The Best Running Socks For Road And Trails Reviewed

It is rare for a person to spend time and do research when purchasing running socks. We all do so for running shoes and clothes, but socks are not usually on the list. Why is that so? After all, the right running socks like Rockay can make our running comfortable and the wrong ones can create a nasty blister that will make us pause for a few days.

The fact is, choosing the best running socks matters a lot! It could make you enjoy your morning run so you don’t come back from it with cold feet. While running, moisture, friction, and heat are the main enemies that cause us trouble and make our running even more difficult. However, once you have chosen the perfect pair of running socks, you will feel the support and you will never get back to any other socks, ever again.

With that said, there are plenty of choices on the market today. There are also numerous features that manufacturers are promoting, and choosing the right pair would take you some time. For this reason, we have prepared a guide for you with the ultimate goal of helping you choose the best option that will make you enjoy your running!

Last Updated: February 13, 2018
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By Brian:

There have been some major changes made to this guide, the first being the addition of top picks for trail running. We have also added quite a bit more information to think about during your search for the right socks.

SmartWool PhD Run Light
  • SmartWool PhD Run Light
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Run Dry moisture managment
  • Price: See Here
Balega Hidden Comfort
  • Balega Hidden Comfort
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Extra deep fitting heel pocket
  • Price: See Here
Thorlos Experia XCCU
  • Thorlos Experia XCCU
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • THOR•WICK® COOL material
  • Price: See Here

9 Best Socks For Road Running

 

SmartWool PhD Run Light Elite

Saucony is a company that manufactures products especially for runners. They are one of the best running gear manufacturers on the market and they are constantly launching new and improved products. These Saucony men’s socks are one of their newest high-quality products intended for runners.
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Moisture Control: These socks are perfect for runners because of the Run Dry technology implemented which is effectively dealing with the moisture of your feet. These socks do so by wicking moisture away from your feet to the outer layers of the socks. Therefore, your feet are dry and they will stay dry.

Breathability: Ventilation is important for supporting the moisture control technology. One doesn’t go without the other. These socks have air mesh venting technology which will be keeping your feet cool while you are running by creating great airflow.

Cushioning: The cushioning is light which means it is not suitable for running on a concrete trail. However, it doesn’t take much space in your running shoes and it is quite comfortable for wearing. The material is a combination of polyester, rubber and spandex. This synthetic blend is highly insulated and well supportive material which does not allow for blisters to be created while running. They are mainly made from polyester which is a material that has a tendency to smell if you are using them for few hours. However, these socks don’t have this issue; they do not cause bad odor and you can feel safe to train in them for more than few hours.

Comfort: The targeted arch support is adding to the comfort of these socks. It is acting by adding compression to the arch area which is keeping your foot stable and more secure. These socks are low in height which means they are likely to slip while running. However, the compression on the arch doesn’t allow this to happen which makes them the ideal choice for tough running training.

The socks are machine washable and they are very durable. The package includes 6 pairs of socks and the size is fitting perfectly. It is interesting to mention that they have an extra cushioning at the heel, which makes them extra comfortable. However, they are not intended for cold weather temperatures since they are thin and they are not suitable for keeping your feet warm. In fact, they have enough ventilation properties which qualify them as summer socks, rather than winter ones.
Pros
  • Seamless toe
  • High knit density
  • The cushioning provides great assisted shock absorption
Cons
  • The fit is tight for some

Balega Hidden Comfort

These Balega socks are a toe types. As mentioned above, the main point of this type of socks is to protect your toes from impact. This makes them perfect for people who train on an uneven terrain. The design itself tells you that these are socks made for running long destinations. They also have a heel tab which is a nice addition to low height socks since they tend to slip while running. The toe tab prevents this from happening.
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Moisture Control: Like most socks from this price range, these socks use the air mesh moisture technology. It is so popular because of its effectiveness against inside moisture. However, it only works one way, which means it will keep your feet dry and cool if they are sweaty, but if the weather is rainy, they are not waterproof. So, they will not be able to keep the moisture out of your shoes.

Breathability: The venting is also top notch with these socks. They won’t allow the temperature inside your shoes rise, even if you are hot inside. The material also doesn’t allow your feet to smell bad even though they are made entirely out of synthetic materials.

Cushioning: These socks are well-padded and they ensure that your steps are painless and secure. It has extra cushioning on the toes and on the heels which makes them suitable for running on any terrain. The thickness of the socks is medium which makes them suitable for mild temperatures.

Comfort: These socks are extremely comfortable and they provide you excellent protection from blisters. They keep your feet cool and dry and they are quite worth the price.

