Finest Working Socks of 2022 – iRunFar



After a whole bunch of path miles from 14,110-foot Pikes Peak in Colorado to Moab, Utah’s rolling sandstone, we honed in on the most effective working socks for path runners and ultrarunners — zero blisters included.

One of the vital necessary items of drugs for runners is our socks. Effectively-constructed, tailor-made working socks are typically costlier than cheaply woven silhouettes — and for good purpose. Every athletic stocking that we placed on is strategically designed with a scientific curation of fibers for moisture administration, warmth switch, placement and depth of cushion, and peak. Every sock is created for particular circumstances: toasty canyons, winter squalls, or bushwhacking up steep and long-forgotten singletrack. A greater-made sock additionally survives extra miles by means of wilderness and on again roads than a cut price design.

The issue with top-tier working socks is the associated fee: 4 strong pairs may price an enormous wad of money. How can runners select which pairs to purchase? We produced this information to assist jumpstart your concerns. Over the previous months, our six-member squad {of professional}, aggressive, collegiate, and leisure path runners and ultrarunners pulled on a spread hosiery for a whole bunch and a whole bunch of miles. The workforce included runners coaching for myriad races from the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile to the 40-mile Grand Traverse Mountain Run. We ran from nightfall to daybreak throughout the Rocky Mountains and Western United States dealing with mud, sun-baked singletrack, snow, and rain.

Past our stamp of approval, probably the most comfy socks on this information may also be those that finest suit your ft, are designed on your environmental circumstances, and complement your most well-liked footwear. Whereas we thought-about nearly all of the top-performing socks for runners, this information doesn’t deal with knee-high, medical-grade compression, or low-cut socks.

Scroll by means of to see all of our suggestions for the most effective working socks, or soar to the class you’re in search of to see our prime picks. Additionally, study extra about our testing methodology, learn our recommendation for selecting your subsequent working socks, and see our steadily requested questions about working socks on the backside of this information.

Best Running Socks - testing socks while mountain running

A runner testing socks for this information whereas mountain working. Picture: iRunFar/Morgan Tilton

Best Running Socks - Swiftwick Flite XT Five - product photoWhy It’s a Prime Choose: The Swiftwick Flite XT 5 is a snug-fitting, compression-feel, no-budge sock with a delicate contact, glorious breathability, and thumbs-up ankle safety.

The Swiftwick Flite XT 5 obtained the best common rating out of all of our socks and is likely one of the finest working socks for runners, in accordance with our male- and female-identifying testers. Our largest take-home from the Swiftwick Flite XT 5 is that these socks give our ft and ankles a mega hug. The design options average compression, which feels snugger than most working socks just like the Drymax or Smartwool fashions on this information. The consequence? No bunching in any respect and a slight squeeze. Be aware, nevertheless, these socks should not have medical-grade compression.

Nonetheless, runners with meatier calves would possibly want a brief break-in interval with this muscular sock. “They had been a bit of tight round my decrease leg to begin. As soon as I frolicked in them, they stretched, held form to my decrease leg, and I didn’t really feel restriction in any respect,” stated one aggressive ultrarunner and product tester. The runner donned these socks for 160 miles in temperatures starting from 32 to 92 levels Fahrenheit in Colorado and Utah. “These are by far my favourite socks. It was greater than 90 levels Fahrenheit after I ran in Moab and my ft didn’t really feel sweaty or moist.”

The mesh higher helps to launch warmth. A medium-level cushion sits beneath the arch and heel, which we discovered supplies satisfactory safety mile after mile and on rocky descents. The material under the forefoot has alternating rows of cushion — which characteristic a proprietary grippy fiber referred to as olefin to wick away moisture and sweat. The grippy nanofiber can also be blended into the heel cushion and offered no-slip stability in our testers’ sneakers. After plowing by means of water, “These socks dried out actually quick and didn’t give me any blisters,” and the four-inch excessive cuff “is ideal for working by means of grass and low brush,” reported one tester. Total, “These socks are tremendous comfy, actually delicate, and make my ft really feel so safe.”

Materials: 66% nylon, 17% polyester, 14% olefin, 3% spandex


  • Cosy and safe
  • Manages moisture tremendous effectively and dries quick


  • Giant calves would possibly require a break-in interval
  • Greater price

Store the Swiftwick Flite XT 5

Best Running Socks - Smartwool Athlete Edition Run Print Crew Socks - product photoWhy It’s a Prime Choose: The light-weight Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks and the Smartwool Ladies’s Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks have our favourite strategically positioned cushioning, which is dense and ultralight, plus a cuff peak that protects the ankles and decrease legs on path runs.

The Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks ranked a detailed second place amongst our top-rated picks — it even obtained an ideal rating from one in every of our testers. Clearly, this design has been and continues to be among the many finest socks for runners. This design is light-weight, with gentle cushion that’s removed from flimsy. From mud-ridden, excessive altitude routes to arid desert flooring, we discovered this streamlined sock offered glorious and strategic safety. The sock has a focused, skinny, tightly woven cushion beneath the ball of the foot, heel, across the toe, behind the Achilles tendon, and towards the outer ankle — in all the mandatory spots.

The highest of the foot and cuff are a mesh mix for air flow, which dissipates warmth pretty effectively — although not in addition to the Drymax Further Safety Hawks Sizzling Climate 1/4 Crew Socks on this information. That stated, this Smartwool design transferred moisture effectively and didn’t turn into soaked from perspiration, even with the sweatiest testers. The peak rises practically 4 inches above the ankle, and the toebox is seamless with no bunching cloth.

One among our testers took this pair on a number of long-distance runs in a row and by no means seen a stench, due to the odor-absorbing merino wool. Finally, the Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks are crisp, well-tailored working socks, splendid for brief or lengthy path runs, average temperatures, and multi-day journeys. Plus, “the seams on the within of this sock are pristine with no free-flying threads, and the sock has the right quantity of elasticity. My foot feels cradled and comfy,” shared one in every of our testers.

Materials: 57% merino wool, 38% nylon, 4% elastane, 1% polyester


  • Enticing, fashionable design
  • Sturdy


  • Light-weight however not a main alternative for the most well liked climate
  • Greater price ticket

Store the Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew SocksStore the Smartwool Ladies’s Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks

Best Running Socks - Balega Enduro Quarter - product photoWhy It’s a Prime Choose: The Balega Enduro Quarter supplies medium-cushion assist whereas being a breathable, moisture-wicking, no-budge, price range choice in comparison with our different prime picks.

The Balega Enduro Quarter is our favourite medium-cushion sock for extra safety beneath our heel, arch, forefoot, and toes. “I like a bit extra cushion on mountain path runs, particularly if I’m on an enormous descent. This medium-level cushion is a pleasant, plush break from lighter socks with light-weight cushions, which I additionally wish to put on on runs. Although this cushion is on the thicker facet, it doesn’t twist, bunch, or result in blisters,” stated one product tester who took these socks on mountain runs statewide in Colorado.

This midweight sock feels heavier than most different warm-weather socks in our information however is surprisingly breathable and transfers moisture effectively. “My ft felt barely heat post-run however didn’t really feel too heat in the course of the run, and I used to be on a sun-exposed path on a 80-degree Fahrenheit day at 9,000 ft above sea degree. The socks by no means felt muggy or murky and dried quick,” famous one runner who examined the socks in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley. The runner additionally wore one other pair of Balega Enduro Quarter socks for 4 seasons earlier than the heels wore down. The elasticity additionally retains worth over time. Plus, the toebox is roomy, comfy, and doesn’t bunch or shift.

A possible caveat for some runners: These socks don’t squeeze your ft just like the Swiftwick, Le Bent, or Smartwool pairs listed on this information.

Materials: 91% Drynamix polyester, 7% polyamide, 2% elastane


  • Medium-cushion alternative
  • Breathable and wicks moisture effectively
  • Material doesn’t bunch or slouch
  • Financial value


  • Lacks ankle safety
  • No compression

Store the Balega Enduro Quarter

Best Running Socks - Drymax Extra Protection Hawks Hot Weather 1/4 Crew Socks - product photoWhy It’s a Prime Choose: The Drymax Further Safety Hawks Sizzling Climate 1/4 Crew Socks is a light-weight, very breathable sock that resists warmth buildup throughout scorching, sun-exposed runs and races.

The Drymax Further Safety Hawks Sizzling Climate 1/4 Crew Socks are extraordinarily breathable and supply reprieve on sunny, scorching, or intense runs, in accordance with a number of of our gear testers. “It is a nice thinner sock for hotter path days or races. It’s very breathable with the correct amount of elasticity and cushion,” famous one lengthy distance runner and coach, who wore the socks on mountain trails and previous mining roads in Colorado’s Elk Mountains. The higher facet of the sock contains a mesh weave that dumps warmth. A constant layer of average padding stretches alongside the underside of the foot, from heel to toe, beneath the metatarsals, which supplies glorious safety and luxury.

