10 Best Socks for an Active Lifestyle
Whether we are going for a run, playing basketball, or going camping, your socks are very important. While socks may not be the most glamorous purchase on your to-do list, we can assure you that they are crucial to feeling good while you take part in a sport. How so might you ask?
A quality pair of active socks will do a few things for you. First of all, they are sweat wicking. This means that your feet won’t end up sopping wet in sweat while you run your 12K. Rather, a sock that allows good airflow will keep your feet cool and dry. Secondly, a good sock built for activity will also fit you well. Nothing is worse than going for a run with a pair of bunched up socks distracting you with discomfort. Thirdly, a pair of good socks will stand the test of time, and they are usually very durable.
Check out our following list to find the best pair of socks for your active lifestyle needs.
- Experia Thin Padding Running Ankle
- Lightweight & Breathable
- Right Amount of Padding
- Thin Padded Walking Ankle
- Great Fit for Women
10 Best Socks for an Active Lifestyle
Experia Thin Padding Running Ankle
These are among the most popular socks for runners, cyclists and even hikers because of how lightweight and breathable they are, while still providing light cushioning and blister protection. Made with the company’s ThorWick Cool fibers, these socks are equipped with moisture-wicking properties to push sweat from the skin to the outside of the sock. It has specially placed pads for shock absorption and has an aerodynamic fit.
The Experia line from Thorlo features less cushioning than its other socks but will provide padding needed to up the comfort factor and prevent foot pain. This sock is considered a thin cushion option. The specially sculpted Phorlo pads are loaded in the ball and heel to still have that cushioning while still keeping it lightweight. These aren’t the best option for those with foot pain, but for everyday wear and workouts, it’s the best of both worlds when it comes to weight and comfort.
With its low cut, these socks look great in sneakers, cleats and spin shoes. It features nylon covers Lycra that results in a snug and glove-like fit. It’s unisex and available in multiple color options.
Protection from impacts and blisters
Comes in multiple colors
Snug and lightweight fit
Won't reduce pain from repetitive stress
These socks are guaranteed for life by the company that makes them, so you don't have to worry about your investment. This company so strongly believes in their socks that they will keep their word if anything goes wrong.
Not only are these socks made of quality organic materials, but they are also built to be anti-blister. This is because they have padding in the toe and heel.
These socks are built to be snug due to their compressive nature.
With the organic merino wool that these socks are made of, they naturally wick away your sweat. These socks have been tested first-hand, and they have been worn in the most humid of climates. What was the result? Pure wicking and breathability.
If you are looking for a pair of socks that are completely worth your time, money, and adventure, these socks are the way to go.
Still relatively new to the market
Thin Padded Walking Ankle
Made with ThorWick Cool material, these walking socks keep the feet cool and dry so that sweaty feet are not a problem. These socks are all about comfort for long walks, with padding in specialized spots, including a cushioned arch. These are great everyday socks that prevent blisters, and great for those with sore feet.
Although these socks have a padding level that is considered thin cushion, it has targeted padded sports to maximize comfort in the areas that mattes most. This includes padding in the ball and heel to absorb shock when walking, running or hiking. As well as padding on the top of the foot prevents hot spots. It has a cushioned arch that provides the support and comfort needed.
These socks are ankle high, great for wearing in just about any kind of shoe. It has a women’s specific fit that includes extra stretch in the ankle and arch and a smaller toe box. However, these socks are also available for me.
- The best for long walks, traveling, backpacking, hiking and every day
- Comfort with ample padding without being too bulky in sneakers
- Great fit for women
- No color options
- Slight pricey for a pair of every day socks
TRMX Trail Running
When going off-road running, these are the socks to wear. It has a moderate cushion that is engineered to protect strike zones so that trail runners won’t feel any discomfort. It’s constructed with Thorlonfabic that is blended with ThorWick Cool that makes it soft and pillowy, yet durable and resilient. Plus provides that moisture wicking functionality that is key to keep sweaty feet dry.
These are super comfortable options for trail runners, having ample support and cushion for the feet to feel fine when running on dirt, and over rocks, sticks and other debris. The padding is actually specifically designed for trail running, the company testing to make sure that it is comfortable for these types of runs, pain and blister free. There is less pressure on the feet thanks to its cushioned instep. It has a low profile seam that doesn’t irritate the feet in a shoe.
These socks have an ankle length with moderate cushion and are available for men and women. There aren’t many color options available, just charcoal and walnut, but these are neutral to be unisex and to match most running gear.
- Best for trail runner with specific padding
- No blisters and moisture wicking properties
- Not many color options
Made with Thorlon acrylic and Primaloft fibers, these socks are soft and comfortable, with moisture-wicking properties. There is plenty of insulation and temperature management. This makes it ideal for long adventures like hiking, backpacking, and camping.
