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Best Running Socks

Updated on September 10, 2010

The Thorlo Thick Cushion Running Socks is the quintessential running sock.  Offering the perfect mix of cushioning and support, these running socks will protect your feet for the long run.

Having the right running gear is crucial to being a successful runner and one of the most important items you could have it a good pair of running socks.  When you start out running you may not see the need for specialized running socks, but after awhile it becomes apparent why anyone would spend so much money on a single pair of socks.  When you think about, the impact of running is hard on your body and each impact starts with your foot (which is why you buy a good pair of running shoes).  Running socks are specially designed to do several things which will help keep your feet supported and energized.  The best running socks will do the following:

  • Wick moisture away from your foot to keep it dry and cool.  This reduces blisters and other foot irritation.
  • Cushion your foot in the high impact areas.  Some parts of your foot receive the brunt of each step.  Cushioned running socks will protect areas such as the ball of the foot and the heel.
  • Support your arches.  Almost all running socks are designed to support the arches of your feet which are highly stressed and can become inflamed over time. 

In this running sock review we'll take a look at a couple of different socks and what type of running they're designed to do.

Darn Tough Vermont quarter cushion

One of the best socks for running is the Darn Tough Vermont quarter cushion.  Made from merino wool, nylone and lycra spandex, the sock fits incredibly well while also wicking the moisture efficiently from the foot.  This sock is great for running in cold and cool climates but can also be used during the summer for shorter runs.  The sock has an elastic support band around the arch which helps the sock to fit snugly up against the foot.  The best feature is the cushioning that these socks provide which reduces the wear on your foot and helps you to keep running better, longer.  The only drawback with the Darn Tough Vermont socks is that the merino wool isn't as durable as some sock materials, so they tend to wear quickly.

Thorlo Running Socks

Thorlo running socks are among the best all around running socks available.  These socks use a specialized blend of acrylic and nylon fibers that provide a ton of padding without being overly thick.  They also have a special emphasis on arch support so if you have either flat feet or high arches, the Thorlo socks will make running easier.  These socks have all the usual padding (heels, ball of the foot) but also have a unique design that increases the padding on the toe of the sock which helps with things like "runner's toe" and calluses.  These socks are great for long distance runs as well as off-road/trail type runs.

Bridgedale X-hale Speed Demon and Speed Diva Socks

The socks from Bridgedale are one of the best socks for runners with sensitive feet.  While all runners experience trouble with their feet from time to time, some people have problems (such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, foot muscle strains) that once they are injured take a long time to heal even with reduced running.  The Speed Demon/Diva socks from Bridgedale have a special design (which they call "mapping") that makes the most out of the cushioning.  Their design puts extra cushioning and support in places like the metatarsals, Achilles, and top of the foot to relieve pressure on some of the sensitive pressure points.

Buying Running Socks Online

Making the leap and buying running socks will be one of the simplest yet best decisions you can make to help your running.  While being pricey when compared to a traditional pair of cotton socks, they are an investment that will pay for themselves.  And on top of that, they make a great running gift; so whether you need a gift for a runner or just want to give yourself a nice reward, buying running socks will make a very useful gift.


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