The best running socks you can buy

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best running socks

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  • Your feet carry you on every run you undertake, so why not pamper them with the best pair of running socks?
  • Of all the socks we've researched and tested, the Rockay Accelerate Running Socks are our top pick because they are durable, comfortable, and wick moisture away to keep feet dry and prevent blisters.

Running doesn't need a lot of equipment. While the fancy gear is fun and can make runs more enjoyable, some would argue that all you need is a good pair of running shoes. However, there's another key piece that shouldn't be forgotten no matter how many miles you log: a good pair of running socks.

These two pieces of running apparel work in tandem to keep your feet happy from heel to toe, and as most runners know, happy feet make for a much more enjoyable run. You may think that any old pair of socks will do (I used to be in this camp myself), but we encourage you to try out a pair of running specific socks if you haven't already.

Because there are so many options, it can be tricky to wade through the mixed reviews and opinions. Luckily we've done the research for you, rounding up a group of socks that are highly rated, and offer features that meet a wide range of needs. Below we've also listed some helpful things you should pay attention to so your feet can meet their best match.

  • Material: One of the most important things to consider is material. Synthetic materials like polyester, acrylic, and nylon are your best bet because they help wick away moisture and prevent blisters. A wool blend can also be a good choice to keep your feet warm and dry - especially if you're running in the winter. You'll want to avoid anything that's 100% cotton as it will only hold in moisture, making for very sweaty and uncomfortable feet.
  • Cushioning: The cushioning and the thickness you desire in your running socks is a matter of personal choice, and luckily there are all types to choose from. Plenty of running socks are also designed to provide cushioning in places that are more likely to develop blisters.
  • Height: The height of your running socks can be a matter of personal style, but it can also serve a more useful purpose. Maybe you're tired of chafing the backs of your ankles. Or maybe you've noticed that mid-calf ankle socks have roared back into style, rejoining us from the 1980s. Either way, it's enough reason to try out a pair of crew length running socks. On the other hand, if you prefer a subtler look, no show or quarter length socks are also available.
  • Specialized Features: Aside from the basics, there are also socks designed to meet running specific needs and issues. Compression socks are a good option if you want to improve blood flow through your legs and ankles, or you want additional arch support. If you're especially prone to blisters, some runners swear by toe socks.

We all tend to have strong opinions on which brand is the best, but it's important to note what works for one runner may not work for another. That's why we give you a variety of options.

Here are the best running socks you can buy:

Updated on 06/07/2019 by Les Shu: Updated prices, links, and formatting.

Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.

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The best running socks overall

The best running socks overall
The Rockay Accelerate running socks are comfortable, moisture wicking, and made from durable, high-quality materials with a focus on sustainability.

A relatively new running company, Rockay is headquartered in Denmark, making running apparel "for runners, by runners." Sustainability is a big part of the company's mission, and by 2019 the goal is for all Rockay socks to be made from recycled ocean plastic, and all packaging to be made from 100% recycled materials. All products are field tested by Rockay athletes before launch.

Running socks are the first product to be released from Rockay, and I put their Accelerate running socks to the test to see for myself if they lived up to the promised features. I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed. I was immediately impressed with how comfortable they were, thanks to the blend of organic merino wool, polyamide, and elastane as well as the seamless construction. The focus on using eco-friendly methods and materials is a nice touch, and it's a path I hope to see more running apparel companies go down.

The blend of materials allows for impressive moisture-wicking capabilities to help prevent blisters. My first test run was on an unseasonably warm day, but my feet never felt overheated and stayed dry throughout the run.

On the durability front, I was especially impressed with how well these socks washed. As with most of my running gear, I try to hang dry everything since heat can be damaging to the synthetic materials often used in athletic clothing. However, there were a few times these socks slipped their way into the dryer, and I was pleased to find that their performance was unaffected. If you do have any issues, these socks are guaranteed for life, so you can receive another pair — no questions asked.

Another positive of these socks is the support they offer. They have just the right amount of compression in the arch of the foot, providing a snug fit without being uncomfortable. This fit also prevents them from slipping around in your running shoes, so any rubbing that could cause blisters can be avoided. I appreciated the snug fit as it kept these socks from slipping down into my running shoe, an issue I've had in the past with lower quality "no-show" styles of running socks.

