Are running socks worth it?

If you explore a good running shop, you’ll find so many gadgets and accessories that are designed to make your running easier, more comfortable or better. Whilst some of these items are completely indulgent, none are more important than a good quality pair of running socks. Let’s look at why.

What makes running socks different?

Running socks are built from the ground up specifically with running in mind, so they normally have a wealth of features that make them perfect for running here’s a list of some of the common features:

  • More padding under the ball of foot and heel whilst being thinner on top of the foot
  • Increased breathability
  • The ability to absorb sweat and then transfer it to the running shoe
  • Flat link seams on the toes to reduce the chance of blistering
  • Higher elastane content for shape retention and fit
  • Smaller size brackets for better fit

Of course there are a lot of other technical features that are specific to each sock brand that aren’t mentioned here, but overall running socks have far more technical features than standard sports socks.

Why wear Specific Running Socks?

If we compare standard cotton sports socks to a technical running socks then it’s clear that the running sock has a big advantage over the sports sock:

Running socks table

One of the key points here is that running socks have the ability to transfer moisture to your running shoes. When you think of a standard cotton sports sock you may think that cotton is great at absorbing moisture, and you would be right. However it simply absorbs and traps moisture next to your skin, which in turn means your feet are more prone to blisters and discomfort. Technical running socks also absorb moisture, but they then transfer it to the shoe where it can evaporate correctly.

Another key point is the running specific padding, most sports socks have the same thickness of material around the entire foot. A good padded running sock will have cushioning under the foot whilst being thin and lightweight on top of the foot; this ensures minimum weight and allows better breathability.

So are running socks really worth it?

Of course! You wouldn’t buy a brand new sports car and put cheap general purpose tires on it, so why have lovely running shoes and cheap general sports socks? Running socks are designed specifically to work in perfect harmony with your running shoes and they are just simply more comfortable than basic sports socks. As they say, you get what you pay for.

If you’re still not convinced then we always encourage customers to try on a proper running sock and compare it to their standard socks in-store before they buy. So give yourself the socks you deserve.

View a great range of running socks

What are your thoughts on running socks? Share in the comments section below.

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Ryan has worked in the sports industry since 1999 and has a wealth of experience across most subjects. Ryan holds a BSc in microbiology and has studied sports physiology in great detail in his own time. His main areas of specialisation are: footwear construction, footwear technology, strength & conditioning and anatomy & physiology. He splits his 13 hours a week exercise between, Kickboxing, MMA, Crossfit, Rock Climbing and Running.