These Balega socks are durable, but the price is a bit more than expected for a pair of socks. The expensive price is due to the fact that they are provide excellent support while you are busy working out, which is the basis for avoiding injuries. They don’t feel tight at the arch like most socks, but they provide your foot enough compression and support. They have the perfect balance of thickness, compression, and stability! However, if the price seems too high for your budget, look through our other similar suggestions.
Pros
  • Deep heel pockets allows superior fit
  • The cushioning offered provides decent impact resistance
  • Added elastane gives more structured support throughout the sock

Seamless toe

Cons
  • Fit might not be tight enough for some

Thorlos Experia XCCU

Asics is a reliable brand which is known for producing quality running products. This brand uses advanced technologies in the production process of these socks that ensure stability and comfort while running. This brand also produces running apparel for every trail and any type of runner. Their line of socks focuses on providing its users an extra supportive soft platform that will prevent you from injuries or stress to the foot. The Asics Intensity quarter socks are made from a combination of polyester, nylon and spandex.
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Moisture Control
The material blend in these socks creates perfect moisture management which prevents the moisture from entering inside your socks to your feet, but it also offers you enough ventilation for the excess moisture to escape your feet to the outer layers of the socks. The polyester is responsible for directing the moisture away from your feet, while nylon prevents it from entering inside your socks.

Breathability This means that you have moisture protection in both directions. Although this is the perfect pair of running socks for wet weather conditions, they are not so suitable for extremely hot temperatures. Although these socks have venting technology, if this is the main feature you are focusing on, look through our other suggestions.

Cushioning and comfort
These Asics socks have a Y heel gore line fit that provides extra comfort and perfectly fits the shape of your foot. Needless to say, the Y heel gore line fits better than the regular gore line.
Comfort: the Y heel represents a specific style of knitting that is anatomically made in order to create a better fit to your foot. Even though this feature is responsible for the extra comfort you are feeling while wearing the socks, if you get the size wrong, it creates a greater discomfort. For this reason, make sure you double check the sizes and dimensions of the brand. As far as comfort goes, these socks also have an arch band that provides the user greater support and stability when stepping on uneven surfaces or running for a longer time.

These socks are made with medium thickness and they are very durable. In the package, there are three pairs of socks and they are all suitable for machine washing. For people who prefer socks without logos or visible design with your shoes on, they are the perfect solution. With regular running shoes, the logos are not at all visible even though there is a logo on the back of the sock just around the ankle. Other than this, the shades and design is perfectly shown on the photo through the link provided above.
Pros
  • Achilles Tendon Padding helps protect against rubbing
  • THOR•WICK® COOL technology offers exceptional moisture control throughout
  • Flat Knit Seam in toe reduces irritation
Cons
  • Fairly expensive price tag

Stance Line Up Tab Socks

Stance Line Up Tab Socks
Stance’s Line-Up Tab Socks offer a great design that’s developed around having a right and left sock, like a left and right shoe, for a perfect, comfortable fit. With the amount of comfort you’ll get from these socks, you’ll easily be able to complete your runs.
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Moisture Control: Stance’s Line Up Tab Socks offer a lot of moisture wicking technology, which helps prevents blisters. You won’t have to worry about odor or moisture build-up while you run.
Breathability: The ventilation on these socks is also great, and your feet will be able to stay dry. Dry feet help prevent uncomfortable rubbing and blisters.
Cushioning: Stance’s Line Up Tab Socks include a cushioned heel and enough stability and support to even help runners with injuries. You’ll feel the extra padding, which helps to absorb shock.
Comfort: The concept of having a right and left sock, like a right and left shoe, adds a lot of excellent comfort to these socks. These socks are made to fit extremely well.
Pros
  • Thick and padded

  • Durable

  • High quality

Cons
  • Not great in cold weather

  • Can feel bulky

Feetures! Elite Light

Feetures! Elite Light
Feetures! is a company most consistent runners have heard of. This popular brand has been manufacturing running socks full of innovative features and function. This time, they are offering the Elite Light, which have a slightly different composition than competitive products, and therefore a lot of different features as well.
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Moisture Control: When it comes to their moisture technology, these socks are extremely easy to dry and they wick the moisture from your feet towards the surface so it can evaporate through the proper running shoes.
Breathability: Compared to other socks which are made with nylon materials that block part of the venting properties of the socks, these socks from Feetures! don’t have that issue. They are made with a combination of fibers of polyester, acrylic, and spandex. This allows the feet to breathe and ventilate properly.

Cushioning: These are summer socks and they are not to be used in cold weather. They are very lightweight and thin and they are most suitable for people who are sometimes running without socks.
Comfort: If you are a no socks runner, but have a blister issue, these socks would be the ideal choice for you. You practically don’t feel them on your skin, although you would enjoy the benefits of wearing them, by having a blister free foot!

It is important to mention that these socks are not suitable for machine washing. In fact, if you accidentally wash them in a machine, you would probably have to get another pair. If you mind this characteristic, look through our other socks suggestions. It is also advisable to double check the size chart and its dimensions since they are a bit longer than expected. You would probably have to get a size down to your regular one.
Pros
  • Anatomical design provides support to medial side of the foot's arch
  • Helps to eliminate blister causing friction
  • Y-heel keeps sock in place
  • Higher density cushioning in impact areas
Cons
  • Not cheap

CEP Dynamic run socks

CEP Dynamic run socks
If you need some extra support for your feet and ankles, then you might want to consider purchasing CEP’s Dynamic Run Socks. They are designed as compression socks to boost your blood flow and help reduce fatigue and injuries.
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Moisture Control: These socks have effective moisture wicking technology, and do a good job of keeping your feet dry. You shouldn’t have to worry about moisture build-up or blisters with them.
Breathability: Made to offer you plenty of great ventilation, you’ll get the breathability you need to air your feet out and prevent blister. You’ll always feel like your feet are dry with these socks.
Cushioning: Designed with extra cushioning in the heel, these socks offer ample support to help with shock absorption as you run. Your feet will feel comfortable each time you hit the trails.
Comfort: Designed to help increase your blood flow, these compression socks are very comfortable. They offer runners with injuries the level of support and stability they really need.
Pros
  • Good wicking

