Best running socks in 2022 for increased comfort
Increase comfort & improve performance with a pair of the best running socks.
Whether you’re a complete beginner to running or have conquered several marathons, wearing a pair of high-quality running socks is essential, not only to look after your feet but to reduce blisters and perhaps even improve performance.
Despite this, many runners opt to wear either their regular socks or cheaper alternatives to pound the pavement.
But much like running shoes, choosing a pair of low quality running socks will result in blisters and general discomfort.
A pair of proper running socks, though, increases comfort and breathability, allowing moisture to pass through your feet. They also provide additional support & other features to make running more enjoyable and pain-free.
This blog post will provide you with twenty of the best running socks, including pairs from popular brands including Rockay, Nike, and Inov-8.
Oh, and we’ll also answer a few questions about the best running socks, including a short guide on how to choose the best sock for you.
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1. Rockay accelerate anti-blister unisex running socks
All-around best running socks
- Wicks sweat away from your feet keeping them dry, comfortable and blister-free
- Lifetime guarantee
- Anti-blister design
These socks from Rockay are created with 100% recycled fabrics, also containing a smart anti-blister design. In addition, the socks utilise smart ventilation zones and breathable fabric to wick sweat away from the body.
This, paired with the padding in the toes and heel area, keep you comfortable mile after mile, whether you’re running around the track or conquering your very first marathon.
Also, these socks contain a lifetime guarantee. As Rockay say themselves: “this is not the kind of sock you replace after ten washes.” Highly durable and tested to the maximum, these socks are built to last.
For this reason, alongside the many positive reviews from other customers, paired with their sustainable design, we rank the Rockay accelerate anti-blister sock in our number one spot.
2. Hilly unisex marathon fresh socks
Designed for distance
- Moisture-wicking design to prevent blisters and increase comfort
- Under toe seamless construction
- Upper foot venting
This pair of socks from Hilly is perfect for long runs or even marathons.
Designed with upper foot venting, under toe seamless construction, and a moisture-wicking design, these socks guarantee comfort no matter the distance.
Runners reported fewer blisters and black toenails and reduced irritation thanks to the re-inforced cushioning and smart construction.
Although the price tag is more expensive than other socks for a single pair, the price certainly reflects the quality.
Compared to other more affordable socks, such as the more mile women’s three-pack which costs similar (as seen at number fifteen in our list), the Hilly ankle running socks provides an overall better fit, increased breathability, and protection for those longer and more intense runs.
3. Danish endurance pack of 3 (unisex)
Recommended by an Olympic runner
- Recommended by an Olympic athlete
- Optimal ventilation channels provide increased breathability
- Sweat-wicking, compression, and anti-blister design
Danish Endurance is up there with other top brands (e.g. Rockay, Inov-8, and Nike) when creating high-performance running socks.
This pair is no different, available in a pack of three and providing benefits such as a near frictionless design, increased arch support (thanks to the compression), and anti-blister properties.
Despite the many benefits, some users have reported these to run a little thin. But, this is based on personal experience and preference.
There is ample cushioning, however, (made for going the distance) with a further seal of approval from Olympic runner and athlete, Stina Troest.
4. Rockay Vigor compression socks
Best running compression socks
- Graduated compression for increased performance and recovery
- Anti-blister and anti-odour design
- Performance cushioning and seamless design
The Rockay Vigor compression socks are the first compression pair included on our list.
Compression socks (and other gear) is not for everyone, but it’s difficult to deny the impressive technology behind this pair from Rockay, and other’s currently on the market.
Nonetheless, the Vigor pair feels lightweight and almost second-skin-like, so much so you would expect minimal cushioning. But, this is not the case – the socks provide great cushioning, keeping your feet comfortable, blister-free, and dry no matter how long you’re on your feet.
The sustainable design (also seen with the Rockay accelerate and Razer socks) is something many runners welcome, including ourselves – we expect more brands to follow suit shortly.
Overall, these compression socks are excellent value for money, but some runners may have difficulty putting these on. The trick is to turn them inside out first – Rockay has created a video on this to help.
You can also read our full review on the Rockay Vigor compression running socks for more details.
5. More Mile men’s running socks (5 pack)
Great for beginners
- Padded protection absorbs impact
- Cushioned heel and toe design
- Upper mesh ventilation
A great option for beginners, the more mile men’s socks contains padded protection and a cushioned design for lessened impact.
While they may not be as impressive as other pairs on this list, they do exactly what you need at a competitive price.
Oh, there’s also five in a pack – talk about value for money.
6. Hilly unisex anklet running socks
Double-layered fabric prevents blisters
- Double-layer fabric prevents blisters
- Ergonomically shaped for running
- Quick-drying and anti-odour design
The double-layered fabric helps prevent blisters by reducing friction.
As the sock is thicker than others, this makes it a great choice for those colder runs and harder training sessions.
