As running becomes an even more popular pastime for individuals of all ages, it is essential that the correct clothing and equipment is used in order to protect your body and to increase the level of your performance. Running socks are perhaps the most understated piece of equipment which is required when running, offering graduated compression to your feet and ankles.

As a result, the level of oxygen which the muscles receive is subsequently increased, which in turn provides an improvement to the circulation of blood which the heart receives. In addition, the removal of lactic acid is achieved much faster, helping you to increase your performance.

Related: Best Running Shoes Review.

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  • Unisex running socks
  • Available in medium, large, and extra large sizes
  • Padding around the ankle and toe areas
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  • Six different color designs
  • Numerous sizes available
  • Constructed from organic merino wool
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  • Knee-high compression running socks
  • Many different color options
  • Sizing options available

We have reviewed ten of the best running socks currently available on the market, helping you to decide which running socks are right for you.

View the Best Running Socks, Below.

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1. Thorlos JMX Running Thick Padded Ankle Sock

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The Thorlos JMX Running Thick Padded Ankle Sock is suitable for both men and women and is available in sizes medium, large, and extra large, being available in white and black color options. These running socks are made from 85 % Thor-Long Acrylic, 14 % Nylon, and 1 % Elastic, providing a good combination of materials in order for the running socks to feel soft yet resilient, in addition to offering moisture-wicking properties to keep feet dry and fresh. A padded ankle area as well as toe cushioning absorbs impact effectively and provides a good level of support and relief of pressure, reducing the chance of developing blisters.

Why We Like It

  • Unisex running socks
  • Available in medium, large, and extra large sizes
  • Padding around the ankle and toe areas
  • Moisture-wicking properties
  • Soft and durable

Our Verdict

The Thorlos JMX Running Thick Padded Ankle Sock offers padding as well as cushioning in the areas which you need it most, reducing the chance of developing blisters.

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premium choice rating

2. Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks

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The Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks are available in a choice of six different color combinations, including our favorite burgundy Bordeaux design. These running socks are perfect for both men and women and are available from size extra small through to size extra large. Organic merino wool, sourced from South America, is used in the production of these running socks, providing anti-odor properties and can subsequently help to prevent blistering.

Padding across the toes and heel areas decreases the chance of developing blisters further, in addition to helping prevent chafing. Powerful compression encompasses the arch and the top of the running sock.

Why We Like It

  • Six different color designs
  • Numerous sizes available
  • Constructed from organic merino wool
  • Padding across the toes and heel areas
  • Compression surrounding the arch area

Our Verdict

The Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks offer an excellent level of support and comfort for your feet when running while utilizing organic merino wool for comfort and durability.

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3. SB SOX Ultralite Compression Running Socks

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The SB SOX Ultralite Compression Running Socks are knee-high compression socks available in either a small/medium size, or a large/extra large size. Many color options are available, and are perfect for both men and women, although you should consider the size of your calves before purchasing to achieve the best fit. These running socks offer a high level of compression, and can additionally be used to boost blood circulation and reduce the amount of lactic acid. With these running socks performance is improved, while the chance of injury is reduced, offering anti-odor and anti-static properties.

Why We Like It

  • Knee-high compression running socks
  • Many different color options
  • Sizing options available
  • Boosts blood circulation
  • Anti-odor and anti-static properties

Our Verdict

The SB SOX Ultralite Compression Running Socks offer a boost to the circulation of blood, providing additional support through the knee-high length of the running socks.

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4. Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro

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The Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro socks are perfect for women, being available in a small size or a medium size.  A choice of eight color options is available, from an attractive black design to more vibrant designs such as 'meadow mauve.' These running socks are constructed from a combination of mesh, nylon, and wool, achieving a soft yet durable feel and performance.  Offering a short micro sock design, these running socks are perfect for summer.

Why We Like It

  • Micro sock design
  • Perfect running sock for women
  • Available in a small or medium size
  • Eight stylish color choices
  • Constructed from mesh, nylon, and wool

Our Verdict

The Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro look great and appear as any other short micro sock, although it provides you with the comfort, support, and freshness of a running sock.

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5. NIKE Spark Cushioned No-Show Running Socks

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The NIKE Spark Cushioned No-Show Running Socks are available in a wide range of sizes, from size 4 - 5.5 through to size 14 - 16.  Being constructed from 58 % Polyester, 36 % Nylon and 6 % Spandex, your feet are supported and cushioned, while experiencing a softness and durability from your running socks.

