Comfortable athletic socks make a huge difference in guaranteeing happy feet while you're pounding the pavement
Make Your Feet Happy Feet
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You shell out serious cash when you're getting stylish new running tights because you know they'll make all the difference in how you feel and perform, so why not splurge on socks too? Your socks are an important underpinning of your workout outfit—after all, happier feet will make extra miles feel easier.
We tracked down some of the most technical, high performing, and still stylish socks out there. Now go forth and crush your workout! (Double check these Two Game-Changing Qualities Your Running Shoes Should Have before lacing up.)
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Balega's Hidden Comfort socks will make your feet feel like you're running on a cloud, thanks to super plush cushioning under foot. Elastane gives the sock a more structured fit, and a reinforced heel and toe keep you from getting holes in spots that usually rub. Another genius feature? A thick heel tab that prevents your sock from slipping down into your sneaker. Warning: The socks are quite thick, so you may want to wear them with a pair of sneakers that fits a bit loosely.
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Bombas Brights Calf socks are perfect if you're not quite ready to commit to the knee-high CrossFit sock trend. With this length, most of your shin is still covered, which protects your skin when doing things like box jumps or deadlifts. Stay-up technology means they won't slide down no matter what type of workout you put them through, and the honeycomb design around the arch gives you extra-snug support.
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Just like your shoes, made specifically for your right or left foot, Feetures! Elite Light Cushion No Show Tab socks are anatomically designed to fit one foot or the other, which helps to eliminate blisters. They also have no toe seam, so you won't ever get that weird feeling of stepping on the seam when your sock moves around. Special fibers wick away sweat so your foot stays cool and dry. (Find The Best Sneakers to Crush Your Workout Routines.)
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The Cadillac of workout socks, Stance's Plyo sock is made for your most intense workouts. Special fibers manage moisture while mesh panels wrap from the top of the foot to the arch to add extra breathability. Specific left and right foot designs ensure that they fit just right and that the elastic arch support hits in the perfect place. Did we mention the colors are adorable? (Wait 'til you see these Workout Clothes That Double As Wearable Tech.)
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Merino wool is the perfect natural fabric for athletic wear because it wicks away moisture and regulates temperature, so heavy sweaters will love Icebreaker's Women's Multisport Cushion Light Micro socks, a blend of merino and nylon. Nylon hugs your foot so you get built-in arch and achilles support that will help you through long runs and races.
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Thorlo's socks have been scientifically proven in independent studies to reduce foot pain, prevent blisters, and relieve foot pressure. We love the XCCU Experia Multi-Activity Socks, which come in over 30 colors and are designed to work for running, cycling, and hiking. Cooling fibers in the heel and ball of the foot helpt to soak up sweat and keep your foot dry and ultra-light padding eases your impact.
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Smartwool Women's PhD Run Light Elite Micro Socks are the ultimate barely-there active sock. Their thin design and narrow profile make them ideal to wear with that pair of running shoes that's just a touch too snug with thicker socks. The slightest amount of cushioning in the ball and heel of the foot help to absorb shock from your runs, while mesh ventilation zones let sweat evaporate quickly. (Your Next Workout Sneakers Might Be Made of Wool too).
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Darn Tough's 1/4 Sock Light is the ideal lightweight trail running sock for muddier days. The higher rise will prevent any mud you kick up from sliding down into your sneaker, but isn't as bulky as a hiking sock. Darn Tough, made in Vermont using merino wool, is a company known for their built-to-last construction, so these come with a lifetime gaurantee!
Photo: Darn Tough
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ASICS constructs their socks like they construct their shoes: with ultimate precision and comfort. The Nimbus Single Tab Running Socks are inspired by their popular GEL-Nimbus running shoes and feature anti-friction yarns to prevent sliding and chafing. Padding at the top of the foot is designed to ease tension at the spot where you knot your laces and mesh zones provide extra ventilation.
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The funky patterns on SheBeest's cycling socks will add a little more fun to your next bike ride! Wear the Tall Baja Sock to protect your calves as you ride and make a statement on the road. Light compression in the arch will prevent foot pain on longer rides.