And don’t worry, you’ll also benefit from a moisture-wicking design that is guaranteed to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
7. Inov-8 race elite pro running socks
Perfect for long training runs
- New & improved fit for increased ventilation and support
- Durable and long-lasting
- Small compression band offers increased protection
As you likely already know, Inov-8 specialises in trail running gear – this pair of socks is no different; a great trail running sock but equally as good for racing.
Thanks to the new and improved fit, the race elite pro delivers improved protection in the heel and arch of the foot. Also, similar to other non-compression socks (such as those from Danish Endurance), there is also a small compression band to further increase protection and stability.
The vented panels are also a welcomed addition, providing a breathable and sweat-wicking ride while offering maximum comfort.
Runners mentioned these socks to maintain shape well, alongside performing excellently in colder conditions (as this is a thicker sock).
One potential con though is the higher price tag, definitely a premium choice of running sock.
8. Coskefy cushioned running socks (unisex pack of 3-6 pairs)
Great value for money
- Odour-free technology
- Reinforced heel tab (increased protection)
- Thick cushioning
The Coskefy cushioned running socks are similar to other ankle socks, including the Rockay accelerate and those from Danish Endurance. But these are much more affordable.
Although not quite as impressive as other’s on the list, these running socks are great for everyday training.
The thick design paired with a reinforced heel tab provides increased protection.
Some runners may find these socks a little too thick to wear during summer, perhaps causing overheating. But winter running (and general training) should be more than fine.
9. Rockay Razer max cushion trail running socks
- Maximum cushioning for further support and protection
- Polygene anti-odour fabric and recycled design
- Designed for trail runners
The Rockay Razer max cushion running socks are an updated version of the previous Razer trail running socks.
Since the previous model, this pair has benefited from double the cushioning, providing a more stable, protective, and comfortable ride. Also, this provides a warmer fit, ideal for trail runs and cold winter outings.
The Razer sock also contains the same features customers previously loved – the polygene anti-odour fabric, the famous anti-blister design, and recycled and sustainable material construction.
Oh, and each purchase removes an estimated thirteen bottles of plastic from the ocean.
10. Danish endurance anti-blister, low-cut anklet socks (unisex pack of 3)
Ultra light & fast
- Anti-blister design
- Choice of four colours
- Breathable design & sweat-wicking material
Another pair from Danish endurance, these low-cut pro anklet socks contain an anti-blister design by using anti-friction zones in the heel and toe areas.
Also, the breathable design and sweat-wicking material used ensures a comfortable and dry run, whether that’s twenty minutes or two hours.
11. Injinj unisex toesocks (no show design)
Similar to barefoot running
- Separated toe design
- No friction, blisters, or hot spots
- Entire foot is engaged while running (unlike other socks)
You may recognise the design from the popular Vibram barefoot running shoes.
Well, taking the same concept and applying it to a sock, you get a responsive design that is sure to feel different…
Some runners swear by barefoot running, while others believe that more protection is better.
However, the Injinj toesocks create no friction, blisters, or hot spots thanks to the separated toe design.
And sure, while they may look a little different to other pairs, including socks from popular brands such as Nike and Inov-8, they are certainly worth a try.
As the foot is engaged throughout your entire run, as opposed to other socks, your running form may improve, you’ll strengthen the muscles in your feet, and more.
12. Inov-8 speed sock mid (men’s twin pack)
Designed for going fast
- Zoned compression
- Padded underfoot and breathable design prevents irritation and blisters
- Ideal for racing and intense training
Similar to the Inov-8 race elite pro socks, the speed sock mid is designed for both training and racing.
These socks are lightweight but provide improved cushioning and underfoot padded protection to reduce your risk of blisters and general discomfort.
With the added compression, these socks aim to reduce swelling while simultaneously improving performance.
Although not quite as impressive as full supportive compression socks, they do provide much-needed support during training.
It should be mentioned that some runners found these socks to feel thin. Therefore, if you prepare thicker socks, then we recommend the compression pair from Danish Endurance (as seen below).
13. Danish Endurance graduated compression socks (unisex)
Everyday & sporting wear
- Increased blood circulation improves performance & reduces fatigue
- Skin-friendly organic cotton increases comfort and reduces irritation
- Recommended by an Olympic gold athlete
The Danish Endurance graduated compression socks come in at a similar price range to the previously mentioned pair by Rockay.
Compression gear is designed to increase blood circulation, flushing out harmful toxins, reducing swelling, and where possible, improving performance.
Not only are these compression socks ideal for running (and other sports), they are also great for everyday activities, whether working a desk job or travelling long hours.
These compression socks are thicker than other pairs, including the Rockay Vigor, great for winter but maybe not the best for spring and summer (depending on your personal preference).
Also, unlike the pair from Rockay, these are not created using recycled materials – perhaps something to consider if you’re environmentally conscious.
14. Cotill men’s running socks (3 pack)
- Designed to hug the heel
- Excellent cushioning
- Sweat-wicking material increases comfort & prevents blisters
Another affordable but great pair of socks for beginners, we have the Cotill running socks for men (three pack).
