There are the brands you trust for running shoes, and then there are the brands you trust for running socks. The bottom line is that your most enjoyable running experiences will depend on the comfort of your feet.
For the best experiences, you’ll need the best running socks to supplement the support of your shoes and to help your feet carry you down new paths and to new victories. There are a number of features to consider before landing on the right pair of socks, but just remember that the brands that design running socks strive to make your athletic routines more comfortable and to add that specialized protection that your shoes don’t provide.
After exploring these products with us, you’ll be able to recommend the best products to your friends, competitors, and loved ones. They’ll be forever grateful that you did!
Features to Consider When Reviewing These Products
Though there are many products to compare when it comes to the best socks for running, we hope to make your journey through product specifications and technologies a little more bearable.
Among the most important features to consider before buying a pair of socks, we’ve identified four categories to help you keep your poker face and make the best purchasing decision:
- Thickness: Highly preferred by runners accustomed to performing or training in warmer climates, thin socks can help keep you light on your feet even if the rest of your body is dragging.
The thinner the sock, the less chance there’s enough padding to prevent some slipping inside your shoes, which can always mean a chance for blisters. Thin socks also feature great ventilation options to keep your feet dry even in wet conditions.
Thicker socks, on the other hand, really add to the support of your foot within a fast-moving shoe. You won’t have to worry about your heels and toes getting scuffed up with each step and level of impact.
- Material: Each sock on our list is made of a unique list of dependable materials for breathability, including nylon, spandex, polyester, lycra, and others. Beware of socks that are made up of non-breathable materials because you run the risk of moisture build-up and collecting odors from profuse sweat.
Material also has a lot to do with how your foot feels within your running shoe.
If the sock material is too slick and lacks targeted cushioning points to prevent your foot from slipping, you may find yourself with a bunch of blisters after a hard day’s run.
- Height: All of the socks we’ll review today fall between quarter and low-cut heights, so none of these come up too high on your ankle. If you’re looking for a sock that’s better equipped for off-trail hiking or trekking through very wet terrain, you’ll want to look for higher socks or socks with better wicking capabilities.
Even the lowest of low-cut socks can keep your heels and ankles safe thanks to their heel tabs and added padding protection.
- Price: There are those shoppers that are willing to pay even the highest price for comfort, and then there are those that are very price-conscious when it comes to running investments.
Socks may not seem like the glue to your workout outfit and gear, but they certainly play an important role. Without the proper pair of socks, you could run into a myriad of issues and common runner complaints.
If you’re willing to pay the competitive price $10 to $15 for a pair of running socks, there are plenty of great options to go for.
Should you find a pair of socks that seems to fit everything on your wishlist, we hope that you’ll spread your newfound knowledge and product comparison skills to your fellow runners and friends so we can all get back to running and keeping our feet healthy and happy.
Top Product Reviews
Let’s now explore the benefits and drawbacks to some of the best athletic socks highly rated by customers.
ASICS Kayano Classic Quarter Socks
Price: $6.73 – $45.00
Design Features: NanoGLIDE moisture and friction management, “Y” heel gore, articulated arch support, horizontal lace pad, mesh knit construction, seamless toe, and two 4-tone color varieties.
Best Use: Marathons & Trail Running
Description: Many experienced runners know that ASICS is a brand to trust for running shoes and comfortable sneakers, but their Kayano Classic Quarter Socks are the socks you can count on in order to achieve plenty of miles without moisture build-up or blisters.
These socks are designed for a superior fit while running long distances. Their moisture-wicking nylon and elastane fibers keep your feet dry, even if you’re headed into humid or wet conditions.
Because these socks fit snugly on your feet and they’re designed for a more narrow foot type, you may want to considering ordering up a size.
For those runners that prefer no-show or low cut socks, you may want to look at other products as these come up to just above your ankles. The height can keep you comfy and safe from ankle biters in trail boots, too! If you’re willing to pay the higher price tag, these socks will keep your feet moving and happy for a long time to come.
Related: If you prefer a lower-fitting sock, ASICS offers the Tiger Lyte Low Cut Socks as a “no-show” alternative. If your personality calls for more than just two colors to decide between, check out ASICS’ Kayano Single Tab Sock.
