10 Expert-Approved Best Summer Running Socks To Keep You Cool and Blister-Free

Moisture-wicking and lightweight, Balega's Hidden Comfort socks are our top pick

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Wearing the right running socks is critical to your comfort and endurance when running in the summer months. Whether you're hitting the beach, trails, or pavement, a solid pair of socks makes all the difference in keeping your feet cool and dry—in conjunction with good running shoes. When the temperature is hot and the humidity is high, reach for socks that are well-ventilated and made of moisture-wicking materials, such as Merino wool, nylon, or polyester.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick, Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show running socks offer moisture-wicking protection and a cushioned bottom with deep heel pockets. The most durable pair we reviewed, Darn Tough Element No-Show Tab lightweight socks, is crafted with Merino wool for built-in odor protection and durability.

“Socks that fall down or accumulate moisture will wreak havoc on anyone’s running performance, not to mention cause blisters and rubbing,” says Amanda Foland, ACSM-CPT, a triathlon coach and ACSM certified personal trainer.

To find the best warm weather running socks, we researched dozens of socks, reviewed product details and customer feedback, and asked coaches and runners for recommendations. To narrow down our options, we considered the socks’ performance, features, materials, and price.

Based on our research, here are the best warm weather running socks.

Best Overall: Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks

4.7
Balega Hidden Comfort No Show Running Socks

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Stays in place

  • Cushioned

  • Reinforced toe and heel

Cons
  • May not work for wide feet

  • Expensive

A favorite among casual and experienced runners, Balega Hidden Comfort running socks offer exactly what’s needed in a pair of quality, high-performance running socks. We love that they’re made of soft, stretchy, and moisture-wicking fabrics that keep feet dry and blister-free.

Although they’re light enough for warm weather wear, the socks have a high-volume, impact-resistant cushioned bottom that provides cushioned comfort as you’re running. Plus, extra-deep heel pockets and high heel tabs prevent the socks from slipping in your shoes, helping to ensure a good fit.

The seamless toe box minimizes friction and chafing, while the reinforced toe and heel add to the socks’ overall comfort and durability. Balega socks are a bit more expensive than some other options, but fans find their comfort and performance to be well worth the investment.

Materials: Drynamix polyester, nylon, neofil, elastane | Length: Ankle | Quantity: One pair | Care: Machine wash, tumble dry low

Best Budget: Saucony Women's Performance Heel Tab Athletic Socks

Saucony Performance Heel Tab Athletic Socks
Pros
  • Targeted compression on arches

  • Cushioned sole

  • Very breathable

Cons
  • Can’t just buy one pair

  • May lack durability

For runners looking for affordable options, we recommend these Saucony socks for their excellent comfort and performance at a lower price than many others. They're extremely breathable and lightweight, with enough cushioning to keep your feet comfortable without feeling too bulky or hot. In addition, mesh ventilation and moisture-wicking fabric help keep your feet cool, dry, and fresh.

The arch support provides targeted compression and enhances the sock’s overall comfort and stability. With a comfort toe seam and heel tab design, it offers additional protection from irritation and chafing. They come in packages of eight or 16 pairs, making them a great option for those who want to stock up on high-performance socks for warm weather running.

Materials: Polyester, spandex | Length: No-show | Quantity: eight or 16 pairs | Care: Machine wash, hang dry

Most Durable: Darn Tough Element No-Show Tab Lightweight Socks

Darn Tough Element No-Show Tab Lightweight Socks

Zappos

Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable

  • Cushioned underfoot

  • Seamless toe

Cons
  • Limited color options

  • May not work for wide feet

Need a sock that’s as tough as your workouts? We recommend these lightweight socks from Darn Tough, a company known for its lifetime product guarantee. If the socks wear, tear, or develop any holes, Darn Tough will replace them, no matter how long you’ve had them for. One secret to their resiliency is the lightly cushioned underfoot, which keeps them durable and also provides good rebound to your stride.