  • Breathable

  • Snug

Cons
  • Can slip in shoe

  • Seams can rub

Darn Tough No Show Light

Darn Tough No Show Light
If you’re one of those runners that prefers a lightweight running sock with little to know cushioning, then you’ll probably like Darn Tough’s No Show Light Socks. Made to be durable and flexible, you’ll get a lot of use out of them whenever you hit the trails.
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Moisture Control: Made from merino wool, Lycra, and nylon materials, this sock is well-designed to wick moisture away from your feet. You won’t have to worry about moisture build-up in your shoes, or excessive blisters.
Breathability: The combination of merino wool, Lycra, and nylon manufactured into these socks also gives them great ventilation features. Your feet will be able to breathe easily, and stay very dry.
Cushioning: These socks are designed to have no cushioning in them, but their durable production quality does allow them to provide you with some extra support and assistance. So, if you prefer a sock with more cushioning, you may want to check some of our other options on this list.
Comfort: The wool fibers in these socks are not quite as comfortable as some of the other options on our list. Also, some people may find these socks less comfortable because of their lack of padding, while others may really like the lack of padding.
Pros
  • Great wicking

  • Nice ventilation

  • Snug

Cons
  • Seams can rub

  • Can feel slippery

Darn Tough Coolmax Vertex

Darn Tough Coolmax Vertex
Darn Tough is a brand which will be a familiar name for visitors to GWA, as they manufacture products for all different ranges of outdoor and sports use. These Champion women’s socks are an imported material with high-quality features and extreme comfort. The durability that you get from this brand is right there in the name.
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Moisture Control: Even though the feeling on your skin makes you believe these are cotton socks, they are in fact synthetic blend with good moisture management technology. Although they don’t wick the moisture from your feet to the outer layers of the socks, they are keeping them dry and cool.

Breathability: Because of the venting technology, they dry very quickly. However, they are warm enough for the winter months and for people with cold feet and bad blood circulation. They will keep your feet nice and warm at every temperature.

Cushioning: The material being used in the manufacturing of these socks is mainly polyester with additions of spandex and a small percentage of other fiber combination. The material is very pleasant to touch and it has all the elements of running socks. It has a nice arch support that is tightening the area. The tightening in the arch area is quite enough; it might even be too much for some people.

Comfort: Those of you, who prefer more loose arch support, look through our other suggestions. However, it creates a very pleasant feeling of stability when running. The socks also have a heel shield which is absorbing part of the impact on the heel while running on hard terrains. There is extra cushioning added as a shield that protects your areas of impact on your feet.

Once you try these socks with a heel tab, you will never want to return to regular ones again. The material is specific and it doesn’t allow any sagging. It is perfect for running since they are warm, soft, but they are not too bulky and they fit quite nice.
Pros
  • Overall construction is ultra-lightweight
  • Decent cushioning in a minimal design
  • True seamless construction helps to eliminate irritation points and blisters
Cons
  • These might not fit tight enough for some runners

DryMax Running Mini Crew

DryMax Running Mini Crew
If you need a great pair of socks that are manufactured to keep your feet dry as you run, then you might want to consider the DryMax Running Mini Crew. These socks work great for people that enjoy running in wetter climates.
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Moisture Control: Made with olefin fibers in the socks, these socks provide excellent moisture wicking capabilities. So, you’ll be able to handle any type of moisture while you run, and your feet will still stay dry.
Breathability: DryMax’s Running Mini Crew socks are very breathable, and offer great ventilation properties. This again primarily has to do with the olefin fibers within the socks, which not only wick away moisture, but also provide great ventilation properties.
Cushioning: This sock does have a lot of padding in it, and certainly can help support your feet. So, if you are worried about shock absorption when you run, these socks will certainly help.
Comfort: These socks aren’t quite as comfortable as some of the other socks on our list, but much of that has to do with the olefin fibers manufactured into the socks to give them effective moisture control. Olefin fibers don’t feel as comfortable as something like merino wool, so if you don’t like the feel, you might want to opt for one of the other products on our list.
Pros
  • Great wicking

  • Great grip

  • Durable

Cons
  • Can feel heavy

  • Fit can feel off

 


 

10 Best Trail Running Socks

DARN TOUGH VERMONT

Truth be told, it is basically impossible to achieve perfection. But, if there was ever going to be something that did it, it would be these hiking socks from Darn Tough. The perfect combination of its smooth performance fit, solid cushioning and merino wool fabric make it irresistible.
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Comfort

Without adding bulkiness to increase the weight of the shoe, Darn Tough is able to implement enough cushioning along the bottom to offer enough comfort for your feet. Plus, the smooth fit minimizes the chances for blisters.

Breathability

As this is crafted from Merino wool, it has a natural ability to wick away moisture which will enhance the breathability as your perspiration does not build up in the socks.

