part of the body, be warned, the Greeks were probably on to something.top-10-running-socks-ankle

FAQ

In order to offer as much help as possible, we have collected some frequently asked questions that may even spark a few other good questions of your own. Feel free to contact us if you have any, or just leave them in the space designated for comments.

Q: Are there different levels of cushioning in  socks?

A: The levels of cushioning range from ultra light to max cushioning.  Ultra light cushioned socks are great for keeping feet cool in warm weather.  Max cushioning socks do exactly that – provide a maximum amount of cushioning underfoot.  However, this type of cushioning can be too warm if used in warm weather.

Q: Will compression socks increase my running performance more than regular socks?

A:  Compression socks might not be for everyone, so results tend to be based on the individual.  However, many runners feel that they recover faster when using compression socks.  They also might help runners who suffer pain or soreness in their calves.

Q: I use therapeutic socks, can I find therapeutic running socks?

A: Yes, you can. Brands like Feetures! offer a line of socks that incorporates technology that will make your feet run as comfortable as they can. High density cushioning, extra support in the arch, extra ventilation and a non-binding top are some of the features you can find. Now nothing will stop you from running!

Q: Does the quality of running socks that important?

A: Absolutely. Investing in quality socks for running is very important, because lower quality socks or socks made of the wrong material may not provide enough breathability and/or can cause blisters and other irritations on the foot.  A good, high quality sock will help prevent blisters, wick moisture and perhaps provide additional support that you may need.

top-10-running-socks-final-run

We really hope you find the information in this guide useful to your search. We also hope you learn how socks work , and the way they can be convenient for you. Finding the right pair of socks is just as important of a process as getting the right kind of trainers; both, combined, can be the most powerful combo you need to take your runs to the next level.


The following are sources we used while conducting our research:

In order to provide the best information, we utilized the following sources.  Sources vary from clinical to manufactures or other specialized sites that had relative information to this particular topic.

Sources

  1. Very Well, How to Prevent and Treat Foot Blisters When Running , Online Health Publication, Feb 02, 2016
  2. Runner's Need, The Ultimate Summer Running Gear Guide, Running Gear Website,
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