Do Good Running Socks Matter?

Written By: Jeremy N


Any runner with more than a handful of races under their belt will tell you why it is very important to have a good pair of running socks.

So why are good running socks important? 

A good pair of running socks will gently compress your foot muscles which improves your blood circulation and helps increase recovery time. In addition, a good pair of socks will help decrease minor foot injuries including blisters. 


Any runner with more than a handful of races under their belt will tell you why it is very important to have a good pair of running socks. Here are the 5 benefits of good running socks.

#1. They Help Maintain Good Foot Health

We all agree that feet are vital in the career of a runner, which means that they must have good health all along. One way of ensuring that you have healthy feet is by choosing the right pair of socks.

Obviously, good running socks will help prevent blisters. I mean, everybody knows that. But we are looking at the major advantages of wearing good socks for running. How will they help you as a runner?

The American Podiatric Medical Assoc talks a lot about foot health especially as of a result of sweating too much. They recognize the need for having good running socks to promote healthy feet.

The point of focus here is how these socks are made. Mostly, you will find the set of running socks with a design to let your feet breathe freely. A healthy foot also implies that it doesn’t stink, especially after you run. The major reason why your feet stink is that your sweating too much.

Wicking socks keep your feet dry which allow your feet to breathe and dry while you run ultimately protecting from blisters forming. 

Most good running socks now have wicking properties. As opposed to general cotton socks, wicking running socks let moisture pass from your feet through the shoe. In the long run, you will have fresh feet throughout your running time, which then helps to promote the health. 

What do bad running socks do to your feet? Do I need running socks? We break these answers down in our latest article, the benefits of great running socks


Since Asics makes a very reliable running shoe, I tend to purchase their socks too. Their cushion ankle socks are very affordable.

I've also tried the Gold Bond Foot Spray and it worked to help keep my feet cool during my runs and it reduced the sweat.

#2. They Prevent Skin Friction

Wearing regular socks does increase the chance of getting blisters for two reasons:

  • The Style of the Socks
  • The Fit of the Socks

Regular socks are not designed with a high-end material that helps reduce friction and sweat. The regular socks also are not designed to fit your feet snugly like running socks.

Most running socks are designed to help reduce friction because of the thickness and material.

We detailed how to prevent blisters from running in this article and the 5 blister-preventing socks that I have worn and recommend with detailed descriptions here.

Balega Hidden Comfort Performance No Show Athletic Running Socks for Men and Women (1 Pair), Black, X-Large
  • HIDDEN COMFORT socks for any family member in the house who wants comfort whenever they move; hiking, running, sports game, workout, yard work, and wherever in the comfort of your own home
  • 200 NEEDLE-COUNT yarn with extra high-volume impact resistant plush cushioning in the ball and heel of your foot making every step you take more comfortable than before no matter the speed
  • NO. 1 SOCK in Running with our Moisture Management Fiber Dynamix keeps your feet cool and dry all day long with strategically placed ventilation panels & Reduce Friction with our hand-linked, seamless, reinforced toe minimizing the risk of blisters

#3. Injury Prevention

One benefit of good running socks is that they prevent the vulnerable areas. 

As you run, there are specific areas on your feet that are usually susceptible to injuries. For instance, the two ankle bones and the big toe mound are some of the vulnerable areas of the feet. Often times bad running socks can lead to hot spots on your feet that turn into blister.s 

These areas need protection as you run, and one way of ensuring that is by cushioning them to the fullest. Regular Runner identifies the benefits of having a good pair of socks; one of them being the protection of key areas.

Running socks are made with extra padding in specific areas, which assures you of protection when running. The ADFOLF have some of the most additional padding found in running socks, they are especially useful running during the winter.

Runner's toe is a common term for black toenai

#4. Prevent Foot Swelling

This was a big issue for me when I first started running. I would experience swollen feet a few days or hours after running. According to LiveStrong, one of the reasons that make your feet to swell after you run is when blood is prevented from flowing throughout the feet to the rest of the leg.

Rock Creek Runner points out a pair of socks that can help to prevent swollen feet. You can find some good running socks that are also compression socks.

