When you’re serious about getting your sweat on with a high-intensity workout, performance apparel can be a game-changer. This is especially true for socks—if you’ve never given your workout socks much thought, you’re missing out. The right sock material, construction, and fit can make all the difference between sweaty, stinky, tired feet and feet that stay dry, odor-free, and properly supported while avoiding blisters and injuries.
In this Q&A, we get the lowdown on the best socks for Crossfit, HIIT, and other high-impact workouts, to get you pumped for a few extra sets.
Q. What’s the difference between regular socks and performance socks?
Glad you asked. Too many people are hitting the gym in everyday socks and wondering why their feet are wet and uncomfortable and why their shoes stink post-workout. It’s simple: just like you wouldn’t (and shouldn’t!) go jogging in a pair of platform sneakers that offer zero arch support or shock absorption, it’s not a good idea to work out in everyday socks.
For example, regular cotton socks absorb moisture and keep it close to the skin, which feels gross and hinders performance, and they often don’t have cushioning in the areas that see the most impact. Finally, because they’re not engineered for athletics, ordinary socks tend to get bunched up and slide around in your shoes, which risks blisters and even more serious injury.
Q. What are the key features to look for in performance socks?
Staying comfortable, cool, protected, and energized are the top priorities during a workout, so look for the following standout features:
- High Impact Cushioning. Demanding training takes a toll on your feet, and your socks should be up to the challenge. Look for cushioning designed specifically to balance out impact.
- Moisture Wicking. The best socks for Crossfit, running, and other high-intensity workouts should draw sweat away from your skin so you stay dry.
- Cooling Technology. When you’re working up a sweat, or are running outside and the temps skyrocket, cooling technology will be your BFF. Make sure your socks can deliver.
- Seamless Construction. Bulky seams, especially around the toes, can cause blisters and bunching, so look for a smooth, seamless toe.
- Ankle Support. When you’re running, jumping, and moving quickly, targeted support should be a top priority. Well-designed ankle support helps avoid injury across a broad range of routines and shortens post-workout recovery time.
- Lifetime Warranty. Your socks should be as tough as your workouts, and reliable products will come with a lifetime warranty.
Q. What materials should athletic socks be made from?
The best socks for Crossfit, HIIT, running, dancing, and other high-intensity workouts are made from performance fabrics that keep your feet dry and comfy. They should be breathable and feel lightweight, moving heat and moisture away from your skin. But beware: some breathable fabrics are so thin that they feel like tissue paper, which is bad news for both holding up long term and for protecting your feet while you’re doing all those jump squats and burpees.
Look for durable and high-performing fabrics: Hydrotec polyester, for example, is an advanced fiber engineered for serious training because it regulates heat and moisture, so you stay cool and dry throughout your entire gym session.
Q. Are all performance socks minimalist?
No! While many high-quality athletic socks are minimalist and sleek, you can totally rock a candy-colored pair. With moisture-wicking tech, you can go straight to post-workout brunch and show off your colorful style. The place where wellness and fashion meet is a beautiful thing.
Socks for Athletes Made by Athletes
When it comes to fitness and wellbeing, the right gear is as important as the right attitude. We’re serious runners and we created Fitsok because we wanted a superior sock to make our workouts even better. Grabbing a fresh pair of cushioned, high-performance socks and hitting the road is our idea of a really good time, so pick up a handful for yourself and we’ll see you out there!