The material mix features a Teflon fiber — polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) — that’s among the many finest artificial supplies for withstanding friction, in accordance with the Polymer Properties Database. The PTFE is positioned within the heel, forefoot, and toe space, that are tremendous sturdy. One skilled mountain runner and product tester has used a pair for 3 years and notes no seen put on and tear. He added, “The slim match works effectively with snugger-fitting sneakers” and the decrease quarter-crew size sits an inch above the ankle, which is usually most well-liked for toasty jaunts. The fiber mix additionally contains olefin, which wicks away moisture and sweat.

Total, our workforce skilled no blisters, slippage, or lingering odors after pounding miles with these socks. The inside of the toebox was easy and went unnoticed. Critique? The socks aren’t the softest within the drawer, highlighted one tester, “Whereas I don’t really feel any friction or scorching spots with these socks, the tradeoff is that they really feel a bit coarse — they aren’t very delicate.”

Materials: 36% Drymax olefin, 26% polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), 22% polyester, 12% spandex, 4% nylon


  • Light-weight
  • Wonderful air flow
  • Tenacious, long-lasting cloth


  • Not a sock for colder days
  • Seems thick and cumbersome
  • Pricier

Store the Drymax Further Safety Hawks Sizzling Climate 1/4 Crew Socks

Best Running Socks - Smartwool Run Cold Weather Targeted Cushion Crew Socks - product photoWhy It’s a Prime Choose: The Smartwool Run Chilly Climate Focused Cushion Crew Socks and Smartwool Ladies’s Run Chilly Climate Focused Cushion Crew Socks are athletic, thicker, heat-retaining socks for colder circumstances with focused gentle cushion and a cuff that safeguards ankles and decrease legs.

This heavier weave sock is a concrete alternative that braces towards the weather of chilly climate, snow, or rain, and winter runs on grime roads, pavement, or path. The Smartwool Run Chilly Climate Focused Cushion Crew Socks attain a number of inches above the ankle. Our workforce loved the built-in gentle cushion within the heel and front-of-foot and didn’t expertise any blisters, foot slippage, or lingering smells post-run.

“The merino wool mixture is nice at retaining the moisture out and the socks really feel ventilated throughout a run,” celebrated one product tester and run coach, who donned this pair for runs in Colorado’s Elk Mountains. The socks are very stretchy and the toebox isn’t restrictive.

One other tester, who wore this pair throughout Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, famous that the “further cushioning added safety but in addition soaks up extra liquid in the event you get your ft moist whereas working in slushy snow.” Fortunately, even when these socks are moist, they rock at retaining warmth.

Total, the match is athletic and the design is extraordinarily comfy. One among our testers even voted this pair among the many finest all-around socks: “These socks felt so good I’d overlook they had been even on. That’s precisely what you need in a sock — one which will get the job finished and also you don’t have to consider them. The wicking energy of the merino wool in these socks is certainly a recreation changer for general consolation on each cooler and hotter days. I additionally love the size, to assist maintain particles out whereas path working.”

The ladies’s-specific match for this sock has a narrower heel and slimmer silhouette. Our male- and female-identifying runners tallied good scores for this sock, rating it among the many finest working socks for women and men.

Materials: 56% merino wool, 41% nylon, 3% elastane


  • Retains warmth for chilly days
  • Stretchy


  • Further materials doesn’t pair effectively with snug-fitting sneakers
  • Sock thickness may not be a good selection for ft that swell

Store the Smartwool Run Chilly Climate Focused Cushion Crew SocksStore the Smartwool Ladies’s Run Chilly Climate Focused Cushion Crew Socks

Best Running Socks - Le Bent Ultra Light Mini Trail Sock - product photoWhy It’s a Prime Choose: The Le Bent Extremely Gentle Mini Path Sock is a supremely delicate working sock that’s comfy, light-weight, and breathable.

Sure, even our ft deserve buttery easy attire. The low-profile Path Extremely Gentle Mini Path Sock, made by Le Bent, matches the invoice. The only most prevalent fiber on this super-soft sock is derived from bamboo, which is transformed by means of a chemical course of right into a natural-based artificial materials. “Delicate, delicate, delicate! The fibers are exceptionally delicate towards the pores and skin. And the toebox and heel are seamless and don’t really feel cumbersome,” shared one runner and veteran sock tester.

