The 6 Best Running Socks In 2021 [Hot Feet, Blisters & Breathability]

David Welch
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Don’t you hate how you go out for a run, and parts of your body are rubbing and chaffing – and you didn’t even know about it until it’s too late!

It’s one thing to be comfortable while running. It’s another to be walking around afterwards with blisters and hot feet from your run!

Wearing all the right shoes…is just not enough. You need to think about the parts of your feet that are not covered by your running shoes. You need to think about wearing the best running socks to complement your running shoes!

On the other hand, you have a completely different gear problem if you’re training for your first marathon. You want to minimize sweating or chafing against your pants! But, what can you do?

As is the case with running shoes, there are many products on the market that advertise themselves as the best running socks you can buy.

You’ve got to give yourself the best advantage by being sure that you’ll win the fight against blisters, hotspots, and chafing!

NameCategoryProduct
Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini SocksBest OverallSmartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks
Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running SocksBudget PickBalega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks
2XU Men's Compression Performance Run SocksUpgrade Pick2XU Men's Compression Performance Run Socks

1. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks

Our rating: 9 / 10

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks

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Pros:

  • Has extra cushioned sole and heel, soft wool construction, flat knit toe seam
  • Full foot cushioning
  • Durable and soft
  • Arch support
  • Bulk order available
  • Machine washable
  • Quick drying
  • Stay in place

Cons:

  • Runs a little small
  • Tends to fade after multiple washes

It’s no secret that you’re going to sweat while you run. Smartwool has incorporated moisture-wicking properties that keep your feet cool and dry. Aloe vera and lanolin help to keep your feet odor free.

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks are fantastic for runners of all levels, from beginner to marathon runner, and they’re a great sock for everyday wear as well.

The great thing about this brand is that the sizing is consistent across the line so when you find a pair that works for you, you can rest assured that each new pair you buy will fit you just as well.

2. Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks

Our rating: 9 / 10

Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks

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Pros:

  • Sensational cushioning
  • Feeling of protection around the toes
  • Easy to put on

Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks for Men and Women (1 Pair) ‒All your foot’s pressure and movement points are protected by our patented wave design. Utilizing a state of the art knitting technique, we created light, breathable, and thin socks that are durable and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

This is a fantastic sock that you can wear either for running or just for everyday use. They are thin and you never really know you have them on, but scratch the surface a little and you’ll see why they are so popular.

The fabric is thin and light and because it’s a blend of poly and polyamide you’re going to get the protection that you need for your foot whilst keeping you cool.

3. 2XU Men's Compression Performance Run Socks

Our rating: 8 / 10

2XU Men's Compression Performance Run Socks

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Pros:

  • Stays in place while you’re running
  • Very comfortable, especially when you have hot feet
  • Breathable
  • No moisture buildup

If you’re looking for a pair of high-quality running socks, the 2XU Men’s Compression Performance Run Socks are just what you need. These socks are equipped with ventilated climacool that keeps you cool while you run, and it is this very feature that makes the feet feel fresh and dry even after long periods of jogging.

The 2XU Compression Performance Run Socks is the perfect choice for runners who hate moisture and sweating on their soles.

4. Bridgedale Women's Coolfusion Run Speed Trail Socks

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bridgedale Women's Coolfusion Run Speed Trail Socks

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Pros:

  • Good for places where you need the extra padding.
  • The Coolmax fibers keep your feet dry for longer and don’t retain smells, so you can wear the same pair for a longer period of time.
  • The extra padding comes in handy when running on trails.
  • Breathable for hot weather use and can hold up to years of use.

Cons:

  • Think that they would be more comfortable for longer runs.
  • The Coolmax fibers tend to wear down too quickly and they can be pricey to replace.
  • Can’t be worn with shoes without lacing holes so you will need to wear them with your boots or slip ons.

5. Feetures Elite Max Cushion No Show Tab Athletic Running Socks

Our rating: 7 / 10

Feetures Elite Max Cushion No Show Tab Athletic Running Socks

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Pros:

  • These are an ultra thin light weight sock designed for running
  • This sock come with a snug fit
  • The proprietary blend of blueridge performance yarn provides comfort and wicking
  • You’ll be able to wear them with either a low or high cut shoe

Cons:

  • There isn’t that much padding, so if your feet need extra padding, these might not be for you.

These socks are amazing! They are super thin and very light. The ultra-thin design is one of the reasons why they are so awesome. These fight blisters brilliantly and are great for running.

Feetures branded some of these socks with "Elite Max Cushion." I have no idea what this means and neither does anyone else that I know. I also don’t care.

For me, the important thing is that these socks do a wonderful job of regulating temperature. They keep my feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

6. Thirty48 Running Socks Unisex

Our rating: 4 / 10

Thirty48 Running Socks Unisex

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Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Good athletic socks
  • Your feet will stay cool in the summer
  • The socks will not retain moisture
  • Comes in many sizes and colors
  • These colorful socks should make you feel happy when you wear them
  • Definitely a great product for the price
  • You can wear them for sports or just everyday casual wear
  • These socks will be sure to keep your feet happy
  • They are large enough for anyone

Cons:

  • If you have large feet or wide feet then you might not like them
  • Not the best for those that have cool feet
  • They are a bit on the thin side
  • Not the best socks for hiking or other outdoor activities

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best running socks to prevent blisters?

Blister prevention is an important factor when it comes to choosing the best running socks. If you’re prone to hot feet, you know that this is a problem to avoid. Blisters are not only painful, they’re unsightly, and they make running a lot less fun than it should be.

It’s also a fact that running socks that don’t provide a good fit can exacerbate this problem. Poorly made socks can bunch up around your feet and rub in the wrong places. This is true even for the best running socks.

Why am I getting blisters on my feet when I run?

To prevent blisters, you need to ensure a good fit with your running socks. If they’re too big, excess fabric will rub against your skin and cause blisters. Try to wiggle your toes to make sure it feels good and you can still move them around while wearing the socks. Of course, it’s also vital that the socks are thick enough to provide cushion and to keep your feet warm.

What are the best socks for hot weather?

Summer and summer-style socks for running can be made of a variety of blends depending on what you’re looking for. Some great options for hot or summer running include:

Cotton, which helps wick moisture away from the foot.

Wool, which is also an excellent option because it helps absorb and hold moisture.

Merino wool, which is light and provides great comfort.

Silicone, which naturally resists odor, bacteria, and fungus.

Wool is one of the best options for summer running because it naturally regulates temperature and moisture, while also managing the smell of your sweat. Merino wool blends are best if you tend to get serious blisters in the summer because they help to reduce friction – they’ll also last longer than cotton socks and can be worn for multiple seasons.

Do running socks prevent blisters?

Running socks do not prevent blisters. A better preventative measure is to wear “running socks” made especially for running. These socks are knit with material that’s specifically designed not to chafe or rub anywhere, unlike standard socks that can cause friction and therefore blisters.

Conclusion

Running socks are a big part of a runner’s gear. Some choose to wear them just for added comfort, while others see extra socks as a way to get a little more compression going in their training. Whether you’re a diehard runner or you’re just getting started, you’re going to want to make sure you’re choosing the right socks. We’ve looked at a lot of different options out there on the market and we’ve compiled a list of the best running socks that we think you won’t be disappointed by.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini SocksBest OverallSmartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks
Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running SocksBudget PickBalega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks
2XU Men's Compression Performance Run SocksUpgrade Pick2XU Men's Compression Performance Run Socks