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Running Socks

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Running Socks

When it comes to putting together your running kit, socks often take a back seat to running shoes and other gear. But a good pair of performance running socks--ones that keep your feet dry and don't slip--can help prevent blisters and make all the difference on your next run.

When choosing running socks, consider these factors:

  • Sock height: No-show, ankle, crew or knee-high It's a matter of personal preference. Some runners like no-show socks because they want as little coverage as possible, while others choose ankle or crew socks for protection from dirt or brush. Looking for extra warmth? Go with knee-high.
  • Cushioning: Your choices are light, medium or heavy cushioning or none at all. Many socks offer zoned cushioning, putting more padding in certain areas like the ball or heel.
  • Fabrics: Performance fabrics such as wool and synthetics help absorb and disperse all that sweat. Merino wool regulates temperature and odor and keeps your feet comfortable in a wide range of conditions. Synthetics like nylon and spandex are durable, help socks hold their shape and create a snug fit.

Other considerations:

  • Moisture wicking:Socks made of synthetic materials that wick moisture from your skin keep your feet dry and help prevent hot spots or blisters.
  • Quick drying: Socks that dry quickly keep you comfortable even as you sweat or get your feet wet.
  • Compression: Snug and supportive, compression socks squeeze your feet and legs and can help lower muscle fatigue. They're typically found in knee-high styles.
  • Waterproof: If the weather will be cool and the trail a quagmire, you can find socks that have a waterproof/breathable membrane inside.

Running Gear

You don't need much to start running a pair of running shoes that fit you well and clothes to make those miles more comfortable. Beyond that, you may want a hydration pack so you can drink without breaking stride, and safety lights and vest so you're visible if running in the dark. Consider also running watches to log your miles and keep you motivated, and foam rollers to help you recover after a run.

More Reasons to Shop at REI

REI carries running socks by top brands like Balega, Smartwool, Darn Tough, CEP and Farm to Feet. We also have a library of trail-running and road-running articles to help you get the most out of your miles.