Socks can be an overlooked running gear item. Many runners think that a sock is a sock, and place their focus on finding the right shoe or bra. While those items are extremely important, the value of the running sock is not to be forgotten. 

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With this in mind, we tested socks from six different brands and categorized the socks by the kind of runner they’re suited for. There are ankle, crew and high socks, bright socks and neutral socks, so no matter your style or preference, there’s something for you on this list. 

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Photo: Balega

For those who run hot

For runners who tend to a little on the sweatier side, the Balega silver supercharged performance sock is the one for you. The silver technology is designed to keep odors at bay, and it really works. The vented stretch mesh keeps feet cool, while antimicrobial technology keeps feet odor-free. The sock is an ankle height with a tab above the heel to avoid slippage. These socks retail for $15 CAD.

The Stance Uncommon Solids Tab Socks breathe very well. With medium thickness, and a rise just above the ankle, this sock delivers. The breathable performance mesh works to keep your feet cool, while the reinforced toe and heel keep you chafe-free. The socks retail for $21 CAD. 

Photo: Stance

For those who love statement socks

Stance makes very pretty socks. Their crew height socks are cool and highly effective. The Feel 360 line combines light compression where runners need it most, with breathable poly-blend technology. These cool-looking socks are equal parts attractive and functional. If pink isn’t your thing, they also come in Star Wars prints. These socks retail for $24 CAD.

The Smartwool Outdoor Light PhD Socks are crew socks that won’t make your feet overheat. The socks come in several cool patterns and have compression bands in the ankles, arch and instep to help hold the sock in place during activity. They retail for $27 CAD.

Photo: Darn tough

For those who want to forget they’re wearing socks

The Darn Tough Vertex No-Show Ultralight is your sock. Weighting only 13 grams per sock, these socks are the ultimate combination of light and tough. Darn tough claims, “these socks are so light, you should forget you’re wearing any.” These socks would be ideal for the hottest weather or race day. They retail for $16 CAD. 

The Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro Socks are another great lightweight option. Light doesn’t mean weak, and this sock proves that. The ultra-durable high-density knit keeps feet cool without compromising strength. The sock retails for $19 CAD.

Photo: Nike

For those who can’t decide if they like thick socks or not

The Nike Elite Wool Cushioned sock is one of the lightest socks we tried through the midfoot, but is well padded around the toe box and heel bed. The cushioning strategically targets places of high impact and lessens the blow. The socks retail for $20 CAD. 

The Darn Tough Vertex 1/4 Ultra Light Cushion is another good option. It’s an insanely light sock with cushioning on the bottom of the foot. This isn’t a sock that feels like you’re wearing nothing – but pretty close. It comes in four different colours and retails for $24 CAD. 

Photo: Under Armour

For those who are blister prone

The Under Armour Charged Cushion is a no-show tab sock with high-density cushion that delivers responsive support and impact absorption. The sock fits snug and doesn’t move around, reducing friction, which can contribute to blisters. The sock retails for $18 CAD.

Another great option are the Balega Blister Resistant Quarter Running Socks. These socks are made with a combination of mohair and Drynamix moisture wicking fabric, designed to keep your feet cool and comfortable. Elastic grip construction means that your sock won’t slip, and ensures no added friction between the foot, the sock and the shoe. 

Photo: Wigwam

For those who are always cold 

Wigwam Pro Forge socks are crew height and work as hard as you do. The sock is 34% merino wool, making them warm, and the cushioning and seamless toe closure makes them very comfortable. This would be an ideal winter running sock. They retail for $24 CAD.

The Balega Hidden Comfort sock is another option in this category. The plush sock runs a little on the thicker side for those who like a little extra cushion on their feet. The hidden comfort sock is a no-show sock that still has a heel tab to prevent slippage during the run. 

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