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What are Running Socks?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Feb 28, 2024
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Running socks are a type of socks that are worn while running. They may help to prevent blisters on the toes or the backs of the heels caused by friction from sneaker wear. In addition, running socks may be made of material that is designed to wick sweat away from the feet and to keep the feet dry.

Running socks are typically designed to not be seen when sneakers are worn, and they are often cut just below the ankle. These types of socks are designed to offer support and cushioning to the feet without adding extra bulk to the shoes or making the feet too warm. These socks may be made of cotton, wool, moisture wicking fabric, or a combination of those. Certain features are common on these fitness socks.

First, running socks often feature smooth seams so they do not cause any points of irritation on the feet. In addition, extra cushioning pads are often found underneath and around the front of the toes, as well as around the back of the heel. Blisters are common in these places on the feet while running, and this extra cushioning in the socks helps to prevent the blisters from forming. Some socks add extra support strips on the sides of the feet or underneath the arch, simply to add extra cushioning underneath the feet while running.

The capability to wick sweat away from the feet is another common feature in running socks. Some socks also offer moisture resistant outer layers to keep the feet dry when running on a trail, for example. There are running socks available in both thin and thicker versions; thin socks may be good for warm days or for those who already wear tight fitting shoes, whereas thicker socks may be a good choice for cold days, or if the feet tend to slide around in the shoes.

Running socks are typically more expensive than standard socks because of their extra features and fabric choices. They may be found in most fitness and shoe stores, or purchased online. They are available in a number of different colors, though white and black are most common. Though these socks may or may not be necessary for brief runs, people who run longer distances, or who participate in races, especially marathons or half marathons, should generally try to wear running socks regularly to prevent blisters or chafing from occurring around the feet.

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