best running socks

Finding The Best Running Socks For You

Perhaps you are a dedicated runner who is always looking for the best ways to improve their mile time, or maybe even their speed. Not only do you train long and hard every single day, but also you do your best to eat healthy, take supplements, do strengthening exercises, and even switch out your running shoes when you see them start to wear down after several months. With all the time and effort you put into running, certainly you consider yourself on top of things.

However, even though you might think that there is nothing else you need to do to be the best runner that you can be, we are here to tell you that there are so many other aspects to consider when doing so. You have probably thought of running shoes, but have you ever considered running socks? Little did you know that the type of socks you wear when exercising can make a huge difference on your foot’s health, let alone your physical performance. That said, running socks are just as important to look into.

How to get started then? With this article, of course! Read on to learn more about finding the best running socks for you, as well as receive our top picks to get you started. Soon enough, you will be improving mile times and all the while feeling comfortable doing so.

With that said, let’s get started!

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Things to Consider When Buying Running Socks

Before you even get started buying running socks, you will need to do some research into what would be the ideal pair for you to wear. Rushing into buying the first pair of running socks based on its color and style is not the best idea, since it might not be the right fit for you. Even worse, it can adversely affect your feet!

That said, we have compiled a short, but detailed list of things you ought to consider when selecting and ultimately purchasing running socks. Hopefully, this will be of value to you. Here are the points down below:

1. Check the material.

As a rule of thumb, you should not purchase socks that are 100% cotton for running. Not only are they thick and offer poor ventilation for your foot, but also they can rub against the soles of your feet, thereby causing blisters to form. Whether it is bad foot odor or blisters, the situation can be extremely unpleasant.

Instead, what you can do is purchase running socks made from synthetic material such as acrylic, nylon, polyester, Lycra, and so forth. Or, you can find different blends of materials that combine cotton with anyone other material(s) listed above, so that it is not as stifling to wear. Either way, your running socks should be able to take on heat and sweat, dispensing them while also keeping you cool and dry.

2. Consider the thickness.

This is not to say that thickness is the best policy out there when it comes to wearing them for running. In fact, it is better to find thinner running socks, so that, once again, your feet do not feel so stifled and cramped, let alone develop blisters.

The debate between thick or thin running socks continues to be disputed, just because there are certain advantages and disadvantages to both. For instance, thicker socks offer some padding, in case you need it to protect your feet from heel-striking too much. On the other hand, thinner socks are lighter and make it more efficient to run without worrying about stuffiness inside the shoe.

Ultimately, it is up to you in what you prefer, so with that, you will have to see what you need in your running career.

3. Look at the toe seams.

In a nutshell, a toe seam refers to that lining of the sock that stretches across the toe area. In terms of running purposes, it is best to have a toe seam which is well-fabricated, so that it does not rub against your toes and feet and otherwise cause irritation.

On the other hand, lots of actual running socks are seamless, so that you do not have to worry about any blisters or calluses developing on your feet, thereby allowing you to slip them on and hit the road in no time.

4. Check the midfoot area.

Specifically speaking, this refers to whether the running sock is form-fitting or not. In other words, the midfoot (i.e. the arch, literally, the middle of your foot) of the sock should be a bit tighter compared with the other areas of the sock itself, so that it does not slip and slide around inside of the shoe as you run.

Considering that a loose sock can be irritating, let alone slow you down in races and competitions, it is not a bad idea to look into running socks with tighter midfoot areas. Who knows- it can really benefit in the end!

5. Decide on long or short running socks.

This is completely a personal preference in terms of style, so if you choose one over the other, it should not affect just how you run. For long socks which go up to your mid-calves, they can not only be great at keeping away dirt and debris from outside conditions, but also keep your calves warm during the cold training season.

As for short, “no-show” running socks, you might find them aesthetically-pleasing in the fact that some are almost invisible, disappearing into the running shoe itself. When it comes to hot weather for running, wearing these pairs of socks can help keep you cool and dry by nicking away the moisture from inside of your feet easier and more efficiently than for long running socks.

For a video covering how to choose running socks, check it out here: 

In the end, it is all relative to the individual runner on what they expect in a pair of running socks, so all this information can be taken as a general guide to get you started.

Top Five Best Running Socks

* Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.


With moisture-wicking, anti-blister features, Pure Compression’s running socks are, indeed, ultra-comfortable when it comes to running your best for any route out there. In addition, it comes with a breathable top mesh for air circulation, so that your feet can stay cool and dry even through the sweatiest of workouts. Finally, the no-slip cutoff look is useful to prevent slipping and sliding within your running shoes.

