Picking the right pair of running socks doesn’t have to be about choosing the most expensive pair. It’s about choosing the ones that are lightweight, fit well, designed with technical materials, and equipped with strong sweat-wicking properties. Don’t forget – your feet sweat too!

It seems like most people focus on picking the right running shoes, while running socks often get neglected. A poor pair of running socks can lead to toenail problems, bursitis, blisters, infections, and other foot issues. Therefore, it’s best to look for high-performance or technical running socks that create the right fit and environment for your feet. Not only are they comfortable, but good running socks can also add padding, cushioning, and support. Now, let’s review the 10 best running socks.

BEST RUNNING SOCKS FOR SUMMER

BEST OVERALL RUNNING SOCKS

Want to run like an elite runner? The Compressport Pro Racing Socks are the ultimate package. They provide complete support for your feet, excellent comfort, and perfect moisture management.

There’s also a 360° slight compression band around the arch support that stops the socks from turning or sliding down your shoes. The biggest advantage of the Pro Racing socks is that they stimulate venous return and provide more tonicity to your stride. 

For ventilation, the socks feature striped vented zones around the feet. The socks also dry very quickly thanks to the fast-drying fibres. There’s also added reinforcement around the big toe to protect from the impact of the ground.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Comes in 5 different colours
  • Compression band stops socks from turning or sliding
  • Achilles protection
  • Ventilation zones
  • Added big toe protection for ground impact

Cons

  • Available only in Canada
Product Type

BEST VALUE RUNNING SOCKS

It seems like too much of a coincidence that these Salomon socks share a name with the Sonic the Hedgehog game. I think they want customers to bounce around like Sonic! The Salomon Sonic Pro Socks are made from Microlon® and polypropylene, which sucks moisture away from your feet.

The lightweight sock has excellent ventilation and added cushioning for running on rough terrain. Sonic Pro Socks are durable and designed anatomically to fit human bone formations exactly.

Happy customer Constantin S. said, “Great running socks for summer. They’re excellent socks. They hug my feet very tight, almost in a compression-like manner. Feel very cool and provide ample air flow.”

Another Sonic Pro Socks owner Patrice P. said, “Very light and comfortable socks with minimal padding. The material feels good and fresh against the skin, breathes well and stays dry. Ideal for sports on hot days.”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Comes in 5 different colours
  • Specially-designed elastic for stronger arch support
  • Lightweight
  • Evacuates sweat

Cons

  • Long for the size
Product Type

MOST COMFORTABLE

Salomon’s trail-running sock is all about comfort. The Cross 2-Pack Socks feature a cushioned sole, anti-blister fibres, and ventilated areas on the upper foot. The sock adapts to any terrain whilst running.

Salomon Cross customer Reg M. said, “Excellent socks! These socks are slightly thicker but don't feel heavy or too warm on the feet. They are comfortable for running on the trail, or on the road.”

Another happy Cross 2-Pack socks owner Kimberly B. said, “Comfy socks. These socks are great. Comfortable and not so low that they slip while running.”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Extra cushioning in the sole
  • Anti-blister heel and toe
  • 3 different colours
  • Eliminates bunching
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Price
  • Slightly thicker
Product Type

MOST BREATHABLE AND MOISTURE WICKING

Are you sick of wearing stinky socks? Then look no further than the Wigwam Cool-Lite Crew Socks, with a breathable mesh instep and cushioned sole. Plus there’s an Ultimax moisture control system, which means your feet won’t get wet.

The Crew Socks have been designed from the bottom-up and include seamless toe protection.

Wigwam Cool-Lite Crew Socks owner Olivier G. said, “Great everyday socks at a good price. The socks feel great and are perfect for everyday use. The price is just right too.”

Another happy customer David B. said, “Comfortable and the size is right based on the size chart.”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Ultimax moisture control system
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh instep

Cons

  • Only 2 colours
Product Type

MOST DURABLE

Time to embrace your new technical running socks, built with Indestructawool. This technology creates enhanced durability. The 4 Degree elite fit system will make you run like a professional. 

Are you sick of holes in your socks? Shred Shield technology ensures your toenails don't destroy your new socks. There are also body-mapped mesh zones for added breathability.

Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Pattern Crew Socks customer Brent G. said, “Smartwool always gets it right. Some might consider the product expensive, but I have always enjoyed the absolute comfort and support all their products offer. These socks are no different. Totally true to size, fit perfect, the stitching is excellent and the colour is just as it says. Highly recommended.”

Another happy customer Guillaume B. said, “Slim merino wool socks with a precise fit. And more durable. I spend a lot of time on my feet, whether in sports or at work. My feet sweat a lot, and these are the everyday socks. I have about ten pairs of different colours. They machine wash very well, and won't warp. The ideal stocking keeps no bad odour.”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Durable due to Indestructa Wool technology
  • No holes due to Shred Shield technology
  • Performance-focused fit
  • Increased comfort due to seamless toe

Cons

  •  Price
Product Type

BEST FOR LONG RUNS

Inspired by Japanese Zen culture and its focus on balance, Salomon Nso Long Run Socks have been designed by ultra-trail champion François D'haene. The socks are made with mineral oxide technology which provides more energy, improves muscle tone, and helps with recovery.

The Salomon Nso socks limit the movement of your foot inside the shoe. This allows you to run longer, especially with challenging terrain. The cushioning in the socks absorbs shocks and reduces heating when running for long distances on difficult terrain.

Salomon Nso Long Run Socks customer Matt S. says, “Most comfortable and supportive socks I’ve worn running!”

Another happy owner, Matthew R. said, “Great socks for hiking. Awesome socks! They fit well, perfect for long hikes, my feet never blister with these socks. Love them so much I am ordering more.”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Helps reduce fatigue
  • Anti-blister: Nanoglide fibres
  • Developed by French ultra-trail champion
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Absorbs shocks and reduces heating

Cons

  • Price
  • A little tight
  • Slightly difficult to put on and take off
Product Type

BEST STYLE

There’s no need for the Fashion Police to arrest you when you're wearing one of the four different funky colours available for this sock. There’s transcend blue and white, black and gold, black and racing red, and black and ebony. 

Similar to the Salomon Nso Long Run Socks, these socks differ in that they're mid-length rather than long. The Mid Run Socks feature a mix of merino and polypropylene that manages sweat, allows your feet to breathe, and reduces bacteria. 

Salomon NSO Mid Run Socks customer Elenoire said, “Happy with purchase. My husband is happy with the socks, very light for summer running.”

Another happy customer Robert said, “Best Summer Socks. Comfortable, very light and dry fast.”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Comes in 4 different colours
  • Silicone on sole to stop slipping inside shoe
  • Quantum energy return
  • Blister guard system
  • Superior comfort in the toe area

Cons

  • Price
Product Type

MOST LIGHTWEIGHT

These ultra-lightweight beauties feel like you’re running without socks due to their low weight. The double ''Y'' heel gore generates the most accurate heel fit available.

The ''Y'' gore toe box and seamless toe seam provide support when running. They come in four different colour ranges that include blue-green, red-orange, white-grey, black-grey.

Wigwam Surpass Ultra-Lightweight Low Socks owner Deborah S. said, “Consistent quality, durability and comfort. These socks are lightweight and comfortable. Once I find a product I really like such as these, I am a loyal customer. I use these socks for every day use and find them durable enough for doing farm chores. They keep my feet clean and they are actually so lightweight that I hardly know I have them on. This version of low cut stays nicely in place on my big feet, with ventilation to the skin for cooling off. Highly recommend.”

Another happy customer Stephen Y. said, “Great lightweight socks for running. For hot and humid days, I wear these Wigwam, made in the USA socks. Zero chaffing and super light. Backed by an excellent warranty, I only wear Wigwams and Darn Tough socks. They last a long time!”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Comes in 4 different colours
  • Double Y heel gore provides accurate heel fit

Cons

  • Fabric can have a rough feel
  • Not cushioned
Product Type

BEST FOR TRAILS

Some may argue that the Salomon Nso Long and Mid Run Socks are better. At the end of the day, they’re very similar, but the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Crew Socks are better for trails. The difference is that they’re much lighter.

The Outdoor Ultra Light Crew Socks are marketed as elite, minimalist running socks. The latter is spot on as they’re made for people who want to run like an elite trail competitor.

