Running Socks

There are so many different kinds of running socks. Learn what you need to know so you can get the perfect pair.

Importance of Running Socks

Believe it or not, running socks make a huge impact on your run. They are not something to overlook, or a decision to take casually. Running socks have a way of making or breaking your running experience. Wear good socks, and you’ll enjoy your run. Wear bad socks and it makes your whole day terrible.

Running Socks Basics

It can be overwhelming shopping for socks. With so many varieties it can be difficult to choose the right pair. But WebMD does recommend that you do wear socks as opposed to going without. Making the best decision for your feet will take some trial and error. But once you find the right ones, you’ll be set for the rest of your running life. We’ll provide the information you need to begin your running sock buying journey.

what to wear running
For more about socks and What to Wear Running, read this article.

Varieties of Socks

Sock technology has come a long way. Today socks have arch support, compression, cushioning, and even ventilation. The best socks for you are the ones that make it a good experience. There are many varieties of socks available. They vary in size, shape, height, compression level, design, thickness, color, and design.

Different Running Socks Fabrics

Fabrics make a big difference when it comes to the right socks. They break down into two main categories, natural fabrics, and synthetic fabrics.

Natural Fabrics

Cotton is a popular choice for normal everyday use, but it’s not a great material for running. Cotton retains sweat and takes a long time to dry. Damp cotton socks can cause blisters.

Merino wool socks are popular with some runners. Wool is soft and comfortable on the skin after several washes and it’s good at regulating temperatures. Merino wool socks feel warm in cold temperatures and cool on hot days. They are great at resisting odor.

Synthetic Running Sock Fabrics

Polyester and nylon are popular synthetic fibers for socks. They both wick sweat, they’re breathable and more durable than cotton. Here is a list of some of the most common synthetic fabrics fibers you may find in the best running socks.

  • Nylon Socks
  • Polyester Socks
  • Spandex Socks
  • Lycra Socks


The shape and materials are the most important considerations in running socks. But there are other features that can affect your comfort levels and performance as well.

Toe Socks

If you are prone to blisters in between your toes, toe socks are a great option. The Injinji brand help to prevent the skin on skin irritation. If you’re training for a marathon in a warmer climate or in the summer heat, give them a try.


Good running socks should keep your feet dry and comfortable. Socks with seamless construction are ideal because it reduces chafing risk.


Compression socks or sleeves have become a popular option for many runners. They have a snug fit, some are even made out of medical-grade materials. They are designed to help with circulation in the legs.

Arch Support

Quality socks will be equipped with a compression band-like elastic that provides support and improves fit. Elastic fabric such as Lycra is often used to keep the sock in place when running while providing support in the arch of the foot.


Your feet need to breathe. Your choice of running shoe and sock impacts your running. A ventilated or breathable sock makes a lot of difference in wicking sweat, moisture, and odor away from your feet.

Blisterproof Technology

Blisters are a runner’s worst nightmare. Some technical running socks use a two-layer construction to help prevent blisters. The rationale is that friction is reduced by the two layers of material rubbing against each other as opposed to your skin. 

Due to the construction of these socks, some anti-blister running socks can have less breathability causing your feet to overheat.

Waterproof Running Socks

Running in the rain or through streams can be a relaxing way to run, as long as you have the right gear. Waterproof socks keep you from slipping and keep you dry and warm.

Cushioned Running Socks

Many socks offer a wide variety of cushioning at the ball of your foot and the heels for more underfoot protection. If you opt for a minimalistic shoe you might find you want a sock with a little more cushion. Heel-foot strikers should consider more cushioning support from their socks to help minimize injury risk.

Odor Reduction Socks

If you can find socks with added odor protection that actually repel foot stank grab them and give them a try. Nothing wrong with non-stinky feet, right?