The 11 Best Socks for Runners in 2024

No matter whether you’re a beginner in the world of running or training for a marathon, your footwear is important.

But whilst most of us will take the time to research the very best running shoes for our needs, few of us pay enough attention to our socks!

Yet your socks are almost as important as your shoes, offering comfort and support whilst wicking moisture away from your skin.

Choose a pair made from the wrong type of fabric and you can end up with hot, sweaty feet and an increased risk of uncomfortable blisters.

The good news is that we’ve done the work for you and tracked down the ten best socks for runners on the market right now.

We’ve also outlined the reasons we recommend them and the things you need to think about when making your choice.

So let’s get started!

best socks for runners

The 10 Best Socks for Runners in 2023

  1. Best Socks With A Lifetime Guarantee: Darn Tough Sock Range
  2. Best Minimalist Design – Balega Ultralight Athletic Running Socks for Men and Women
  3. Best Runners Socks for Cold Weather – SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof Sock
  4. Best Runners Socks for Preventing Blisters – Danish Endurance (3 Pack)
  5. Best Runners Socks with Targeted Compression – Stance Run Crew Socks
  6. Best Moisture Wicking Socks – Swiftwick- MAXUS ZERO (3 Pairs)
  7. Best Toe Socks – Injinji Run Midweight
  8. Best Value for Money – Thorlos Experia Xccu Running Socks
  9. Best Runners Socks for Daily Training – 1000 Mile Running Anklet
  10. Best Socks for Trail Runners – Bridgedale Lightweight T2 Merino Performance
  11. Best Socks for Runners Overall – Balega Unisex Hidden Comfort Socks

Features to Look for in The Best Socks for Runners

The best runners socks are those that are so comfortable you hardly notice you’re wearing them.

And there are several factors that influence that:

#1: Fabric

Cotton socks may be your go-to in day-to-day life, but they’re not cut out for running as they hold on to moisture and can cause blisters.

Instead, look for socks made from lightweight fibers designed to wick sweat away from your skin.

Suitable fabrics include synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, or natural fabrics like Merino wool.

These will prevent chafing and ensure that you stay dry from start to finish.

The best socks for runners should be breathable, too, ideally with mesh panels to keep you cool.

running socks

#2: No Friction

Blisters are every runner’s number one enemy and can seriously derail your training!

Choosing the right fabric can help eliminate the risk of them developing, but the size of your socks is important, too.They need to fit you perfectly so that they won’t bunch up and start to rub.

Ideally, they should be seam-free, as this helps prevent discomfort around your toes.

Alternatively, consider toe socks (I’ve included a pair in this guide).

Each toe is enclosed in its own little section, which stops them from rubbing together.

They have a unique look and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re very popular with ultra-runners who need that extra protection for longer distances.

#3: Other Features

If you are looking for the best socks for sweaty feet, you’ll not only need to look for moisture-wicking fabric but you may want a pair that uses odor-reducing technology, too.

Or if you regularly run off-road, then the best runners’ socks will provide a bit of extra coverage and should be durable enough to withstand harsher terrain.

Be sure to consider the cushioning, too.

Personally, I like the ‘barely there’ feel of very thin, lightweight socks.

Some of my clients, however, prefer the comfort provided by extra padding in high-impact areas like the heels and toes.

The 11 best socks for Runners

#1. Best Socks With A Lifetime Guarantee: Darn Tough Sock Range

Material: 66% Merino Wool, 32% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex, Sizes: Small to XX-Large, Type: Crew (Mid-Calf)

The 11 Best Socks for Runners in 2024 1
ProsCons
Super warm and cozyNone!
Unconditional lifetime guarantee
Undetectable seams for comfort and durability

Made in the USA, you know you’ll always be able to rely on Darn Tough socks with their famous lifetime guarantee. If your socks develop holes or have signs of wear and tear, Darn Tough will replace them with no conditions or questions asked.

Darn Tough socks are designed with high-density cushioning, so you get extra support and comfort in the areas needed.

We tested these socks and found they kept our feet super cozy, and the material felt soft but still durable.

