best overall rating
  • Memory foam insole
  • Durable construction
  • Breathable mesh upper
premium choice rating
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Ergonomic design
great value rating
  • Sandal design
  • Padded strap
  • Lightweight cushioning

Just because they’re often hidden, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay particular attention to what lies beneath your sneakers. It really is true that athletic socks can make a great deal of difference, and actually, when it really matters, athletic socks can be the element that makes or breaks a race, no matter what your distance, speed or time. You wouldn’t wear gloves that were itchy, fell off or increased sweating, so why would you do this to your feet?

Get the perfect athletic socks for you to always get the best start. To give you a head start, we’ve compiled the ten best athletic socks available for you to purchase in today’s market. Take a look; the best athletic socks may just improve your training, increase your speed, and enhance your endurance simultaneously!

Whether you’re a runner, gym bunny, or a general lover of sneakers, the athletic socks you wear make all the difference to your comfort.  Take a look at our favorites:

Related: Best Socks for Running.

View the Best Athletic Socks, Below.

best overall rating

1. Skechers Men’s Afterburn

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Skechers sneakers have been market leaders for over two decades, and the Skechers Men’s Afterburn athletic shoes are a great example of why this is. The soles of these athletic shoes are made from durable, flexible Articu-Lyte rubber for strong support and comfort, boosted by the padding of the memory foam insoles. The uppers are made from a combination of sturdy leather and high quality, lightweight, breathable synthetic mesh, balancing between strength and breathability to keep your feet well protected and cool even during intense periods of exercise.

One of the added bonuses of Skechers sneakers over other brands of athletic shoe is their distinctive and classy style, making them a great option for casual wear as well as high performance athletic products. The Skechers Men’s Afterburn athletic shoes are a great choice no matter what your personal athletic shoe needs might be.

Why We Like It
  • Memory foam insole
  • Durable construction
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Leather and synthetic hybrid construction
  • High traction rubber sole
Material
Leather, Synthetic
Type
Sneaker
Gender
Men’s
Our Verdict

As high quality as you might expect from Skechers shoes, the Skechers Men’s Afterburn athletic shoes are premium, high performance athletic shoes ideal for practical use or simply wearing casually for style.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Brooks Women’s Ghost 11

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Lightweight and stylish, the Brooks Women’s Ghost 11 athletic shoes offer both high performance and a bright, vibrant look. The uppers of these athletic shoes are made from a lightweight, breathable mesh material, keeping your feet cool and comfortable throughout your sporting activities, no matter how intense. In addition to this, the interiors are plush and padded, lined with soft fabric to maximize your comfort while wearing the Brooks Women’s Ghost 11 running shoes.

The soles of the athletic shoes, meanwhile, are ergonomically designed, with a soft blown rubber forefoot material to allow flexibility and control without compromising on comfort or durability, keeping your foot movement natural, fluid, and as dynamic as possible.

Why We Like It
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Ergonomic design
  • High energizing cushioning
  • High support rubber sole
Material
Synthetic
Type
Running Shoe
Gender
Women’s
Our Verdict

The ergonomic design and lightweight construction of the Brooks Women’s Ghost 11 make this model of athletic shoes an exceptionally comfortable choice for any sporting activity. They’re unobtrusive and comfortable enough to feel almost as if you have no shoes on at all!

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Nike Men’s Benassi Athletic Sandal

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The Nike Men’s Benassi Athletic Sandal is a simple athletic sandal designed for comfort and simplicity. These offer an exceptionally high build quality, with comfortable padding and durable synthetic materials used throughout. The one piece strap is firmly attached to the sole, and features jersey lining under its synthetic leather body for added comfort and sweat wicking power, helping to keep your feet even cooler than might be expected from the openness of the sandal design of these athletic shoes.

The soles of these athletic sports sandals are made from injected Phylon rubber, giving a durable surface and a high level of cushioning with minimal weight for a lightweight and well padded feel, cushioning your feet from impact shocks effectively. In addition to this, the flex grooves used in the design of the sole allow the sandals to bend along with your feet, keeping them firmly in place and maintaining the high level of comfort offered with no slippage.

Why We Like It
  • Sandal design
  • Padded strap
  • Lightweight cushioning
  • Flex grooves
  • Durable construction
Material
Synthetic
Type
Athletic Sandal
Gender
Men’s
Our Verdict

There's no athletic shoe style more lightweight than an athletic sandal. This type of athletic footwear may be very different from a standard sports shoe, but if you're looking for a pair of athletic sandals, the Nike Men's Benassi Athletic Sandal is one of the best athletic sandals available.

Editor Rating

4. ASICS Mens Gel-Venture 6

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The ASICS Men’s Gel Venture 6 athletic shoes are designed for outdoor running on rough trails. Tough and durable, they are designed for high performance and great protection no matter what the environment in which you’re running is. The sole is made from strong rubber with deep treads for strong grip on rough surfaces, and the interior features a gel cushioning system built into the heel to absorb shock and reduce the impact of your feet against the ground, protecting your feet and legs from impact related injuries as you run.