The Rockay Accelerate socks are available in multiple colors, and range in sizes from extra-small to extra-large. A sizing chart is available to help you find the best fit. I felt that they ran true to size, though some reviewers did say they ran a bit small for them. Keep in mind that these will have a snug fit around the foot because of the compression arch. While these are on the more expensive end as far as running socks go, you're paying for quality and socks that will last.

Most Amazon reviewers felt the same. One customer says, "Rockay's Accelerate socks are the first truly perfect socks I've come across, and well worth the price."

Pros: Comfortable, durable, moisture wicking, made from thoughtfully sourced materials, provide support where you need it most

Cons: On the expensive side

Buy the Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks on Amazon for $15.95-$16.95

The best running socks for durability

The best running socks for durability
The Darn Tough Tab No Show Light Cushion socks are durable, have a seamless toe for added comfort, and are made with a merino wool and nylon blend that wicks away sweat to keep your feet dry.

True to their name, these are durable running socks that will get you through anything from a short jog to an arduous trail run. Every pair of socks made by Darn Tough is crafted in the United States in Northfield, Vermont and comes with a lifetime warranty.

These socks are thoughtfully designed to withstand some of the toughest sports, and it shows in the attention to detail given to the Darn Tough Tab No Show Light Cushion running socks. It's a wordy name, but these socks live up to it. The no-show style is subtle, and the tab provides extra cushion where your running shoe meets the back of your ankle to prevent any possible chafing.

Another winning feature? These socks are seamless, so your toes won't be subjected to any uncomfortable rubbing. Runners who tested out these socks described them as having "out of the bag comfort."

As far as material goes, you won't find any cotton here. These Darn Tough socks feature merino wool blended with nylon and lycra spandex. You may think that wool is only reserved for cold weather running, but not in this case. These are all-weather socks that will wick away moisture to keep your feet dry and blister free. Wool also helps resist odor, so even after a sweaty run, you'll be far less likely to offend anyone when you take off those running shoes.

These Darn Tough socks are available in both Men's and Women's styles and come in Small, Medium, and Large sizes that will correspond with your shoe size.

Overall, these socks receive consistently positive reviews from runners, but some reviewers do wish that they came in a wider range of colors, and a few wish they had sized up. These are on the more expensive side of the spectrum as running socks go, but runners like this one say they'll never go back to regular socks for running. We think these Darn Tough running socks make a darn good addition to your sock drawer.

Pros: Durable, no seams for added comfort, wool and synthetic blend to wick away sweat, resist odor, all-weather appropriate

Cons: Not many colors to choose from, some reviewers thought the sizes ran small, on the more expensive side,

Buy the Darn Tough Men's Tab No Show Light Cushion running socks on Amazon starting at $15.95

The best running socks for all-around comfort

The best running socks for all-around comfort
The Balega Hidden Comfort No Show running socks have a seamless design crafted with synthetic materials and elastane throughout to make for a better fit and prevent blisters.

Even if you've been running for a relatively short amount of time, Balega is likely a brand name you've heard before. I own a few pairs of these socks myself, and can confidently say that these are some of the most comfortable socks I've ever worn.

They've seen their fair share of runs, but they've also been through trips to the grocery store, and some intense Netflix binge sessions on the couch. In other words, they're so comfortable you'll probably find yourself wearing them even when you aren't running.

Each pair is carefully crafted to help runners perform at their best. The seamless design of the Hidden Comfort running socks reduces the friction that can cause blisters. They have a reinforced heel and toe for increased durability, and the top of the sock is constructed with mesh construction for extra breathability and comfort.

These are no-show socks with a heel tab at the opening that makes them easy to slip on. It also reduces chafing and prevents them from slipping down into your shoes. The elastane provides added stretch and comfort, but some testers from Outdoor Gear Lab did find that this could make them more prone to slipping around more in their running shoes. They also would have liked additional padding in other high abrasion areas like the sides of the foot.

However, Amazon customers say they fit true to size and have had no issues with slippage. While there isn't targeted cushioning in these socks, the under sole has a layer of plush cushioning for all-around comfort.

