The 15 Best Walking Socks of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Testers loved the ASICS Cushion Sock for its comfortable cushion and blister protection

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Verywell Fit / Lecia Landis

The best walking socks are comfortable and supportive, wick away excess sweat, and defend against pesky blisters. Whether you’re walking outside with friends or climbing an inclined treadmill at the gym, you want to choose a pair of socks that’ll keep you comfortable and focused.

Tested & Approved

Our tester found that ASICS Cushion Socks provide a snug fit, cozy comfort, and blister protection—they’re super budget-friendly, too. And if you live in a warm climate or deal with sweaty feet, we recommend Lululemon’s Power Stride Sock for its lightweight design and moisture-wicking capabilities.

Wearing a quality pair of walking socks is important for many reasons, says Diana Valencia, DPM, a podiatric surgeon at NYC Foot & Ankle Center. Without socks, moisture starts to build up in your shoes while you walk. “If the feet are going to be accumulating moisture, then you’re exposing yourself more to athlete’s foot, odors, and things like that,” she explains. Wearing walking socks can also limit friction and rubbing to help prevent painful blisters.

When choosing a pair of walking socks, consider the material, says Dr. Valencia. You want something that’s breathable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking. It’s also essential to look for a good fit, an appropriate support level, and a cost that suits your budget. Our expert testers assessed 27 pairs of walking socks for these key categories and more.

Products from Bombas, Balega, Lululemon, and Darn Tough are just a few of the many all-star walking socks we tested. Socks evaluated from these brands had a comfortable fit, the right amount of cushion, reliable blister protection, and great value—according to our testers. And all of the socks included on our list have stand-out features from one or more key categories.

Best Overall

ASICS Cushion Quarter

5
ASICS Cushion Quarter

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Cozy and comfortable

  • Snug but not too tight

Cons
  • May be too thick for hot weather

Given their high-quality and budget-friendly price, ASICS Cushion Socks could have doubled as our best budget pick. But the socks earned a perfect score of 5 out of 5 in all of the key categories we tested for, making them an obvious choice for our best overall slot. The socks excelled compared to all other socks we tested—even compared to their more expensive counterparts.

Snug but not too tight, the pair provided the perfect fit. Our tester also loved the socks’ comfy cushion and moisture-wicking materials, great for added support and blister protection

Testing Notes: “They're super affordable, really comfortable, have great cushioning, and keep my feet warm and cozy without overheating. I found myself reaching for them over other ‘fancier’ pairs because they were so comfy.”

The socks were cozy and comfortable, keeping our tester's feet warm without uncomfortable overheating. But ASICS Cushion Socks may be too thick for those in warmer climates or those prone to sweaty feet.

Price at time of publication: $10 ($3 per pair)

Key Specs:
Material:
Polyester, spandex | Length: Ankle | Sold as: 3 pairs | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thick | Cushioning: Medium

ASICS Cushion Quarter Socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Autumn Rauchwerk

Best Budget

Saucony Women's Performance Heel Tab Athletic Socks

4.9
Saucony Performance Heel Tab Athletic Socks
Our Ratings
  • Fit
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Come in many colors

  • Can be purchased in bulk

  • Secure and supportive

Cons
  • Our tester noted an off-set heel tab

Available in an eight-pack, the Saucony Heel Tab Socks come out to less than $2 per sock—an amazing overall value. And according to our tester, they also excel in quality and comfort, so much so that we scored them a perfect 5 out of 5 in four of our five key categories. 

Our tester usually has issues with sweaty feet, but she felt cool and comfortable with each step and stride in these socks. They provided enough cushioning without bunching or feeling bulky in her shoes. 

Testing Notes: “The per-pair price is low for how high-quality these socks are. I have already washed them a few times, and they still look brand new—so this is an investment that will last a long time.”

Prone to blisters, our tester was pleasantly surprised when she remained blister-free after long walks in these socks. Although our tester found the socks to be generally comfortable, she did note that the heel tab didn’t hit at the right spot on her ankle, docking a half point from the socks’ fit rating. 