The Outdoor Explorer socks are clinically-tested for maximum padding and protection. With its moderate cushion and medium density padding in the ball and heel, these are very comfortable to wear. Not only is this because of its padding, but also from its merino wool Primloft blend that makes the fibers nice and soft.
This sock has a crew length, great for wearing with boots or in the winter. These socks are form fitting and won’t bunch up inside boots. They also won’t slide down because of its contoured top that keeps the sock up around the calf.
- Lots of cushioning
- Warm and soft
- Ideal for hiking or winter sports
- Can be too warm for warmer weather
Thorlos 84N Runner
These are one of the best socks to wear for long runs when having ample protection while still being lightweight is important. This also makes it a great option for those coming back from a foot or ankle injury, those who have plantar fasciitis, or for those who tend to get blisters and other foot pain when working out. It’s made with Thorlon acrylic that is blended with Lycra fresh FX fibers. This makes the sock soft, durable and great at managing moisture.
With thick cushioning, these socks are super comfortable to wear for just about any activity, as well as everyday use. It has a low profile seam that isn’t bothersome in the show. It has padding that is specifically designed for running, reducing pain, to sports and blisters. There is even extra padding over the toe’s prevent “runner’s toe.”
These socks have a low cut rather than no show, so the user doesn’t need to worry about them slipping off the ankle. It has Lycra fiber in the arch and instep that provides support while giving the sock a snug fit. Along with fitting nicely like a glove, it has a contoured ventilated frame that adds to its aerodynamic fit while providing breathability.
- Thick cushioning for runners with foot pain
- Lightweight, and breathable with moisture-wicking properties
- Runs small in size
Experia Energy Compression Running Over-the-Calf
These socks are all about recovery, great for before, during or after long runs. That’s because of its triple-zone graduated compression that increases circulation and supports the plantar fascia tendon, while supporting the ankle. It provides different compression levels, with the most intense compression at the foot and ankle and decreases the higher the sock goes up the leg. It’s made of nylon, ThorWick Cool, cooper polyester, and spandex, with CuTEC Copper Ion Technology woven into the fibers to reduce odor and provide antibacterial properties.
These are compression socks, so they are made to feel tight around the legs and feet. Those new to wear them might feel like they are too tight, but will get used to them. They feel soft against the skin. There is a toe pad that is thin but provides shock absorption, while also protecting against blisters.
The feet also stay nice and dry thanks to its ThorWick Cool fabric that removes moisture away from the foot to the outside of the sock. It also has a ventured toe box for added ventilation. These socks have a thin cushion and go over-the-calf in length. They combine multiple color options and are unisex.
- Great for recovery, with three different compression zones
- Anti-odor and bacteria properties
- Thinner than other Thorlo socks
- Not for every day wear
Experia CoolMac Multi-Sport
This is a multi-sport sock, ideal for just about any activity. That’s because it has just enough padding for comfort, yet still lightweight and “carefree” option. It is made with ThorWick Cool fiber in the ball and heel pads for optimum moisture management, as well as mesh polyester to added breathability. This is defiantly a sock that is lightweight and airy.
This is a thin cushion sock, so there isn’t as much padding as other Thorlo options, but still more than other brands. Even still, this is a very comfortable sock to wear because of how lightweight and soft it feels. It has Thorlo pads in the ball and heel of the sock for shock absorption, providing that padding without adding bulk to the entire sock. It also has a pad at the Achilles tendon that serves as both a lock to prevent the sock from slipping in the shoe, as well as protection from rubbing and chafing.
This sock has a low cut, ideal for wearing with running sneakers. It comes in two-toned color option, available for men, women and kids. It’s super lightweight and has nylon covered Lycra that gives it a snug fit.
- Super lightweight
- Very breathable
- Padding isn’t throughout entire sock
This sock is extremely versatile, being a great option for trail running, hiking, backpacking, hunting, and just about any other outdoor adventure. It is made of ThorWock Coolcooper polyester that features moisture-wicking and anti-fungal properties. It also features Primaloft fibers that include merino wool for warmth, comfort, and breathability. Adding to its breathability is ventilation panels in both the arch and instep. The Primaloft helps regulate temperature to make it be a warm option for cold temperatures, yet still an option to wear when the weather warms.
This sock has a moderate amount of cushioning, a great balance between having enough padding to protect against impact and overall be comfortable without being too weighty. This includes integrated variable loop padding that keeps the cushioning dense and not bulky.
The Outdoor Fanatic has a crew length, making it ideal for pairing with boots or looking for ankle protection against abrasions. Its fabric is durable, making this a sock for the rugged trailblazer. It has a low profile toe seam that goes unnoticed. Arguably the best part is the compression-like arch support that is ideal for those with plantar fascia. It also keeps the sock in place, and contours nicely to the foot.