These running socks are available in either a black design with white features, or a white design with black features, or alternatively a grey design with white features.  Featuring Dri-FIT technology from NIKE, your feet remain dry and comfortable regardless of how hard you run, allowing targeted impact absorption through the use of cushioning, while a Y-stitch heel pocket enables a secure fit.

Why We Like It

  • An extensive range of sizes
  • Three different color designs
  • Combination of materials for the best performance
  • Dri-FIT technology
  • Targeted impact absorption

Our Verdict

The NIKE Spark Cushioned No-Show Running Socks look great and feature the iconic NIKE logo. Additionally, the use of Dri-FIT technology enables you to acquire the best performance from your running socks.

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6. Balega No-Show Running Socks

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The Balega No-Show Running Socks offer stylish design, featuring a right foot and left foot construction in order to attain the perfect fit.  These lightweight running socks offer a minimalist feeling when running, providing a hand-crafted construction for superior quality and increased performance.  Featuring ultrafine HI-Tech performance yarns, these running socks offer a cushioned heel and toe area in order to provide support and comfort for your feet, additionally ensuring elasticated support across the arch area.  These running socks will stay in place every time you run with the inclusion of the heel tabs to prevent slipping.

Why We Like It

  • Stylish design
  • Many sizes available
  • Lightweight running socks
  • HI-Tech performance yarns
  • Heel tabs to prevent slipping

Our Verdict

The Balega No-Show Running Socks feature a left and right construction method to ensure that your running socks fit you perfectly, attaining the best support and enabling the best performance.

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7. Physix Gear Compression Socks

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Physix Gear Compression Socks are knee-high compression socks which are available in a small/medium size as well as a large/extra large size, being perfect for both men and women. Being available in a choice of nine different color choices and designs, there is a pair of running socks to suit every taste. Features of these running socks include the use of anti-bacterial fabric in order to ensure that your legs and feet are feeling fresh at all times, while the compression allows blood circulation to increase.

Why We Like It

  • Small/medium or large/extra large sizes
  • Nine different color designs
  • Knee-high compression running socks
  • Anti-bacterial material
  • Increases blood circulation

Our Verdict

The Physix Gear Compression Socks offer compression from the base of the foot up to the knee, increasing blood circulation and heightening performance. Nine different color designs add a stylish touch.

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8. Saucony Mesh Ventilating Performance Socks

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Many running socks are available to purchase as a single pair, which can become expensive when multiple pairs of running socks are needed. Saucony Mesh Ventilating Performance Socks, however, are available in a pack of six or even a pack of twelve, helping you to acquire numerous pairs of high-quality running socks for a single purchase price.

A wide combination of colors are available within each pack, while all running socks are offered for shoe size 8 - 12. These running socks are constructed from 96 % Polyester, 3 % Rubber, 1 % Spandex, providing comfort and security for your feet. Your feet will be fresh at all times with the inclusion of the mesh, providing anti-wicking properties and good ventilation.

Why We Like It

  • Pack of six running socks or a pack of twelve running socks
  • Shoe size 8 - 12
  • Many color combinations available
  • Mesh feature for ventilation
  • Anti-wicking properties

Our Verdict

The Saucony Mesh Ventilating Performance Socks provide a high-performance running sock while ensuring phenomenal value with their multipack choices.

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9. Thirty48 Ultralight Athletic Running Socks

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The Thirty48 Ultralight Athletic Running Sock is available to purchase within a pack of three pairs, being offered in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large. These running socks are available in numerous different color choices, such as vibrant pink, or electric blue. Three-dimensional modeling ensures that these running socks are a secure and snug fit every time, providing an anatomically correct fit. The inclusion of mesh provides a good level of ventilation while ensuring that your feet always feel fresh and cool.

Why We Like It

  • Three pairs per pack
  • Numerous color choices
  • Vibrant designs
  • Available in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes
  • Secure fit and ventilated feel

Our Verdict

The Thirty48 Ultralight Athletic Running Socks look great, ensuring that you look stylish and fashionable while improving your performance every time you run.