These socks come in sizes ranging from small to extra large. It's important to size correctly so you get the best fit and minimal slippage. There are also a fun variety of colors to choose from if you like to add a little flair to your running outfit.

"The most comfortable socks I've ever worn" is a common sentiment that came up repeatedly in customer reviews. Overall, runners love these socks saying they have just the right amount of cushion, keep their feet cool, and help prevent blisters.

Pros: Synthetic materials keep feet dry, mesh construction for added breathability, heel tab to help prevent slippage, seamless design, multiple colors to choose from

Cons: Some reviewers reported slippage, they don't have targeted cushioning

Buy the Balega Hidden Comfort No Show running socks on Amazon starting at $9.99-$19.99 (prices vary based on size and color)

The best running socks for cold weather

The best running socks for cold weather
The Smartwool PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew socks are designed for cold weather running, with a longer length for extra warmth under your tights, and a wool blend that will keep your feet toasty and dry.

If you live in a location where the winters bring cold and snow, but you still don't call it quits on your running routine, you need a pair of running socks specially designed to keep your feet warm. Smartwool is known for a wide range of specialized socks, and its line for cold weather running has received positive reviews from runners who regularly brave the cold.

These socks are mid-crew height, perfect for wearing under your running tights for added warmth, and preventing the cold ankles that often result from wearing no-show socks. It may sound silly, but when it comes to running in the cold, every bit of skin coverage makes a difference.

These Smartwool socks are made of 55% merino wool for warmth, nylon for breathability, and elastane for flexibility for stretch. They'll wick away moisture to help keep your feet dry and free of blisters. If you're afraid that warmth equates to added bulk, you won't have to worry in this case. The 200 needle construction allows for high density cushioning while keeping these socks lightweight.

Smartwool has designed the PhD cold weather socks in both men's and women's styles for a better fit, and they come in small, medium, and large sizes. Unfortunately, you won't have many colors to choose from, but in this case, comfort and warmth will likely be more important than style as you brave those chilly weather conditions.

As with most other wool blend socks, these are also on the more expensive side. That being said, they don't skimp on quality and have a loyal following in the running world.

Overall, men and women alike turn to these socks for cold weather running, liking the way they fit and how warm and comfortable they are. With socks like these, you have one more thing to help motivate you to get outside, even when the weather isn't so balmy. Another bonus? They'll keep your feet just as warm afterward when you're on the couch catching up on your favorite shows.

Pros: Wool and synthetic blend keeps feet dry and blister free, mid-crew length for extra warmth, 200 needle construction for warmth and cushioning without the bulk

Cons: Not many color choices, on the expensive side

Buy the Men's Smartwool PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew Socks on Amazon starting at $21.95 Buy the Women's Smartwool PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew Socks on Amazon for $20.95

The best budget running socks

The best budget running socks
The six-pack of Saucony Performance No-Show socks will give you the most value for your money and keep your feet dry and comfortable.

You've likely heard of Saucony, a brand known for its well-made running shoes. However, like many running shoe brands, Saucony also makes athletic socks geared towards runners. If you've just splurged on a new pair of running shoes and want to save some bucks, or you simply don't want to spend a lot on socks, these performance socks are a great option.

For less than $20 you can get six pairs of socks, and more socks mean you'll be less likely to run out before having to do laundry. It's the little things in life. These socks come in a bunch of fun color combinations and are available in both men's and women's styles. Unlike most of the socks on the list, these don't come in multiple sizes, but men's will fit an 8-12 shoe size and women's will fit a 5-10 shoe size. Most reviewers found a good fit, but some did wish that there was more specific sizing.

A heel tab helps prevent slippage, and arch compression provides extra support. You won't find any cotton here, either, with all synthetic materials for sweat wicking and comfort, and mesh construction for added breathability. These are all features found in a more expensive running sock, for a fraction of the price.

As a more lightweight sock, these aren't recommended for winter running, but otherwise, they'll do just fine at the gym, on the road, or on the trails. Most runners loved these socks and were surprised at their quality despite their affordable price. This Amazon customer appreciated their breathability and secure fit, and this one felt that they had the perfect amount of cushioning for a running sock.