#2. Best Minimalist Design – Balega Ultralight Athletic Running Socks for Men and Women

Material: 78% Drynamix Polyester, 20% Nylon, 2% Elastane, Sizes: Small to X-Large, Type: No Show

Balega Ultralight No Show Athletic Running Socks
ProsCons
Comfortable and supportiveProne to pilling
High heel tab to prevent slippingRun small
Ventilation panels for breathability

Available in heaps of cool colorways, these sheer and incredibly lightweight socks provide a winning combination of minimalism and comfort.

That’s thanks to the cushioning at the heel and toe (which also adds to the durability) plus the wide elasticated band at the arch and ankle to provide support and stop the sock from slipping.

The Drynamix fibers are great for wicking away moisture (making these some of the best socks for sweaty feet) and the hand-linked seamless toe cuts down on chafing to keep you blister-free.

#3. Best Runners Socks for Cold Weather – SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof Sock

Material: Outer: 90% Nylon/10% Elastane; Inner: 38% Merino Wool/38% Acrylic/22% Polyester/2% Elastane, Sizes: Small to X-Large, Type: Knee Length

SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof Cold Weather Knee Length Sock
ProsCons
Protection from wind and waterExpensive
Elasticated support zones
Four-way stretch for a perfect fit

Offering you the ultimate protection on wet and chilly days, these socks will keep your feet warm and comfortable whilst still allowing them to breathe.

The three-layer construction includes a hydrophilic waterproof membrane which resists moisture pretty well, although I found that a little water did seep through after a real downpour.

The Merino wool lining and plush terry loop stitching keep you cozy and comfortable, whilst the flat-toe seams recessed within the yarn loops prevent friction and blisters.

#4. Best Runners Socks for Preventing Blisters – Danish Endurance (3 Pack)

Material: 65% Polypropylene, 33% Polyamide, 2% Elastane, Sizes: Small to Large, Type: Quarter Length

DANISH ENDURANCE 3 Pack Running Socks for Long Distances for Men & Women
ProsCons
Ideal for all types of runningToes are not very durable
Protect even the most sensitive skin from blisters
Good value for money

These socks were designed and tested with Danish Olympic Runner Stina Troest, which will give you some idea of the quality and comfort to expect.

Ideal for everything from daily training to longer distances, they use targeted cushioning to prevent blisters and arch compression to provide support and prevent foot fatigue.

The breathable fabric wicks away sweat effectively and features ‘cooling lanes‘, designed to move heat out of the sock so you stay comfortable.

#5. Best Runners Socks with Targeted Compression – Stance Run Crew Socks

Material: 73% Nylon, 22% Polyester, 5% Elastane, Sizes: Small to Large, Type: Crew (Mid-Calf)

Stance Run Crew Socks
ProsCons
Very durableCompressive fit – consider sizing up
Reflective detail for visibility at night
Sustainable, with recycled packaging

Compression technology is designed to boost blood flow and oxygen delivery, thereby enhancing the efficiency of your muscles.

Though the jury’s still out on just how much difference compression socks can make to your performance, there’s no doubt that these are incredibly comfortable, with support for your arches and no seam at the toe for a chafe-free fit.

They are made with INFIKNIT – the company’s proprietary blend of fibers that targets high friction areas for increased strength – so these are some of the best runners’ socks in our guide for lasting the distance.

#6. Best Moisture Wicking Socks – Swiftwick- MAXUS ZERO (3 Pairs)

Material: Nylon, Sizes: Small to X-Large, Type: No Show

Swiftwick- MAXUS ZERO Running Socks
ProsCons
Fully cushioned footbedA little heavy for speedwork
Thin, breathable upper and seamless toe
Micro tab to prevent friction at the heel

Made with a high volume of lightweight Hydrotec fibers, these are some of the best moisture wicking socks I tried and kept my feet dry even on longer runs.

They also offer maximum cushioning, with a comfortable footbed designed to absorb impact with every stride for softer landings.

Whilst there is an elasticated band under the arch, its looser-than-usual fit contours to the curves of your feet, making these ideal if you prefer more relaxed support.

#7. Best Toe Socks – Injinji Run Midweight

Material: 67% Nylon/30% Coolmax/3% Lycra, Sizes: Small to X-Large, Type: No Show

Injinji Run Midweight No Show Toesocks
ProsCons
No skin-on-skin frictionUnique look/feel won’t suit everyoine
Toe splay encourages even weight distribution across the footCan be tricky to put on
Heel tab to prevent sliding

There are two big benefits to toe socks – they allow your toes to splay naturally and they wrap each toe individually, which stops them rubbing together and prevents blisters.