The Fit

There are no seams in this sock which makes for a smooth performance fit. What this means to you is that your feet will not slip or bunch up during your run.

Sizing

To accommodate a wide range of feet, you have the option of choosing between small all the way up to XX-large.

Varying Colors

Not too many colors are at play here but Darn Tough did design enough to at least give you a minor selection. This includes black, oatmeal and olive.

Overall

Simply put, it just does not get much better than this with an unbelievable combination of comfort, breathability and fit. About the only aspect, you could possibly complain about is the cushioning as sure, there could have been more.
Pros

Overall, they keep your feet warm and cool (depending on the weather outdoors)

When these socks get wet, they do not feel too heavy on your feet

After long runs, your feet will not be sweaty

Cons

Some may want a bit more cushion, but it is pretty good

SMARTWOOL MICRO

For those who have experience when it comes to buying running socks you probably expected Smartwool to make an appearance on this list. They have refined the world of wool and it just so happens that they also have a fantastic pair of trail running socks.
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Comfort

In the ball and the heel of the foot is Light Elite cushioning and this provides enhanced shock absorption when you slam down on your feet. In addition, the high-density cushioning maintains your weight masterfully.

Breathability

Smartwool uniquely located mesh in specific areas of this sock to provide an ideal amount of ventilation and breathability when the temperature rises outdoors. Plus, this manages moisture very well.

The Fit

Because there are two elastics that Smartwool integrated into this shoe, the result is a stretchy exterior that not only enables freedom of movement but also keeps the sock in place.

Sizing

While there is no option for small, at least on Amazon, you do have the choice between medium, large, and extra-large.

Varying Colors

There is a strong amount of color options to select from and this includes black, bright blue and dark blue, charcoal, graphite, light gray and black, among others.

Overall

Smartwool proves their admiration from the world when they design products like this. As with the previous pair of socks, it is really difficult to come up with reasons not to invest in these.
Pros

These are designed specifically for runners

Integrated Indestructawool technology delivers incredible durability and comfort

Smartwool designed these socks for performance in the highest degree

Cons

Are terrific for colder weather but may be too warm for summer

ZENSAH WOOL

While some may gripe that these are a little too thin, it is hard to complain with the results here. Even with the thinness, they do a superb job of resisting impact and wicking away moisture when your feet begin to release sweat.
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Comfort

These socks resist and prevent two of the worst issues for a long-term runner. With hexo-padded technology that is designed in the toe and heel area, these socks are able to provide impact absorption and prevent blisters from developing on your heels.

Breathability

The special polyclone fiber that is crafted into these socks does a superb job of managing moisture and keeping your feet dry no matter the condition outdoors.

The Fit

With a seamless toe, light support in the arch area, and an anatomical fit not only provide a perfect fit but they also manage to stay in place when you are running for long distances.

Sizing

Some users have claimed that these socks fit smaller than they were expecting. As far as options go, you can select from small to large.

Varying Colors

There is a fairly strong amount of colors to choose from that should satisfy just about everyone. For example, colors such as black, gray, hot pink, sporty blue, and white.

Overall

If you are a fan of socks that are thin, almost feeling as if you are running without them on, then it is hard to go wrong here. But, on the contrary, for those looking for something thicker and substantial, it may be wise for you to pass on this one.
Pros

These will keep your feet at optimal temperatures at all times

Is backed with the manufacturer’s non-satisfactory guarantee

The integrated polyclone fiber is engineered to wick away moisture

Cons

Overall, they are thinner in girth than some may prefer and may fit small for some

BALEGA

BALEGA
There is no reason that this should not be higher, which gives you an idea of the quality at hand here. Its innovative design, which features a heel tab, prevents the sock from slipping down on your feet which can be a major nuisance when running.
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Comfort

Besides the fact that the heel and toe have been reinforced, there is enough cushioning under the sole to provide comfort and protection for your feet.

Breathability

Both the mesh construction and the drynamix synthetic material manage to provide enough ventilation on hot days and wick away moisture when your feet sweat.

The Fit

Balega chose a new and improved elastane design throughout the socks and it allows for a more structured fit. In addition, the integrated heel tab prevents the sock from slipping. But, due to its low nature, you may have to pull it over the shoe collar.

Sizing

This is designed for both men and women and the sizes should fit according to normal. With options from small to extra-large, most people should be able to find a size for them.

Varying Colors

Both men and women should find a color that suits their style with options for atomic mango, black, charcoal, purple, dynamic blue, electric blue, shocking pink, screaming green, etc.

Overall

As great as the heel tab is, it is awkward at first as you must pull it over your shoe collar. If you do not, it will defeat the purpose of the tab and the sock may end up slipping down your heel. However, it still is an awesome feature and in conjunction with all the others, makes this an easy thumbs up.
Pros

Balega tests and runs with all their products

It is specifically designed with a medium volume construction

The integrated heel pocket ensures the sock does not slip during runs

Cons

The heel tab is a little low and needs to be pulled above the collar of your shoe

CLOUDLINE MERINO WOOL

CLOUDLINE MERINO WOOL
Merino wool is one of the best materials in the world of apparel, period. It is becoming obvious that it is also the king of running socks and all its great features and properties come into play here.
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Comfort

The softness of this particular wool is off the charts and while others can be itchy, that is not an issue here. Past its softness, there is reinforcement at the heel and toe zones for enhanced comfort.