If you are looking for just one pair to try, you'll be out of luck as these only come in six-packs. However, for such an affordable price and happy runners, it's worth it to try them for yourself and take a chance on all six pairs.

Pros: Affordable, synthetic fabric to keep feet dry and blister free, heel tab to prevent slippage, arch compression for added support, comes in multiple colors

Cons: Can't be bought in single pairs, non-specific sizing

Buy the Women's Saucony Performance No-Show Socks on Amazon for $14.99 Buy the Men's Saucony Performance No-Show Socks on Amazon for $13.99

The best running socks for preventing blisters

The best running socks for preventing blisters
With a place for each toe, a breathable mesh upper, and sweat-wicking materials, the Injinji 2.0 Lightweight No-Show toe socks are a great option if you're prone to blisters.

At first glance, you may think "no way" or at least wonder just how comfortable these Injinji socks are. The verdict? According to the reviews, they rate high on the comfort scale, and many runners swear by them for blister prevention.

These toe socks may look a little odd, but as they say, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Having a place for each individual toe prevents them from rubbing together — one of the main causes of blisters. Injinji is a California-based company, with its roots in wanting to develop a seamless sock that allowed for more natural foot movement and toe splay. From this, the patented five-toe sock was born.

In addition to preventing any skin-to-skin friction that can cause blisters, the Injinji 2.0 is made from synthetic materials to wick away sweat and keep feet dry and comfortable. A mesh top also allows for more breathability. If you prefer the minimalist style of running toe shoes like Vibram's FiveFingers shoes, these socks will also make a great liner for additional comfort. While this is a definite plus, these socks perform just as well in traditional running shoes.

This Amazon customer noticed a huge difference after making a switch to Injinji and found them to be the perfect solution after suffering constantly from reoccurring blisters. Buyers were also surprised by the durability of this sock despite the lightweight material. These socks come in plenty of colors and have a heel tab to help prevent slippage.

Some reviewers did say they could be a little tricky to put on at first, and the individual toe style may take some getting used to. Sizing is important here since these conform to every contour of your foot — toes included. The Injinji 2.0 is a unisex sock, but it comes in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large.

While they may not be for everyone, if you've been in a standoff with some stubborn reoccurring blisters, these socks may be just what you need in your line of defense.

Pros: Individual toe coverage helps prevent blisters, Synthetic fabric to keep feet dry and comfortable, mesh upper for breathability, heel tab to help prevent slippage, come in multiple colors

Cons: Can be tricky to put on, some reviewers couldn't get used to the individual toe style

Buy the Injinji Run 2.0 Lightweight No-Show running sock on Amazon starting at $8.50

The best compression running socks

The best compression running socks
If you suffer often from shin splints or delayed onset muscle soreness after your runs, the CEP Progressive Compression socks will reduce the pain.

There is no true scientific evidence that compression gear will increase your performance while running, but it does stimulate blood flow and can help reduce soreness so you can recover more quickly afterward. While some runners swear by compression for performance benefits, the increased recovery time alone makes this type of gear worth considering. If you suffer from shin splints, calf soreness, or ankle soreness after runs, compression socks could help.

CEP offers a wide assortment of compression gear, from sleeves and leggings, but its progressive compression socks have received extremely positive reviews. CEP promises that they'll improve blood flow, reduce muscle soreness, and speed up recovery time. Everything that a good pair of compression socks should do. So how do they live up to the promise?

According to this customer, they've been a big help with shin splints. Another says that besides their running shoes, these are the best purchase they've made since they've started running, and their calves rarely get sore now. These socks aren't cheap, but they did their job for most reviewers, so even though you'll be paying more, it will be for a pair of compression socks that work.

The progressive compression socks are made for men and women and come in multiple sizes so you can find your perfect fit. This is even more important than usual to get the full benefits. Keep in mind that they will feel snug since they're designed for compression. They also come in a ton of colors.

Since they hit just below the knee, there is no hiding these (unless you're wearing leggings) so you might as well have some fun, and show them off. These offer more than compression, with synthetic materials to wick sweat and an extra-flat toe seam to help keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.

If you've been feeling extra sore after your runs lately, these could help you recover more quickly, and they'll keep your feet comfortable at the same time.