These shoes offer high outdoor trail running performance, promising to protect your feet and keep you comfortable while helping you run at your peak performance on rough, difficult terrain.

Why We Like It
  • Gel padding
  • Removable liner
  • Durable construction
  • High grip outer sole
  • Tough synthetic upper
Material
Synthetic
Type
Running Shoe
Gender
Men’s
Our Verdict

An exceptionally durable model of athletic shoes, the ASICS Men’s Gel Venture 6 shoes are one of the best athletic shoes out there for trail running, offering superior grip and foot protection on rougher and more unstable trail surfaces.

Editor Rating

5. Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19

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The Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 athletic shoes offer a clean, stylish look and a number of excellent design features that help them to stand out from the crowd in a couple of important aspects. The breathable mesh uppers of these athletic shoes help to keep your feet cool and fresh even during extended periods of intense exercise, while the rubber soles are durable and flexible, offering a high level of cushioning to protect your feet and keep you as comfortable as possible when you run.

These athletic shoes offer excellent compatibility with most shapes of orthotic insole, allowing them to provide good support and a high level of comfort to any user’s feet, no matter their shape.

Why We Like It
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Compatible with most orthotic insoles
  • High comfort
  • Clean, stylish look
Material
Synthetic
Type
Running Shoe
Gender
Women’s
Our Verdict

Great for wearing with orthotic foot supports, the Brooks Women’s Launch 5 trainers are comfortable and flexible for most shapes of feet. These athletic shoes allow for a higher level of medical support than many other types of athletic trainers, all while looking sharp and stylish.

Editor Rating

6. ASICS Gel-Venture 6 MX Women’s

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Designed for outdoor trail running on rougher and more treacherous trail surfaces, the ASICS Gel Venture 6 MX Women’s athletic shoes are trail shoes that offer a high level of durable protection and foot support. The rough surface of the outer sole features reversed lugs for high trail performance, increasing the traction of your feet on both uphill and downhill travel on any terrain.

In addition to this, critical locations on the soles are made from ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR), boosting the strength and durability of a number of key parts of the sole that take the heaviest and most destructive abrasion in regular use while running.

Why We Like It
  • Gel cushioning
  • Removable liner
  • Sturdy rubber sole
  • ASICS High Abrasion Rubber in critical locations
  • High grip outer sole
Material
Synthetic
Type
Running Shoe
Gender
Women’s
Our Verdict

The ASICS Gel Venture 6 MX Women's athletic shoes offer exceptional durability and comfort when running on rougher outdoor trails. The high grip outer sole with ASICS High Abrasion Rubber detailing will stay in good condition even when running on difficult rough terrain and always maintains a high level of foot comfort.

Editor Rating

7. ASICS Gel-Contend 4 Women’s

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The ASICS Gel-Contend 4 Women's Running Shoe offers a high level of comfort, padding, and breathability in a versatile and colorful package. Available in 7 different designs, these athletic shoes are sure to look great on any user, helping you to exercise in style. The soles are made from durable, tough rubber with moderate texturing to add versatility to the range of practical uses for these athletic shoes, while the insole is padded with comfort gel around the heel to absorb shock and reduce the transmission of impacts against the ground to your feet and ankles, helping to protect you from injury during runs.

The durable synthetic upper promises to protect your feet in any environment, while the handy removable liner is quick drying and wicks sweat away from your feet effectively, keeping your feet cool and dry at all times.

Why We Like It
  • Gel cushioning
  • Removable liner
  • Durable rubber sole
  • ComforDry sockliner design
  • Durable upper
Material
Synthetic
Type
Running Shoe
Gender
Women’s
Our Verdict

Stylish and versatile, the ASICS Gel Contend 4 Women’s running shoes are exceptionally comfortable athletic shoes suitable for almost any sporting activity. Their exceptional breathability and padding will keep your feet comfortable no matter what.

Editor Rating

8. adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure

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The Adidas Women’s Cloudform Pure trainers are simple and understated trainers with a range of high comfort design features. Available in 19 different colors, these are athletic shoes designed to appeal to as wide a market as possible and offer a high enough comfort level to back up this high ambition effectively.

The upper surface is made from a high stretch, breathable mesh textile fabric to keep your feet cool and comfortable in any situation, no matter the shape of your feet, while the memory foam liner offers a high level of support and ergonomic padding for the soles of your feet.

Why We Like It
  • Textile construction
  • Memory foam liner
  • Wide range of colors available
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • High stretch design
Material
Textile
Type
Running Shoe
Gender
Women’s
Our Verdict

Flexible, comfortable and versatile, the Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure athletic shoes combine high performance, comfort, and style to make a pair of running shoes ideally suited to almost any user.

Editor Rating

9. Nike Men’s Revolution 4

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Designed for high running performance, the Nike Men’s Revolution 4 athletic shoes are high quality trainers with a number of design features specifically focused on support and performance when running. These running shoes feature a high performance sole design with molded spring pods to create a piston effect while you run, boosting your strides and offering responsive cushioning to protect your feet from impact shock.