Drymax Run Hyper Thin No-show Socks
Price: $9.90 – $33.00
Design Features: Drymax odor technology, breathable stripe mesh vents, flat toe seam, “Y” heel, anti-slip wedge, vented arch band, and dual layer fabrics.
Best Use: Jogging & Tennis
Description: As Drymax boasts, the Run Hyper Thin No-Show Socks were designed to be the lightest running socks available. They surely are one of the thinnest pair of socks being review today, measured in as thin as a dime.
These socks are a great solution for those of you that don’t need the extra padding of a traditional running sock.
The dual layer sweat removal technology keeps your feet dry as you run, move, or bounce, and prevents unwanted odors and consequent fungal bacteria with the help of the vented arch band and the breathable stripe mesh vents, so heat doesn’t linger and your feet don’t suffer.
These socks are the perfect solution for runners living in warmer climates and for those who love exercising on the beach. The major concern is that thinner socks can often wear out faster with overuse, causing holes or stretches.
If you’re interested in the thinnest running socks on our bestseller list, however, look no further.
Related: Drymax makes this exact quality with all of these construction features in two other heights. The Double Tab Socks are your ultimate low with two convenient tabs to pull them on and off easy. The Mini Crew Socks are a higher solution with the same hyper thin materials to keep you going fast.
Thorlo Running Crew Socks
Price: Starts at $7.71
Design Features: Acrylic, nylon, and spandex materials, thick cushion padding level, moisture-wicking THOR-LON fiber construction, added toe cushioning, and flat knit at instep for arch support.
Best Use: Terrain Running & Golf
Description: Thorlo’s Thick Cushion Running Crew Socks are made in North Carolina where terrain is everything, and their comfort has been trusted by American runners for more than thirty years. What sets thicker socks apart is their ability to absorb shock while you run on rough terrains.
If you find yourself discovering new and uncharted trails, you’ll want a sock that can keep you stable and warm without trapping heat and causing you to collect sweat.
We all know impact injuries can really ruin a run, but these socks work to relieve pain even as you run so you can keep your mind on running faster for longer. As with any type of sock, you’ll need to decide if a crew sock height is right for you.
If you’d rather run in a no-show or low-cut sock, there are plenty of other products out there. If sock height isn’t a concern of yours, you’ll enjoy the added cushioning and affordable price of these running socks for many miles to come.
Related: To keep your feet warm in colder weather or environments, the Cold Weather Run Crew Socks are a perfect solution. For socks that go the extra mile to protect your feet from trail dirt, check out the Trail Run Crew Socks.
Saucony Performance No-show Socks
Price: Starts at $17.99 per six pairs
Design Features: Polyester, rubber, and spandex materials, RunDry moisture-wicking yarn, arch compression, cushioned sole, and Airmesh vents.
Best Use: Marathon Training & Treadmill
Description: For six pairs at an affordable price, Saucony’s Performance No-show Socks are an avid runner’s dream.
Whether you’re running sprints outside in the driveway or deep into the tenth mile of your long distance warm-up, you’ll never find such comfort with thick padding at such an affordable price than with these socks.
They feature moisture managing and wicking fabrics to prevent the uncomfortable build-up of sweat while you’re in the middle of an intense workout. You can avoid slipping or chafing thanks to the breathable ventilation system that also forms snugly to your foot so your feet stay stable and supported.
Our only caution with this pair of socks is that they are seemingly not as “no-show” as they claim to be. If you only wear low-cut, no-show socks, you’ll want to look at alternatives. Other than that, these socks will carry your feet in comfort no matter how far you go.
Related: For a true “no-show” alternative, check out Saucony’s Competition Low Cut Socks. For petite socks at the same affordable price, Saucony also offers the Women’s 6-pack Performance No-Show Sport Socks.
Features! High Performance Ultra Light No-show Socks
Price: $10.99 – $16.04
Design Features: Polyester, nylon, and lycra materials, flat-knit construction, iWick fibers for moisture management, snug-fit technology, and no annoying toe seam.
Best Use: Long-distance Running & Cycling
Description: Even in rain, sweat, and mud, you can rely on Features! High Performance Ultra Light No-show Socks to keep you performing at your best through the obstacles in any training session.
With their snug-fit lycra technology, these socks hug your feet and keep them from sliding or rubbing against the insides of your shoes, so you have relief from blisters and discomfort.
