Race Ready: 15 Best Running Socks

Photo: Compressport

If running is your cardio of choice, a pair of socks just isn’t a pair of socks anymore because we’ve gone beyond just polyester and cotton options. Like they say, you have to train smart, so that involves getting socks that are specifically made for running. Even a stellar pair of running shoes will feel off if you’ve got a pair of cotton socks that used to be white pulled over your feet, especially if they’ve seen some hell in their lifetime.

When it’s you against you on your route, you want to bust your PR and you can’t do that with sad looking socks covering your soles. The first thing you have to do is ditch your six-pack socks because you can do way better than that if you’re looking to get the best run gear. Honestly, those bundle socks will just bust out the heels, leave you with blisters and stink up the joint.

Now, everyone has a preference of fit, so you have to do a little bit of investigative work concerning the tendencies of your feet. Do they blister around the heels? Grab socks with a Y-seam for a tight feel and no slippage. Do you get black toe? Look for seam-free toe socks. Do you want your feet to look dope and let the shoes shine for those marathon pictures? Pick up some quality no-show run socks. What we’ve done here is gather a variety of running socks that you can choose from with technology that covers preferences across the board. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a pair of running socks on this list for you.

Drymax 1/4 Crew Running Socks

These Drymax socks are both affordable and functional enough to help your feet out on a tough run with its anti-slip wedge, breathable mesh and flat toe seam. It also has a vented arch band to keep your feet fresh, along with interior Drymax technology with an outside layer that attracts moisture. From heel to toe, there’s protective padding that can team up with the padding of your running shoes to dilute intense contact with the ground. Grab a three pack so that you can keep them in rotation as you run throughout the week.

Purchase: $10

Injinji Run Liner Crew CoolMax Socks

Toe socks may seem silly, but not when Injinji is making them, as they are constructed with ‘CoolMax XtraLife’ fabric for an anatomical fit and excellent moisture management, keeping your feet as sweat-free as possible. These are also toe socks with a purpose, as the 5-toe design helps to prevent blisters, working with the additional arch support to keep your feet ready to run mile after mile. These lightweight run socks also come with a one year manufacturer warranty.

Purchase: $10

Balega Blister Resist No Show Socks

Combining ‘Mohair’ and ‘Drynamix’ to create the ideal blend of nature and technology, these socks are made to specifically keep your feet cool and dry, preventing injuries while keeping your soles comfy. ‘Drynamix’ wicks moisture away from your skin while the ‘Mohair’ is able to hold moisture, in order to keep your feet warm in the winter. They also include a hand-linked seamless toe to eradicate abrasion across the top of your feet, and extra deep heel pockets so that the socks don’t obnoxiously slide down in the middle of your run. Additionally, these socks are also race tested.

Purchase: $13

Stance Uncommon Solid Low Tab Socks

Stance is a brand known to make some stylish cover-ups for your feet, including licensed Star Wars and NBA socks; however, their socks are also fully functional. Their Uncommon socks are perfect for running with their mesh vents that cover the top of the foot all the way to the arch for breathability, along with air channel cushioning that uses a pronounced foot-bed to increase the padding and airflow. With 200 needle count stitching and a reinforced heel and toe, making it durable for any course you run, these socks aren’t your average pair.

Purchase: $14

Wigwam Vanquish Fusion Ultimax Run Socks

Wigwam’s low cut socks limit blisters with their ‘Vanquish Fusion NXT’ technology and provide extra comfort with their singular sock and liner construction. They’ll keep your feet dry as well, while providing a hop in your step thanks to their cushioned soles. Made in the USA, these socks are a blend of 32% stretch nylon, 1% spandex and 67% ‘DriRelease Tencel,’ which is a mix of 88% polyester and 12% Tencel.

Purchase: $15

Feetures Elite Max Cushion Running Socks

If maximum comfort is what you’re looking for, these running socks are technically advanced with extra cushioning and ‘iWick Polyester’ fibers for a super soft feel to support each and every one of your strides on the track. It also has fantastic blister protection and no irritating toe seam, in addition to zone-specific compression where your feet need more support. Anatomically designed for the optimal fit, Feetures confidently stands by their work, offering a lifetime guarantee.

Purchase: $16

Nike Elite No-Show Running Socks

Harnessing the power of Nike’s ‘Dri-Fit’ technology, you can count on fresh feet with little to no sweat . Helping support your feet for a steady rhythm, so you can get a grip on the road ahead of you, there’s arch comprehension and a reinforced heel and toe for enhanced durability. You’ll get sweat-wicking comfort from these socks that are 56% polyester, 39% nylon and 5% spandex, a combination that your feet will thank you for, especially on those meaner courses where you’re trying to kick it up a notch.

