With the best running socks for men and women in 2018, you can run comfortably, safely, and still exceed your fitness goals. But, how well do you know your running socks? You should combine a pair of running shoes that fit perfectly with thick, knee-high compression socks to limit any swinging tendons while boosting the gushing of blood to your feet. We will discuss more of this shortly as we review the best running socks for men and women in 2018.
But first things first, how do you select a good pair of running socks? A trivial mistake like picking the wrong size of running socks may contribute to blisters, foot and ankle discomfort, plantar fasciitis, and you can even develop toenail fungi.
The Buying Guide – Three Things To Consider When Choosing Running Socks
Below are some important questions to answer before buying a pair of the best running socks for men and women in 2018.
- Do you sweat a lot while running?
- Do your legs swell due to poor blood circulation when you run?
- What time of the day do you hit the trail?
- Are you prone to getting blisters or fungal infection on your feet?
The three key important features in running socks are functionality, performance boosting abilities, and comfort.
Good quality running socks will give your feet the additional grip needed to keep you stable on the track. Stability in feet while running prevents pronation related problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and calluses. Moreover, poor quality socks that feel slippery in the shoes can easily cause you accidents when running.
The best running socks will not slide or cause friction to your feet as you run. These socks also come with a double-layered fabric that has moisture wicking capabilities to protect your feet further from getting blisters. In the process, these socks suppress the growth of harmful fungi and bacteria.
The best running socks are durable and elastic, resting just above the knee. This design allows the socks to compress your veins and improve venous blood circulation as you run. Consequently, they prevent blood clots, a hidden danger associated with runners who often mistake clots for a muscle strain.
These pressure stockings are also attributed to the speedy recovery of runners because they reduce the soreness, leg swelling, and muscle fatigue experienced after running. If you have a history of any vein diseases such as varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and spider veins, running socks can help to alleviate the effects when worn constantly over time.
Recovery from a run
Another critical aspect of running socks is their ability to maintain elasticity, padding, and firmness even after several washes. This is important to avoid replacing your running socks often.
Comfort and Style
Thick socks provide warmth to your feet in the morning cold, while cushioning them from underneath against hard impact for a comfortable running experience. Running socks padded at the heel and rear areas will cushion you from excessive swellings.
In the heat of summer, your feet tend to sweat a lot. Your running socks should be made from a breathable material to wick away the sweat and keep you cool.
Most running socks made from hydrophobic synthetic fiber are ideal for running because they prevent chaffing and regulate body temperature. On the other hand, Nylon is a breathable fabric, super stretchy, and wicks away sweat.
Polyester is lightweight, breathable, and repels ultra-violet rays while Lycra or Spandex is very elastic.
Merino Wool regulates temperature, wicks away sweat, is breathable and has anti-bacterial properties.
Olefin is durable, abrasion resistant, lightweight and easy to clean.
CoolMax wicks away moisture is breathable, thin dry fast and soft on the skin.
Other fabrics include non-synthetic fabrics such as Bamboo which is eco-friendly, non-synthetic, soft, wicks away sweat and has anti-bacterial properties.
Avoid socks made from cotton fabric. Cotton tends to absorb and retain moisture, making you feel uncomfortable throughout the race.
A seamless design around the toe and heel areas minimizes friction-triggered blisters on your pressure points. As you choose what socks are appropriate for you, take into consideration the shape and size of your feet. Some running socks are designed to have a bigger fit whereas others suit pointed feet. The best design for your feet should fit firmly like a glove when you wear them.
Compatibility with Your RunningShoes
Running socks should be consistent with the interior materials of your shoes. This is important to minimize unnecessary friction to your feet.
In general, your choice of running socks should be able to complement your running shoes to boost your performance. For long distance runners, the ability to endure prolonged training workouts should improve.
Your recovery time should also reduce as you utilize the right combination of running shoes and socks. With adequate cushioning on your feet, you should have fewer instances of impact-related injuries.
Our Top Ten Running Socks Reviews
1. Physix Gear Compression Socks
These 20-30mmhg compression socks by Physix Gear Sport are designed to boost your stamina, circulation, and recovery. They come with a robust double-stitched Lycra anti-bacterial material that can withstand the strong foot impact associated with prolonged running.
