Men’s athletic socks
No matter what form of exercise you enjoy, from cycling to running to team sports, choosing the right pair of athletic socks can play an essential role in determining your comfort and maximizing your performance.
Quality athletic socks will provide a variety of benefits during your workout, such as sweat and odor control as well as enhanced arch support. Our top pick, The Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks, are a favorite amongst athletes due to their superior comfort and breathability.
What to know before you buy men’s athletic socks
Before making your purchase, consider some of these primary attributes, which will help you decide which model best suits your athletic lifestyle.
Men’s athletic socks come in various materials, each with its own unique benefits.
Wool athletic socks are great at keeping your feet at a comfortable temperature due to the material’s temperature regulation properties. Socks made from wool are also naturally odor-resistant, and while some can get itchy, choosing Merino wool will alleviate that issue.
A majority of casual socks are cotton, which can be acceptable for everyday use but might not be the best choice for athletes. 100% cotton socks often lose their fit and shape when wet and are more likely to irritate. They also don’t repel odors or fight foot fungus well.
Athletic socks made from blends are often part wool, part cotton and sometimes part polyester or other synthetic. Blends are comfortable, effective and can save you money when compared to 100% wool options.
Wool and cotton are both natural fibers, but they also use polyester, nylon, spandex and others to create durable form-fitting socks. Many synthetic materials are moisture-wicking and quick-drying, making them perfect for warm-weather activities.
One way athletic socks differ from casual socks is the increased cushioning along the foot’s heel, ankle and ball. This extra cushioning provides comfort and support to high-impact areas. Make sure your sock isn’t overly padded and still fits comfortably inside your sneaker or running shoes without being too restrictive.
Some athletes prefer a no-show cut, while others opt for ankle-length or crew-length options for their workout. No-show socks are the lowest cut, stopping at or below the ankle. Ankle-length socks extend slightly past the ankle but still offer a low-cut appearance. Crew-length socks are longer and can usually be pulled halfway up your calf. The longer the length, the less likely the socks are to slip while exercising but tend to be hotter in warmer conditions.
Socks with poor seam placement can lead to hot spots, blisters and irritation. It is best to find athletic socks with seamless toes or pairs that utilize flat seams, reducing friction and making them more comfortable for high-energy activities.
What to look for in quality men’s athletic socks
Keeping your feet as dry as possible during your run, workout or game will minimize your risk of blisters, keep your socks in place, reduce the risk of athlete’s foot and help fight odor-causing bacteria build-up. Dry feet are also simply more comfortable, which is why you should try to choose socks with moisture-wicking properties.
Moisture-wicking socks will help fight odor by keeping your feet drier, but certain materials are also better at preventing odors than others. If you’re looking to get rid of unpleasant scents, you might want to consider wool or wool blends due to their anti-microbial feature.
Unlike socks meant for casual wear, athletic socks’ design lets your feet breathe in hot weather, keeping them cool even on long runs or amid an intense game.
For athletes especially, your feet are essential and are often put under significant stress and pressure. Socks that feature reinforced arch support can lead to better foot health and less pain associated with conditions like plantar fasciitis. When combined with a supportive pair of shoes, they can make all the difference.
How much you can expect to spend on men’s athletic socks
There is a relatively wide range of prices for men’s athletic socks, with the cheapest costing about $9 and the most expensive priced around $45. For most quality options, you can expect to pay somewhere in the middle.
Men’s athletic socks FAQ
How long do men’s athletic socks last?
A. The lifespan of your athletic socks is primarily determined by how often you wear them. Those who wear them for prolonged periods daily will likely need to replace them sooner than others, but you can expect a pair to last 3-6 months on average. Some merino wool options can last a year or longer when worn approximately once a week.
How should men’s athletic socks fit?
A. Your socks should fit comfortably around your foot, without too much extra fabric. While they should have a close fit with your skin, they shouldn’t be tight enough to restrict movement or affect circulation.
Best men’s athletic socks to buy
Top men’s athletic socks
Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks
What you need to know: Reliable breathability, comfort and support are a few of the main reasons these socks are a best seller.
What you’ll love: The seamless toe design and quality moisture control make for a comfortable run or workout in any style of footwear.
What you should consider: The price is somewhat high for a single pair of socks.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
Top men’s athletic socks for the money
What you need to know: Sold in a convenient six-pack, these affordable socks are known for their comfort and performance.
What you’ll love: Even with the no-show design, these cushioned socks won’t slip, and the Double Dry technology offers decent moisture-wicking for all types of athletes.
What you should consider: The sizing runs slightly small, and the black fabric can sometimes leave behind fuzz.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Under Armour Adult Resistor 3.0 Crew Socks
What you need to know: A longer crew option, these socks give you extra support for reduced foot fatigue.
What you’ll love: Great at absorbing moisture while still preventing the growth of bacteria, these socks will dry quickly and minimize irritation.
What you should consider: The thin construction is not ideal for those searching for thicker socks.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Matthew Young is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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