The midsole is made from soft, comfortable foam, while the toe tip and vamp include sturdy underlays to boost the support these athletic shoes can offer to your feet. The body of the Nike Men’s Revolution 4 athletic shoes is lightweight and durable, constructed with seamless overlays for added strength, and promises a long lasting shoe that’s always comfortable to wear.

Why We Like It
  • High traction design
  • Sole mounted spring pods
  • Lightweight
  • Durable construction
  • Excellent support
Material
Synthetic
Type
Running Shoe
Gender
Men’s
Our Verdict

The foot support offered by the Nike Men’s Revolution 4 trainers is exceptional, keeping your feet well cushioned and balanced during any sporting activity for maximum protection and foot care.

Editor Rating

10. Under Armour Men’s Micro G Assert 7

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Built from a range of textile, synthetic and leather materials, the Under Armour Men’s Micro G Assert 7 athletic shoes are designed for support and protection in a durable, long lasting package that promises to boost your running performance in style for as long as possible. The upper part of the shoe is made from a durable, breathable synthetic mesh to keep your feet cool, dry and comfortable even during intense exercise, and features a durable leather overlay to increase the stability and protection offered by these athletic shoes and compressing your mid foot region, holding it securely in place.

Why We Like It
  • Lightweight
  • Durable construction
  • Breathable upper
  • EVA foam insole
  • Sturdy leather overlays
Material
Textile, Synthetic
Type
Sneaker
Gender
Men’s
Our Verdict

The Under Armour Men’s Micro G Assert 7 athletic shoes are durable and comfortable, supporting your feet well and being tough enough to survive for a long time, reducing the need to buy further pairs of shoes any more often than necessary.

Editor Rating

Athletic Socks Buyer’s Guide and Breakdown

When looking into purchasing new athletic socks, there are many different things you need to think about to ensure that you are making the best choice for your feet, your activity, and your exercise style.  Taking all of this into consideration, the following points will enable you to make a more educated decision when it comes to your next purchase of athletic socks.

Sizing

There are multiple things to consider in relation to sizes when purchasing athletic socks.  Firstly, make sure you have checked who the socks have been designed for.  There are female and male specific socks as well as there being unisex socks.  For the average pair of socks, the gender they are aimed at will not have any impact whatsoever, but this is not the case for athletic socks.

Secondly, generally athletic sock sizes are defined by letters as opposed to sizes, like S for small, instead of stating that it may be suitable for a woman with size 5 feet.  Make sure that you have found a sizing guide before purchasing the wrong size athletic socks.  Athletic socks which are too small will prevent the foot from being able to move correctly, too big and you will definitely get blisters.

Thirdly, there are usually two different sizes stated for each letter size of sock, and it is not always made clear as to what this means.  It is generally just assumed that you will know.  These two different sizes are the sizes of feet catered for as a specific sock size, and the sizes of feet catered for if you were to compare it to your shoe size.  Do not be fooled – this is not always the same size so please double check to avoid disappointment.

Moisture Wicking

This is a fabulous creation to enable sweat to be removed as you exercise, and it also ensures that your feet remain dry.  For the more hardy of athletes, the odd bit of water or rain may not be a general issue, especially if you are used to training outside.  But wet, cold sweat can be much more problematic than you think.

The biggest problem is that sweat causes enormous amounts of fungus and bacteria to be formed, which can absolutely infest your feet.  This is where common complaints such as athlete’s foot come from, and they can be difficult to eradicate if you are a frequent wearer of sneakers without wicking.

Ventilation

Ventilation mesh within sneakers is a great way to assist with the reduction or total eradication of sweat during the time your sneakers are in use.  This also reduces the risk of athlete’s foot because the environmental conditions for bacterial growth are not then at their optimum.

Ventilation of the sneakers is a great way to also be able to run longer distances or train for more extended periods of time in general because the air flowing around the feet keeps your feet cooler.  This, in turn, keeps you feeling more comfortable in general even when you are pushing your body to the absolute max.

Odor Reduction

Sneakers have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to odor, but this is now a thing of the past if you combine multiple things, and generally, it has absolutely nothing to do with the sneakers themselves.  The athletic socks you wear can completely eradicate the smell of your sneakers through their use of moisture wicking, ventilation, and by being washed after every use.

As this is proven to be the case, many companies are now offering either promotions or packs of socks for you to purchase so that you never have to run short on your favorite type of athletic socks.  The most common athletic sock pack sizes are three’s and sixes, but much larger packs are available if you are someone with a more intense training regime.

Arches

The feet look after us more than we realize and it goes without saying that we take them for granted…until something goes wrong.  To avoid anything unfortunate happening and to increase additional support, structure and safety for your feet as you exercise, look for athletic socks which have in-built arches within them.

These arches have been fitted into a very specific place to not only enhance your comfort but will also enable you to exercise harder and for longer, too.  If you want to push your body further, this is definitely worth looking in to.

Expert Tip

Seamless athletic socks reduce the risk of skin irritation, rubbing and blisters so that nothing can get in the way of your exercise schedule.

Did you know?

That merino wool cannot absorb odor, so if you’re prone to excessive sweating, bad foot odor or throw out lots of socks or sneakers, merino made athletic socks are fabulous.