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


Everyday Plus Cushioned Socks (6-pack)

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


Superlite Prime Mesh 3 Socks (2-Pack)

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


Men’s Icon Hoops Crew Socks

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


Cool 24/7 Cotton-Blend No-Show Socks

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


Merino Wool Blend Calf Socks (4-Pack)

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


Power Stride Reflective Crew Socks

We probably don’t have to sell you on Lululemon’s performance bona fides. But on winter runs, we especially appreciated the reflective detailing on the brand’s power stride socks, a nifty detail that ensures your record-breaking laps stay hi-vis at all hours.


Proof’s eyebrow-raising 72-Hour line is behind one of the biggest miracles in the T-shirt business—so, naturally, its socks employ the same magic. Merino wool is nature’s first performance fabric, and the brand puts it to use here in the form of hosiery designed to withstand up to three days of hard wear. (You should definitely still wash ’em, FWIW.)


Classic Edition Hike Extra Cushion Crew Socks

We dig Smartwool’s cozy base layers plenty, but its socks are a perennial standout. That miraculous merino wool fabric promises to keep sweating to a minimum when you’re slogging up the steep side of the trail—and keep your dogs from freezing when you’re taking the leisurely route back.

Gold Toe

Cotton Crew Athletic Socks

Over a century after it set up shop, the first-name in pedigreed All-American hosiery still has a few tricks up its pant leg—including these no-fuss athletic joints you can scoop by the 5-pack for less than a Jackson.

Definite Articles

It’s hard to go wrong with any workout gear from Definite Articles, but the indie imprint’s socks scored a Fitness Award this year thanks to their blend of eco-minded biodegradable materials and nigh-unparalleled arch support.

Under Armour

Curry ArmourDry Playmaker Mid-Crew Socks

Steph’s preferred socks might not bless you with his handles, but their moisture-wicking, anti-slip properties will help you feel like a champion every time you pull up for three.


Coarse Ribbed Old School Crew Socks

Sometimes, you need a pair of socks engineered to the specifications of a NASA spacesuit. And sometimes, you just need socks like these, crafted in Japan out of long-pile cotton with the perfect amount of stretch—and no shortage of right-now retro energy.


Athletic Knee-High Compression Socks

You might not have heard of Comrad, but the performance-oriented socks the hosiery imprint specializes in are some of the best we’ve tried. Its excellent compression socks lean on a powerful triumvirate of muscle-stabilizing, blood-pumping, moisture-wicking properties (with a dash of anti-odor silver mixed in, for good measure) to level up your workouts with discreet finesse.


Rapha’s trail socks are another recent Fitness Award-winner, thanks, in part, to an adaptable merino-nylon blend thats ensures a snug-but-not-suffocating fit when the twists and turns get tight.


Nike Spark Lightweight Running Socks

Inspired by Nike’s Breaking2 initiative, the Swoosh’s code name for Eliud Kipchoge’s first efforts to break the sub-2:00 marathon barrier, these running socks are the closest you’ll get to a true barefoot feel without sacrificing comfort or support.

Ten Thousand

Ten Thousand’s Fitness Award-winning socks look plenty slick, but their zippy design and snug feel mask a powerhouse of PR-crushing prowess, thanks to dual left and right foot contouring and advanced cushioning in the high-impact zones you need it most.

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