The sock doesn’t twist, bunch, or slip whereas on the go regardless of being probably the most supple alternative in our information. Our workforce took this sock on runs round Wyoming and Montana by means of thick pine forests, pebble-strewn paths, rocky trails, and lakeside seashore sand. We discovered no unfastened threads or cumbersome seams. Mesh within the higher is a port for air flow. The cuff — which reaches three inches above the ankle — has just-right elasticity, so no cloth slumping happens whereas being jostled on rugged descents. The Le Bent Extremely Gentle Mini Path Sock is a snug, luxurious-feeling sock that also rebounds effectively. The toebox feels a bit narrower than different socks just like the Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks.

Enhancements? We’d wish to see an iteration of this sock with average cushion. “It is a go-to skinny, comfy sock for warm-weather days and shorter to average distances. This sock lacks the cushion I favor for super-long mileage,” stated one sock tester. All contemplating, this pair is a reasonably priced in comparison with others on our listing, and it’s price including to our sock queue.

Materials: 44% rayon from bamboo, 35% nylon, 19% merino wool, 2% elastane



  • Minimal cushion
  • Skinny cloth may put on down after a few seasons

Store the Le Bent Path Extremely Gentle Mini Path Sock

Best Running Socks - Swiftwick Aspire Four - product photoWhy It’s a Prime Choose: The light-weight Swiftwick Aspire 4 supplies extraordinarily supportive compression, wicks moisture effectively, and has very gentle cushion.

The Swiftwick Aspire 4 delivers the identical primo moisture-wicking energy because the Swiftwick Flite XT 5, reviewed above on this information, however with tremendous minimal cushion and extra compression. We discovered the mesh footbed and higher — which can also be constructed with olefin, a fiber that wicks away moisture and sweat — is efficient and helped our ft keep dry. The material mix is delicate towards the pores and skin. The cuff peak sits 4 inches above the ankle and we loved the tight compression across the ankle, arch, and decrease leg.

A caveat: we discovered that the thick cuff didn’t launch warmth very effectively. “The material above my ankle felt a bit thick and stuffy on a 70-degree Fahrenheit summer season night whereas carrying path trainers with a well-ventilated mesh higher. I used to be in shorts and a t-shirt, so I used to be not overdressed, however my ft felt noticeably scorching. In any other case, I actually just like the safety and brace the cuff supplies,” shared one tester who took these socks on rocky, dusty singletrack and grime roads round central Colorado. Our testers additionally want this mannequin had a tad extra cushion however actually loved this sock for shorter mileage.

Total, this pair is a strong alternative for runners who need very minimal padding underfoot and a supportive squeeze that helps maintain their ankle and arch.

Materials: 67% nylon, 28% olefin, 5% spandex


  • Supreme elasticity
  • Much less dear in comparison with our different prime picks


  • Minimal cushion
  • Non-ventilated cuff

Store the Swiftwick Aspire 4

Best Running Socks - Injinji Ultra Run Mini-Crew - product photoFor some runners, toe socks are heaven’s reply to their longest ventures and every day miles. Theoretically, cloth wrapped round every toe retains digits from brushing towards one another and inflicting blisters. The fiber additionally splays the toes out, which might encourage toes to interact whereas on a run. Based on our testers, the Injinji Extremely Run Mini-Crew and the Injinji Ladies’s Extremely Run Mini-Crew is a really protecting, comfy, and cushioned design. The ladies’s-specific model of presents the identical options in a narrower profile. Our female- and male-identifying runners offered related good scores for the Injinji design.

The Injinji Extremely Run Mini-Crew has a delicate and cushioned, midweight cloth across the toes, which is made with terry, a thread approach typically used for towels. The footbed additionally has cushion. The mesh prime is designed to launch warmth, although one aggressive ultrarunner and tester discovered that the socks had been scorching for sooner highway runs versus on trails. Regardless of the warmth buildup, the moisture switch was glorious, and the socks by no means obtained drenched with sweat. The material didn’t slip and by no means bunched. By the top of lengthy runs, the elasticity in these socks was nonetheless top-notch and the material didn’t retain odor.

For different runners, the toe sock is tremendous supportive however boasts a bit an excessive amount of materials for lengthy distances, technical and steep terrain, or streamlined footwear. “Regardless of being well-cushioned and delicate, this fashion of sock is simply too stout for my private desire. The thickness between my toes was obvious when working downhill, on rocky terrain, and on the finish of lengthy runs,” stated one tester who sometimes reaches for light-weight socks with minimal cushion. She added, “There was an excessive amount of cloth between my toes and round my pinky toe — I’ve a ridiculously quick pinky toe. Towards mile 15, I’d begin to really feel the material rubbing inside my pinky toes.” Regardless of the beefy cloth — particularly round itty-bitty toes — our testers reported no scorching spots or blisters.