Pros

  • Is moisture-wicking and has a breathable top mesh for keeping your feet cool and dry.
  • Has anti-blister features for smooth, running experience.
  • Has a no-slip cutoff to prevent slipping and sliding in your running shoes.

Cons

  • Can be too thin, not providing enough cushion.

Opinion

Pure Compression’s running socks make for a pleasant run; I tried them on and after a short, 5K run, I found myself feeling quite comfortable in such running socks. No sweaty or stinky feet, and no blisters, either! However, I can imagine that it might be too thin for longer distances, since they need a bit more padding.


Made from a blend of 95 percent polyester, 3 percent rubber, and 2 percent Spandex, this pair of running socks from Saucony comes in an abundant six-pack to last you a long time, as well as being perfectly machine-washable while still retaining its high quality. Its breathable, Air Mesh venting allows for a cool, dry, and blister-free running experience, so you can be sure to feel comfortable while doing so.

Pros

  • Made from a blend of 95 percent polyester, 3 percent rubber, and 2 percent Spandex.
  • Has a breathable, Air Mesh venting for cool, dry, and blister-free runs.
  • Is machine-washable.

Cons

  • Starts to develop holes after several months of use.

Opinion

Saucony Men’s performance no-show socks felt very nice on my feet; I have used them for both long and short runs and so far, I have not had a problem with irritability (e.g. blisters, calluses, etc.). My feet have also been kept cool and dry, thanks to the Air Mesh venting system. Only complaint is that, after half a year of wearing them, they have started to develop holes, which does not bode well for the long-term.


What makes Balega’s hidden comfort running socks distinctive are their new and improved elastane for a more-structured fit, so it is guaranteed that there is no loose material within the inside of the sock. There is also a plush under sole cushioning for extra protection, especially for longer distances. Finally, there is a reinforced heel and toe construction, to keep the sock longer-lasting for future use.

Pros

  • Has a new and improve elastane for a more-structured fit.
  • Has a plush under sole cushioning for extra protection.
  • Consists of a reinforced heel and toe construction for longer-lasting use.

Cons

  • Tends to slide down to the heel when in motion.

Opinion

After trying on Balega’s hidden comfort running socks, I set about running in them. I found them nice and plush, while also being form-fitting around my feet, which was much appreciated. The reinforced heel and toe construction were a lovely touch, and so far after several months, they are still holding up very well. Only problem is that they have a tendency to slide down the heel when I walk or run, so that can be annoying.


With 98 percent polyester and 2 percent Spandex, ASICS’ unisex cushion low-cut socks come in a three-pair pack for convenience and comfort. Not only that, but also they have moisture management and a knit-in mesh for ventilation, thereby offering a breathable surface when running. They have as well a Y-fit to prevent irritating, i.e. blisters from developing as you go about your run.

Pros

  • Made from 98 percent polyester and 2 percent Spandex.
  • Contains moisture management with its knit-in mesh for ventilation.
  • Is Y-fit to prevent blisters, calluses, and other aspects from happening.

Cons

  • Easy to unravel after several uses.

Opinion

Overall, I found ASICS’ unisex cushion low-cut socks to be quite comfortable, especially since it is made from polyester and Spandex. I have never had a problem with my feet getting sweaty and gross, since the moisture management, ventilation mesh systems have worked well. Also, no blisters or calluses! My only gripe, however, is the fact that they easily unravel after several wears and cycles in the washer, which I am not completely pleased with.


Coming in a total of 12 pairs, Ronnox’s low-cut running tab socks are generous when it comes to providing not only a ton, but also a diversity of choices in colors, patterns, and styles for running. Aside from the necessary mesh insert for ventilation and breathability, these socks also have arch elastic to fit to your arch’s needs, to keep them flexible and stable while running. Finally, the heel tab works to support your Achilles’ heels, so that you can vouch for a comfortable, supportive performance.

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles.
  • Has arch elastic to fit to your arch’s shape.
  • Contains a heel tab to support the Achilles’ heels.

Cons

  • Sizes can be a bit too big for some wearers.

Opinion

Ronnox’s low-cut running tab socks surprised me not only in their large quantity, but also in their colorful varieties- great way to mix and match when going out for a run! Otherwise, I appreciated the arch elastic support, as well as that of the heel tab for the Achilles’ heels. Pair was a bit big for my liking, but nothing too serious.


Winner of the Roundup

Overall, the winner goes to Saucony Men's 6 Pack Performance No-Show Socks (#2). I found them to strike the perfect balance between breath ability and blister prevention, which is much-appreciated for doing long, hard runs. It is definitely worth looking into investing, so why not give them a try?

Happy running!

Reference

http://running-blog.mizunousa.com/how-to-choose-the-right-running-socks/


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