What Kind of Socks Should I Wear Running?

What Kind of Socks Should I Wear Running

Having the right running socks is as equally important as using the correct running shoes. It is unfortunate that many people spend a long time finding the best running shoes but do not think twice about the right running socks.

Simply because you like running does not mean that you should endure foot issues like blisters, calluses and black toenails. Learn more information below about choosing the best socks for running.

The best way to maintain healthy feet is to use a good pair of running socks. While any sock is going to offer some level of protection and comfort, running socks are usually designed specifically for runners.

These special running socks will often be made with best synthetic fibers that will provide your feet with unmatched protection and comfort, while allowing better moisture control.

Here are some of the main considerations when choosing the best socks for running:

Avoid Cotton Socks

One of the materials to avoid when buying running socks is cotton. This is because cotton socks do not offer any kind of moisture control. Cotton actually absorbs moisture and keeps it directly retained around your feet.

That is why when you run in cotton socks; you will most probably end up with wet, soggy and sweaty feat. Furthermore, the friction of running and moisture can contribute to frustrating blisters.

Adequate Cushioning

The amount of sock cushioning is usually dictated by personal preferences. Super thick socks may affect the ability to fit into your running shoes, while those that are very thin may not be comfy. Look for running socks that have some padding placed at the main points of contact with the ground.

This will ensure that the impact zones in your feet are less battered after a run. In addition, also consider going for running socks that offer a small cushioning at the heels where you are most vulnerable to get blisters.


While running socks might look very similar to the regular socks, there are some huge differences including the cushioning and where the elastic are placed.

High quality running socks generally have spandex placed in all the proper parts so as to prevent them from moving around during your run.

It is quite important for running socks to remain in place as it ensures they will not slide down, which would expose your feet to the shoes and cause lots of discomfort.


Proper Coverage

Good running socks must be able to provide adequate coverage to your feet. However, this will also depend on the specific running shoes you want to wear.

The conventional running shoe will call for running socks that cover your ankles, whereas minimalist shoes only require crew socks. It will be easy to estimate the coverage of the running sock as most products provide photos.

Right Fit

When it comes to running socks, find the right fit becomes even more important. Choosing socks that are too small is going to affect your air circulation, while socks that are too big usually rub and create sores.

Make sure you get a pair of well-fitting running shoes as it will ensure you feel comfortable during your workout, without the hassles of blisters afterwards.

Synthetic Materials and Wool

As mentioned above, cotton socks should be avoided when it comes to finding the best running socks. This is because of its poor ability to control moisture and sweat during running.

The solution is to use running socks that are made from synthetic materials and wool. This will guarantee that your feet stay drier and comfortable.


A major consideration when buying running socks has to do with the level of warmth that you expect from them. Since your feet heat up during a run, it is best to opt for a pair of running sock that has great circulation.

However, for those who are planning to run in very cold conditions, it is best to buy thicker wool socks for extra warmth. In addition, you can also get a higher-cut pair of socks that protects your ankles from the cold.

Odor Control

There have been great improvements in running socks, especially with the addition of a great feature like odor control. For instance merino wool resists odor naturally, which means that socks that contain this material will also have this benefit.

It may seem frivolous to have odor control, but it actually has the potential of extending the lifespan of your running shoes. This reduces the need of throwing out your running shoes prematurely just because of their smell.

Special Minimalist Socks

Most minimalist runners normally run without wearing any socks, but that is not the only option. For those who need some extra padding or warmth to make a smoother transition to the special minimalist shoes, then you should buy some ultra-light running socks made from synthetic materials.

Long Runs

If you are planning to run a marathon or just enjoy a long jog, then you will definitely appreciate very light socks. Durability is the main feature to consider when buying marathon running socks, as is additional elasticity.

You need running socks that will still be comfortable when you are running the final few meters. So choose ultra-light socks that will retain their shape without drooping.

Trail Running Socks

Anyone interested in trail runs or doing a mud run should consider running socks that can tolerate lots of moister as well as have extra padding.

Nevertheless, if you like trail running because of the connection you feel to the ground, then get the light, wicking power socks. Also, a pair of crew socks will guard your ankles and prevent injury from debris like flying rocks.


A good pair of running socks will make your running experience more comfortable and help you avoid common problems like blisters.

The best materials to consider are synthetic fibers like nylon, acrylic or a mixture of synthetics and natural fibers. Thicker socks are best for running in the cold season, but they can make your shoes feel smaller.

Most experienced runners today prefer using thin running socks as they offer a much better feel of the road. However, it is a matter of personal preference; just experiment and find the best running sock thickness that is most comfortable.

6 thoughts on “What Kind of Socks Should I Wear Running?”

  1. Thank you for this very informative post! It’s funny to think about the impact of socks because nobody would expect socks to play such a big role in our running! But I noticed that when I wear super thin cotton socks, I will not have an enjoyable experience! I appreciate your recommendation of the best kinds of socks for the best running experience. I’ll check it out 🙂

    • Thank you, Derek.

      The point with cotton socks is that it does not offer any kind of moisture control. Cotton actually absorbs moisture and keeps it directly retained around your feet. If you think about it, many people buy expensive and high-quality shoes (and shoes are very important) but next to their skin is the socks. And like shoes, it´s very important to have right socks for the same reason and you choose shoes and running clothes. The reason about feeling comfortable and maximax the effort of the running.

  2. Never did I know there are so many details about socks and also how important they are especially for someone like me that likes to workout and jog. My feet always tend to be smelly after a workout, is that due to the fact that I am wearing the wrong socks and what would you prefer for me then?

    • Thank you, Mornay for your important comment.

      Yes, it´s quite possible that the smell problem, which a lot of runners have, can be solved with using particular running socks. Give this socks, for example, a try and see if you are in the same smelling problem: https://sportssend.com/fitshit

  3. Hi Johann,

    I am probably like many joggers, or ex-jogger now not even thinking about socks. Thank you for explaining the benefits of wearing the proper supportive socks, one problem I cannot wear wool, makes me itch. I take it my very cheap white sports socks were not very supportive, I have to wear ankle socks, never heard of crew socks.
    A very enlightning and informotive post, which will help many runners.

    Thank you,

    • Thank you, John, for your kind words.
       I know your itch problem for wool. I have the same even so I have found out that matter from which country it comes from. Australian wool seems to be good for me, Icelandic wool for others (maybe is this the reason: http://www.icelandinformationt… ) But here we have the benefit of the price of runnings socks which usually are not so much, at least compared with shoes, for example. So you can dry which material is best for you. I recommend you start by trying synthetic fibers like nylon and acrylic.


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