Breathability

As merino wool has a natural ability to wick away moisture and handle odors, you are given a sock that will not build up with sweat or smell potent when you conclude your run.

The Fit

Really, most notable here is the fact that it is an ankle sock, meaning that it will not show when you are running.

Sizing

Once again, this is a sock that has sizes for both men and women. The options are available for small to X-large, with each option adapting for both men and women.

Varying Colors

Visually, this sock is very impressive and with color choices of glacial blue, granite, hi-vis orange, neon green, raven black, and wildflower pink, everyone should be able to find one for them.

Overall

At this point, any sock with merino wool is worth your investment. But, because this specific sock also has an appealing design and a no-show tab, it may adapt to a wider range of people.
Pros

These are designed for long-lasting softness

This specific wool is not itchy or irritating to your skin

Great for all outdoor activities

Cons

Would have been nice if they could stretch more

Can be somewhat narrow in the toes

MUDGEAR TRAIL

MUDGEAR TRAIL
Personal preference is going to come into play here as truth be told, there is very little to gripe about here. But, if you prefer a sock that is super tight to your feet then this particular pair of socks may not appeal to your liking.
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Comfort

Over the long haul, these socks are built to prevent blisters from occurring at your heel and overall comfort throughout the day.

Breathability

The top portion integrates mesh to not only increase your comfort but also cool your feet off on hot, summer days. Plus, when they get wet, they do an adequate job of draining and wicking away water.

The Fit

As a personal preference, you may take issue that these socks are not overly tight to your skin. While they are no means baggy, some may have preferred them to be even tighter than they are.

Sizing

Use discretion when you choose the size, but there are options from small to large for both men and women.

Varying Colors

For those who appreciate several color options, you may be a bit disappointed with the selection here. But, all things considered, the options for black and orange, gray and black, and green and black are all great.

Overall

While not the best pair of trail running socks you can get, nobody would blame you if you went with these. There are some issues that may bother you and they do, you must decide if they are enough to ruin the experience.
Pros

These are designed for all outdoor activities

With the medium ankle design, debris has a harder time of entering in

Wick away moisture and water very well

Cons

While not baggy, are not as tight as other brands

Some may feel the end portion of the socks move around too freely

INJINJI MIDWEIGHT CREW

INJINJI MIDWEIGHT CREW
As opposed to all the other socks on this list, this specific brand is the barefoot running sock, if you will. The manner in which it is designed provides a toe slot for each of your toes which can either be amazing or a pain in the butt.
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Comfort

The five-toe system that is integrated into this sock is what provides your feet protection no matter the pair of shoes that you have on, while also preventing hotspots and blisters.

Breathability

Whether you want to run in the winter or summer, for ten minutes or two hours, it does not matter as superior moisture management is delivered.

The Fit

Besides the obvious five-toe system which provides a section for each toe, the elastic cuff holds the sock in place.

Sizing

Nothing noteworthy to speak of here, just the fact that you can select from sizes small to extra-large.

Varying Colors

A strong amount of colors is headlined by brick, diamond black, emerald, granite, meadow and oatmeal.

Overall

You will either love or hate this toe design. On one hand, providing individual slots for each toe will improve your toe’s range of motion. But, this also means it can be a pain to properly fit each toe in the sock in the first place.
Pros

Is engineered for uneven and unpredictable terrain

Features many different color options

They are ideal for not only trail running but various other activities

Cons

After you use it several times, holes tend to open where your toes are slotted

MINUS33 MERINO WOOL

MINUS33 MERINO WOOL
Minus33 manages to excel in every single category that is vital for a trail running sock. That is, except for one which explains its lower placement. Over the long haul, users have questioned its longevity as fraying tends to happen sooner than one would expect.
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Comfort

While the seamless design enhances comfort, there is also protection provided for your Achilles and at the bottom of your feet.

Breathability

In conjunction with the mesh designed top for proper ventilation, Minus33 decided to use merino wool which, as you know, wicks away and superbly handles moisture build-up.

The Fit

Besides the merino wool, a touch of elastane has also been integrated into this sock which allows them to gently hug over your feet.

Sizing

With options from small to extra-large, there are many sizes to select from. But, some users have expressed their displeasure with the sizing stating the socks are larger than they should be.

Varying Colors

Do not be too picky here as you can only select from autumn red, deep water and wild orchid.

Overall

Yes, sizing and durability can be a concern which can scare you away. While this is viable, it secured a spot on this list which should give you an idea of how great it is.
Pros

The seamless toe design is extremely comfortable for runs

It is both machine washable and dryable

The top integrates mesh for superior ventilation

Cons

Users have complained that these socks run large

Fraying can be an issue

FEETURES ELITE MERINO QUARTER

FEETURES ELITE MERINO QUARTER
Again, while durability can be a concern here, the comfort, breathability, and fit are all exceptional. Plus, it is a unisex design so adapting for the proper sizing is a little easier with these socks.
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Comfort

Thanks to the sock-lock technology, in areas where you need it the most, there is targeted compression. In addition to this, the anatomical design enhances the fit which then enhances the overall comfort.