Materials: 64% nylon, 33% CoolMax, 3% Lycra


  • Nice cushion
  • Stable moisture switch
  • Wonderful protection and safety
  • Zero seams


  • Sizzling for pavement
  • Thick in comparison with different lighter weight working socks
  • Not your best option for footwear with a narrower toebox
  • Quick and tiny or excessive quantity toes are the least suitable with these socks

Store the Injinji Extremely Run Mini-CrewStore the Injinji Ladies’s Extremely Run Mini-Crew

Best Running Socks - Fits Micro Light (Track) Runner - Quarter - product photoThe Suits Micro Gentle Runner (Monitor) – Quarter supplies one of many shortest cuffs in our information with a one-inch rise above the ankle. For path runs with much less vegetation and technicality, this sock’s cloth protection supplies fundamental, satisfactory safety whereas letting our decrease legs benefit from the air — particularly on sunny, scorching midsummer runs.

This light-weight sock delivers the most effective medium-grade cushioning in our information. Focused plush materials is woven across the toebox, beneath the forefoot, and across the heel for defense on path runs. This design supplies extra cushion and feels thicker than the Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks, for example.

Because of good elasticity, the sock cuff and arch stays put and doesn’t loosen, twist, or slouch over time. The toebox cloth doesn’t bunch, but feels much less comfortable than the Le Bent Path Extremely Gentle Mini Path Sock or Swiftwick fashions listed above. We didn’t discover any odors within the sock regardless of sweaty, sun-exposed runs, because of the excessive amount of merino wool, which absorbs odor. The material mix contains a superfine wool.

Our critique: “It’s not annoying or uncomfortable, however the inside seams of the sock have seen, lengthy strands and aren’t as clear as the within of different socks just like the Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks. Additionally, this cloth mix isn’t the softest I’ve felt,” reported one tester — maybe because of the excessive amount of wool, albeit not itchy. They added, “Total, I nonetheless love these socks for the mix of light-weight, well-ventilated cloth and extra cushion than different gentle socks I’ve worn.” Finally, we take pleasure in and need this sock in our toolbox for breezy consolation on much less technical path runs.

Materials: 70% superfine merino wool, 23% nylon, 4% polyester, 3% Lycra


  • Shorter cuff choice for much less technical trails
  • Cheaper price in comparison with different top-tier socks in our information


  • Not the softest fiber mix
  • The cuff isn’t tremendous tall for ankle safety on technical, closely vegetated path runs

Store the Suits Micro Gentle Runner (Monitor) – Quarter

Best Running Socks - Stance Run Light Crew Socks - product photoRounding out our favourite socks for working is the Stance Run Gentle Crew Socks. With 5 inches of cuff peak above the ankle, this sock is good for runners logging lengthy miles on dusty trails or in mud who love a skinny, quick-drying sock. It’s additionally tremendous light-weight and breathable, due to the heavy dose of nylon in its artificial mix.

On the similar time, we’re impressed with its sturdiness. One among our ultrarunner testers has put a whole bunch of path miles on this sock, working over volcanic scree and granite-strewn ridges, by means of creek crossings, and even traversing cow pastures whereas racing in Europe. “This sock has turn into my go-to for lengthy mountain runs and ultras as a result of it’s so breathable and it doesn’t budge whereas I’m carrying it. I additionally respect its peak, since I are likely to kick the within of my ankles and calves late in a run after I’m very, very drained,” shared our tester. “I’m very laborious on these socks they usually present zero put on.”

Whereas the Stance Run Gentle Crew Socks present a hug-like squeeze and we had no experiences of blisters or scorching spots, it’s not fairly as delicate because the Swiftwick Flite XT 5 or the Le Bent Extremely Gentle Mini Path Sock, which we reviewed on this information. Additional, it’s a brilliant skinny sock with little or no cushioning, so those that favor a bit extra cloth below their ft could wish to go for the Drymax Further Safety Hawks Sizzling Climate 1/4 Crew Socks or the Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks, each of which supply focused cushion in a light-weight, well-ventilated design — they’re additionally amongst our prime socks on this information.

Materials: 72% nylon, 18% polyester, 5% elastane, 5% combed cotton


  • Average compression
  • Good air flow
  • Sturdy


  • Minimal cushion
  • Not as delicate as our prime picks

Store the Stance Run Gentle Crew Socks

Regularly Requested Questions on Working Socks

Ought to working socks be thick or skinny?

