Socks remain the often forgotten piece of apparel in the vast sea of gear runners have access to, but their importance should not be questioned. The wrong sock choice can make a good run go bad really fast and a poorly fitting sock that bunches up, pinches, or slips around can nag at your brain through every mile. To that end, we thought a wrap up of all the best socks out there right now might be fitting. Now there is no “perfect” sock out there for everyone, but we have identified what we think are great socks across different scenarios.
Most Comfortable Sock Overall – Bombas
You probably have heard of Bombas through social or on a podcast and may have thought it a fad, but don’t let that stop you from taking a hard look. Their performance running ankle socks are built with their proprietary Hex Tec construction using a poly/cotton blend. They feature a seamless toe, strategic cushioning zones, and feel-wise when compared to other socks they will sit on the max cushion side. The crazy part is how incredibly soft and comfortable they are, seriously borderline ridiculously so. If you like a bit more cushion and want to do some good (1 pair bought = 1 pair donated), then Bombas is a great option.
Expect to pay about $16/pair and check out their website for more details
Best Variety of Cushioning and Lengths – Feetures
Feetures is probably one of the largest and best-known brands out there and because of their history, the breadth of the offering is just massive. Every sock features zone-specific cushioning and compression, seamless toes, and moisture-wicking technology. The best part is they truly have it all from Ultra Light to Max Cushion from No Show to Crew and everything in between. If color is your game, then you’ve got a ton of options here as well. Feetures = Options.
These also run about $16/pair so check out the selection on their site. Discounts are almost always running.
Best Mix of Stretch and Compression – Swiftwick
Swiftwick is an interesting one as they sit at the intersection between stretch and compression. Using ingredients like nylon, olefin, and spandex they tend to have a thinner less cushioned feel, but offer a solid amount of compression. They really hug your feet well and they also offer a very wide breadth of lengths all the way up to knee-high. The Aspire line is our favorite the Aspire Zero is an easy everyday choice.
They start at $15/pair and their website is the best place to get them.
Best Compression Overall – CEP Compression
Lots of talk about compression recently and we are huge proponents both for in run and for post, its all about active recovery. CEP Compression is primarily known for their calf sleeves, but the rest of their lineup is awesome and the socks work just as effectively. They use materials like polyamide and spandex to achieve targeted compression helping to prevent and relieve soreness, plantar fasciitis, and to reduce inflammation. They also offer a variety of options from no show to calf heights and then we have to recommend their calf sleeves as well. They can get you through some tough moments.
Socks start at $17/pair and Calf Sleeves around $40, check out the full offering on their site.
Best Alternative Option (Toe-Socks) – Injinji
People have a love/hate with these even in our own ranks and most of that is due to anatomy. Injinji claims that toe socks can help reduce blisters and through our years of running we can say for those middle toes that really seems to be the case. They also say it allows you to use your full foot better, which is debatable, but they definitely feel good on the foot. Lastly they use great soft materials like COOLMAX Fiber, NuWool (merino), and Lycra. This means it breathes well, regulates temperature, and has a touch of stretch. We gravitate to the Ultra Run line, but the Run line offers a tad more cushion.
Expect to pay around $17/pair and hit up their website for more.
As you can see, there are truly socks for every type of runner out there and the above are only the tip of the iceberg. It does take a little experimenting so don’t expect a one size fits all approach, but please stop buying those garbage discount socks. We also know we missed your favorite brands, but if we tried to tackle them all we would be here forever. So get out there and run, but get some new socks and do that comfortably.