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10. Drymax Run Hyper Thin No Show Socks

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The Drymax Run Hyper Thin No Show Socks are available in an extensive range of sizes, from small through to extra extra large. Featuring a stylish black design, these running socks offer a breathable mesh which keeps your feet feeling fresh, in addition to a flat toe seam and a Y-shaped heel to provide comfort and to secure your feet. In addition, these running socks have a vented arch band and dual layers across the base which additionally ensure that your feet are dry at all times.

Why We Like It

  • Extensive range of sizes available
  • Stylish black design
  • Breathable mesh
  • Flat toe seam and Y-shaped heel
  • Vented arch and dual layers

Our Verdict

The Drymax Run Hyper Thin No Show Socks ensure that your feet are dry at all times, preventing some injuries and conditions which can occur when feet are wet.

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Running Socks Buyer’s Guide

Material

The material used for your running socks is a vital consideration. Cotton socks should never be used on your feet when running as cotton absorbs a great deal of water, increasing the likelihood of you developing blisters. Natural material such as Merino wool is a good choice as this material will keep you warm in the winter yet dry and cool in the summer.

Synthetic materials are perhaps the most cost-effective yet high-performing running socks as these keep your feet dry and cool yet supported with a good fit. Some running socks include a percentage of Lycra or elastic, allowing the running socks to fit your feet well while enabling flexibility and movement while you run.

Breathability

Whether you are a novice runner or an expert athlete, your feet must be able to breathe. The ability to breathe will depend upon the materials and fibers used to construct the running socks, with synthetic materials providing the best ventilation. In addition, you may find that some running socks include vents or areas of mesh across the sock, so as to provide a good level of ventilation for your feet and to ensure that your feet consistently feel cool and dry.

Best Orthopedic Shoes

Cushioning

Some running socks provide cushioning along the toe area as well as across the ankle area. Cushioning prevents injury caused by shock absorption and additionally enables your feet to feel secure with a snug fit. Some running socks may provide further cushioning under the foot. However, the level and amount of cushioning will depend upon your preferences and how comfortable the running socks feel once your feet are inserted inside your running shoes.

Support

Your running socks must fit well in order to achieve a good fit and a supportive feel. Some running socks may provide ankle support with additional elastic used across the ankle area, while a similar type of support is offered through arch support. Additional support is an excellent feature of running socks for both the novice runner and the expert runner, providing a degree of protection against potential injuries.

In addition to such support included within the running sock, you can take additional precautions and insert ankle support underneath your socks.

Micro Sock, Ankle Sock, or Knee-High Sock?

What length of running sock you choose depends upon your preferences. Micro socks are great for the summer months, whereas an ankle sock may suit a more general climate. If you are seeking compression running socks, then knee-high running socks may be a great choice. Compression socks increase blood circulation, and so wearing knee-high compression running socks will allow your running socks to improve the flow of blood throughout your calves.

Style and Design

While the composition and features of running socks are of course the most important areas which affect your health and performance, many running socks currently on the market are also fashionable and look great across any terrain. Vibrant colors and energetic designs are available, in addition to different styles and looks, ensuring that you both look and feel your best.

Why Wear Compression Socks when Running?

Wearing compression socks when running provides graduated compression to your feet and ankles. As a result, the level of oxygen which the muscles receive is subsequently increased, which in turn provides an improvement to the circulation of blood which the heart receives.

In addition, the removal of lactic acid is achieved much faster, helping you to increase your performance. Some compression socks include a knee-high variety, offering the same benefits throughout your calves.

Best Cushioned Running Shoes

What Kind of Socks to Wear when Running?

When you run, there is a high chance that your feet will become sweaty and wet. This increases your chance of acquiring blisters as well as other foot conditions. Choosing running socks which are made from synthetic materials provide moisture-wicking properties to ensure that your feet are dry at all times.

In addition, running socks which contain mesh allows a good level of ventilation into your foot area, keeping your feet cool and fresh. Running socks which provide padding to areas such as the ankle help to prevent injury as the shock is absorbed well. Compression socks are also an excellent feature to increase the circulation of blood.

Expert Tip

Look for running socks which are tailored to a right foot and left foot construction. This ensures that your running socks fit your feet perfectly and that the highest possible security and comfort is attained.

Did you know?

Some running shoes are intended to be worn without any socks at all. Always check this when purchasing running shoes. Wearing socks with such running shoes may prove to be a hindrance. However, ensure that you always wear running socks with standard running shoes as you may experience blisters if no socks are worn.

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