After running shoes, the next most important gear item is a pair of well-fitting socks. We ran in dozens to bring you our top picks.
1. Best Double-Duty: Bombas Women’s Solids Ankle, $12
While these socks don’t have as much of a technical feel (they’re made with a cotton blend of fabrics), they do have performance features, such as a blister tab on the heel and added arch support. Their comfy fit makes them suitable for both casual wear and short runs.
2. Best Cushioned: Balega Silver, $15
These well-cushioned socks feature a snug fit, especially through the midfoot, and a technical feel. They’re made with silver ion–coated fibers to give them antibacterial properties, meaning less stink!
3. Most Durable: Darn Tough Vermont Vertex Ultra-Light, $17
If you’re looking for a sock that will go for miles (and miles and miles), look no further than this sock, which is made with merino wool and comes with ample cushioning on the sole, a breathable upper and—best of all—a lifetime guarantee.
4. Best For Trail Running: FITS Performance Trail Quarter, $19
These beautifully colored quarter-length socks keep your feet warm and protected without sliding down your leg on the toughest trails. The trade-off for their cushiness throughout the sole and ankle is that they’re not super breathable, so reserve them for cooler days.
5. Best Low-Cut Design: Feetures! Elite Light Cushion No Show Tab, $16
Testers raved about the ideal fit (no slipping!) of this low-profile sock, which features a perfectly cushioned sole and a seam-free toe construction.
6. Best Blister Prevention: Wrightsock Cool Mesh II Tab, $13
This sock’s blister-preventing strategy is to have two thin layers of fabric so that any friction is absorbed between the layers rather than on the skin. While these aren’t as well fitting as others in this roundup, the socks did their job of preventing blisters.
7. Best Compression: CEP Women’s Dynamic+ Run Merino Low-Cut, $20
This sock combines the benefits of top-of-the-line compression technology with a performance sock, which fits securely and does an impressive job wicking away moisture.
8. Best Arch Support: 2XU VECTR Light Cushion No Show Socks, $16
These socks provide a compressive, secure feel—especially around the arch—without feeling restrictive. The slim, minimal cushioning fits well in shoes but doesn’t allow for much airflow.
9. Best Moisture-Wicking: Stance RUN Oxygen Crew, $18
Express your style with the striking pattern on these crew-height socks, which feature a thinner fabric and stay up comfortably. The fabric has undergone a fiber treatment that improves wicking and reduces odor-causing bacteria.