The 5 Best Running Socks – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

With the rebirth of running’s popularity, many sporting brands have hopped on and started offering products catering to all kinds of runners. This is very clear in different kinds of socks offered on the market, all of them promising to be the best running socks.

Wearing the right socks could make or break your momentum when running, so it is important to know the materials used, technologies present, and special additions when buying a new pair of running socks. In the midst of confusion, our aim is to help you find the right running socks for you.


On Your Marks...

We have gathered five of the most highly rated and the best socks in the running world. They all have the right fit, great layers of protection, and most effective in preventing fatigue and blisters.

First on the list is the Hidden Comfort Athletic No Show Running Socks for Men and Women with Seamless Toe from Balega. Made from 100 percent fibers with reinforced heel and toe, and mesh construction for ventilation, it also features a plush under sole design that offers a more comfortable run.

The Hidden Comfort’s thickness might be a deal-breaker for some, but it could be an advantage especially for runners who frequent cold-temperature running trails.

Next on the list is another offering from Balega, the Blister Resist No Show Athletic Running Socks that combines mohair and Drynamix that keeps the feet cool and dry. However, one downside we found when compared to the thickness of the first Balega running socks is that this one had too much excess material that could not be for some people’s liking.

best running socks

Saucony also offers something for you, with its Competition with Ventilation Low Socks made from 96 percent polyester. Powered by the brand’s RunDry Moisture Management technology, Airmesh Venting Technology, and Arch Support, it does not only scream competitiveness but also offers comfort.

For those looking for a technology that fights odor-causing bacteria, the Running Lite-Max Crew from Drymax might be what you are looking for. Its mesh top and spandex arch brand contributes to allowing easier airflow and prevents athlete’s foot or blisters.

Lastly and the most popular among those in our list is the Technical Elite NBX Tabulator running socks from New Balance. These socks feature New Balance’s moisture management technology, with a design to prevent abrasion and mesh panels that allows airflow.

Reviews Of The Best Running Socks

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

1. Balega Hidden Comfort Athletic No Show Running Socks

No show socks are often overlooked by runners as they are very prone to slipping down during a run, but Balega’s Hidden Comfort Athletic No Show Running Socks is a different kind in this category. An extra deep heel pocket in the sock’s design allows each sock to hug the feet more perfectly.

The sporting brand’s DryNamix moisture management technology takes care of preventing moisture, which permits free airflow to give extra comfort, greater performance and extreme durability.

Among those in this list, we found the Hidden Comfort Athletic the one that offers the most comfort, support, and cushion. The socks’ plush under sole cushioning design, excellent fit, and mesh design made it possible to offer those advantages.

Things We Liked: 

  • Great fit due to its extra deep heel pocket design.
  • DryNamix moisture management technology.
  • Cushion design offered the most comfort among those on this list.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Its thickness might not be for everyone.
  • Costlier than most running socks.
  • The no-show design might be too uncomfortable for some runners.

2. Balega Blister Resist No Show Athletic Running Socks

The Blister Resist No Show Athletic Running Socks are also from Balega, which proudly brands itself as having a perfect blend between nature and technology. The materials of this running socks is mohair and combined with Balega’s DryNamix moisture protection technology, it allows us to keep our feet warm and dry while running on wet roads and grasses.

Like all running socks from Balega, this one was also race-tested and was also developed with hand linked seamless toe for seamless comfort, and helps in preventing development of blisters after a run or race. As a no-show running sock, this design element is an important consideration to prevent accidental slip down of the socks during a run.

For those looking for running socks that are durable, comfortable, and a great snug, we found the Blister Resist offering all that, plus more.

Things We Liked: 

  • Great quality coming from the Balega brand
  • Moisture protection with the DryNamix technology
  • Sock design that is less prone to slipping

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Too thin and large
  • Thin material used on the top of the socks
  • Too warm due to materials used

3. Saucony Competition with Ventilation Low Cut Socks

Offering the most color options among those included on this list, the Competition with Ventilation Low Cut Socks from Saucony is available not only in the traditional black and white variants, but also in different shades of green.

Aside from its wide range of color options, the Competition features similar technology and design seen among those running socks developed and made by Saucony.

The lightweight mesh materials of the socks provided comfort and allowed breathability during a run. It is also engineered with Saucony’s RunDry moisture protection system to keep feet dry and free from blisters. Polyester, rubber, and spandex are the other materials used for the socks.

Fit is not also not a big problem for the Competition. Saucony made sure the socks are securely fit through the use of its arch compression technology, which made wearing it a more comfortable experience during a challenging race.

