The Best Running Socks
We looked at the top 5 Running Socks and dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Running Socks.
Our Review Process
Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.
What’s the most important piece of equipment for a runner? If you answered “shoes,” you’re not entirely wrong. The longer and harder you hit the track, the more it pays to have a durable, comfortable running shoe. But veteran runners know that those shoes won’t be worth much without a good pair of socks underneath.
Don’t believe it? Try running a 5K or two in your regular tube socks and see what condition they come back in. For durability alone, it’s worth paying a little extra to have foot coverings that can stand up to your routine — but that’s hardly all you should expect out of a quality pair of running socks.
The biggest difference between running socks and casual ones is the material. Cotton may be the gold standard for comfort if you’re sitting around the house during winter, but you should avoid it at all costs when it comes time for a jog. As soon as you start to sweat, that cotton absorbs and holds it. That won’t just make your feet uncomfortable and smelly, it can make them prone to blisters as well.
Your best bet is a breathable, synthetic fabric like nylon or polyester. They’re fairly common, comfortable if woven well and can lift moisture away from the skin. If you’re running in colder climes, you might consider spending a little more for merino wool, a natural fiber that’s able to keep your feet warm while still regulating moisture buildup.
The next thing to consider is fit. We tend to think of socks as “one size fits most,” but runners need to be a little more picky. Loose socks can mean disaster on an extended jog, so you want something a little tighter. If you’re going for ankle socks, make sure that they’re especially secure. You might even look for a tab on the back that protects the heel and keeps it from sliding down once the shoe is on.
Many runners swear by compression socks, which fit tighter on strategic areas of the foot. This can increase blood flow when it counts and lead to faster recovery times. There can be a lot of fringe benefits too, such as enhanced arch support.
Subtle touches in the design of the sock can make all the difference. If you’re prone to blisters on your toes, look for socks that are seamless in the front. (That extra stitching can chafe over time.) If your heels suffer a lot of wear and tear, many socks have extra cushioning on the back. There are even socks that have an extra layer that’s designed to act as a buffer against excess friction. Keep in mind that while cushioning in general may seem like a good thing, you still want to let your feet breathe and feel the surface to a certain degree. It may take a little time and a few pairs of socks to find your sweet spot, but it’s worth it.
Our Picks For The Top Running Socks
Ankle-Cut 15-20 mmHg Compression Running Socks
These running socks are more than just cozy. The compression they provide to the ankles can help increase blood flow, and there's extra support around the arch. They're especially good for long runs thanks to the breathable material.
Snug, Protective FitThese runner's socks are tight at the ankles and supportive of the arches.
Men's Mesh No-Show Running Socks, 6-Pack
The polyester blend in these socks has the ability to wick moisture away, leaving feet cooler. Along the sole, there's a touch of extra cushioning. These vented socks also have arch compression for stability and to prevent bunching.
Keeps Feet DryThe moisture-wicking material in these no-show socks keeps sweat at bay.
Low-Cut Tab Running Socks, 6-Pack
These socks can go the extra mile without tearing. Not only is the combed cotton/polyester/spandex material durable, it's knitted with an eye toward extra density that still allows it to be breathable. They also have heel tabs to prevent slippage.
Soft Yet SportyA cotton blend keeps these cushioned ankle socks cozy yet breathable.
No-Show Cushioned Running Socks
These no-show socks of mostly polyester and nylon are designed with sensitive feet in mind. The seamless front keeps toes from chafing and mesh ventilation panels provide airflow. The heel is reinforced; a heel tab helps mitigate slippage.
Super Secure FitRun in comfort with these well-designed, well-ventilated no-show socks.
Why we recommend these running socks?
Expert Reviews Included
User Opinions Analyzed
Our experts reviewed the top 5 Running Socks and also dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Running Socks.
DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.
What to Look For
You wouldn’t dream of buying running shoes without checking the fit. Socks need to fit your feet as well, but they also need to fit the kind of run you’ll be taking. It may seem like thicker socks with a lot of cushion would keep your soles more comfortable, but that’s not necessarily the case. On shorter jogs, that excess material can cause sweat to build up quickly.
Save the thick wool socks for long runs in winter weather. Thinner socks are best for your daily run, though you can spend a little extra on breathable socks that have pads on strategic areas of the sole.
Running Sock Rankings
More to Explore
Which came first; the sock or the shoe? They probably came into use around the same time, depending on how strictly you define the word “sock.” Based on archaeological evidence (like cave paintings), early humans were keeping their feet cozy with animal pelts or plant material as far back as the Stone Age.
The first written reference to socks comes from the Greek poet Hesiod in the 8th century B.C.E. In his poem “Works and Days” he writes of matted animal hair socks named piloi which were commonly worn with sandals (one of the earliest fashion faux pas). By the 2nd century C.E., Romans were wrapping their feet in strips of leather and woven fabrics, and created the first fitted socks. They would have kept them in place with a tie of some kind.