The double stitching offers your feet padded support making your track experience as comfortable as possible.
The anti-bacterial properties coupled with its moisture-wicking properties keep your feet dry and fresh ensuring there is no build-up of harmful bacteria or fungi in your feet.
These socks ‘compression properties make them top recommended footwear for persons dealing with leg swelling or vein related disease. An additional benefit of these socks’ design is uniform toning of legs as you exercise.
Its durability relieves you the worry of your socks losing their elasticity.
Unlike most compression socks, the Physix Gear Compression socks are comfortable to wear. They have stay-put cuffs that ensure the socks are not slippery inside your running shoes.
They are available in various stylish color including beige, black/green, black/orange, black/blue, and black/white. The sizes range from small to extra-large for both men and women.
Finally, the retail price for these socks is comparatively lower than other compression socks with similar qualities.
- Breathable wicks away dampness while protecting from a harmful bacterial build-up
- They provide firm support to your leg’s pressure points
- Fairly priced
- Double stitched to last long without losing their elasticity and compression properties
- Stylish and comfortable
- The compression around the calves may be too taut for some users.
Try these Physix Gear Compression Socks today!
2. CloudLine 1/4 Crew Merino Wool Running Socks
These socks are made using organically sourced ultra-fine 22.5-micron merino wool, a soft yet firm medium weight fabric that keeps the feet fresh, dry, comfortable, and free from the build-up of harmful odor and disease-causing bacteria.
The merino wool is blended with nylon and spandex (two other Ideal materials for repelling moisture build up). This blend of fabrics guarantees you long-lasting softness throughout.
The socks have an additional cushioning on your toes and heels pressure points to shield your feet from friction that often results in blisters.
These running socks are ankle high, making them invisible when you are on the track.
The socks have style variations for both men and women with sizes ranging from small to extra-large.
- Durable and comfortable – Made from non-itchy eco-friendly merino wool that lasts long
- Breathable – The merino/nylon/spandex fabric naturally wicks moisture away keeping your feet dry. The thickness of the material varies from one pressure point to the next, allowing for temperature control and ventilation
- Machine washable
- Cushioning properties – protects your toes and heels from impact-induced injury through its additional padding
- Stylish – The socks are a no-show size, available in several vibrant color patterns including glacial blue, granite, backcountry blue, and redwood
- Value for your money -It is reasonably priced for its high quality
- The toe area is a bit too narrow
- May not stretch as much as you would want
Purchase CloudLine 1/4 Crew Merino Wool Running Socks today and let us know what you think.
3. CEP Men’s Short Socks
If you are a male runner who has been a victim of plantar fasciitis, these socks are for you. They are a microfiber synthetic blend of nylon/polyamide and elastane. These 20mmHg shortened compression socks will compress your foot evenly and circulate blood explicitly targeting the mid-foot where swellings tend to occur. The also socks wick away moisture keeping your feet dry and smelling fresh.
There are four different sizes to choose from – Calf size ranging from12.5 inches to 20 inches and knee sleeves of between 14.5 inches and 16.25 inches.
These socks fit firmly around your foot and last you for a long time without losing elasticity. An added anatomical padding at the heel and ankle areas ensures comfort and stability as you splint.
The fabric regulates temperature well, keeping your feet warm even during winter. You have a choice of eight different color variations.
- Stabilizes the arch and ankle through its supportive compression fabric, making it ideal for persons with ankle or foot issues
- Its hydrophilic design regulates the temperature around your feet and wicks away moisture keeping you fresh, dry, and clean
- Fits firmly on your feet sparing you of the occasional blisters that are caused by friction and rubbing of your toes against your shoes
- It is available in various colors and sizes
Order your CEP Men's Short Socks from Amazon today!
4. Darn Tough Merino Wool Athletic Socks for Men
These socks are made using a blend of merino wool, nylon, and lycra spandex. These three materials keep your feet warm and dry, especially during winter. The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of the merino wool keep your feet free from odor or harmful disease-causing bacteria.
The socks have light cushioning underneath the foot giving you balance and stability as you exercise. They also have a seamless construction at the toe area to reduce friction-related blisters or annoying slipping and bunching up.
The Darn Tough range has similar functionalities for both men and women styles. Both of these styles are available in small, medium, and large sizes.