Price at time of publication: $12-$28 (roughly $2 per pair)

Key Specs:
Material:
Polyester, spandex | Length: Ankle | Sold as: 8 pairs | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thin | Cushioning: Medium

saucony heel tab socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Sarah Felbin

Best for Sweaty Feet

Lululemon Power Stride Sock

4.9
Lululemon Power Stride Sock

Lululemon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    4.5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Super lightweight

  • Snug but not too tight

  • Heel tab for extra protection

Cons
  • Not thick enough for cold weather

  • Expensive

Lululemon’s Power Stride Socks are super lightweight, making them the perfect choice for those with sweaty feet. Plus, they’re made from breathable, moisture-wicking materials for added odor and blister prevention. They’ll keep you cool and comfortable, even in the hottest summer months. 

The socks are supportive but not overly thick or padded, earning a 4.5 out of 5 for cushioning. Our tester also appreciated the added support in the ankle and heel areas. Our tester said these Lululemon socks are the most comfortable pair she has ever worn—so comfortable that they felt like a second skin during long, sweaty strolls.

Testing Notes: “The socks were SO comfortable—I would even say they are the most comfortable pair of socks I have even worn. They are super lightweight, and I barely noticed them on my walks. They are thin, but in the best way!”

With a perfect fit, these socks offer solid stretch and comfortable compression. And our tester noted that the lightweight, versatile socks are great for gym and everyday wear—similar to the leggings the brand is known for—in addition to walking. 

Price at time of publication: $38 ($13 per pair)

Key Specs:
Material:
Nylon, elastane | Length: Ankle | Sold as: 3 pairs | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thin | Cushioning: Minimal

lululemon power stride socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Michelle Parente

Best for Long-Distance Walks

Wrightsock Endurance Crew

4.9
Wrightsock Endurance Crew

Zappos

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Great arch support

  • Cushioned but not bulky

  • Secure and supportive

Cons
  • Double-layer cushioning

  • May generate excess heat

  • Expensive

When you’re walking for miles, comfort, support, and blister protection is essential. That’s why Wrightsock’s Endurance Crew is perfect for long-distance walks—our tester gave this pair a perfect score of 5 out of 5 in all five key categories we tested. 

Impressed by fit and comfort, our tester noted plenty of arch support and cushioning without any uncomfortable bunching in the shoe. On a long-distance trek, you need support in all the right places—this pair delivers just that, according to our tester.

Testing Notes: “They feel great in walking shoes and on long-distance walks and runs. I would absolutely buy these again.”

The socks are also double-layered, which provides extra padding and protection against blisters. The one downside of this feature is that it may lead to hot spots, especially for those with sweaty feet or when walking in warmer climates. 

Price at time of publication: $20 per pair

Key Specs:
Material:
Polyester, nylon, lycra | Length: Crew | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thick | Cushioning: Medium

wrightsock endurance crew

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Jaylyn Pruitt

Best Investment

Bombas Quarter Socks

4.8
Bombas Quarter Socks

Bombas

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Cute design and colors

  • Extremely durable

  • Luxury feel

Cons
  • Elastic ankle band may bite into ankle

If you’re looking to invest in a pair of top-quality socks, these Bombas Quarter Socks are for you. Because they’re more of a splurge than other socks on our list, the pair received a 4 out of 5 for overall value, but our tester found them well worth the investment for their luxurious feel, supportive fit, cushioned comfort, and extreme durability.

Our tester said that these Bombas socks were the best she’s ever worn—noting the perfect amount of cushion and compression. The socks are durable, too, withstanding daily wear and washes. They’re also breathable and sweat-wicking and didn’t leave our tester’s feet feeling itchy or blister-prone. 

Testing Notes: “I honestly cannot find a single thing wrong with these socks. I have worn them every day, even when it's hot out, and they are amazing. They make my feet happy.”