The proper quantity of fabric in a working sock is predicated on private desire, which can also be influenced by a runner’s most well-liked footwear. Trainers with a narrower toebox and extra streamlined match typically pair finest with lighter-weight socks just like the Swiftwick Aspire 4 or Stance Run Gentle Crew Socks. Additionally, some runners’ ft are likely to swell in hotter circumstances or throughout long-distance runs, so thicker socks can turn into too cumbersome. In winter working circumstances, the foot safety offered by a thicker sock just like the Smartwool Run Chilly Climate Focused Cushion Crew Socks is preferable.

Moreover, foot quantity influences runners’ most well-liked sock thickness. Some folks with low-volume ft discover that thicker socks permit them to lock into sure sneakers higher. Different runners with high-volume ft may be restricted to thinner socks, as their ft already occupy most of a shoe’s out there quantity.

How lengthy do working socks final?

The lifespan of working socks is dependent upon many elements, together with the standard and kind of supplies woven into the sock and the way the socks are used. All fibers break down over time from daylight, moisture, the oils of human pores and skin, in addition to the inherent wear-down inside our trainers, brushing towards shrubs, and wash-and-dry cycles. On the whole, artificial fibers are extra sturdy, stain resistant, and last more than pure fibers.

Following laundering directions might help make socks last more. For example, socks with terry loops will re-fluff when dried in a dryer, and their care directions will observe to tumble dry. Different socks shouldn’t be machine dried, as a result of excessive warmth impacts the fiber integrity. Additionally, utilizing a detergent that’s not really helpful can lower a sock’s perceived performance, because the product’s residue can lower breathability.

Carrying the right measurement sock and retaining your toenails trimmed also can assist scale back put on. And naturally, strolling inside or exterior in socks with out sneakers on can deteriorate the material as effectively. Whereas we’re elated when our run socks final two or three seasons, we’re not stunned in the event that they’re barreled after one.

Best Running Socks - runners wearing socks

Runners carrying Injinji socks. Picture: Injinji

Ought to I put on compression socks for working and restoration?

Submit run, compression socks assist blood circulation in a runner’s legs, which helps stop and scale back swelling. Some proof additionally reveals that compression socks worn throughout a run can positively influence efficiency on the athlete’s subsequent run and assist restoration, in accordance with the Cleveland Clinic, a premier educational medical heart primarily based in Cleveland, Ohio. The thick materials and tall socks also can assist shield the decrease leg and ankles from shrubs, sunshine, rain, snow, or harsh wind.

Most significantly, if compression socks make you are feeling good throughout a race or on a run, it’s seemingly a good suggestion so as to add them to your equipment. The perfect compression socks for working are those that finest suit your ft and calves: they need to really feel comfortable however not too tight.

Compression socks are produced in a spread of tightness ranges from eight millimeters of mercury (mmHg) to 50mmHg. Silhouettes made for runners, such because the tall compression socks made by Cep or Professional Compression, sometimes provide 20 to 30mmHg.

Such socks additionally typically characteristic graduated compression, which means they’re tightest on the ankle and turn into progressively looser additional up the leg.

When you’ve got any well being considerations, communicate along with your healthcare supplier earlier than investing in compression socks. For example, diabetic sufferers can expertise issues whereas utilizing compression socks, in accordance with the Oklahoma Coronary heart Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Be aware, we didn’t embrace medical-grade compression socks on this sock information.

Ought to I put on particular socks for cold and warm climate?

While you run in scorching climate, it’s finest to tug on thinner, breathable, moisture-wicking socks. While you run in chilly climate, thicker socks which can be nonetheless pretty breathable and moisture wicking will probably be splendid. If there may be precipitation, it’s good to decide on a pair that retains warmth even when they’re moist, resembling socks with a wool mix.

A taller sock peak is an effective alternative for chilly climate. In scorching climate, the sock peak is dependent upon the quantity of material most well-liked to safety towards vegetation; although it’s not good to decide on a sock cuff that’s so quick it doesn’t keep fastened towards the ankle. For all seasons, selecting a pair of socks with no less than a minimal cushion will present safety and luxury for the underside of the foot from the toes to the forefoot to the heel. A bit extra cushion will inherently present a tad extra heat, too.

Our favourite socks for chilly climate are the Smartwool Run Chilly Climate Focused Cushion Crew Socks and we love the Drymax Further Safety Hawks Sizzling Climate 1/4 Crew Socks in scorching climate.

Can socks assist stop blisters?

