Some people like to tell you that all you need in order to run is a good pair of shoes. To an extent, that’s true. But what about what goes underneath those shoes? That’s right, we’re here to talk about socks, baby. They may not be as sexy as the latest and greatest running shoe, but a little investment can go a long way for the comfort of your foot. Let’s dig into the best running socks you can buy right now.
Many of these picks come directly from our reviewers. While we don’t have well-written reviews or beautiful pictures for all of them, we can vouch for the way they make our feet feel. Even though we can offer you discount codes on a few of the socks on this list, we’re not officially sponsored by any of them. However, affiliate programs keep the lights on, so feel free to shop.
Alright, now let’s get to the picks.
Quarter cut, medium cushion | Targeted compression | Oh yeah, we got a discount code
If you haven’t heard us talk about Feetures by now, you must be new here. We’ve mentioned them in reviews, podcasts, and more. So much so that we now have a promo code to help you save a few bucks. You can slap down BITR10 at checkout to save 10% on your order. While we love Feetures here in the Baltimore office, this pick comes from Aldren, our stability king.
The Elite Light Cushion comes in several heights, but we like the quarter for its blister prevention. After all, you can’t get a blister if your sock covers a quarter of the way up your calf, right?
PRICE: $15.99Shop Feetures Elite Light Cushion
Designed with help from Rob Krar | Thin profile with a secure arch band | Trail-ready toughness
Those who have already read our Best in Gear awards for 2021 should recognize this pick. It came in as our best trail running sock of the year, and it looks pretty darn good if you ask us. The PhD Pro Endurance comes in at a crew cut, so it should keep your ankles and calves free from dirt and debris while you pound the trails. It’s not necessarily subtle with its bright multicolored pattern, but who really wants a boring trail sock?
As far as materials go, the PhD Pro Endurance sock is made with Merino wool, which you’ll see a lot on this list. That means it has anti-odor and moisture-wicking properties to keep your feet drier as you trek along. It may be designed as a trail sock, but you could probably get away with these bad boys any day of the week.
PRICE: $25.95Shop Smartwool PhD Pro Endurance
Get ready to show off them toes | Plenty of cuts and cushions | Sweat works hard, CoolMax works harder
We can all agree that the toe shoe trend was a little silly, but toe socks are another matter entirely. Injinji seems to have succeeded where the shoes failed, and it’s since become Jeremy’s top pick. If you’re at all prone to chafing between your toes, these socks might be a great solution. The physical barrier should keep your toes from rubbing, but it won’t feel too radically different from a traditional sock.
Don’t worry about people judging you for toe socks — these are far from the weirdest thing you’ll see as a runner. And hey, they could double as short gloves if you get too desperate.
PRICE: $13Shop Injinji Toe Socks
A little bit of holiday cheer | NoShowTab disappears in your shoe | Grab more colorways for the rest of the year
We’re back to Feetures for another fun and festive pick. While you might not get a ton of use outside of the holidays (and Christmas in July), there are always other patterns to check out. Our BITR10 code won’t work here, either, but Running Warehouse is running a sale now, so it’s all good. The Feetures Elite Light Cushion NoShowTab socks are pretty much meant to disappear in your running shoe, but at least you know how cool they look.
Feetures adopted the same medium thickness and anatomical design as the previous socks we mentioned, and the Perfect Toe technology should keep your feet irritation-free as you pound out the miles.
PRICE: $Shop Feetures Elite No Show
Coolmax fibers | Silicone to keep the socks locked in place | Comes from Germany, ja?
Falke has some pretty impressive running socks, but we’ll kick things off with the all-rounder. The RU4 Cool Invisible is cut to disappear, and the mix of Coolmax fiber should keep your feet comfortable when the mercury rises. This is a medium cushion sock with good shoe contact, and silicone fibers keep it locked in place even when you do work up a sweat. Falke’s socks aren’t the most colorful in the world, but it’s all about the premium quality.
Also, they come from Germany, so you’ll have to measure carefully before you place an order.
PRICE: $18.95Shop Falke – Men Shop Falke – Women
Want colors? Balega’s got colors | Seamless toe prevents blisters | Reinforced heel
It’s easy to pick out one or two socks from a company as the best — at least for the most part. Once you get to Balega, you start to see just how loaded the running sock market is. Running Warehouse offers 71 different socks on the men’s side and just as many on the women’s. You can grab different socks for support, moisture-wicking, and some that pack odor-fighting materials to keep you at your freshest.
Night runners have the added option of Balega’s Enduro Reflective line, which comes in at quarter height and relies on reflective hits to keep you visible when the sun goes down.
PRICE: VariesShop Balega
Taller cuts are the bread and butter | More seamless construction | U-S-A, U-S-A!
Swiftwick gets a little fancier with its running socks, at least as far as the names go. Titles like Vision, Aspire, and Pursuit might be confusing, but they serve a purpose. You can grab Merino wool options, socks with Olefin fibers to wick sweat, and even more options with dense cushioning for added comfort. So far, Swiftwick follows the Henry Ford rule closer than anyone — most of its socks come in some flavor of black.
If you want a little more excitement, you can always try Swiftwick’s Team USA options, adorned with the American flag.
PRICE: VariesShop Swiftwick
Ready for the dark days of winter | Tall cuts for skiing | Merino wool across the board
How much do these running socks weigh? Enough to break the ice! Nah, just kidding, that wouldn’t make for a very good sock. Instead, these are probably your best bet if you’re hoping to hit the slopes this winter. Icebreaker has quite a few taller styles for skiing, or you can get hiking and trail running models that land somewhere in the middle. Almost all of the options rely on a degree of Merino wool for warmth and moisture-wicking, and only a few options come with fun patterns.
If you want a dedicated running sock from Icebreaker, you’ll have to look for the Run+ label.
PRICE: Up to $35Shop Icebreaker – Men
Batman socks? Yeah, Batman socks | Feel360 for performance | InfiKnit lifetime guarantee
Stance isn’t new to the sock game — it has partnerships with the NBA and just about every film franchise under the sun. It doesn’t offer as many running socks, but good luck finding anyone else with a pair of Batman socks. This is one of the more exciting Stance options, and it incorporates InfiKnit technology for a lifetime guarantee. It shouldn’t tear, but Stance is ready to offer a replacement if you wipe out on a trail like Robbe tends to do.
PRICE: VariesShop Stance
Moisture-wicking RapiDriCopper | Targeted tendon and ankle support | Anatomical design
The last running socks on our list come from XOSKIN. You might read that as they hug and kiss your skin, and it’s not wrong. However, it makes more sense as exo-skin because these socks fit like a second layer. There aren’t too many differences between the men’s and women’s styles, and you can even try the XOTOES if you want a viable Injinji alternative. They come in an ankle cut and pack interdigital holes to ensure a form-fitting feel with plenty of ventilation. After all, nobody wants sweaty toes…
PRICE: $Shop XOSKIN – Men Shop XOSKIN – Women