What are the Best Sock Materials for Athletes?

Nothing kills the vibe of a good run like blisters, slippery socks, and the general discomfort that comes from sweaty feet, and nothing kills the endorphin-fueled good vibes of kicking back to relax once you’ve logged your miles for the day like the eye-watering, nose-scrunching, lip-curling smell of sweaty feet.

Hey, sweaty feet happen to the best of us. They’re nothing to be ashamed of, but they can be a buzzkill. They’re also totally preventable, so why put up with ‘em? To prevent blisters, excessive sweating, and nasty (sorry, we might as well be blunt, folks) odors, you need to invest in performance socks that are specifically designed to absorb moisture and keep you cool, comfortable, and fresh even when your feet sweat. Here are the best socks for sweaty feet:

Synthetic fibers

Unlike your basic pair of cotton socks, blends of polyester, spandex, and nylon are great at absorbing sweat and still remaining breathable enough to dry as they wick sweat away from your feet. When you hit the court, the track, the field, the pavement, or the gym, grab a pair of socks that are a blend of these moisture-wicking materials.

Merino wool

Did your eyebrows shoot up, too? Join the club. Most people are surprised to hear that any type of wool sock could fit the bill for a great pair of running socks. The wonderful thing about Merino wool is that it can keep you cozy and warm in cool weather but cool and comfortable when you start to feel the heat in your feet.  Merino wool does a superior job of wicking moisture away from your feet, maintaining airflow, and regulating temperature. If you need even more convincing, here a few more benefits of Merino wool.

What about cotton?

You might be surprised to see that cotton socks didn’t make the cut. While they’re soft, cool, and breathable for most everyday activities, they struggle to keep up with athletic performance fabrics when it comes to wicking moisture away from your feet and allowing enough airflow to dry your socks as you workout. However, don’t swear off cotton socks or start trashing your old ones just yet. There are still plenty of reasons to love cotton socks. Check ‘em out here and let these staple favorites keep their place in your sock drawer. Just remember, for labels that say “moisture-wicking socks” and double check the materials to be sure you’re getting a solid blend of synthetic fibers or Merino wool when you’re looking for a pair of running socks.

To everything, there is a season, and to every sock, there is a purpose. (See what we did there?) For high-quality socks that tell your story and keep you cool, consider partnering with Sobex for your next custom sock order.

For more on partnering with Sobex, see: Who’s Wearing Our Socks? Custom Athletic Socks for Sports Uniform Designers