Even the best workout socks aren’t exactly the type of gear that most people get jazzed about. But every real runner and gym rat we know is totally neurotic about their feet’s first layer. And for good reason: the shoes you wear are only as good as the socks on your feet, no matter if you get your fix from sprinting or lifting, CrossFit or cycling. (Do you like blisters or hot spots?)
The Best Workout Socks Shopping Guide
That’s why brands across the board have reassessed what a good sock should look and feel like, innovating with new fabrics, materials, and designs. No matter your athletic endeavor of choice, there is a perfect workout sock for you—and it’s almost definitely on this list.
The Best Do-It-All Workout Socks
We’ve extolled the virtues of Nike’s unimpeachable crew socks time and time again, and we ain’t stopping now. If you prefer to buy your workout socks in bulk, or just can’t bring yourself to spend more than, like, $6 on a single pair, the Everyday Plus is probably what you’re looking for. They’re comfortable, durable, and exceedingly versatile, and while we’d stop short of recommending you make like Jacob Elordi and wear ‘em with coquettish leather shorts, if you forget to pack another pair for fashion week, they’ll serve you equally well there, too. As long as the Swoosh keeps making ‘em, we’ll keep recommending ’em.
The Best Low-Cut Workout Socks
If the Swoosh isn’t quite your style, look no further than Adidas’s Superlite Prime Mesh 3 socks. Breathable, but not so thin that they feel like papier-mâché on your feet, Adidas packed these socks with their Climalite fabric for maximum sweat wicking, plus extra cushioning in both the heel and toe to ensure they hold up to even a tough HIIT workout with tons of cutting and jumping. A low-profile heel tab—much more subtle than the obnoxiously large heel tabs found on most running socks—helps keep you blister-free. And the additional arch compression means they’re more than suitable options for the basketball or tennis courts.
The Best Workout Socks for Hoopers
For years now, Nike has dominated the hardwood with their immediately recognizable Elite Crew socks. There’s no denying their greatness, but if the back stripe is starting to feel a little played out to you too, Stance’s Icon Hoops crew socks are ready to juke right past the Swoosh. With loads of cushioning to help balance out impact and built-in ankle protection, Stance also promises a lifetime guarantee if your big toe ever rips a hole through them.
The Best Workout Socks for Runners
Way back in 2021, Soar’s eye-grabbing running socks nabbed a Fitness Award for their distinct blend of flex-worthy goods looks and technical prowess. Two years later, we’re thrilled to report the verdict still stands. If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of wearing socks a size too big, you’ll appreciate their ultra-lightweight poly-nylon blend, which hugs the foot like a second skin—and somehow, inexplicably, keeps ’em cozy in the process. If you’re looking for socks to hit the track in, you can’t go wrong with an open mesh construction and a compression band by the arch to prevent your dogs from roaming free.
The Best Workout Socks No One Will See
There are no-show socks, and then there are the socks you forget you were wearing until you take your shoes off for the day. Falke’s best-seller falls squarely into the latter category. Crafted from a silky-smooth blend of moisture-absorbing cotton and polyamide (for extra sweat-wicking and durability), they also come equipped with a reinforced elastic band around the foot and silicone grippers at the heel to make sure they stay put all day long. If you absolutely loathe the look of ankle socks at the gym and would rather be barefoot (or approximate the feeling), these are for you.
The Best Workout Socks for the Great Outdoors
For hard-core adventurers, only two things can cut a hike short: a chance encounter with a very hungry bear, or the onset of a nasty blister when you’re miles away from the summit. Bombas can’t help much with the former, but when it comes to the latter, the DTC hosiery champion comes prepared. Its handsome suite of ribbed calf socks are made from merino wool, nature’s first performance fabric, so they’re temperature-regulating without being insufferably technical about it. Unlike the old-school stuff, though, Bombas also weaves in a hint of elastane for added stretch, a feature you’ll appreciate should you need to hightail it away from inhospitable wildlife. Sure, they’ll look killer with a pair of trail-ready kicks, but they’ll really shine when you make it back to the campsite and swap the sneakers for boots.
Plus 12 More Workout Socks We Love
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