You benefit from increased cushioning, a sweat-wicking design, and an air cool padding system for better ventilation and breathability.
15. More mile women’s running socks (3 pack)
Best running socks for women on a budget
- Ideal for beginners
- Sweat-wicking to keep your feet dry & comfortable
Also perfect for those new to running, these women’s socks from more mile are ergonomically shaped and designed to wick sweat and moisture away from the body.
Although they are nothing fancy, they are affordable, look great, and get the job done.
16. Nike men’s trail running crew socks
Best trail running socks
- NikeGrip yarn secures your foot in place
- Heel tab reduces irritation
- Breathable wool blend
These mid-height Nike trail running socks are perfect for a weekend exploring your favourite trails.
The wool blend provides warmth year-round, similar to the Rockay Razer trail running socks. This makes them universal and a great piece of kit to own.
Also, you’ll benefit from a heel tab that reduces irritation, and the signature NikeGrip yarn that secures your foot in place.
And while the price may seem a little steep, you’re getting a quality pair of socks that’ll last years. But if you’re shopping more on a budget, then you may prefer the SLS3 socks (number 18 on our list).
17. Under Armour Heatgear breathable training sock (3 unisex pairs)
No show design
- Sweat-wicking material
- Anti-odour technology
These running socks from Under Armour are great for everyday training and leisurewear.
The anti-odour technology provides all-day freshness, while the cushioning is plenty for running.
Similar to the previously mentioned pair from Cotill, these are equally as good for regular training, but you may want to choose a more cushioned sock such as the Rockay accelerate, for those longer runs.
18. SLS3 unisex running socks
- Supportive and comfortable fit (especially around the heel)
- Increased cushioning in the heel (great for those suffering from plantar fasciitis)
- Choice of fun colours
These socks from SLS3 come in a variety of fun colours. From neon green to pink and yellow, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd whatever your taste.
Second, these socks provide a supportive and comfortable fit, especially around the heel area of the foot – great for those suffering from plantar fasciitis.
To reduce blisters, SLS3 have also included an in-step hugging arch band.
This band, paired with the moisture-wicking sock material, will keep your feet healthy and happy regardless of the distance.
19. Nike men’s elite cushioned running socks
Compression meets comfort
- Compression fit & design
- Increased arch support
- Dry-fit technology
Nike’s dry-fit technology & increased arch support make these a great option for those who prefer a more supportive sock.
Your feet will remain snug, supported, and well ventilated, whether you’re training for a half marathon or ultra-endurance event.
Heck, you may even feel like a pro athlete giving these a whirl.
20. Higher State women’s running anklet socks (3 pack)
3 pairs at an affordable price
- Performance fit provides increased movement
- Anti-chafing & eco-friendly construction
- Pack of 3
Finally, we have the Higher State running socks for women.
With a standard design – anti-chafing, a performance fit, and superior ventilation, you know you’re in for a comfy run.
When it comes to value for money, these are difficult to beat – they make for a fantastic everyday running sock.
But if you’re looking for something with extra padding or intended for racing, then we suggest another pair on our list.
What kind of socks should I wear when running?
If you haven’t already gathered, you should be wearing a proper pair of running socks instead of any old ankle or trainer socks.
For those competing in longer distances or performing intense training, compression socks may also be of interest (we have a few pairs included in this article).
What are the best socks for running?
This is somewhat based on personal preference. But you should look for a pair containing an anti-blister and moisture-wicking design, increased support, optimal cushioning, and a supportive fit, as a general rule of thumb.
Why wear compression socks?
The theory behind compression socks is that they increase blood circulation and oxygen to the working muscles.
In fact, they may even speed up the removal of lactic acid. While many runners swear by them, including the likes of now-retired Paula Radcliffe, scientific evidence is still lacking.
Our advice to any runner is: each to their own. If compression socks work for you, then that’s great. If not, it’s not the end of the world and you do not need to wear them.
What should I look for when buying a pair of socks for running?
It’s time to ditch those ankle socks and opt for a proper pair of running socks. However, you may be wondering: what should you look for when purchasing a new pair?
- Look for padding in high-impact areas such as the arches, heels, and toes
- Moisture-wicking fabrics such as polyester, acrylic, and CoolMax
- The socks should be a good fit, similar to your running shoe – not too big nor too small
How to look after your running socks
Once you’ve gathered together a few pairs of socks for running, it’s essential to look after them properly to prevent them from shrinking in the wash.
Therefore, like most running and sports gear, it’s advised not to tumble dry and instead air dry.
What are the best running socks to prevent blisters?
With blisters being a common result of poor quality socks, there are a few things you can look out for to reduce your risk of blisters while increasing comfort. These are:
- Look for socks with moisture-wicking fabrics such as polyester, acrylic, and CoolMax
- The socks should be a good fit
- Look for increased padding and cushioning on areas you’re most prone to picking up blisters
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.