- Are durable and come with a lifetime warranty
- Are stylish with a no-show feature yet functionally useful in enduring tough sports
- Provide cushioning to your feet at the ankle area, which prevents chaffing
- They have a seamless construction at the toes
- Its blend of wool, nylon, and lycra fabric wicks away moisture to keep your feet dry and odorless despite the weather
- They have a limited color range (just 2 colors)
Get these Darn Tough Merino Wool Athletic Socks today!
5. Darn Tough Vertex OTC Ultra-Light Sock – Men’s
If you normally take part in endurance training or any other prolonged exercise routines, these stylish over the calf running socks, available in both men and women styles, are the best for you. They are designed to maximize comfort while providing you light cushioning for quick post-workout recovery.
Like other Darn Tough range of socks, these running socks are a blend of merino wool, nylon, and lycra spandex. They, therefore, have a firm grip and they are well ventilated. The moisture-wicking feature of the fabric keeps your feet odorless, dry and free from harmful bacteria. And even when it’s hot outside, your feet remain cool, and when the temperature drops, your feet stay warm.
The running socks have light graduated compression of between 11 mmHg and 16mmHg. This light compression is sufficient to provide your feet with balance, stability, and quick post-workout recovery, while at the same time preventing the tight, suffocating feeling attributed to some compression socks. They fit the feet firmly and improve your blood circulation.
They have an unconditional lifetime guarantee.
- Lightweight – Great for running
- Made of merino wool – eco-friendly non-synthetic material that wicks away moisture
- The socks have a stylish design that can match your shorts, vests, and jackets
- Durable – Maintains its firm fit and its padding even after several washes
- They are available in limited color and size options
Take a closer look at Darn Tough Men's Merino Wool No-Show Ultra-Light Cushion Athletic Socks, Green/Gray, Large on Amazon.
6. Thorlos Unisex XJ Running Socks
If you are looking for functional running socks that will protect your feet from impact-related injury, cushion them from friction and avoiding getting the famous ‘runner’s toe,’ with these running socks from Thorlos. These padded high performance extra soft socks come from a blend of acrylic, nylon, and elastic to give you maximum comfort and ventilation while running.
The design includes a flat knit instep at the toes and a low profile toe seam to lessen pressure and irritation in those areas. They can endure long periods of training without losing their shape.
With the additional padding and arch cushioning, these socks will insulate your pressure points from the vigorous impact. The socks are also machine washable and available in seven different sizes including small, medium, and 2 pack large sizes.
They are in a white color base alternated with navy and platinum colors.
- Very soft with additional padding for extra comfort
- They keep your feet cushioned dry and free from bad odor
- Tends to lose its stretchiness after several washes
Read more about the Thorlos Unisex XJ Running Socks here.
7. PhD Run Light Elite Socks by SmartWool
A combination of three great fibers – merino wool, nylon, and elastane ensures durability, moisture wicking abilities, adequate ventilation necessary to keep your feet fresh and dry, and uncompromised insulation to your feet on those early morning runs.
These micro socks from SmartWool are 1.75 inches long, making them invisible when you run. They have an ultra-light cushioning that assures you of comfort for maximum performance. They have a mesh ventilation design that regulates temperature around your feet.
The design is also a 200-needle construction providing the needed thickness in the various pressure points while maintaining a lightweight.
- Made using durable merino wool
- They have added cushioning for comfort and injury protection
- Its seamless toe construction minimizes friction-triggered blisters
- Some users have complained of the socks crumpling up inside shoes.
Order PhD Run Light Elite Socks by SmartWool now at Amazon.
8. A-Swift Compression Socks
These compression socks from A -Swift are made using a silver yarn antibacterial and antifungal fabric. Apart from deodorizing your feet and keeping them dry, this fabric will either keep you warm on a cold morning jog or keep you fresh on the afternoon basketball tournament.
The socks are not just for runners. They are ideal for sportspersons involved in soccer, cycling, baseball, and triathletes. Its comfort will entice even the non-sporty person such as nurses who tend to stand for long and long distance travelers who have their feet in a stationary position for long hours.
The socks have compression properties with differing firmness at different pressure points. This, in turn, improves blood and oxygen circulation in your feet. Your muscles will be able to recover very fast from a prolonged workout.