The socks are made with all-natural Merino wool-a soft, moisture-wicking material that keeps your feet cool and also has natural odor protection. They also feature True Seamless technology, so there are no irritating seams to cause discomfort, chafing, or blisters. Sleek and breathable, these lightweight socks are a solid choice for long-lasting comfort.

Materials: Nylon, Merino wool, Lycra spandex | Length: No-show | Quantity: One pair | Care: Machine wash gentle, tumble dry low

Best for Summer Marathons: Feetures! Performance Ultra Light Running Socks

Feetures High Performance Cushion Running Socks

Courtesy: Feetures

Pros
  • Targeted arch compression

  • Good blister protection

  • Stays in place

Cons
  • Too thin for some

  • No odor protection

If a summer marathon is on your race calendar, we recommend socks that will keep your feet cool, comfortable, and blister-free. The Feetures! Elite Ultra-Light running socks check all those boxes and are a great option for both training and racing in warm weather. Made with moisture-wicking material, they keep your feet dry, while the seamless toe design prevents rubbing and irritation that can lead to blisters.

They’re ultra-thin and light, so they don’t take a lot of room in your shoe or get bunched in the toe area. Power bands of Lycra around the middle help to provide a snug fit that contours to the shape of your foot. The sock’s Y-heel design also keeps it from sliding in your shoe, while the high heel tab helps to prevent irritation from your running shoe.

Materials: Nylon, polyester, spandex | Length: No-show | Quantity: One pair | Care: Wash gentle cycle cold, hang dry

Best for Blister Prevention: Swiftwick Aspire Zero Running Socks

Swiftwick Aspire Zero Running Socks

Backcountry

Pros
  • Well-ventilated

  • Stays in place

  • Unisex sizing

Cons
  • Limited colors

  • Runs small

Foot blisters can be a painful problem for runners, especially during warm weather months when their feet get soaked with sweat. We love that these Swiftwick socks wick away moisture and dry quickly for exceptional moisture management and blister protection. Strategically-placed ventilation also helps to prevent hot spots and promote airflow, keeping your feet cool and dry.

The light compression in the arch area enhances support and, along with the Y-shaped heel, helps to keep the sock in place without any bunching or slipping. A reinforced heel and toe add to the sock’s durability and overall comfort. Available in a wide range of unisex sizes, these comfy, lightweight socks are a solid choice for warm weather running.

Materials: Olefin fiber, nylon, spandex | Length: No-show | Quantity: One pair | Care: Machine wash, tumble dry low

Best for Cross-Training: Bombas Performance Running Sock

Bombas Performance Running Sock

Courtesy of Bombas

Pros
  • Moisture-wicking

  • Seamless toe

  • Left and right contoured fit

Cons
  • Expensive

  • May run small

Lightweight and super cushy, Bombas socks are a favorite for gym workouts, outdoor activities, or just lounging at home. They’re made with a blend of soft materials that are breathable and moisture-wicking, keeping your feet dry and comfortable. A seamless toe adds to the socks' overall comfort and blister protection.

Designed with Bombas’ Honeycomb Support System, the socks cradle the arch for ultimate support and comfort with a little bit of compression. The Y-stitched heel helps to lock the sock in place, so there’s no bunching or slipping. We love that these socks also feature a left and right fit, so they contour to the unique shape of each foot. Even better, for every pair purchased, Bombas donates another one to a shelter in need.

Materials: Polyester, nylon, spandex, cotton | Length: No-show | Quantity: One pair | Care: Machine wash, tumble dry low

Best Compression: Physix Gear Low-Cut Compression Socks

Physix Gear Low-Cut Compression Socks

Physix Gear

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Moisture-wicking material

  • Not difficult to get on and off

Cons
  • Hand wash only

  • Runs large

Ankle-high compression socks are usually easier to get on and off than knee-length ones, but still offer many of the same benefits, including increased arch support, improved comfort, and reduced swelling and foot pain. Hitting right at the ankle, we recommend these Physix Gear Low-Cut Compression Socks because they’re much more comfortable and less constricting in warm weather than high compression socks.