Breathability

The iWick fibers are to thank for this sock’s ability to wick away moisture and keep your feet dry. But, what also aids in breathability is its ultra-thin construction which takes up less room in your shoe.

The Fit

Again, as was mentioned in the comfort section, the anatomical design enhances the fit.

Sizing

Being designed to fit for both sexes, Feetures! claims that their socks will fit according to your shoe size. For the size options, you can select from small to extra-large.

Varying Colors

As this is unisex, there are varying colors that appeal to both men and women. This includes black and reflector, white and black, blue lagoon and cobalt, graphite and reflector, and white and iris.

Overall

No matter what list you ever read, the number 10 selection is not going to be one that you are most impressed by. After all, there are nine others that are better. Still, this specific sock deserves recognition thanks to its terrific technology and comfort.
Pros

The lightweight design aids in breathability and a cooler feel

Integrated sock-lock technology targets compression where it is needed

Backed with a guarantee that if you are not unsatisfied, you can get a full refund

Cons

Over a few uses, you may notice them starting to wear out

THORLOS Ankle

THORLOS Ankle
This is one of the more popular trail running socks on the market and it deserves all the attention it gets. Many may claim that it is the single best running sock in the world, and while that is not too far off, minor issues keep it down a tad.
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Comfort

The manner in which Thorlos designed their sock allows it to match your foot’s natural heel and ball pattern. This, in conjunction with the thin padding, aids in the overall comfort. But, the Achilles tendon pad is also highly noteworthy as it protects your feet from chafing.

Breathability

Besides utilizing fabric that manages moisture very well, such as polyester, there is also mesh integrated into the sock that adds an ideal amount of ventilation when your feet begin to overheat.

The Fit

The best way to describe how this sock fits is “glove-like” Instead of restricting your feet from moving at all, which some socks will do, this fits in a way that easily allows your toes to move freely.

Sizing

There are sizes for both men and women alike and while each will vary a little, the sizes range from extra-small to extra-large.

Varying Colors

While there are a decent amount of color choices to choose from, they will not blow you away. For example, this includes black, white, royal, white and navy, and electric yellow.

Overall

Everything seems to be just about perfect here, but when you dig a little deeper you will find something you may prove that ignorance is bliss. While these are breathable, they do not handle odors very well and can take a very long time to dry. But, sometimes, even the greatest of products have minor caveats that you must deal with.
Pros

The pads in the ball and the heel areas provide resistance to friction

They do an admirable job of wicking away moisture

Thanks to the Achilles tendon pad, the sock will not slip

Cons

After long runs, they tend to stink

They can take a long time to fully dry


 

Here’s What We Looked At in The Best Running Socks

Clearly, comfort is important when you are analyzing a product such as trail or road running socks. But, one important thing to note before any comfort features are addressed is that if your shoes are not comfortable, comfortable socks will not help you all that much. As such, you need both of them to provide comfort. But, as this is focused on socks, that is what we will focus on. For comfort, there are three categories that need to be addressed. Firstly, in no particular order, is the heel design and if it will prevent blisters. When you are running for an extended period, blisters will develop on your heels before any body part as every time your foot raises pressure is put on your heel. Without a proper design with the socks, blisters are nearly impossible to avoid.

Past this, shock absorption also comes into play. While you would not think a pair of socks would offer protection against impacts, they actually can. But, it depends if the heel and toe areas have the proper technology to do so. Lastly, are they actual feel of the fabric as you clearly do not want to deal with a type that causes irritation to your skin.

Moisture Control and Breathability

This is a subcategory to comfort, but it is one that deserves its own special recognition. Trail running can be partaken in during all seasons, no matter if there is snow on the ground or if it is 100 degrees outside. Honestly, it is your preference when you run. But, no matter, breathability should always be a point of emphasis for running socks. It really comes down to two areas: ventilation and moisture handling. Ventilation is fairly self-explanatory as when your body is running, it will overheat quicker than it normally would. As such, you do not want your feet to overheat and become clammy. With design features such as mesh, airflow is allowed to enter in and it allows your feet to breathe.

But, the manner in which the fabric handled moisture is just as important. Again, when you are running, your feet will perspire before too long and when this happens, if the sweat builds up it can not only provide extreme discomfort but also a potent odor. This is where fabrics such as merino wool hold an advantage as it has a natural ability to wick away moisture and handle odors.

When you are choosing running shoes, the most important factor you should consider is how to keep your feet dry at all times. The reason is simple; you are preventing blisters and nail issues. When it comes to this logic, there are two different theories between runners. The first one supports that natural materials are the best ones for the skin since they are allowing it to breathe. However, natural materials are not as good at ventilating the moisture from your feet. Nevertheless, some runners prefer wearing cotton socks or a synthetic cotton blend. Runners who are allergic to synthetic materials also prefer cotton. Others believe cotton is a bad solution because of its absorption properties and it is a slow drying material, so they are turning to synthetic materials.