Blisters are partly attributable to friction the place part of the foot rubs towards one other a part of the foot and/or the socks and sneakers you’re carrying. Some runners expertise blisters on their heels whereas others discover the painful nuisance on their toes and even the soles of their ft. It’s necessary to decide on socks and sneakers that match effectively — and match effectively collectively — with a view to stop scorching spots that turn into blisters. If hosiery has an excessive amount of materials or is simply too unfastened, the material can slip or shift and the footwear or sock materials can rub the foot.

The sock fibers could make a distinction, too. One among our sock testers skilled blisters straight below her forefeet when she was doing downhill sprints, which had been attributable to the socks she wore that day that had been made with majority nylon (75%) and elastane (13%), and the underside of the sock was too slick. One of the simplest ways to stop horrible blisters is to take your socks out for a wide range of shorter runs from speedy sprints on flat paths to steep climbs and downhills with a view to be sure that your ft and selection footwear function effectively with that sock. And in the event you start to expertise scorching spots or blisters, cease and deal with them instantly.

Lastly, after selecting their favourite footwear and socks, some runners additionally apply lubricant, like Physique Glide or Squirrel’s Nut Butter, to their ft earlier than runs. Curiously, blisters may be linked to hydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Learn our in-depth article on blister care and prevention to study extra.

Shopping for Recommendation: Learn how to Select Working Socks


The perfect working socks characteristic a mix of artificial and pure supplies. All socks want a share of nylon, polyester, or elastic with a view to retain the form, stretch, sturdiness, and elasticity of the design. A handful of our favourite socks incorporate merino wool, a pure fiber grown by merino sheep. Research present that this specialised wool reduces physique odor, can profit those that battle with eczema, and is moisture wicking and breathable, in accordance with Woolmark, a nonprofit group that works alongside Australia’s 60,000 woolgrowers to analysis, develop, and certify wool.

Then, a handful of our alternative socks embrace distinctive fibers like olefin, polytetrafluoroethylene, and rayon from bamboo, which every improve particular advantages like breathability, moisture administration, and next-to-skin really feel.

We suggest avoiding cotton. Cotton retains moisture, in order your foot builds warmth in a working shoe, you’d be extra more likely to expertise scorching spots or blisters. Our one teeny tiny exception right here is the Stance Run Gentle Crew Socks, that are majority nylon and comprise 5% combed cotton.


One of many worst emotions in a sock is when the seams are irritating or abrasive.

When working socks are manufactured, they’re typically knit as a tube, then are completed off through a seam within the toe. The toe seam rests in a barely completely different location for every sock, relying on the producer’s design, however is normally above and on prime of the toes with a closure alongside the outermost toes. The heel pocket additionally has a y-shaped seam.

Not each seam is created equal. Some seams are flatter and softer than others. The perfect seams in socks are those that go fully unnoticed.

Toe socks, such because the Injinji Extremely Run Mini-Crew, haven’t any seams in any respect.

Best Running Socks - a variety of socks tested for this guide

A number of of the numerous socks we examined for this information. Picture: iRunFar/Morgan Tilton


In working socks, nearly all of moisture-wicking yarns are artificial. Artificial fibers are hydrophobic, in order that they resist the penetration of moisture. In different phrases, they’ve stellar moisture-wicking properties. Nonetheless, wool additionally has moisture-wicking properties: the core absorbs a small quantity of liquid, the floor stays dry, and the wool wicks out the moisture.

Thick Versus Skinny Socks

On the whole, thicker socks are a more sensible choice for colder, extra wintry, and weather-tossed circumstances like rain and snow. Additionally, thicker socks typically pair higher with path trainers which can be much less streamlined and have a wider toebox. Gentle or medium-weight summer-weather socks with a medium-level cushion really feel thicker than socks with an ultrathin or skinny cushion. A medium-level cushion additionally feels softer beneath the foot. The perfect quantity of cushion for a path runner is predicated on private desire and foot-health wants, in addition to foot sort. Slender and low-volume ft typically discover that thicker socks allow extra safety particularly sneakers. Alternatively, runners with high-volume ft generally favor thinner socks, as a result of their ft fill nearly all of a shoe’s inside.

Skinny socks are a good selection for hotter circumstances. Skinny socks with minimal cushion additionally are likely to work effectively with narrower, extra exact footwear. For some runners, minimal socks present a way of enhanced foot management inside their footwear and whereas working technical terrain, particularly if traversing unfastened rock or scrambling off-trail is concerned within the route. Thinner cushion can really feel extra agency underfoot. In case your ft are likely to swell on runs or throughout a race, it’s necessary to account for the out there actual property inside your shoe: a thinner sock may be a more sensible choice.