Purchase: $16

Rockay Accelerate Running Socks

Constructed from organic merino wool from South America, these are the socks you want if your feet are prone to blisters or more foul odor than usual, as wool has natural anti-odor properties. There’s padding on the toes and heels to prevent blisters, and they were even tested by over 30 runners before production started to ensure its quality. For comfort, these socks have a snug compression in the arch and a tight elastic top. Also, they’ll keep your feet dry with their ventilation zones. Tested to be one of the best pairs out there, these socks are also guaranteed for life.

Purchase: $16

Compressport ProRacing V3 Trail Compression Socks

Probably the most futuristic looking socks on the list, these compression socks have a striped-design weaving that gives you the absolute maximum ventilation, so that humidity and moisture can freely escape, leaving your feet feeling breezy. These socks are extra durable too, as they are specifically made for trail runners, as they come with a reinforced toe box. It also had 3D dots that aid in stimulating blood flow, absorbing vibration and protecting tendons and muscles, as well as preventing slippage. On top of all that, there are seams of elastic, making these socks extra comfy around your calves and ankles.

Purchase: $18

Farm to Feet Raleigh Sport Low Socks

Made right here on red, white and blue soil, these socks are sewn together with 53% merino wool, 44% nylon and 3% lycra spandex for a pliable fit that’s itch-free and bacteria resistant. Its advanced construction makes for a smooth exterior and its half-density cushioning supplements the softness and wicking abilities of the socks. These socks also have compression from the top all the way through the arch to support the foot throughout your entire run, and miles beyond that. The intricate knit patterns also make for a unique look, so you can be fresh in more ways than one.

Purchase: $18

Fits Light Runner Socks

Coming in a variety of designs and colors, the Fits Light Runner socks are stylish and functional with a full ‘Contact Fit’ design that wraps around your feet so they won’t slip as you’re gunning down your best mile time. For a streamlined effect, these socks have a low-cut design with a narrow welt band. It’s also built with high-end impact cushioning at the toe cup and the heel lock for massive support that will allow you to keep up the pace or turn up the intensity.

Purchase: $18

CEP Short Socks

Made with 89% Polyamid and 11% Elastan, these short socks have metatarsal compression in the mid-foot area and fit snugly for convenient comfort when you’re pounding the track in rhythm with your soles. The unique compression technology has the ability to increase circulation and prevents your feet from swelling, in turn, letting you run with a comfortable stride to chase that PR of yours. Blended using high-tech fibers and advanced manufacturing technologies, this pair will adhere to the shape of your feet and wick moisture with the best of them.

Purchase: $20

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Crew Socks

Featuring highly advanced ‘Indestructawool’ technology in the high wear areas of the sock and a ‘4 Degree’ elite fit system for a precise fit, these socks will give you a noticeable edge in your next marathon. The toe of the socks feature Smartwool’s ‘Virtually Seamless’ toe for incredible comfort, as well as medium cushioning that provides solid impact protection on any trail. Keeping it breezy, these socks also have mesh ventilation zones in all the right places.

Purchase: $25

Falke Achilles Socks

Staying true to its name, these running socks are specifically made to reduce the risk of Achilles tendon problems that can come up for long-time runners. Made with anatomically adjusted 3D silicone pyramids that massage the side of the Achilles tendon, these socks help with blood circulation, keeping your feet tip top. With its triple-layered structure and an optimal fit due to patented right and left cushioning, these socks definitely match their price tag.

Purchase: $27

Thorlo Xeou Experia Compression Socks

For those that prefer a little more coverage, these over-calf, thin-cushioned socks will do the trick. Made with 43% nylon and 23% ‘Thor-wick Cool’ Copper polyester and ‘Experia Energy technology, featuring a triple-zone graduated compression, a pair of these will definitely support your feet all the way to the finish line. It has intense compression at the foot and ankle areas, which decreases as it nears the calf area. Additionally, it has ‘CuTEC Copper Ion Technology’ that’s woven into the fibers for superb anti-odor and antibacterial properties.

Purchase: $30

Sleek Stride: 18 Best Men's Running Shoes

Now that you’ve got yourself a nice pair of running socks, it can’t hurt to consider picking up a new pair of running shoes to go along with them. Check out our picks for the best men’s runnings shoes out there.