Comfort

As mentioned before, padding is an important criteria in running socks. However, the padding of the running socks could be placed on a different part of the foot. The padding location that you are going to choose should depend on your own foot. The first thing that you need to know when choosing padding is that more padding wouldn’t make your shoes too tight. Padding actually increases the density of a certain material by adding a different type of material in the weave spaces.

Cushioning

Some runners prefer wearing thicker socks throughout the whole year because it provides them with extra cushioning. Thin socks, on the other hand, give you a lighter sensation while wearing them. It is also essential that you try on your running shoes with the socks that you are planning on running with. The thickness of the socks could make the running shoes comfortable or too tight.

However, when it comes to running socks, the recommendations are clear. Some people who prefer better cushioning should focus towards socks with dense cushioning which are also thicker, at least at the bottom. For those of you who prefer light running socks, liner ones with little padding might be more suitable. The socks with more padding are known to reduce the fatigue of the foot. The ones with less padding are usually used for running on softer surfaces.

Sizing

One of the best advantages to choosing between socks, in terms of sizing, is that there is some leeway. As opposed to shoes which need to be a specific size no matter what, you could get away with a pair of socks that are a little tight or too small. Clearly, you want them to fit as well as possible and the only surefire way to ensure they will is to do a little research. Unfortunately, a huge caveat to ordering online is you can’t physically try on the socks. But, if you know for a fact that people have complained that a specific sock is larger/smaller than the actual size then you can properly accommodate it.

As far as the size options, your size must be there or you may have to go another way. It really is as simple as that.

Overall Fit

All of the features mentioned above don’t matter if your socks are not fitting you right. Even the ones with highest quality will create blisters if they are too large or too tight. Be careful when choosing socks sizes because different manufacturers have different measurements for the same size. For this reason, it is always wise to read the fitting scores and reviews. Also, when you are choosing socks with more padding make you sure you have this into consideration. Although you are not required to wear a different size of running shoes with these socks, you might need to loosen up the laces a bit. If they are still too tight after doing so, they are simply not the right choice for you.

You may have wondered why fitting and sizing were split up and it is because you must look at them from two different perspectives. Sizing, which will be addressed soon, is merely the sizes that are available and if they run large or small. But, the fitting, not only refers to the manner in which in contours to your feet but also if the heel will not slip off. For runners, socks that do not have integrated technology to prevent slipping can be a major hassle. Plus, this is also what causes massive blisters and discomfort on the back of your heel. This is the clear advantage that running socks have over traditional everyday socks as they are designed to stay up on your heel.

But, also, while minor compared to the heel, how tight and the amount of dexterity between your toes comes into play with fitting. Some may prefer super tight socks, while others may like a little room. Also, with your toes, you may not want them restricted.

 

Other Important Things To Keep In Mind

 

Materials

Cotton – The fact is that when cotton gets in contact with water, it absorbs it and retains the water for a longer time than any other material. Following this logic, the sweat from your feet will be retained by your socks and it could cause fungus growth and bad foot odor. Cotton socks also make your feet feel colder. In this case, wool comes very useful. It makes your feet warm at any temperature and wool is not a moisture absorbing material.

Merino wool – If you prefer natural materials, wool is your safe choice for socks. Wool socks are usually not popular because their fibers cause an itchy feeling which is very unpleasant on the feet. However, merino wool is made from softer fibers which are not at all itchy and they are quite comfortable for wearing. In winter days, wool is the first choice because of its thermostatic properties. Even though wool is known as a material that is suitable for wet weather, it is a relative subject. It absorbs less moisture than any other natural material. On the other side, it dries much slower than synthetics. Wool is also the most expensive socks material on the market.

Synthetic – When it comes to running, synthetic socks are the ones you should stick with. Acrylic and polyester are the most recommended synthetic materials because they don’t chafe and they are highly breathable. They are also not moisture absorbing materials which means your feet would be dry throughout your running, therefore there is a lower possibility of developing blisters. However, they have their downsides. They are much less comfortable in hot conditions and if your feet tent to sweat a lot, these materials are not recommended for you. When they are wet, they tend to lose their insulation properties and they become perfect for developing blisters. Nevertheless, when using synthetic materials, usually the manufacturer combines synthetic blends which are most suitable for certain sport or sock style. The ones with a better quality use one synthetic blend used as cushioning and other synthetic materials for supporting your ankle.

Silk blend – Silk is usually known for its high price. However, its high price comes from the features it possesses. Silk is also a natural material which is an excellent insulator. For this reason, it is being used in the production of liner socks. When you are running your feet sweat; it is only natural process that occurs in your body. Nevertheless, the moisture will make you feel less comfortable and it might help in creating blisters. For this reason, runners are trying to avoid the moisture.

That said, silk is a material that wicks the sweat away from your feet and it gives you a nice and dry feeling while you run. It is also an extremely lightweight material which is very convenient for producing summer running socks. Nonetheless, it has few downsides that are making runners consider some of the other options on the market. Silk is not as durable as synthetic fabrics and considering the price, this is a feature that plays a great role in choosing the best socks for running.