Tall Versus Quick Socks

Working socks are available a spread of sizes for a wide range of functions, from sidewalks to rugged mountain ridges. No-show and extra-low cuts sit at and under the ankle, and a quarter-length sock rests above the ankle. A crew measurement hits beneath the calf. And an over-the-calf or knee-high sock reaches slightly below the knee.

For the aim of this information, our workforce concluded that low-cut and no-show socks don’t typically present the most effective safety for path runners and ultrarunners. A better sock is desired to cowl and shield the ankle and decrease leg from flying grime and pebbles, tall grass or brush, and abrasive rocks in out of doors terrain. That stated, a low-cut sock has its function on specific runs, particularly on the observe or highway with no vegetation or when it’s actually scorching.

On the alternative finish of the spectrum, knee-high socks present probably the most safety towards the weather, so some path runners and ultrarunners put on tall socks. Over-the-calf socks inherently really feel hotter than shorter pairs. Tall socks also can characteristic graduated medical-grade compression: they’re tightest on the ankle, turn into progressively looser additional up the leg, and sometimes present 20 to 30 millimeters of mercury of compression. Compression socks assist improve blood circulation, stop and scale back swelling, and a few proof reveals that compression helps with restoration for future runs. We didn’t check knee-high socks or medical-grade compression socks for this information.

Nearly all of our top-ranked socks are between a knee-high and a no-show. Essentially the most minimal peak we agreed on is 1 / 4 sock, which means the ankle bone is solely coated and the sock rises one or two inches above the ankle, just like the Balega Enduro Quarter and the Drymax Further Safety Hawks Sizzling Climate 1/4 Crew Socks. A decrease sock peak is finest for runs on designated trails.

Our highest rated, most favourite socks for almost all of our runs from mountains to abandon are a spread of crew heights that rise three to 5 inches above the ankle. One instance is our greatest general sock, the Swiftwick Flite XT 5.

Best Running Socks - Balega Enduro Quarter in the field

The Balega Enduro Quarter out on the path. Picture: iRunFar/Morgan Tilton


Essentially the most sturdy working socks are manufactured with a mix of artificial fibers, which assist the sock keep its type and assist. Artificial fibers are extra strong, stretchy, and have an extended lifespan than pure fibers, which explains why each sock in our information holds a share of artificial materials even when blended with pure fibers.

An artificial mix coupled with pure fibers continues to be a best choice for run socks, as a result of pure fibers present particular qualities resembling moisture switch, breathability, odor resistance, or softness.

Efficiency socks, resembling those on this information, are strengthened with layers of abrasion-resistant fibers in high-use areas of the foot that usually put on down, like beneath the toe, Achilles space, and heel.

Why You Ought to Belief Us

We started this information by polling the 20-plus-person iRunFar workforce with its collective a whole bunch of years of working expertise about their favourite — and fewer favourite — working socks in addition to researching dozens of the highest-ranked, hottest, and top-selling socks for runners. In doing so, we honed a listing of working socks for regimented testing.

Our six product testers coated a whole bunch of miles with these socks. Altogether, we adopted rocky and easy trails by means of high-altitude desert and mountain slopes, sandy singletrack, granite canyons, sun-beaten loops, dense aspen groves, crusty postholing ventures, and mud-caked routes. On some runs, we pounded pavement and packed grime. Our runners endured frigid rain, blasts of snow, sunshine at 14,000 ft, and lip-chapping gales. We tracked miles by means of a spread of environments throughout the San Juan Mountains, Elk Mountains, and Entrance Vary of Colorado, in addition to mountain and desert all through Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and the scree-strewn slopes of Oregon’s Cascade volcanoes.

All through every run, we every meticulously examined the socks and ranked every sock on a 120-point scale that included 12 important qualities from breathability, moisture switch, and cushioning to general safety and luxury. Primarily based on the typical scores, these seven socks are the front-runners: Swiftwick Flite XT 5, Smartwool Athlete Version Run Print Crew Socks, Balega Enduro Quarter, Drymax Further Safety Hawks Sizzling Climate 1/4 Crew Socks, Smartwool Run Chilly Climate Focused Cushion Crew Socks, Le Bent Path Extremely Gentle Mini Path Sock, and Swiftwick Aspire 4. A handful of socks scored excessive in lots of (however not all) traits whereas others we examined didn’t make the minimize. We’re thrilled to report that none of our testers skilled blisters in the course of the creation of this information.

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