Ideal for wearing with barefoot running shoes, this pair from Injinji – a Californian toe sock company committed to enhancing the freedom and natural function of your foot – is one of the best you can get.

They feature cushioning on the footbed for comfort on longer runs and are made with sweat-wicking fabric to keep your entire foot cool and dry.

#8. Best Value for Money – Thorlos Experia Xccu Running Socks

Material: 79% Polyester, 20% Nylon, 1% Elastic, Sizes: X-Small to X-Large, Type: Low Cut

Thorlos Experia Xccu Thin Cushion Running Low Cut Socks
ProsCons
Ventilation panels for breathabilityCan be tight on wider feet
Precise sizing chart for a great fit
Massive choice of colorways

These form-fitting socks provide light padding in the places you need it, meaning they feel comfortable while remaining light and thin.

The Thor-Wick COOL fibers used in the heel and under the ball of the foot help keep your feet sweat-free, and there’s a lightweight pad in the heel area to stop your foot from rubbing on the back of your shoe.

The no-rub toe seam ensures your toes stay free from blisters too, while the elasticated arch keeps the sock in place from start to finish.

#9. Best Runners Socks for Daily Training – 1000 Mile Running Anklet

Material: 58% Polyamide, 39% Polyester, 3% Elastane, Sizes: Small to X-Large, Type: Ankle Socks

1000 Mile Running Anklet
ProsCons
Fabric blkend reduces frictionCan feel too warm on hot days
Arch bracing for a firm grip
Versatile

If you’re looking for a reliable pair of socks for your everyday training, look no further than these running anklets from 1000 Mile.

The padded zones around the heel, toes, and ball of the foot cushion you from the stress of impact, plus a little extra padding at the back protects your Achilles tendon.

The moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabric helps keep you cool and the breathable mesh provides ventilation.

#10. Best Socks for Trail Runners – Bridgedale Lightweight T2 Merino Performance

Material: 54% Polyamide, 18% Merino Wool, 27% Polyamide, 1% Elastane, Sizes: Small to X-Large, Type: 3/4 Crew

Bridgedale Men's Trail Run Lightweight T2 Merino Performance ¾ Crew
ProsCons
Highly durableNone!
Made with warm, moisture-wicking Merino wool
Well ventilated and cushioned

From Irish brand Bridgedale – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of technical socks – these trail-running socks offer a sport fit.

That translates to supportive compression under the arches helping with proprioception, and also around the ankle and midfoot to help keep you stable on uneven ground.

There’s also extra padding in key zones for comfort, T2 anti-shock cushioning to protect you from impact, and a wide, unrestrictive toe box to allow for natural toe splay.

#11. Best Socks for Runners Overall – Balega Unisex Hidden Comfort Socks

Material: 84% Drynamix Polyester, 11% Nylon, 3% Neofil, 2% Elastane, Sizes: Small to X-Large, Type: No Show

Balega Unisex Hidden Comfort Socks
ProsCons
Moisture-wicking fibers and ventilation panelsLittle arch support
200 needle-count yarn
Lots of colorways to choose from

It’s no surprise that Balega has taken the top spot for the best socks for runners, since the brand excels in providing pairs that are exceptionally comfortable, durable, and reasonably priced.

The Hidden Comfort line is one of my favorites (and also Balega’s bestseller), offering a high level of cushioning and with a glove-like fit that feels plush and luxurious.

The hand-linked seamless toe prevents chafing, whilst the deep heel pocket and high heel tab keep the sock sitting firmly in place, so it won’t slip into your shoe mid-run.

The 10 best Socks for Runners: Key Takeaways

A good pair of running socks is just as crucial to your performance as your shoes, keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable mile after mile.

I hope you’ve found this guide to the best socks for runners useful and it’s helped you identify the perfect pair for your next race or training session.

sneakers and socks aesthetic
Photo of author
Christine Albury is a dedicated runner and fitness nerd and certified personal trainer: when she's not working out she is studying the latest fitness science publications, and testing out the latest running gear!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.