The iWick fibers help wick moisture away so you don’t collect uncomfortable sweat. One of the most attractive features is that these socks have no annoying toe seams, so your toes won’t stretch them out after many uses.
These are also quite thin and breathable. Whether you’re golfing, cycling, or jogging around the neighborhood, we think you’ll find these perform well for many activities. At a moderate price compared to other pairs, you can get these with confidence that you’ll have cushioned runs for a long time to come.
Related: For many more color varieties, that same Lycra-snug fit, and a competitive price, Feetures! offers the High Performance Cushion No-show Tab Socks with higher density cushioning to protect your feet. For a product with a little less cushioning, the High Performance Light Cushion No-show Tab Socks will keep you on your feet all day and come in many fun colors to choose from.
Balega Hidden Comfort Tab
Price: $8.00 – $32.28
Design Features: Hand-linked seamless toe closure, heel tab, elastane fit construction, reinforced heel and toe, mesh construction for ventilation, DryNamix moisture management technology, and a plush sole.
Best Use: Marathon Training & the Gym
Description: Blisters be gone, thanks to Balega’s Hidden Comfort Tab Running Socks. With its elastane fit construction, these socks hug your feet and provide more cushion than traditionally thin running socks. The small heel tab in the back of the sock prevents it from sliding down into your shoe as you bounce, pivot, and move.
You can run freely without having to adjust these socks for comfort. As with many of the manufacturers we mentioned, Balega designed these socks with their own DryNamix moisture management technology that helps ward off any unpleasant odors caused from sweat. The mesh ventilation construction also helps to keep your feet dry even on the hottest days.
The 15 or more color options leave you with plenty to choose from to match the rest of your running style. These socks also sit low on the ankle, providing a near “no-show” effect. If you’d like a little bit of a higher sock, check out some of our earlier mentions.
Related: Like many other brands, Balega offers thicker alternatives for runners that need that extra support while they run. The Hidden Contour Athletic Running Socks are perfect for runners that prefer a thicker sock. If you need even thicker socks you can wear into colder weather, the Blister Resist No Show Athletic Running Socks are your answer.
Thirty48 Unisex Running Socks
Price: $10.95 – $64.95
Design Features: COOLMAX fabric, CatalystAF airflow technology, extra padding on the metatarsal, achilles, and heel, heel tab, padded instep, and elastic arch support.
Best Use: Jogging & Tennis
Description: With padded cushioning to protect the most vulnerable parts of your feet from impact, Thirty48’s Unisex Running Socks will keep you running past your goals and limits.
The moisture-wicking, synthetic blended fabrics will keep your feet cool and dry even on the hottest of days.
Its helpful heel tab makes it easy to slip these socks on and off when you’re on-the-go. We all like to work out in style whenever possible. These socks are offered in a variety of colors, so you’ll never run out of socks to match the rest of your gear: Black, Gray, Blue, Green, Pink, Purple and Orange.
The elastic arch support helps to lessen the effects of harsh terrain or slopes on your feet, and you can run with confidence that your socks will keep going long after you’ve called it quits for the day. If you don’t mind paying the moderate price, these socks should last you a lot of runs, but just be careful of wearing out the stitching.
Related: If you’re looking for thinner socks, Thirty48’s Ultra-light Running Socks are an ideal solution. For those runners looking for socks that can withstand a variety of activities, the Low-cut Cycling Socks are great for any adventure you have ahead of you.
Who knew there were so many details that go into buying the right pair of socks! Let’s recap our important features that you should consider before deciding on any one pair of running socks. You’ll want a pair of socks that fits exactly the way you want them to, whether high up on your ankle or just out of view.
The many materials manufacturers can use to make the best performing socks can impact your running experiences.
Research your fabrics and ultimately make your decision based on comfort. Plan ahead and outline the type of running you hope to do the most with your future pair of socks. If you plan to run in cold extremes, opt for a thicker sock with lots of added padding to carry you over the most unpredictable of terrains. Last but not least, be friendly to your wallet.
Choose the pair of socks that best fits your lifestyle and allows you to run to your heart’s content without sacrificing comfort in any of your other running must-haves. We hope that you can now differentiate the different types of bestselling running socks. If you think we forgot to mention any of the other great products out there, please let us know in the comments below!