As a runner, you know that the right gear is crucial for an effective workout. And while socks are often overlooked, having a good pair of running socks can keep you comfortable and dry while improving your performance.
But what exactly goes into a great pair of running socks? Whether you’re a pro athlete or a weekend warrior, anyone who’s a serious runner deserves the best gear they can get their hands (and feet!) on. We’ve done a deep dive into the qualities you should be looking for when choosing the best running socks for you.
Why Socks Matter for Athletes
Athletes consistently put their bodies and their gear to the test. Runners in particular rely on keeping their feet healthy, and that starts with the quality of your socks. You’re working hard at every training session and race, so it’s important to have a pair of socks that keep up with you.
A good pair will support your feet within your running shoes, keep them dry to prevent blisters, and regulate your temperature so you stay comfortable and safe in extreme hot or cold weather. Without the distraction of socks that are too tight, falling down, or rubbing, all you have to worry about is training!
Running Socks vs. Regular Socks
Running socks and everyday socks may seem similar at first glance, but their differences can drastically impact performance.
A standard pair of socks is usually made with cotton, which is a lightweight fabric that doesn’t effectively move moisture away from the skin or hold up to repeated friction. This means that you may end up with blisters after working out, and your socks simply won’t last.
The best running socks, on the other hand, are specifically engineered to withstand even the most intense workouts. Factors like fabric and design are carefully considered to keep up with you mile after mile.
Qualities of the Best Running Socks
When it comes to choosing the best running socks, everyone is different. However, here are the qualities you should be looking for in any high-performance pair.
The best running socks are usually made of a blend of synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, and spandex, which are excellent for durability and support. Some running socks will be blended with a natural fiber such as merino wool for its added warmth and anti-bacterial properties. In general, it’s best to avoid cotton and stick to a fabric that has been specifically developed for running.
It’s normal for feet to sweat during a workout, but if this sweat stays in contact with your skin it can cause blisters and odor, and even contribute to fungal infections. A good pair of running socks will have moisture-wicking properties to keep your feet dry, comfortable, and healthy.
The seams in your socks probably aren’t noticeable in day-to-day life, but when it comes to running, even the smallest bulge can lead to blisters or discomfort. Running socks should be streamlined, especially around the toe and heel where there is the most friction during activity.
The thickness of your socks will depend on the duration and conditions of your runs. If you’re doing sprints on a track, a thinner pair of socks will generally be more responsive. If you’re running long distances on pavement, however, thicker socks can provide extra cushioning and warmth. It’s worth trying a few different thicknesses to see what works with your schedule, shoes, and stride to find the best running socks for you.
Many running socks have been designed with gentle compression to help support your foot during activity, increase circulation, and boost recovery time. These benefits will be particularly noticeable if you opt for longer compression socks that reach the knee. However, even gentle compression across the arch of the foot can be beneficial and comfortable.
Of course, there’s no point in wearing a pair of running socks if they’re not comfortable! Every athlete will have their own preferences, so finding the best running socks for you is a personal journey. However, by taking the rest of these factors into consideration you will be setting yourself up for success.
Serious Runners Love Fitsok
If you’re on the hunt for the best running socks, there’s only one choice: Fitsok. With a range of technical socks specifically designed for performance and comfort, we’re creating the premiere performance sock on the market, and there’s no prize for second place.
Fitsok’s range of running socks for men and women are crafted with high-performance fabrics, sweat-wicking capabilities, and a seam-free, cushioned footbed. Try a pair of F4 Tech socks for race day, or the Isolwool® Mid Calf Crew for all-day outdoor comfort.
From treadmill to trail, there’s a pair of Fitsoks for every runner. If you want to prioritize both performance and comfort, then try Fitsok out on your next run!