The Best Socks for Running

The best socks for running

People often ask me how to find the proper running shoes or what running shoes I would recommend. Earlier in the year, I wrote a post that explains how to find the proper running shoes that explains the different steps to find the right running shoes.

When people ask me about shoes, I often ask them about socks. Socks are one of the most underrated running items that many people don’t pay enough attention to. Socks are not only extremely important, but are something that cost a fraction of the price of a shoe and could make a huge difference when running.

Socks improve the running experience and something that your feet will thank you if you have the right pair. Adding BodyGlide to the right pair of running socks will help eliminate blisters, chafing, and black toenails.

I have tried a number of different running socks and sleeves over the course of the year. Ever since my first marathon in 2007 (Austin Marathon), I learned the hard way about the importance of running socks. Towards the end of a race, I had a large blood blister that was painful. After that race, I made it a priority to find the best socks for my feet.

If you don’t believe how important running socks are, buy a pair listed below and then buy a basic cotton pair. Your feet and body will appreciate the cheap investment for buying proper running socks.

Here are the top 5 socks for running

1. Balega Hidden Comfort Socks

Balega Hidden Comfort Sock

My favorite running sock is the Balega Hidden Comfort sock. I was first introduced to these socks a few years back when I was talking to someone about the Smartwool PhD Ultra Light and how quickly I had a hole in one of the toes.

A local running friend told me that the Balega Hidden Comfort sock was comfortable, durable, and stylish.

After hearing about these great socks, I gave them a try. I was impressed with the feel, fit, and color options of these great socks.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced (retail at $18) and great fitting running sock that can be used for those everyday training runs, I highly suggest giving these a try.

Where to | Holabird Sports | Paragon Sports

*Email Me or tweet me if you need help finding a discount!

2. Balega Hidden Contour Sock

Balega Hidden Contour Sock

I know my favorite running sock was also a Balega sock, but my second favorite this year has to be the Balega Hidden Contour sock. This sock is what I wear for races and tempo runs as it is a little thinner than the Hidden Comfort sock mentioned above.

This sock has a seamless toe closure along with a reinforced heel and toe for durability. The feel of this sock is a little more elastic like than the hidden comfort and feels great for those tough workouts.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced (retail at $14) running sock that is great for racing and speed workouts, I highly suggest giving these a try.

Where to | Holabird Sports | Paragon Sports

*Email Me or tweet me if you need help finding a discount!

3. Smartwool Phd® Running Light Sock

Smartwool PhD Light Micro Sock

If you are active and enjoy being outdoors, then you know about Smartwool. They are one of the best brands for merino and wool apparel. One thing they really know how to make are great running socks.

The Smartwool Phd® Running Light socks are one of my favorites for a number of reasons. They help regulate heat almost better than any sock and keep your feet dry when the temps rise. Additionally the merino wool helps minimize odor, something that all runners and outdoor enthusiasts can appreciate.

The prefer the light socks over the ultra light socks because of the increased durability. As I mentioned above, I have tried the ultra light socks a number of times, all of them ending with a hole in the toe. While Smartwool will typically replace for free, I try to avoiding having to mail the socks back to them. If you do need to mail, they have incredible customer service.

These socks retail for around $20 and are great for those winter and wet runs.

Where to BuyAmazon.comMoosejaw

*Email Me or tweet me if you need help finding a discount!

4. Swiftwick Aspire Zero Socks

Swiftwick Aspire Zero Sock

I first learned about Swiftwick Aspire Zero Socks a few years back after running the Akron Half Marathon. Part of the race swag was a new pair of socks by a brand I have never heard of, Swiftwick.

Being proud of my recent accomplishment, I gave them a try soon after the race and quickly realized why the Akron Marathon partnered with Swiftwick. The socks they gave out were comfortable and provided great support.

After learning about this brand, I did some research and decided to buy another pair of Swiftwicks because of how they felt. The model that looked great were the Swiftwick ASPIRE Zero Socks.

These socks feel great, are durable, and breathe extremely well. Similar to the Balega Hidden Contour sock, I would use these for speedwork and racing.

These socks also retail for around $20 and are great for everyday runs or racing.

Where to BuyAmazon.comREIRoad Runner Sports

*Email Me or tweet me if you need help finding a discount!

5. Feetures! Elite Merino+ Light Cushion Sock

Feetures! Elite Merino+ Light Sock

The Feetures! sock brand has been around for years. At every race expo and every running store I always see them. One day I bought a pair out of necessity and quickly learned what made these socks so great.

Like Smartwool, this merino wool sock does an excellent job of keeping your feet dry and warm on those cool wet days, something that most socks can’t do.

The fit of Feetures! is one that almost everyone enjoys. If you look at these socks on Amazon, they have almost a 5 star rating, something that is tough to find these days.

I enjoy wearing these socks on my everyday fall runs and occasionally mix them in on my long runs because I know they will keep my feet warm and dry.

These socks also retail for around $17 and as I mentioned are great for everyday runs.

Where to | Road Runner Sports | Paragon Sports

*Email Me or tweet me if you need help finding a discount!

If you are not interested in any of the running socks on my list, I would recommend checking out the Amazon Best Selling Mens Socks or the Best Selling Women’s Socks. They offer a number of options and provide plenty of reviews on a variety of socks.

Whatever sock you decide on, make sure they are the right fit for your feet!

Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite running sock is!

Please note, may earn a commission when you follow some of the links and make a purchase.


  • Pretty spot-on choices here. I’ve been wearing Balega for some time. They’re very comfortable whether you’re running 5kms or 25kms.

    • Thanks Dave! It’s amazing how many people overlook the importance of sock selection. Let me know if you have any other suggestions I can write about. Appreciate the comment.

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