Things We Liked: 

  • More color options
  • Lightweight mesh materials
  • Fits nicely

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Too warm for something made with lightweight materials
  • Too large
  • Sizing might prove to be difficult

4. Drymax Run Lite Mesh Mini Crew

Promising a balance between thin and thick running socks, the Drymax Run Lite Mesh Mini Crew is a big hit among Drymax fans. Its MicroZap silver antimicrobial and breathable mesh are some of its features that might convince you into getting this running sock.

Designed with Drymax’s Dual Layer Moisture Removal System, the Run Lite Mesh Mini Crew provides runners a shield against moisture, a big problem in the sport as it could easily cause not only discomfort in the middle of a run, but also blisters.

The absorbent layer of the sock’s Dual Layer Moisture Removal System easily removes moisture when runners sweat, get into wet grass or puddle, or splashed with water in the midst of a race.

Made using special three-dimensional (3D) foot shaped models, most of those who are using the Run Lite Mesh Mini Crew swear by its perfect fit that makes it ideal not only for running, but also for cross-training and hiking.

Things We Liked: 

  • MicroZap silver antimicrobial technology
  • Drymax moisture protection
  • Absorptive materials

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Picking the right size might be a challenge
  • Prone to tearing
  • Might not provide enough ventilation for some

5. New Balance Technical Elite NBX Tabulator

New Balance’s Technical Elite NBX Tabulator is among runners’ favorite pairs of socks. Stability Fit Arch Support and Hold compression technology and fibers that add another layer of protection against moisture are incorporated in the running socks’ design.

With a tagline that promises high performance for athletes who demand only the best, a seamless toe design featured in the NBX Tabulator offers greatest comfort and fit. The New Balance running socks also provide added durability and protection with their reinforced heel and toe.

Improved with New Balance’s Dry Moisture Management technology, this pair of running socks helps keep moisture at bay and, for us, it is even more effective with its mesh panel design that allows greater airflow.

In line with New Balance’s reputation for delivering the right blend of functionality and trend, the running socks did help in many ways to make it possible for us to go the distance. Also proudly made in the U.S., we found its quality and design within standards, and a perfect fit for those looking for a “Made in the U.S.A.” level of comfort while running.

Things We Liked: 

  • Snugs well
  • Breathable fabric
  • Comfortable materials

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Snugs well
  • Breathable fabric
  • Comfortable materials

Winning Characteristics

best running socks

Tanya Pictor, Implus vice president for marketing, summed up the best qualities present in great running socks. Feet protection, comfort, and moisture protection are among the essential elements of great running socks.

She added that cushion is what separates running socks from normal athletic socks available on the market. With a good deep heel pocket design, it protects the feet not only from blisters and odor-causing bacteria, but also provides extra comfort, especially when running through a difficult course.

Why is it important to also have a nice pair of running socks? Here are some advantages:

  • Less or no moisture
  • Greater comfort while running
  • Less prone to socks’ slipping down
  • Greater performance during a race
  • Less tendency to develop foul odor after a run
  • Blister-free feet after a race or run

Blisters are a runner’s greatest bane. Pictor’s recommendation on what makes a great pair of running socks really does make sense when you are looking for the right socks as it takes into consideration the essentials needed by a runner while doing a race or just merely taking their routine runs.

And the Champion Is...

Most runners pay too much attention on picking the right shoes, giving less attention to finding the right socks for them. Running socks are as important as running shoes as they allow a more comfortable and more rewarding run, which are much-needed qualities of clothing and accessories choice for this strenuous activity.

Material used, technology incorporated to avoid moisture, and other features that provide an extra layer of protection for runners’ feet are some of the qualities to look for when you go hunting for your next running socks.

best running socks

All of these elements are present in Balega’s Hidden Comfort Athletic No Show Running Socks with its DryNamix moisture protection technology, plush under cushion design, and perfect fit that was made possible by its extra deep heel pocket design.

best running socks

The Hidden Comfort also wins for us in the durability department, but its price might raise some eyebrows, particularly among runners who are looking for cheap running socks. However, all the positive features, including its cushion design, moisture protection, and durability, negates its rather high asking price any time of the day.

With all things said, personal preference and comfort should still be your primary or at least part of the consideration/s when choosing what’s right for you. The reason for this is that there are socks that are too thin, too long, and/or are made from materials that make one uncomfortable when doing a race or a daily run.

One thing we know is that with this product’s availability on the market, you can easily find the best running socks for you.

Luke Cafferty

Luke Cafferty is a fitness junkie, personal trainer and blogger. He's passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a strong and well rounded physique, while inspiring you to do the same.

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