There is no more underrated piece of clothing than socks, especially for runners. While you might spend weeks selecting the perfect running shoe and agonise for hours over the technical T-shirt you want to wear on race day, the chances are you’ll devote mere seconds to sock selection.
This is a massive mistake – we’d even go as far as saying it’s a travesty. The best socks will not only make blisters less likely and keep your feet dry and cool, but they’ll also make the whole run just feel right. Simply pulling on the perfect pair of socks can do away with any motivational misgivings before a run. You’ll be desperate to get out there.
Here are ten of the very best running socks to consider.
Runderwear Anti Blister Ankle Running Sock
With two layers of fabric, these socks aim to ensure that you avoid blisters – the idea is that the layers rub against one another, rather than your skin. The fabric is also highly breathable for moisture management. As well as these over-the-ankle socks, Runderwear has a low-rise option for those who prefer their sock to cut off around the top of their trainer.
Buy the Runderwear socks from Amazon here
Inov-8 Speed Sock Low
You probably aren’t even considering the weight of your socks when you’re working on becoming a faster runner – but trim a few grams off your socks and who knows? You could be heading for the next Olympics. These Inov-8 socks are certainly lightweight, but still comfortable thanks to padded areas underfoot and around the ankles, and they also deliver mild compression to increase blood circulation. If compression is your bag, you should check out our round-up of the best compression running socks for more options.
Buy the Inov-8 socks from Wiggle here
Injinji Run 2.0 Mid-Weight
Are toe socks ever-so-slightly unsettling? Yes. Are they are a bit of a pain to put on? Also yes. However, they’re a great option for anyone who is regularly beset by toe blisters because they prevent toe-on-toe rubbing. Injinji offers a huge range of different designs, so you can match them with the rest of your running outfit.
Buy the Injinji socks from Amazon here
Storm Bloc With BlueGuard Sports Crew Socks
If your primary concern when it comes to socks is longevity, Storm Bloc might be your best bet. The company’s so confident in the anti-abrasion properties of the yarn in its socks that it offers a lifetime guarantee against holes. The socks also have padding for extra comfort when running and extra support in the arches, as well as breathable panels to stop your feet overheating.
Buy Storm Block socks from Amazon here
BAM Bamboo Trainer Socks
Unlike most of the other options below, these socks are not specifically designed for running, but their supreme comfort means they merit a place on this list – and indeed any list of the best socks for active pursuits. The socks have extra padding on the sole and, thanks to the bamboo fabric’s natural breathability and sweat-wicking properties, will keep your feet cool and dry while running.
Buy the Bam socks from Bamboo Clothing here
Stance Men’s Crew
A post shared by Stance Run (@stancerun) on Jan 5, 2017 at 6:30am PST
Stance is running sock royalty and there’s probably not an event in the world that doesn’t extensively display its logo around the start line. This popularity is down to two things. First, Stance offers a huge variety of patterns and designs, and second, the socks are moisture-wicking marvels that are also durable enough to last for years. You can find Stance socks all over the internet and in running shops – just make sure you’re getting their run-specific models.
Buy Stance socks from Runners Need here
Bridgedale CoolFusion Run Qwik
Padding in all the right places make this sock supremely comfortable to run in, or just for sitting on the sofa with your feet up. The fabric is a mix of merino wool, Coolmax polyester, nylon and Lycra, which all adds up to a sock that’ll keep your feet dry, cool and happy. Happy feet, without a dancing penguin in sight.
Get the Bridgedale socks from Amazon here
RECOMMENDED: The Best Running Compression Socks
Feetures Elite Max Cushion
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“Be wary of investing in clothes from a brand with a pun in its name” is normally sound advice, but we can assure you that any money spent on Feetures socks is money well spent. The Elite Max Cushion has – no surprise here – extra cushioning, which provides support on the medial side of the arch, the part of the foot that ails many runners.
Buy the Feetures socks at Amazon here
Hilly TwinSkin Anklet
You can get this TwinSkin sock in either Anklet (covers the ankle) or Socklet (doesn’t) form. The double-layer, quick-drying construction is designed with one key goal in mind – to ensure your feet stay blister-free.
Buy the Hilly socks at Amazon here
Smartwool Phd Running Ultra Light Mini
Although seriously thin and light, this sock is durable enough to last you many miles, with extra wool in the toes and heel padding out the areas most likely to wear out. You’ll be running those miles in comfort too, with the rapidly drying ultra-thin fabric keeping your feet moisture-free.
Buy the Smartwool socks at Amazon here