Pros: Promote blood flow and help reduce muscle soreness, plenty of color choices, flat toe seam for comfort, synthetic materials keep feet dry

Cons: Expensive

Buy the Men's CEP Progressive Compression running socks on Amazon starting at $39.95 Buy the Women's CEP Progressive Compression running socks on Amazon starting at $34

The best running socks for style

The best running socks for style
With a range of fun patterns to choose from, the Zensah Limited Edition Mini Crew-Length running socks allow you to show off your personal style without sacrificing high-quality performance.

Just because you're decked out in your running gear doesn't mean you can't make a statement. If you want to stand out from the pack, a crazy pair of running socks is the perfect way to do so, and the Zensah Limited Edition running socks rise to the occasion. Don't be fooled by the "limited edition" in the name. Whether you want to show some holiday spirit, or share your love for donuts with the world, there are tons of fun prints, patterns, and colors to choose from.

These socks look fun, but when it comes to performance and comfort, things get serious. Zensah is a brand known for tight fitting compression products, but even if you aren't looking for compression, their snug fit keeps them from sliding down during your runs. They also have a seamless toe and a lightly cushioned sole for added comfort, and they're anatomically designed with a specific left foot and right foot fit.

The nylon, spandex, and polyester blend allow for breathability and help these socks dry quickly, protecting your feet from any blisters. Silver ions in the material help keep any odors at bay.

The mini crew height of these Zensah running heights makes them just tall enough to show off your chosen design, without having them take over your entire calf. They're available in Small, Medium, and Large sizes that will correspond to your shoe size.

These socks are on the more expensive side, but if you're looking for a whimsical addition to your sock drawer that also performs well, you may find them worth the investment. One Amazon customer loves how comfortable they are and says, "By far the best sock I've ever used. Put some serious miles on them and never felt so good."

Other customers like that these socks have just the right amount of compression and breathability.

Pros: Tons of fun patterns and colors to choose from, comfortable, light compression for added support, moisture-wicking material to help prevent blisters

Cons: On the expensive side

Buy the Zensah Limited Edition Running Socks on Amazon starting at $19.98

Check out our other running gear guides

Check out our other running gear guides
The best workout clothes for women

With the right clothes, you'll actually want to get to the gym and show off your style before meeting friends for a much-deserved drink afterward. Sweaty Betty makes our favorite workout gear for women that's as functional as it is fashion-forward. Here are our current picks:

  • Best workout clothes overall: Sweaty Betty
  • Best workout clothes from a fitness company: Nike
  • Best affordable workout clothes: Old Navy
  • Best beachy workout clothes: Vuori
  • Best comfortable workout clothes: Bandier
  • Best workout clothes that you can wear all day: ADAY
  • Best high-end workout clothes: Live the Process
The best running shoes for women

Running doesn't require a lot of equipment, but a good pair of running shoes is a must-have to prevent injury. The Brooks Ghost 10 is the ultimate workhorse of women's running shoes with a lightweight yet cushioned feel, a breathable upper, and the durability to grind out a lot of miles.

Here are our top picks for the best women's running shoes:

The best sports bras you can buy

Finding a sports bra that looks good, fits well, and gives you enough support for your workout is really hard. We've heavy lifting to find the best sports bras for every size and budget.

Sweaty Betty and Zensah make the best sports bras for A to B cups, Brooks and Champion make the best sports bras for C to D cups, while Panache and Syrokan make the best sports bras for DD cups and up.

The best smartphone armbands for runners

If you take your phone on runs and workouts, you need a comfortable, secure armband to hold it. The Trianium ArmTrek Prois our top pick, because it's affordable, comfortable, water-resistant, and fits a variety of phones.

You should also consider the Grantwood Technology TuneBand, the Tune Belt armband, and the Tribe armband.

The best running belts to hold your phone and keys

There are a vast number of running belts on the market, from money belts that are just glorified fanny packs, to high-tech hydration belts. The SPIbelt hits a sweet spot in the middle, with an expandable pocket that allows you to carry personal items on your run with a bounce free, comfortable fit.

You should also consider the FlipBelt or the Fitletic Hydration Belt.

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