This compression also works to protect you from sport-related injuries such as shin splints, blood pooling, and calf cramps.
- Minimizes muscle fatigue and post workout swelling
- They have antifungal and antibacterial properties
- Ideal for both runners and non-runners
- They offer excellent ventilation to your feet
Get your A-Swift Compression Socks from Amazon today!
9. Balega Hidden Comfort Running Socks
These socks are made using a blend of synthetic fibers including improved elastane, which makes them very soft. They fit perfectly on your feet, thanks to the seamless design at the toes area. With this design, there less friction on your feet thereby preventing you from developing blisters when you race.
The heel and toe areas have reinforcement for durability, stability, and balance. The top of the socks has a mesh construction that allows free flow of air into your feet. This ventilation keeps your feet free from odor or build-up of harmful bacteria.
There is a plush layer of cushioning at the sole area to protect your feet further from impact-related injury. The heel tab found at the opening of these no-show socks makes it easy for you to wear them and remove them.
They are super comfortable. You’ll want to wear them both on and off the track.
- Seamless toe design eliminates slipping and blistering
- They are very durable
- Keeps your feet free from moisture build up
- They have a secure fit
- Can be worn both on the track and off the road
- Its ventilation is comparatively weak
Read more on Balega Hidden Comfort Running Socks here.
10. Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks
This quality anti-blister running socks are made using merino wool (from S. America), and they are free from mulesing. Wool is known to have a natural anti-odor characteristic making it ideal for runners especially those suffering from foot odor, rubbing, and blister issues.
They also have ventilation zones to enhance breathability of the socks whether you are walking, running, or hiking. The filling is moderate to prevent your feet from losing their sense of feel.
With Rockay running socks, forget about chaffing or blisters. The socks prevent them by padding around the heel and toes areas. This sock is excellent for all kinds of walking, running and hiking activities.
Rockay accelerates running socks are not that type of sock that wears out in 10 washes.
Rockay Socks have tight elastic and great compression around the arch to avoid sliding down and keep off dirt reducing chances of being irritated by grit and grime. Just put on the Rockay socks and don’t worry about them!
Additionally, Rockay acceleratese running socks keep you fresh in warm weather and warm in cold weather. The back has a reflective logo, which enhances safety when taking night runs.
- They are long lasting
- Great breathability
- You have a lesser chance of developing blisters
- They are very comfortable
- Suitable for any weather
- They have cushioned heels that prevent injury
- Some users find the socks thin
- They are a bit too expensive
Read more about Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks on Amazon
11. Vitalsox Italy
This is an Italian-made high-quality sock. Vitalsox socks have a technical performance material designed with silver infused Quick Drying Polypropylene which stops or prevents the growth of fungus and bacteria and at the same time keep away odor from the socks. This sock does not hold scent even though your feet might still smell.
Its patented compression system is graduated right from the mid-foot arch and plantar ligament support. During manufacturing, this compression is individually tested best range for proper and maximum air circulation. Because your feet are far from your heart, they help increase oxygen levels in your blood by up to 40% through your damaged tissues, therefore, enhancing quick recovery and athletic performance.
Its compression range is efficient for comfortable walking, running, marathons, yoga, gym, pregnancy, and standing among other activities. It has a 4-way stretch mechanism that enables it to stretch to the user’s compression preference. If it’s short, pull to any direction and if too long, grab both of your calve sides and slide them below your knee.
Vitalsox socks are hand tested in the manufacturing factory to ensure expected performance. They are then washed with an excellent scented fabric softener (chemical free) so that when you buy these socks, they are ready to wear.
- They enhance best blood flow to the feet
- Promote breathability
- They have a wide range of users, not just limited to running
- The socks are very comfortable
- They do not harbor odor-causing bacteria
- Their ventilation ensures your feet are always dry
- They wear out easily
Read more on Vitalsox Italy here!
12. Feetures – Elite Light Cushion socks
The Elite socks are running socks designed for comfort. They have an outstanding anatomical design which facilitates the best fit, providing maximum support and keeping your feet safe from blisters. They have a sock-lock technology which is specially designed to enhance further compression in your arches. This causes them to fit around your feet without sliding or slipping when running. Therefore, you don’t need to break stride.
Their high-density knitting creates light in weight cushion.
