Facebook Pixel Code
 

Best Women's Athletic Socks

Updated September 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 26 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 140 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best women’s athletic socks

    Last Updated September 2018

    When it's time to bring your A game, the right footwear can make all the difference. But even the best trainers won't do much good if you're distracted by soggy, slippery socks that slide into your shoes as soon as the going gets tough. While they might not rank high on your list of sports gear essentials, a good pair of women's athletic socks will help keep your feet dry, comfortable, and healthy.

    With a host of women's athletic sock designs on the market, there's a perfect fit for every lifestyle. However, figuring out where to start can be a challenge.

    Luckily, BestReviews is here to help! We go the extra mile to simplify every shopping experience. To learn more about women's athletic socks, check out our detailed shopping guide below. We've laid out everything you need to know to stay one step ahead of the competition!

    As comfortable as they might be to wear all the time, saving your athletic socks just for training will help extend their usable life.

    Why you need women's athletic socks

    Whether you’re an avid gym goer, a dedicated runner, or simply want to lead a more active lifestyle, you’re probably well aware of the impact that the right sports apparel can have on your performance. Perhaps you've already found the perfect sports bra, shelled out on a quality pair of trainers, and maybe even invested in a fitness tracker. But how do your socks measure up? If you have issues with any of the following, it might be time to upgrade to a good pair of women's athletic socks.

    • Excessively sweaty feet: Sweaty, slippery feet can put a serious damper on your fitness routine. Not only do sweaty socks feel uncomfortable but they also increase the risk of developing blisters. Everyday socks can be perfectly comfortable for light use but generally won't do much to keep your feet dry. To help combat sweaty feet, women’s athletic socks are made with breathable, moisture-wicking materials.

    • Foot odor: Smelly feet go hand in hand with sweaty socks. Unfortunately, the warm, moist environment inside your socks is a great breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. Women’s athletic socks can help fight the funk by drawing moisture away from the skin.

    • Slipping: There's nothing more frustrating – or distracting – than a sock that just won't stay in place. Regular socks generally hold up just fine with day-to-day activities but can let you down when it's time to pick up the pace. Most women's athletic socks are specially designed to stay put so that you can focus on what matters.

    • Rubbing and chafing: Dampness, protruding seams, and inadequate padding can cause friction, resulting in tender skin and painful blisters. If you've ever experienced rubbing and chafing from wearing the wrong footwear, you probably know just how quickly this can bring activity to a standstill. Quality women's athletic socks can help keep your feet happy, healthy, and pain-free.
    DID YOU KNOW?

    Elastane (also known as spandex and Lycra) can help athletic socks maintain their shape and fit.

    Women's athletic sock styles

    Just like your everyday favorites, women’s athletic socks are available in a variety of lengths. While the best style for you is very much a matter of personal preference, certain lengths might work a little better than others in some situations.

    No-show athletic socks: These athletic socks are the shortest length available and have a “barely there” design that can accentuate your shoes, legs, or both. Ideal for warmer weather, no-show athletic socks are popular among runners, cyclists, and fitness enthusiasts from all walks of life.

    Low-cut athletic socks: These typically peep out just above the shoe collar and sit on or slightly above the ankle. Low-cut athletic socks are a great alternative to no-show socks if the backs of your shoes are a little higher and you need extra protection from chafing and rubbing.

    Quarter crew athletic socks: Also known as mini-crews, quarter crew socks rise just above the ankle and offer extra protection and coverage without the risk of riding down the leg. These are suitable for low- to mid-cut shoes and can be used for a variety of sporting activities, from jogging to hiking.

    Crew athletic socks: Traditional crew-length socks typically reach midway up the calves. Crew socks are often the go-to choice for hikers and basketball players, but if you like the look, these can be worn for just about any type of sport or exercise. However, keep in mind that because crew socks are positioned at the widest point of the leg, they're the most likely to ride down. A snug fit and quality cuffs that won’t lose elasticity are essential.

    Knee-high athletic socks: Whether you need extra warmth or simply love the look, knee-high athletic socks are a standout option that can help keep your legs toasty. Because these socks pass the widest point of the calf, they're also less likely to slide down than crew socks.

    Compression socks: Thanks to their unique ability to promote healthy blood circulation, athletic compression socks have become especially popular among runners and weightlifters. Although many feel that compression socks reduce fatigue and speed up recovery, they have a tighter fit that can take some getting used to. Most compression socks are knee high, but these socks can also be found in a variety of other lengths.

    Keep in mind that excessive cushioning in your socks can affect the fit of your shoes.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Women's athletic sock features to consider

    There are numerous ways in which women’s athletic socks can give you a leg up while you train, run, or play sports. Although features vary from brand to brand, the list below can help you identify which qualities provide the best fit for your lifestyle.

    Size: Impressive features and quality materials mean nothing if your sizing isn’t on point. Athletic socks that are too large can bunch and wrinkle, increasing your risk of developing blisters. Socks that are too small feel constrictive and can interfere with your natural range of motion. Check online customer reviews to find out if sizes run large or small.