- Extremely versatile for just about every kind of outdoor activity
- Lots of support
- Very breathable
- A bit too warm to wear in warmer weather
- Not the softest pair
- A bit snug around the ankle
Made with Thorlonfabric, these socks are soft, durable and best of all contain moisture-wicking properties. Adding to its breathability is its ventilation panel that allows for more air circulation. This means the feet will stay dry even when working up a sweat when walking all day. These are great socks for sightseeing when traveling, for long, leisurely walks and for high impact activities.
Being comfortable is an understatement when it comes to the Distance Walker. That because it has thick padding that is designed for those who experience foot pain.The padding is engineered for distance walkers, placed in all the right areas to prevent blisters and hot spots.
These socks are specifically designed for women, and its fit reflects this. This includes a more narrow toe box, smaller heel pocket and a bit more stretch in the ankle. It is an ankle length sock, perfect for all kinds of shoes and even short hiking boots.
- Thick padding for maximum comfort
- Made for those won their feet all day
- Versatile option
- Available for women
- Might be too much padding for some
The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation
Anyone who has owned a pair of Thorlo socks knows how well they perform. But for those purchasing socks from this brand for the first time, knowing which ones are the best for them might not seem clear. This is especially the case since the company offers options for specific activities like running, walking, and hiking.
In order to determine which Thorlo socks are the best, we used a set list of criteria applied to all the products it offers. From there, we crowned the top of the top—regardless of what activity they are the best for. Keep in mind that many of the options are versatile. For example, a soft and warm merino wool hiking sock is also a great option for combating cold feet when lounging in the winter. Socks for long walks are also ideal for traveling or for those with jobs that call for them to be on their feet all day.
The criteria we used is detailed below.
Comfort: Try on a pair of Thorlo socks and the user will immediately feel how comfortable it is. But comfort levels vary depending on the sock options. Some offer minimal padding that provides protection without the bulk, making them great for running. Others are designed to offer thicker padding for longer periods spent on the feet. How much cushion does this sock include? Is it enough for the activity the sock is designed for? In general, does the sock feel good on?
Breathability: Because many of these socks are to be worn when working out, the socks need to be breathable. Even socks designed for the winter should provide ample breathability to prevent overheating and sweaty feet. Does the sock contain any moisture-wicking properties? Is there ventilation features such as mesh panels?
Design and Fit: How well does the sock fit on the foot? Does it slip or slide off? Does it have a snug fit? How does it feel at the arches? Is it better suited for a sneaker, or should it be worn with a hiking boot? What do other design elements this sock include?
Other Important Factors to Consider
The above are all important factors to take into major consideration when deciding on a good Thorlo sock. But there are other things to know about the company and its product before buying.
Created in the early ‘80s, Thorlos has since become one of the most trusted sock brands. That’s because of its high-quality product that puts comfort in the forefront. All the socks are made in Statesville, North Carolina, giving them the proud made in the USA title.
To get the most out of the sock performance wise, make sure to get a size that associates with the correct shoe size. Try the sock on in store and in the shoe it will be worn in.
Thorlo socks are known for their padding. It’s Engineered Padded Technology is the core of the product, being clinically tested to ensure performance. The padding is made to be dense and resilient and is carefully placed in certain parts of the sock in order to protect different parts. For example, the ball and heel of the feet have more padding than other areas since there are high impact areas.
The amount and places of padding also vary based on what activity the sock is designed for. This includes more padding in balls of the feet for running socks to prevent related injuries, an more padding in the top of the toes to fight” tennis toes” for tennis players.
Keep in mind that the company also provides lite padded socks that have thinner cushioning, but more than other socks on the market such as the Experia line.
Thorlo socks include proprietary yarns that include the Thorn acrylic yarn. This fabric is soft, durable and keeps its loft even when wet. The company also has ThorWick Cool fibers, which consists of a cotton-like yarn that has moisture-wicking properties to keep the feet cool and dry.
Q: How should a sports sock fit?
A: The socks should fit comfortably, hugging the foot with feeling too snug or slipping off.
Q: Are sports socks thick?
A: This depends on which option the consumer is purchasing. For example, the Experia running sock is super lightweight and thin. Hiking options tend to be thicker.
Q: Can you buy no-show sports socks?
A: None of the socks on this list are no show. They either git just below the ankle bone or have a crew cut.
Q: How do I clean my socks?
A: Many of the socks are machine washable, but it’s not recommended to put them in the dryer. Instead, leave them out to dry. Furthermore, you will want to check with the company that made your sock, so that you know in detail how to best care for your socks.