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The best winter running socks for 2024

Here you'll find the perfect pair for any and all winter running conditions

best winter socks

Winter running conditions can be challenging. As a runner training during this time of year, you not only have to contend with colder temperatures, but also rain, snow, and slush. Thriving in such variable weather depends on having the right clothing system, and that includes the proper winter running socks. Using the appropriate socks can help you stay warmer and dryer, ensuring you can continue to run comfortably all winter.

Here are our choices for the best winter running socks of 2024.

Best for runners seeking sophisticated construction and warmth
Smartwool Run Cold Weather Targeted Cushion Crew Socks

Smartwool Run Cold Weather Targeted Cushion Crew Socks

Comfortable winter-specific running socks

Featuring Smartwool’s most sophisticated construction, these socks provide a superior fit as well as the additional warmth and comfort required during cold winter runs. Smartwool uses its Indestructawool technology for enhanced durability, while the crew height offers extra warmth around the ankle and lower leg. Targeted cushioning at the forefoot and heel improves during longer runs, while the strategically located mesh zones reduce overheating if temperatures rise.

Best for runners seeking a minimalist winter sock

Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Mid Crew Socks

A warm, low-bulk, crew-height running sock

Runners wanting minimal bulk and cushioning without sacrificing the additional warmth of a crew-height sock will appreciate these. Smartwool once again employs its proprietary Indestructawool technology as well as its Shred Shield construction in the toe area for greater durability.

Best for runners seeking additional warmth and cushioning for cold conditions
Icebreaker Hike+ Medium Crew Socks

Icebreaker Hike+ Medium Crew Socks

A medium-weight crew-height merino wool sock

With their high wool content (65 per cent), crew height and medium cushioned thickness, the Hike+ Medium Crew Socks are a top choice when running in very cold conditions. Icebreaker employs a unique sculpted-fit construction that minimizes shifting and provides support to the ankle, Achilles tendon and instep. At the toe and heel, Icebreaker adds reinforcements for increased durability. Finally, to minimize the risk of blisters, the toe region is knit with a seamless construction that eliminates unnecessary bulk.

Best for runners seeking cushioning without the warmth and bulk of higher-cut socks
Balega Ultra Glide No Show Sock

Balega Ultra Glide No Show Sock

A padded low-cut running sock

Constructed with a combination of friction-free threads mixed with quick-drying Drynamix yarn, the Ultra Glide No Show Socks are perfect for runners seeking cushioning while minimizing the risk of blisters. At the forefoot and heel, Balega has added lightweight cushioning zones while a compressive arch band with vent panels ensures a secure and highly breathable fit. The socks’ no-show height makes them ideal for indoor training or running in warmer conditions.

Best for runners seeking comfort and ankle protection
Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Ankle Socks

Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Ankle Socks

Ankle-height running socks

The Run Targeted Cushion Ankle Socks hit the sweet spot for most winter runners; they provide additional ankle coverage and warmth when compared to lower-cut socks, without the bulk associated with crew-height offerings. As with almost all Smartwool socks, these feature Indestructawool construction technology for exceptional durability, as well as Smartwool’s 4 Degree elite fit system for a foot-hugging fit. The addition of targeted cushioning zones and mesh panels ensures additional comfort and breathability during long runs.

Best for runners who want additional ankle protection and support
Balega Support Quarter Sock

Balega Support Quarter Sock

A protective and supportive running sock

If you are a runner who scrapes the inside of your ankles when you run (ankle clipping), you will love the Support Quarter Sock. The unique over-the-ankle design with its oval cushion ankle-protection pads offers additional ankle protection, as well as increased warmth when running in cold temperatures. Balega also specs silicone grippers to minimize chafe-inducing sock-shift, while the strategically placed support bands around the ankles and arches deliver additional stability and control. The socks are constructed with Drynamix moisture-wicking fibres for excellent moisture management, and the integrated mesh panels allow for the venting of excess heat. Like all Balega socks, these are anatomically made with a left and right sock for optimal fit.

Best for runners seeking minimalist socks or for training in warm conditions
Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks

Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks

Thin, unpadded running socks

If you spend even a portion of your winter running indoors on a treadmill, the Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks may be perfect for you. The socks feature many of Smartwool’s proprietary construction technologies, including Indestructawool, 4 Degree elite fit system, Shred Shield and strategically positioned mesh zones, resulting in exceptional durability, fit and breathability. Where they deviate from other Smartwool offerings is with their Zero Cushion construction, which eliminates excess material underfoot, resulting in a sleeker fit and less warmth when you’re training indoors. The socks’ low ankle height also contributes to their airy feel, again making them ideal for warmer indoor and outdoor conditions.

Products reviewed in this article:

Best for runners seeking sophisticated construction and warmth

Smartwool Run Cold Weather Targeted Cushion Crew Socks

Smartwool Run Cold Weather Targeted Cushion Crew Socks

Buy Now - Unisex $28.95

Buy Now - Men's $17.73 (22% OFF)

Buy Now - Women's $17.73 (22% OFF)

Best for runners seeking a minimalist winter sock

Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Mid Crew Socks

Buy Now - Unisex $26.95

Buy Now - Men's $21.00

Best for runners seeking additional warmth and cushioning for cold conditions

Icebreaker Hike+ Medium Crew Socks

Icebreaker Hike+ Medium Crew Socks

Buy Now - Men's $23.21 (25% OFF)

Buy Now - Women's $23.21 (25% OFF)

Buy Now - Men's $25.00

Buy Now - Women's $25.00

Best for runners seeking cushioning without the warmth and bulk of higher-cut socks

Balega Ultra Glide No Show Sock

Balega Ultra Glide No Show Sock

Buy Now - Unisex $21.99

Buy Now - Unisex $18.00

Best for runners seeking comfort and ankle protection

Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Ankle Socks

Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Ankle Socks

Buy Now - Unisex $25.95

Buy Now - Men's $21.00

Buy Now - Women's $21.00

Best for runners who want additional ankle protection and support

Balega Support Quarter Sock

Balega Support Quarter Sock

Buy Now - Unisex $24.99

Buy Now - Unisex $22.00

Best for runners seeking minimalist socks or for training in warm conditions

Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks

Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks

Buy Now - Unisex $22.95

Buy Now - Men's $18.00

Buy Now - Women's $13.73 (23% OFF)

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