Defeat Sweaty Feet With These Moisture-Wicking Socks
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There’s no better way to put a damper on your runner’s high than hot, sweaty feet. It’s hard to feel the magic of the wind whipping your face when your toes feel like they’ve been squished into an overheated steam room. The best athletic socks for sweaty feet, however, will help you keep your feet dry and happy.
There are lots of things to consider when picking out a pair of athletic socks, particularly if you’re someone who tends to get sweaty feet. First, you want a lightweight material that has some sort of moisture-wicking properties. If your feet are especially prone to odor (no judgement here), you’ll want the fabric to have anti-microbial properties as well. This prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing and reduces the material’s ability to produce that “ripe foot” aroma.
Breathability is another important factor — your feet need to be able to release heat to avoid getting clammy. That means the socks should be air-permeable and quick-drying. Other factors to keep in mind are things like how comfortable they are, whether they have blister-prevention attributes, and how well they stay up. (You don’t want your sock to be discovered in a bunched-up wad around your heel at the end of the day).
Whether you’re into running, hiking, biking, aerobics, or other athletic pursuits, having a quality pair of socks meant to combat sweaty feet will be everything. Check out these 6 highly-rated options, below.
A lot of people prefer socks that don’t show when you’re wearing sneakers, and these Balega socks are basically invisible when your shoes are on. These socks may be a bit on the pricier side, but they’re worth it for the high-quality-support and sweat-fighting properties. The socks are made of a moisture-wicking fabric, and they also feature carefully-placed mesh ventilation to keep your feet from becoming sweaty in the first place. They have impact-absorbing cushioning to protect your feet when you run, and a deep heel pocket and heel tab prevent the sock from slipping down when you’re moving. The toe box is seamless, helping to minimize chafing. Both the heel and toe are reinforced, so this sock will last and last. Grab them in a bunch of fun color combos, or in plain old white.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I love these socks so much. I wear them during any sort of exercise. They are lightweight, durable, and feel terrific. Their moisture wicking capabilities are what makes these socks the best though. With a proper pair of running shoes, my feet don’t get soaked in their own sweat while running longer distances like they do with cheap shoes and cotton socks. This has prevented any and all blisters. […] Totally worth their price though!"
- Available sizes: Small – X-Large
If you’re on a budget but still want high-quality fitness socks that won’t make your feet feel trapped in a fiery inferno, these quarter-length athletic socks are a fantastic option. Made from sweat-wicking fabric, these socks have mesh on top of the foot for ultimate ventilation. A ribbed arch band provides extra support, a reinforced heel and toe mean the sock can withstand some serious exercise, and careful cushioning absorbs impact as you pound the pavement (or the treadmill). Best of all, these socks are just $20 for 6 pairs — that’s just over $3 a pair! Grab them in black or white.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I like these socks. I wear them delivering mail almost every day walking 9-1/2 miles. They’ve held up well [through] all my walking and [through] the washing machine/dryer. Bottom foot part of the sock is thicker/cushiony and the top part of foot is very thin/breathable."
- Available sizes: One size (fits women’s shoe sizes 6-9)
Whether you like to hike deep into the woods or simply trek around the city, these moisture-wicking hiking socks are engineered to keep your feet dry and sweat-free during long periods of activity. They’re made of a durable breathable merino wool blend, with strategically placed mesh panels to keep your feet cool and dry when you’re on the trail. Cushioning on the ball and heel of your feet make it easy to tackle any kind of terrain in comfort. They’re available in a bunch of cute colors and patterns.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is a terrific brand. This is my second pair of Smartwool socks. I love the design and they are comfortable and help wick sweat away."
- Available sizes: Small – Large
Constructed with a premium moisture management technology called Silver Drystat, these knee-length athletic compression socks use quick-drying polypropylene that’s been infused with tiny strands of silver that block bacteria from growing, preventing odors from being absorbed into the fabric. The result is dry, odor-free feet that feel airy and fresh while you work out. On top of the high-grade anti-microbial properties, these socks feature patented compression throughout the shin and calves, encouraging blood circulation and speeding up recovery time up to 40 percent. They come in a bunch of fun colors.
Enthusiastic Amazon Review: "I’m amazed I’ve had these for almost 3 years. They still look new and still have great compression. I’ve had other brands of compression socks and these are by far the best I’ve tried. For me the biggest advantage is that these have compression in the mid-foot and ankle but are somehow still pretty easy to get on and off. I’ve had ankle and Achilles sprains and shin splints and these have helped with all of it! I’m finally ordering more so I don’t have to use other socks anymore. They are on the thick side for an athletic sock so that may be an issue for some shoes. But they are truly moisture-wicking so even my sweaty feet are not a problem with these."
- Available sizes: X-Small – X-Large
Sweat and moisture management is great and all, but if your socks aren’t comfortable, you’ll never wear them. These awesome blister-resistant running socks offer comfort and temperature control all in one. Their anatomical design conforms to the left and right foot structures, minimizing blister potential and providing ultra-soft cushioning around your foot’s high-impact zones. They have a seamless toe to reduce bunching or chafing, along with targeted compression that enhances bloodflow. On top of being impossibly soft and comfortable, the fabric is made with iWick fibers that wick moisture and regulate foot temperature. Get them in bright or dark colors.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I’d give these socks ten stars if I could. My skin is very prone to chafing and blistering, and my feet in particular seem to erupt in blisters at the drop of a hat. So you can imagine what happens after a cardio class or a two hour power walk. These socks have been an absolute miracle – the fabric is cool and smooth against my skin, the socks fit with just the right amount of snugness to prevent rubbing, and my feet stay comfortable for hours. Perfect."
- Available sizes: Small – X-Large
Aside from the ability to offer greater stability and foot alignment, these socks keep your toes separate from one another, resulting in natural breathability that’s simply not possible in regular socks. On top of that, Injinji’s Run 2.0 socks feature Coolmax Xtralife technology, a fiber construction material that wicks sweat as you perspire to ensure that your feet stay dry. The fabric, which comes in tons of colors and bright, funky patterns, is super-thin, so your toes don’t feel like they’re rubbing together, and the mesh top adds another degree of ventilation.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "These socks are so well made! Toe socks seem a little funny at first glance, but there is something to the proprioceptive feedback of having your toes separated that really does seem to influence the grounding of your foot, i.e. you seems to want to spread your toes a little more. I also find these socks do a better job at keeping your feet dry, most likely due to the increase surface area of sweat wicking fabric keeping your toes separated and dry. I find the material to be very comfortable and the quality of manufacturing to be high. I am also able to wear these with ‘toe shoes’, think vibrams, and they improve the comfort of those shoes while also keep the toe shoes clean."
- Available sizes: Small – X-Large
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