The Smartwool socks are made out of Indestructa Wool technology (merino wool with nylon) for extra stretch. They feature new Shred Shield technology for reduced wear from toes.

PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Crew customer Marcus Y. said, “Comfortable, thin socks. Good for running, not a lot of cushion, but feels supportive and not restricting. Sizing is good. Definitely breathable!”

Another happy owner Brent C. said, “Comfy. I’m a fan of these socks, I own two pairs of this version. They are thin and I wear them while walking, hiking, and running. They keep your feet warm in colder weather and not too hot in warmer weather. Great product.”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Performance-oriented fit
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Breathable
  • 4 Degree elite fit system
  • Durable Indestructa Wool technology

Cons

  • Some reviewers have found them to be a “bit tight”
  • Only one colour
Product Type

BEST FOR TRAINING

The six-pack of ASICS socks is made for training. Going for a quick 3k run? Training for a 10k fun run? Training for a marathon? 

The ASICS Performance 2 No Show Socks provide moisture management to keep feet dry and comfortable when running.

Customer Matthew G. said, “Great all-rounders. Great little socks, thin on top but with good padding on the heel and toes. I wear them for 12-hour shifts in the hospital and then on my 5k jog home, no blisters or noticeable wear and tear.”

Another happy owner Brad C. said, “I wear a lot of Asics products from shoes to jackets to shorts to shirts to socks. They never let me down. These socks are high quality and a great deal with the “six-pack.” I’ll buy again.”

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Good value in six-pack
  • Breathable fabric
  • Low cut design

Cons

  • Can be “quite tight” according to some reviewers
  • May shrink after washing
Product Type

BUYING GUIDE: WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN RUNNING SOCKS

When shopping for the best summer running socks, you need to think about the type of running you’ll be doing. Are you doing sprint or interval training at the park? Are you running to and from work? Are you training for a half marathon? Do you like to run trails on the weekend?

Once you know what kind of running you’ll be doing, you should pay attention to the following factors.

TYPES

No-Show Socks

These low-cut socks soak up sweat, which then prevents bacteria and bad odour. Low-cut socks are a great choice during summer, as the shorter socks keep runners’ legs cool. Look for non-slip silicone grips on the heels to keep them in place. Since no-show socks are so small, it’s important that they retain their shape and size after wearing or washing.

Ankle socks

Ankle socks offer a lightweight design and height that is often used for athletic and casual wear. Look for ankle socks that are lightweight, and with arch support, blister tab, and toe seams features.

Crew Length

Crew length socks are normally worn during colder weather. They add protection for off-trail runs. Crew length socks are prevalent in compression socks. Look for a compressive material that reduces swelling in the ankles and calves and assists with blood flow.

Breathable Material

Socks made out of synthetic materials like acrylic, polyester, and nylon are the best, as they’re breathable and sweat-wicking.

Comfort

Comfort is one of the most important factors when choosing a pair of running socks for summer. It makes the difference between a good run and a bad run that turns into a walk. Focus on the padding when choosing a pair and look at customer reviews.

Cushioning

Look for recent running socks that provide additional cushioning and padding around high-impact areas like the toes, balls of the feet, and heels.

Value

Focus for running socks that come as a six-pack like the ASICS Performance 2 No Show Socks – Unisex or the Salomon Cross 2-Pack Socks – Unisex. You’ll get good value for money.

FAQs

Do good running socks make a difference?

Yes, good running socks can be the difference between a good run and a bad run. Choosing the wrong pair will lead to frustration or tears due to blisters, bunching, and slipping.

Are ankle socks better for running?

Although some ankle socks can slide down into the shoe, compression at the ankles provides support when running, making them a good choice for your run.

Should running socks be thick or thin?

Thin running socks are better during the summer, as they’re lighter and tend to have a better feel for the trail or road. However, thin socks can also lead to blisters.

When should I replace running socks?

Toes poking through your running socks is a dead giveaway for needing to replace them. On average, you should be replacing your running socks every two to three months, depending on how often you use them.

Conclusion

There you have it—the best running socks for summer 2021. Focus on choosing a pair of running socks that meets your personal goals. For us at Altitude Sports, the Compressport Pro Racing Socks V3.0 Run High – Unisex performed exceptionally well in every category that we tested. See you on the road or trail.