They’re made of a premium Lycra spandex material, offering the right amount of compression without restricting movement. They also stay in place, without any slipping or bunching. Plus, the fabric wicks away sweat, keeping your feet dry and comfortable. Available in unisex sizes, these socks are a great option for runners who’ve dealt with foot pain or swelling.

Materials: Polyester, spandex | Length: Ankle | Quantity: Two pairs | Care: Hand wash, air dry

Best for Trail Running: Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro Socks

Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro Socks

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight but cushioned

  • Good ventilation

  • Odor-fighting

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Runs small

With just the right amount of cushioning, these socks from Smartwool are designed for long-lasting comfort when you’re hitting the trails. They’re thin and lightweight, so they’re ideal for warm weather running, but they also provide excellent protection and durability.

Elastic bands at the instep and arch offer support and flexibility, while also helping to prevent the sock from bunching. Plus, the seamless toe helps prevent blisters and chafing, and the padded Achilles tab delivers additional protection from irritation on the ankle.

What’s more, they’re made with Merino wool, a fabric that excels at wicking away sweat and fighting odors. We also like that the strategically-placed mesh vents also help with temperature and moisture management, keeping your feet cool and comfortable. They also dry very quickly, in case you encounter wet conditions as you’re running.

Materials: Merino wool, nylon, elastane | Length: Ankle | Quantity: One pair | Care: Machine wash warm gentle cycle, tumble dry low

Best Cushioned: Thorlos Light Running Thin Padded Ankle Socks

Men's Lite Running Thin Padded Ankle Socks
Courtesy of Amazon
Pros
  • Light but effective cushioning

  • Very durable

  • Good blister protection

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Limited color options

Although many runners like some cushioning in their socks, too much padding can cause your feet to overheat, especially in warm weather. That’s why we recommend these Thorlos socks that offer the right amount of padding for cushioned comfort, without being too thick and bulky. Plus, the padding is right where you need protection most: in the arch, ball, and heel.

Made of durable materials, the socks provide excellent wicking and protection from blisters, while the low-profile seam won’t irritate feet. They’re also easy to care for and stay soft and comfortable even after many trips through the washer or dryer.

Materials: Polyester, nylon, elastic | Length: Ankle | Quantity: One pair | Care: Machine wash, tumble dry low

Best Anti-Odor: Balega Silver No Show Running Socks

Balega Silver No Show Running Socks

Courtesy: Dick's Sporting Goods

Pros
  • Very durable

  • Moisture-wicking

  • Stays in place

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Run small

Post-run stinky feet can be a huge nuisance for runners, especially during the warm weather months. Another quality pick from Balega, we recommend these socks to runners who want to keep their foot odor under control and maybe even wear their socks multiple times before washing. The socks’ fabric contains silver ions that offer antibacterial properties, keeping your feet protected from odors, mold, and fungi. Plus, the mesh panels provide good ventilation to offer additional odor defense. The combination of excellent breathability and moisture-wicking material also helps prevent irritation and foot blisters.

Although they’re known for fighting foot odors and blisters, these Balega socks are also extremely comfortable. The sock’s arch support bands provide light compression for good support and the socks maintain their softness, even after repeated washings. They also stay put, thanks to the high heel tab and extra deep heel pocket.

Materials: Polyester, nylon, elastane | Length: No-show | Quantity: One pair | Care: Machine wash, tumble dry low

Final Verdict

A pick that can be worn year-round, we love Balega’s Hidden Comfort No-Show running socks as they are especially beneficial in the summer due to their no-show design and moisture-wicking material.

For an extremely durable and comfy option, we recommend the Darn Tough Element No-Show Tab lightweight sock that’s backed by the company’s lifetime guarantee.