    Moisture-wicking fabrics: The single most common characteristic among all athletic socks is the ability to draw moisture away from your feet. Because synthetic fibers like polyester, acrylic, and polypropylene have superior moisture-wicking capabilities, these materials should feature prominently in the construction of any good athletic sock. One exception to this rule is Merino wool, which has much finer fibers than traditional wool. This not only makes for a softer texture but it also gives the sock improved breathability and moisture-wicking properties.

    • Polyester: Tough, lightweight, and breathable, polyester does a great job of drawing moisture away from the skin, and it dries quickly, too. The workhorse of synthetic fibers, polyester delivers excellent all-round performance and is easier to care for than most other materials.

    • Polypropylene (olefin): This highly water-resistant synthetic polymer excels at moving moisture to the outer layer of the fabric so that skin stays dry. Polypropylene is also lightweight and provides reliable insulation. However, it has a lower melting point than polyester and won't stand up well to high-temperature washing and drying.

    • Acrylic: Often described as a synthetic variant of wool, acrylic tends to work best for cold weather use. Although not quite as tough as some other synthetic fibers, acrylic offers decent moisture control and dries fairly quickly.

    • Merino wool: While it can be somewhat pricey, Merino wool is a great option if you're looking for a natural alternative to synthetics. This particular type of wool is lightweight, soft to the touch, effectively wicks moisture, and dries quickly. Merino wool provides excellent insulation for cold weather, but thinner weaves can be used in warmer climates, too.

    • Cotton blends: By itself, cotton isn't the best material for athletic wear because it tends to absorb and hold on to moisture, setting the stage for irritation and blisters. However, when blended with synthetics, cotton can offer decent performance for an affordable price.
       

    Seamless toe closures: Some people are particularly sensitive to rubbing, and even small seams can cause considerable discomfort. Athletic socks with seamless toe closures are designed to eliminate friction. This feature can be especially helpful for diabetics who are likelier to experience complications due to irritated or broken skin.

    Heel tabs: Some no-show and low-cut women's athletic socks have an extra layer of fabric or cushioning that rises just above the shoe’s heel collar. Heel tabs serve the dual purpose of reducing friction against the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle while keeping socks from slipping into your shoes.

    Deep heel pockets: A defined Y-shaped heel pocket that conforms to the natural shape of the foot and cradles the heel is another great anti-slip feature that can help make sure that your socks stay put.

    Arch support: Athletic socks with compression around the arch area offer extra support that can help prevent injury and relieve arch-related pain.

    Cushioning: Extra padding on the soles of your socks can help absorb impact, reduce shifting, and provide improved overall comfort. Some athletic socks have strategically placed padding while others are fully cushioned.

    Style

    Women’s athletic socks come in a wide array of styles and colors and can easily be matched with your existing workout gear. For example, choosing a multipack with a variety of colors will enable you to tie in your footwear with a T-shirt or vest. However, if you’d rather not get caught up in wardrobe details, neutral or dark tones will make for a fuss-free selection process.

    EXPERT TIP

    Remember to read care instructions carefully before laundering your socks. Women's athletic socks come in a variety of materials, and different blends may have unique care specifications.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Women’s athletic sock prices

    The cost of women’s athletic socks is determined by a number of factors, including features, length, construction materials, and durability. Prices typically range from just under $10 to $25 for a pack of six to eight pairs.

    Inexpensive: Multipacks of lightweight women’s athletic socks of various lengths can be found for less than $15. These typically offer basic features like moisture control and light arch support.

    Mid-range: A variety of quality options can be found in the $15 to $25 range, from feature-rich multipacks to single pairs of high-performance socks with extra cushioning, heel tabs, and solid arch support. Single pairs of premium Merino wool athletic socks are also available in this price bracket.

    Expensive: Serious athletes who need a multipack of premium, high-performance athletic socks or a quality pair of compression socks will find a host of suitable options for $25 and more.

    If you find that your feet sweat profusely during extended training sessions, consider taking along an extra pair of socks to change into.

    FAQ

    Q. What is CoolMax and DryMax technology?

    A. CoolMax is a brand of specially engineered polyester fibers designed for superior breathability and moisture control to help keep feet cool and dry. DryMax athletic socks consist of two separate layers – a highly water-repellent inner layer and an absorbent, quick-drying outer layer – that draw moisture away from the skin as quickly and efficiently as possible. Although these designs were originally developed by separate manufacturers, many brands use similar technology in their athletic socks.

    Q. What can I do about persistent foot odor?

    A. If you're still experiencing foot odor despite switching to effective moisture-wicking athletic socks, your shoes might be harboring odor-causing bacteria. Try using an antibacterial shoe cleaner or spray and allow your shoes to dry properly. Sometimes it takes multiple treatments to completely eliminate odors. If you're certain that your shoes aren't the cause, athletic socks with antimicrobial-infused fibers might help.

    Q. Is there a difference between men's and women's athletic socks?

    A. Not technically. The only real differences you're likely to find between gender-specific athletic socks are the size and color variations. Beyond that, the basic design remains the same.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Amy
      Amy
      Writer
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer

    BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
    and give us feedback about your visit today.

    Take Survey