5 Things to Know About Running Socks

A woman stretches in her Balega running socks.

Every runner needs a great pair of shoes. When you head into your local Fleet Feet, it’s also important to start with a great pair of running socks. Running socks are the first line of defense and protection for your feet. They keep your feet cool and dry while you rack up the miles. Premium running socks also ensure that your shoes fit and feel great. Choosing the right socks is just as important as picking out the perfect pair of shoes.

When you’re spending lots of time running and walking, it’s important to invest in the best possible gear to keep your feet happy. That includes comfortable running shoes, supportive insoles and, yes, running-specific socks. Premium running socks are designed to hold up to the pounding, rubbing and chafing your feet take while you run. Running socks use technical fabrics to wick away sweat, keeping your feet dry and cool to reduce blistering. They often feature varying compression levels to improve the fit, and seamless construction to eliminate friction.

Here are five things to know about running socks.

1. Materials matter

Not all running socks are created equal. Cotton socks soak up sweat and hold in moisture, creating a warm, wet environment for your feet. Not only is this uncomfortable but it can lead to problems like blisters, hot spots and even athlete’s foot. Materials like polyester, mohair (which is stronger than wool) and even silver textile keep your feet cool, dry and blister-free. Which brings us to our next point…

2. Say goodbye to running blisters

Blisters can run from the annoying to the outright painful. They can make training difficult and can even force you to change your gait, which can lead to injury and to more blisters. Contrary to popular belief, having blisters covering your feet is not a rite of passage for a runner. Wearing the right running socks, with the right materials, will help you prevent blisters so you can run comfortably. Balega running socks are made with a higher thread count than most socks. The higher the thread count is, the closer the stitches are and the finer the material feels. Balega socks are also made with a deep heel pocket to prevent the sock from slipping and hand-linked toe seams, which makes the seam smoother to minimize friction.

A woman stands in the grass in her Balega running socks.

3. Choose the sock that’s right for you

Just like running shoes, running socks come in a wide variety of styles so you can choose the ones that suit your preference and activity. Maybe you like low-cut, ankle socks that don’t show over your running shoes. If you’re going to be running through trails, consider buying quarter length socks to keep dirt and debris at bay. If you prefer a more cushioned feel, check out socks like Balega’s Hidden Comfort. If you like lightweight, “barely there” socks, try Balega Hidden Dry. Premium running socks are also offered in different cushioning levels to further personalize the fit. Comfort is key when choosing running socks.

4. Compression can add comfort

Compression can improve the fit of your running socks and, in some cases, even help you recover faster from your runs thanks to improved oxygen flow to your muscles and tissues. Some running socks feature full-length compression from your feet up to your knees to improve circulation to your muscles and tissues. Some socks, like Balega UltraGlide running socks, feature compressive bands, providing a snug fit to reduce slippage.

Balega's Grit and Grace running socks.

5. You can support charities through your sock purchase!

Some running sock brands work directly with organizations to donate sale proceeds to a good cause, helping you feel even better about your purchase. One dollar from every pair of Balega Grit & Grace running socks purchased benefits Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, an organization working to eliminate toxic chemicals and other risk factors linked to breast cancer.

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