How We Selected the Best Summer Running Socks

To find the best running socks, we researched dozens of socks and reviewed product details and customer feedback. We asked coaches, runners, and other active people for their recommendations of favorite socks.

To narrow down our options, we considered the socks’ performance, features, materials, and price. Based on those evaluations, we determined which warm-weather socks were best suited for different purposes.

What to Look for in Summer Running Socks

Materials

“Warm-weather socks are all about breathability and comfort,” says David Roche, Strava runner and coach at SWAP Running. Look for socks made with breathable, synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or polyester, or a Merino wool blend that will wick moisture away from the foot to prevent chafing and blisters.

Targeted ventilation also helps keep your feet dry and cool. An added bonus is if the socks offer some odor protection, since runners’ feet tend to get stinky.

Cushioning

Some socks offer targeted cushioning in impact areas, including the ball, arch, and heel, to provide comfort and help with shock absorption.  For warm weather running, you need to be careful about the amount of padding in a sock, as too much could cause your feet to get very hot and sweaty.

Thinner socks can keep your feet cool and be a bit smoother in your shoe, to help control friction that can lead to blisters. However, be sure that you don’t choose socks that are so thin that your feet are sliding around in the shoe, says Roche.

Fit

Running socks shouldn't slide or bunch up, since that can lead to discomfort, irritation, and even blisters. Look for ones that offer a snug fit. Unlike running shoes, you don’t need to size up from your casual shoe size.

Support

Look for a good, solid construction in the middle and heel of the socks, as you often strike harder in this area of the feet. Some running socks have light compression around the arch for more support and comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need compression socks for running?

    You do not need to wear compression socks for running. You can run without them and still run well. Compression socks are designed to enhance your running ability, especially at the endurance level, but they aren't necessary for routine exercise.

    In a systematic review of 21 studies on the effects of wearing compression socks during exercise, researchers found that wearing compression socks decreased muscle fatigue and muscle soreness soon after a workout and up to 48 hours post-recovery. The socks benefited muscle function, but you can still run without them.

  • How are running socks different from other socks?

    Unlike typical casual socks that are often made of cotton, running socks are constructed with high-performance fabrics that dry quickly and can wick sweat away from your feet, allowing the feet to stay cool, dry, and blister-free. The fabric blend often contains a stretchy material, such as spandex, so that the socks contour to the shape of the foot. The snug fit prevents the sock from slipping and bunching, helping you to avoid chafing, blisters, and overall discomfort.

  • How do you protect your feet when running?

    You can protect your feet when running by wearing appropriate clothing, such as proper fitting shoes and socks. It’s also important to choose socks and shoes that are intended for runners and made from materials that are conducive to running.

    “Finding the correct sock allows your foot to have extra support, wick moisture to keep shoes dry, and helps reduce any extra movement your foot would have without a sock,” Foland says.

    If you have diabetes, special care is needed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends looking at the inside of your shoes before you put them on to ensure the lining remains smooth and that there are no outside objects that could cause injury and long-term negative side effects. Other recommendations include checking feet daily, never walking barefoot, and always keeping your feet clean. Finally, be sure to always keep your feet soft and smooth, which may require a thin layer of lotion. If you're going to run regularly, make an appointment with a podiatrist to create a foot care plan that best protects your feet.

  • Can running socks help prevent blisters?

    Yes, wearing running socks that are designed from high-performance fabrics can help keep your feet dry and provide good protection against blisters, according to Foland.

    Since running socks offer a snug fit, they’re less likely to bunch or slip, which also cuts down on the irritation and friction that can lead to blisters.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Certified running coach and fitness writer Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.

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3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. What you should know about compression socks.

  2. Mota GR, Simim MA de M, dos Santos IA, Sasaki JE, Marocolo M. Effects of wearing compression stockings on exercise performance and associated indicators: a systematic reviewOpen Access J Sports Med. 2020;11:29-42. doi:10.2147/OAJSM.S198809

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes and you: Healthy feet matter.

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