IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

16 best athletic socks for workouts, starting at $6

Crush your workouts without dealing with blisters, holes or tightness.
Kara Birnbaum / TODAY

Considering you can’t really try on socks before purchasing them, figuring out which pairs suit your feet best for a workout can be a bit tricky. If you know what you’re looking for, though, that hurdle will be a thing of the past.

From name brand pairs that won't slip and slide during runs to comfortable socks that prevent chafing when walking long distances or lifting weights, you're sure to find a pair that your feet will thank you for in the long run.

When on the hunt for a great pair of athletic socks, Cameron Countryman, a certified personal trainer, suggests taking five variables into consideration. Plus, keep reading for award-winning picks as well as some personal faves from the Shop TODAY team.

Award winners | Expert-approved socks for women | Expert-approved socks for men

How to shop for athletic socks

First of all, you want to make sure the comfort and fit are correct. “A sock that slides around in your shoe or down your foot while trying to run or physically train is one of the most frustrating feelings,” says Countryman. “The first thing I notice when I place a sock on my foot is how snug it is — I never want something so tight that it's going to cut off circulation or leave fabric marks on my skin, but I also want to feel support around important areas like my Achilles and my arch.”

The next factor to consider is moisture absorption and breathability. “Foot sweat and moisture is any crossfitter’s or marathon runner's worst nightmare,” he explains. “With moisture comes friction and with friction comes blisters. Our feet are our biggest asset in regard to transportation and activity and no one wants their active lifestyle to be halted because of painful blisters that take days to heal.”

Style is another factor to take into consideration, as well as durability. “Socks (and underwear) go through the washing machine more than any other piece of clothing,” Countryman says. “I don't want to purchase a sock that is going to be broken down after multiple washes and lose its fit. Having a sock that can last in the wash and still provide that comfort is key.”

Finally, you really want to make sure the price is right when it comes to finding the best athletic socks. “Everyone has their price point — I never want to rely on the cheapest option and hope for the best, but I also do not want to spend an arm and a leg for one pair of socks that I may or may not lose in the next two weeks,” he admits.

Start TODAY x Shop TODAY Wellness Awards winners

Bombas Tri-Block Ankle Socks

Category: Best for everyday wear health reporter Sarah Jacoby has been loving Bombas socks for years due to the amount of comfort they provide her feet during her day to day, and these pairs proved to be no different.

“They’re softer and thicker than other socks, but not so thick that they make your feet feel hot and suffocated,” she says about this pair, that’s available in seven colors and sizes 4 to 13.

Adidas Superlite Super No Show Socks

Category: Best for narrow feet

Made out of a spandex material, these no show socks are well-loved by Shop TODAY associate social media editor Dani Musacchio because they truly live up to the “no show” in their name.

“I have very narrow feet, and I’ve never owned a pair of no-show socks that didn’t end up sliding down my foot mid-workout,” she says, adding that “these always stay put.”

Darn Tough No Show Tab Socks

Category: Best overall

When you’re going on a run, the last thing you want to worry about is your socks. Not only is it irritating when you can feel a blister starting to form, but it's even worse when they slip and slide inside of your shoes. That won't be a problem with these socks.

“They were super comfortable, didn’t have any weird seams and added extra support in all the places that [I] possibly could get a blister,” says senior social media editor Kate McCarthy, who is an avid runner.

Feetures Elite Ultra Light No Show Tab Socks

Category: Best for all sports

“A couple of years ago a friend introduced me to Feetures for running and I’ve never looked back!” shares editorial assistant Sierra Hoeger. “They’re comfortable and don’t cause blisters, which is the last thing I want to worry about on a run.”

The socks combine targeted compression, anatomical design and max cushioning to keep your feet feeling comfortable with every step you take. It also has a no show tab at the back to help prevent blisters as your heel rubs against the back of your shoe.

For social media editorial assistant Annie Shigo, these socks “felt like they fit like a glove,” she says, adding that she “loved how they cushioned the heel” for further comfort.

Balega Silver No-Show Compression-Fit Running Socks

Category: Best running

These socks, specially designed for running, work to keep feet dry, meaning sweat won’t be a factor.

“[I] loved the compression feeling and quality — these are the most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn and they kept their shape even after washing,” says senior vice president of commerce Ashley Parrish. Compression features allow you to go the extra mile, without sacrificing comfort.

Under Armour Elevated Performance No Show Socks

Category: Best sweat-wicking

Blisters be gone! Thanks to the upper tab that provides coverage for a majority of the ankle and heel, these socks help to prevent the blisters and chafing that often come with walking in sneakers for long periods of time, says assistant partnerships editor Lauren Witonsky.

Best athletic socks for women, according to experts

Swiftwick Aspire Zero Tab Running Socks

McCarthy raves about these running socks that provide the "perfect amount of cushioning." They "never slip," according to McCarthy, and are crafted with a fabric blend made up of nylon, olefin and spandex.

Your feet won't overheat while running, as they've proved to be lightweight and breathable.

Saucony Performance Heel Tab Athletic Socks

We had to add this option considering the more than 90,000 verified five-star Amazon reviews it has. These socks have added cushions in those high-stress areas and are extremely affordable — this pack of 8 is just $17.

Rockay Accelerate Sock

“These are much more of a performance sock than an everyday sock,” says Countryman. “They have anti-odor and sweat-wicking technology combined with a light feel and supportive band at the top of the sock, which makes the Rockay Accelerate one of my go-tos.”

LA Active Non-Slip Socks

“LA Active non-slip grip socks with silicone dots are my favorite socks for when I want the benefit of barefoot training but also to keep my feet warm,” says fitness expert and celebrity trainer Lauren Boggi. “They stay put, offer stability and are perfect for yoga and Pilates.”

Alo Unisex Half-Crew Throwback Socks

Available in a number of colors, these "throwback" crew socks sit a little above the ankle and can be scrunched for a truly nostalgic look. Reviewers fell in love with these socks that prove to be "thick," "comfortable" and provide "excellent grip."

Lululemon Find Your Balance Tab Socks

Designed for yoga, these socks aim to help you find your balance and keep it thanks to the grips on the outsole. On the inside, grips help to prevent the socks from slipping down, promising a hassle-free workout.

Made with a breathable nylon and elastane blend fabric, your feet will feel cool and comfortable, even if you're doing hot yoga.

Best athletic socks for men, according to experts

Nike Elite Basketball Crew Socks

These socks have cushioning in key areas and a supportive band around the arch. “They’re great for all athletic activities and just everyday life,” says Countryman.

Nike Everyday Plus Cushion

These socks are less expensive than the Nike Elite and are more of a casual everyday sock. “If I am being spontaneous and want to go on a quick hike or run, I can still have these on and know my feet are in good hands (foot joke),” laughs Countryman.

Adidas Creator 365 Crew Socks

“These are lightweight, moisture-wicking, provide arch support and have all-around ankle cushioning,” says Keith Hodges, a certified personal trainer, performance coach and founder of Mind in Muscle Coaching in Los Angeles. “They are also designed specifically for left and right fit.”

Balega Silver No Show Running Socks

“This is the sock for marathoners,” says Countryman. “An extra piece of material in the back to prevent blisters and chafing on the shoe, the Balega exceeds expectations for comfort and durability. Balega socks are a little more expensive than your regular socks, but these are definitely worth the buy.”

Their website also takes you through a few questions when you first log on to find the exact sock for you.