Such socks help to push the blood to past the ankle, hence promoting a free flow. This, in turn, helps to prevent your feet from swelling. In addition to helping blood flow, we break down the other benefits of compression socks in this article

Keep in mind many compression socks offer a different level of compression so be sure to keep that in mind. 

Amazon has a ton of unique styles of compression running socks, from disney to solid colors, they truly have a wide selection.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects the foot and is characterized by pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes.

#5. Comfortability

Of course, you need a good pair of socks to offer you comfort as you run through the trails. As mentioned before, regular socks might not have the perfect material to keep your feet comfortable enough.

Running socks come with a design that imitates the exact shape of the leg. For instance, take a look at these pair of socks by Injinji.

With such a design and technology, you will experience extra comfort as they hug your feet perfectly. This also enhances a natural feel to your feet. You might even forget that you are wearing a pair of socks.

How to Choose a GOOD pair of RUNNING SOCKS?

The major problem comes in when you need to find the right pair of socks for running. There are many factors you have to consider before you purchase a specific pair. Keep in mind that not all running socks are worth buying. 

So how do you find the right pair of running socks? Here are some factors to keep in mind.

  • Consider the material. The point here is to choose socks made from synthetic fiber, which helps to wick the moisture. Wicking socks keep your feet cool and dry while preventing moisture and blisters
  • How thick are the socks? Thickness is another factor you need to keep in mind. Ideally, go for socks with reasonable thickness levels. They shouldn’t be too thick nor too thin. A good pair of socks should keep your feet perfectly cushioned and they should feel like another skin on your feet.
  • The fit and seams. These factors relate to how the socks will feel when you wear them. They should not rub on to your skin as you run. That can only be assured if you choose perfectly fitting socks with the right seams.
  • Padding. Running socks should have that extra padding, especially on susceptible areas. The bottom area of socks should be well padded to reduce shock as you run. Also, the ankle areas should be padded to offer protection as while you are on the trails.
  • Arch compression. Finding running socks that feature an extra arch compression can be an added advantage. With such socks, you can be sure of extra comfort and limited swelling of your feet. I would advise you to consider the arch compression on the socks you intend to buy if you are going for long runs.
  • Shape/Design. You might ignore this aspect, but it can be useful at some point. You want to wear socks that are comfortable enough throughout your running period. Socks designed to imitate the shape of your leg can be perfect to promote the extra comfort.
  • The length. Even though this is not such an important factor when choosing a pair of running socks, it can be helpful in some situations. If you are planning to run in the woods or a trail that has shrubs or plenty of sticks, you might want to choose longer socks. Socks with a longer neck help to prevent your legs from scratches. But you can purchase the regular size running socks if you are running on the clear tracks. I prefer ankle socks when I run. 

What About Compression Socks, are they any good?

Now, just because compression socks are used for running doesn’t exactly place them under the well-known running socks.

Mostly compression socks are used by runners, especially the professionals, to limit lactic acid buildup and enhance blood circulation. So you must have a good pair of running socks, but it isn’t a must for you to have a set of compression socks. 

Nonetheless, they can come handy at some point, which you might want to consider. It depends on why you need the specific pair of compression socks.View the additional benefits of compression socks here.

Compression socks are the best if it is cold outside or when running in bushy areas. Some runners prefer wearing compression socks when running, while others choose to wear them after or when they aren’t running.

You can either wear them after working out to help you with proper recovery and boost the flow of blood all over the leg.

As you choose the compression socks, always ensure that you choose the right size. You can talk to a professional to help you choose the best compression socks. Keep in mind that the compression socks can be tight on your leg, but they shouldn’t cause you pain as you wear them.

The point of focus is feeling comfortable with the compression socks.

5 Benefits of GOOD Running Socks Wrap Up

Running socks a must for any runner; whether you are a novice or a professional. So when you are out looking for a pair, ensure that you only pick the best. 

Considering the brand of the socks is another factor that can help you land the right pair. Mizuno is another great resource that can help you choose the right socks for running.

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Jeremy. 

I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods

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