The Best Running Socks

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There is no more underrated piece of clothing than socks, especially for runners. While you might spend weeks selecting the perfect running shoe and agonise for hours over the technical T-shirt you want to wear on race day, the chances are you’ll devote mere seconds to sock selection.

This is a massive mistake – we’d even go as far as saying it’s a travesty. The best socks will not only make blisters less likely and keep your feet dry and cool, but they’ll also make the whole run just feel right. Simply pulling on the perfect pair of socks can do away with any motivational misgivings before a run. You’ll be desperate to get out there.

Here are 12 of the very best running socks to consider.

Stance Mesa Crew

Stance socks are long-time Coach favourites for running, training or just walking around, and they have recently become even better due to the new Feel360 fabric that has been integrated into many of Stance’s exercise socks. All running socks are designed to dry quickly, but Feel360 is something else – we tried them out on a 20-mile marathon training run and they were dry when we took them off five minutes after stopping. Black magic, if ever we saw it. £17.31, buy on stance.com

1000 Mile Fusion Anklet Sock

If you suffer from blisters after long runs, but don’t want to sacrifice the comfort of padded socks, these double-layer low riders are worth trying. Instead of the sock rubbing your skin, the top layer rubs the bottom layer to reduce friction. 1000 Mile has also included padding on the heel, ankle, toes and the ball of the foot, and added ventilation layers on the top of the foot to let your feet breathe. We did find these socks slipped more than usual in the shoe and rubbed the bottom of one toe, but then we’re not prone to blisters in the first place – and many swear by them. £12, buy on 1000mile.co.uk

Happy Socks Athletic

Take a look at your running kit. Is it a mix of greys, blacks and other dark colours? You’re not alone – most gear nowadays looks a bit serious. So take the first step to livening up your outfit with this playful Swedish brand – and don’t worry, it’s not playing when it comes to the technical features, with arch support, a cushioned sole and light compression for snugness. The thickness makes them well suited to cold winter runs and the mid-calf rise makes sure you can show off whichever bold design you choose. It’s ’80s fade all day every day for us. £12, buy on happysocks.com 

Runderwear Anti Blister Ankle Running Sock

With two layers of fabric, these socks aim to ensure that you avoid blisters – the idea is that the layers rub against one another, rather than your skin. The fabric is also highly breathable for moisture management. As well as these over-the-ankle socks, Runderwear has a low-rise option for those who prefer their sock to cut off around the top of their trainer. £12, buy on amazon.co.uk

Inov-8 Speed Sock Low

You probably aren’t even considering the weight of your socks when you’re working on becoming a faster runner – but trim a few grams off your socks and who knows? You could be heading for the next Olympics. These Inov-8 socks are certainly lightweight, but still comfortable thanks to padded areas underfoot and around the ankles, and they also deliver mild compression to increase blood circulation. If compression is your bag, you should check out our round-up of the best compression running socks for more options. £8.40 (RRP £14), buy on wiggle.co.uk 

Injinji Run 2.0 Mid-Weight

Are toe socks ever-so-slightly unsettling? Yes. Are they are a bit of a pain to put on? Also yes. However, they’re a great option for anyone who is regularly beset by toe blisters because they prevent toe-on-toe rubbing. Injinji offers a huge range of different designs, so you can match them with the rest of your running outfit. £16, buy on amazon.co.uk

Storm Bloc With BlueGuard Sports Crew Socks

If your primary concern when it comes to socks is longevity, Storm Bloc might be your best bet. The company’s so confident in the anti-abrasion properties of the yarn in its socks that it offers a lifetime guarantee against holes. The socks also have padding for extra comfort when running and extra support in the arches, as well as breathable panels to stop your feet overheating. £15, buy on amazon.co.uk

BAM Bamboo Trainer Socks

Unlike most of the other options below, these socks are not specifically designed for running, but their supreme comfort means they merit a place on this list – and indeed any list of the best socks for active pursuits. The socks have extra padding on the sole and, thanks to the bamboo fabric’s natural breathability and sweat-wicking properties, will keep your feet cool and dry while running. £15 for three pairs, buy on amazon.co.uk

Bridgedale CoolFusion Run Qwik

Padding in all the right places make this sock supremely comfortable to run in, or just for sitting on the sofa with your feet up. The fabric is a mix of merino wool, Coolmax polyester, nylon and Lycra, which all adds up to a sock that’ll keep your feet dry, cool and happy. Happy feet, without a dancing penguin in sight. £12 (RRP £14.50), buy on amazon.co.uk

Feetures Elite Max Cushion

A post shared by Feetures! (@feeturesrunning) on Jan 26, 2017 at 10:58am PST

“Be wary of investing in clothes from a brand with a pun in its name” is normally sound advice, but we can assure you that any money spent on Feetures socks is money well spent. The Elite Max Cushion has – no surprise here – extra cushioning, which provides support on the medial side of the arch, the part of the foot that ails many runners. £14, buy on amazon.co.uk

Hilly TwinSkin Anklet

You can get this TwinSkin sock in either Anklet (covers the ankle) or Socklet (doesn’t) form. The double-layer, quick-drying construction is designed with one key goal in mind – to ensure your feet stay blister-free. £5.50 (RRP £11), buy on amazon.co.uk

Smartwool Phd Running Ultra Light Mini

Although seriously thin and light, this sock is durable enough to last you many miles, with extra wool in the toes and heel padding out the areas most likely to wear out. You’ll be running those miles in comfort too, with the rapidly drying ultra-thin fabric keeping your feet moisture-free. £16.72, buy on amazon.co.uk