The Elite socks are intended to retain cold feet even during extreme environmental conditions. It has iWick fibers which are designed to wick moisture keeping your feet dry and fresh and increase comfort and protection. These iWick fibers moderate the amount of moisture in the socks maintaining dry feet during hard runs. The textures are soft thus enhancing more cushioning of the socks. It also has zone specific compression providing maximum support and more comfort.
- They are very comfortable
- The socks protect feet from blisters
- They have a seamless toe construction
- A variety of color choices
- They are extra soft and good cushioning
- Lifetime guarantee
- The socks’ compression is a bit lax
- Finding the correct size can be difficult
Get your pair of Feetures - Elite Light Cushion socks On Amazon today!
13. Thirty 48 Ultra-light Running Socks
Thirty 48 running socks are made with a great design from high-quality fabrics for excellent everyday wear, sportswear, or for medical purposes. They provide extra support and comfort to your feet and at the same time maintaining them clean and dry. Their superior fabric helps to prevent fungal infections and odor in your feet, mostly to those who run or stand all day.
These socks are super lightweight and are efficient for varieties of activities as well as everyday wear. The low cut design is ideal for any running, soccer shoes, and cross-training.
It also has a useful pull-tab, which allows stress-free wear (on/off) and makes sure that during the extreme energetic exercises, the sock stays put thereby reducing abrasion and blister-causing friction.
These socks have high tech fabrics for moisture wicking as well as dissipating. The cotton keeps sweat and moisture away from your skin surface, therefore, maintaining cool and dry feet. High moisture amounts facilitate the growth of fungus and bacteria which could cause health and odor complications.
Thirty 48 socks also have an anatomically targeted cushioning designed with foot biology and anatomy in mind. Its dense cushions offer extra relief to the heel and pads and also assist in providing support to the metatarsals and Achilles tendon. All these help minimize pain and bruises in high impact foot areas. The extra cushioning in the socks absorbs the shock, which can cause acute distress to your feet, heels, ankles, calves directly.
- They act as compression socks
- Extra cushioning for prolonged running
- They keep feet dry through moisture-wicking fabrics
- Odor free and blister resistant
- They minimize friction thanks to the elastic arch support
- No padding at the top
Take a closer look at Thirty 48 Ultra-light Running Socks on Amazon!
Frequently Asked Questions about Running Socks
- Are running socks made from cotton bad?
- Socks made using 100% cotton are not suitable for running. A blend of cotton and other fabrics may be appropriate if you are covering short runs. Cotton tends to retain moisture instead of wicking it away. During winter, these socks will make your feet feel cold. Substitute pure cotton running socks with those made from either merino wool or synthetic fabrics.
- Do I have to wear socks when running?
- Yes. Socks will protect your feet from chafing and nasty blisters. They also protect your running shoes from wearing out due to sweat accumulating inside.
- How do I take care of my running socks?
- Running socks need to be cleaned and appropriately used to last long. Most running socks have product washing instructions indicated on the packaging. Follow these instructions. Normal running socks require to be washed separately in cold to lukewarm water using the gentle cycle wash. Compression running socks, on the other hand, is best suited for hand washing in lukewarm water. Avoid fabric softeners. Always air dry your socks. However, nothing lasts forever. Know when to replace your threadbare socks with new ones.
- How do compression socks work?
- Compression socks are like a sheet of muscles embracing your feet. They gradually press down your foot to redistribute pressure from your various pressure points. In turn, you enjoy quick muscle recovery from a strenuous workout, fewer chances of muscle injury, and better blood circulation.
- How do I determine my size of compression running socks?
- Most manufacturers include a size chart in the packaging. This should guide you. In case your ideal size falls between two sizes, always go for the larger size.
If you plan to invest in high-quality running shoes, then complement them with equally high quality running socks. The best running socks must be comfortable throughout the day, should fit firmly on your feet, wick away sweat and any other moisture builds up, have additional padding and compression for stability and balance, and they should never slip. Go for reliable brands such as CloudLine, Balega, ROCKAY, and Thorlos. With such brands, you are sure the socks’ design has your expectations in mind and that the manufacturer has gone the extra mile in giving considerable attention to their functional features. A reputable brand will also offer you a professional after-sales service.