Ankle Length

The height of the socks is simply a matter of preference. It is only important if you are wearing high shoes instead of running shoes which is not a subject of discussion in this article. Having this in mind, with running shoes you could choose the sock height which seems adequate to you. If you choose higher socks they could keep you too warm and cause your feet to sweat more. However, if you choose ones that are too short, for instance below the ankle socks, they could feel like they are about to slip. For this reason, if you don’t have your own preference for running socks, you should start with mid height running socks and see how you feel.

 

 

FAQ

Q:   Does a Sock’s Thickness Require an Increase in Your Shoe Size?

This can be the biggest concern for some people as you may wonder if your sock’s thickness will require you to increase your shoe size. Honestly, it solely depends on how small your shoes are on your feet. As Thorlos, one of the manufacturers that made an appearance on this list, states in around 80 percent of the cases the answer to this question will be yes. This “80 percent” that is in question here, again according to Thorlos, is referencing studies that have been conducted to conclude if people wear there running shoes too small.

Guess what, thick socks do add girth and you can’t accommodate for space that is not there. But, if you have a little breathing room in your shoe then you may be in the clear as you can adapt to the extra space that you will need.

Q:   What is the Difference Between Coolmax and Merino Wool?

Through this guide, you have become very familiar with the material of merino wool. But, another common fabric that you will see utilized in trail running socks is Coolmax. Users have often asked what the difference is and while there are slight differences, they are both superb materials. Merino wool, as you already know, has a natural ability to wick away moisture and is also anti-microbial meaning odors will not be an issue. In addition, the material itself will keep you insulated in the winter but cool in the summer thanks to its breathable membrane.

Coolmax, which is fairly similar in nature, also is a fantastic agent when it comes to wicking away moisture. But, as opposed to merino wool, it is ideal for warmer temperatures and may not be sufficient enough in chilling temperatures. But, no matter, if you happen to be allergic to wool (or really have something against it) then this is a great alternative.

Q: Are fleece socks a good choice for running?

These are not recommended for the usual runner type. However, there are some climates and conditions where they are popular. Fleece socks are able to wick the moisture away from your feet to the upper layer of the sock where the sweat could evaporate. However, they create a temperature inside your running shoes. For this reason, the only weather they are recommended for is when the temperatures drop, but you are still deciding to go for your morning run. The fleece socks will make you feel like you are still in bed.

Q: When should I consider using toe socks?

Toe socks are the perfect type of socks made for runners who have problems with sensitive toes. They are made from a blend of synthetic materials and they provide the user the perfect cushioning to his toes. They prevent you from getting blisters on your toes as well. Although this is their main role, they are useless against blisters between your toes. Toe socks are ideal for running on terrains with a downwards inclination. These types of terrain could be quite challenging to the toes even though you have no problems in that area.

Q: When should I consider waterproof socks?

These types of socks are most convenient for wet weather conditions where the need to keep your feet dry is on a different level. They are usually used when running on a rainy weather or if you are running on a wet grass. The main purpose of the socks is to act as another protective layer. Normally if you are running in such weather conditions you are prepared with waterproof running shoes.

Q: Is there any downside to using waterproof socks?

Waterproof socks have a thick external material which is made of dense fibers that act as a barrier between the moisture and the inner layer. The inner layer however, is made of fleece material which is there to keep your feet warm while running. Its only downside is that the breathability in the waterproof socks is usually at a lower level. However, there are those who use these instead of fleece and have a synthetic blend with high insulation properties.

Q: What materials should I use for arch support?

Lycra or nylon are materials which are used for retaining the shape of the socks and providing better arch support. They are usually used in specific styles of socks, such as ergonomic support socks.

Q: Do padded socks take up more space in your shoe?

People usually consider that padded socks means that they also take more space into your shoe, which is not true. When looking for padding you should also consider the type of padding that you are going to need. Some socks have heel padding, others have toes padding. You should choose your padding by paying attention to your most sensitive areas of the foot and by considering the terrain you are running on.

After reading the features to consider and going through our best running socks suggestions you probably at least have an idea what you are looking for. However, keep in mind that whichever socks choice works for one season might not work for another. The same goes for different terrains. For this reason, you should get yourself running socks for each season. By doing so, you would ensure that your feet stay dry during your run and you will avoid the painful blisters which are a common runners’ problem. Nevertheless, if you are not keen on changing stuff, there are always the all season socks you could choose. Although they are not suited for all temperatures, for those areas that don’t have high temperatures variations, the all season sock is your most logical choice.

It is also important to remember that cotton socks are the last running choice you should purchase. Even though they are very comfortable and they make you feel like you are stepping on feathers, they are the main reason for runner’s blisters. When it comes to running socks, it is wise that you consider every choice on the market and choose according to the most important features for you! Also, when certain pair of socks has all the features that you need and desire, but they simply don’t feel as comfortable on your feet, don’t hesitate to look for another option. Sometimes, the shape of your foot will be the main reason that will eliminate even the features with the highest quality!

As always, if you have any questions or doubts about which running socks are the best for you, leave us a comment in the comment section below. Our runners will get back to you as soon as possible. Have a good run everyone and always stay safe and comfortable!

 

Final Thoughts

All of you fellow runners out there should try to remember that when you are shopping for gear for the new year, you must not forget about your socks. Proper socks will hold up on the heel, have adequate moisture handling and be comfortable enough for long stints.

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