The ankle band did lightly dig into our tester's ankle. But this slight inconvenience didn’t take away from the pair’s overall fit and comfort. 

Price at time of publication: $64 ($16 per pair)

Key Specs:
Material:
Cotton, polyester, nylon, rubber, spandex | Length: Quarter | Sold as: 4 pairs | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thick | Cushioning: Medium

Bombas Women's Sunset Stripe Quarter Sock

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Donna Freydkin

Best for Cold Weather

Stance Crew Divide ST Socks

4.8
Stance Crew Divide ST Socks

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    4/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Cozy and comfortable

  • Snug but not too tight

  • Cute design and color

Cons
  • Expensive

  • May be too thick for hot weather

Don’t let the winter months put a stop to your outdoor activities. Instead, choose a quality pair of socks that will keep your feet warm on cold weather walks. Our tester found Stance’s Staple Divide Socks to be comfy and cozy without feeling too thick or bulky.

Wool works to insulate the feet, while other performance materials make the sock breathable—keeping your toes comfortably warm. Our tester loved that the socks are insulated but noted that this feature makes warm-weather wearing a sweaty mistake. 

Testing Notes: “When I wore these in cold weather, and they were so nice. The material is insulating without feeling too thick."

The socks earned a 4 out of 5 for cushioning because there’s no added padding—but our tester still found the pair comfortable, leaving her feet blister-free after miles outside in the crisp climate. 

Price at time of publication: $26 per pair 

Key Specs:
Material:
Wool, polyester, nylon, elastane | Length: Crew | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: No | Thickness: Thick | Cushioning: Medium

stance crew divide socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Sabrina Weiss

Most Versatile

Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks

4.8
Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Heel tab for extra protection

  • Comes in many colors

  • Mesh construction for optimal breathability

Cons
  • Expensive

Great for walking, running, gym workouts, and even all-day wear, Balega’s Hidden Comfort No-Show Socks were an easy choice for our most versatile pick. The socks are cushioned yet breathable (which is hard to find, according to our tester). We appreciate that the socks can tolerate most activities and outdoor weather conditions. 

These Balega socks earned a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for nearly all categories we tested. Our tester liked the socks’ contoured fit and heel tab for added blister protection. Delivering support in all the right places, these socks felt comfy and cushy. And our tester said the top mesh construction allowed for optimal ventilation and breathability, regardless of climate. 

Testing Notes: “I would recommend these socks to an avid walker, runner, or weightlifter looking for a high-quality pair of socks that will last. These are truly comfortable and versatile and won't fall down into your shoes.”

The socks lost points in overall value because the price per pair is rather high—earning only a 4 out of 5 for this key category. But for a versatile, high-quality sock, we think this pair is worth the investment.

Price at time of publication: $16 per pair

Key Specs:
Material:
Polyester, nylon, elastane | Length: No-show | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thin | Cushioning: Medium

balega hidden comfort no show running socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Isabella Broggini

Best for Travel

BOMBAS Women's Marls Ankle Socks

4.8
BOMBAS Women's Marls Ankle Socks

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Cozy and comfortable

  • Cute design and colors

  • Snug but not too tight

Cons
  • Breathability isn’t optimal for warm weather

Your feet will feel comfortable and supported walking miles in Bombas’ Ankle Socks. Wherever you’re off to, these socks are the perfect companion for all your adventures. Our tester gave the socks a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for fit, comfort, and cushioning—highlighting the products’ overall top-notch quality. 

The socks deliver cushioning to areas of the foot that often require additional support, like the heels and toes. It’s important to have this kind of foot support while traveling because you never know how long or far your journey will take you.

Testing Notes: “They're cushioned in all the right places—the heel and the toes. I think they're great for travel because your feet will feel comfortable and supported even after miles of walking.”

Soft enough to wear to sleep, our tester compared these socks to mini blankets for the feet. Although the socks are extremely cozy and comfortable, they don’t offer great breathability or ventilation, making them not suitable for warmer weather.

Price at time of publication: $13 per pair 

Key Specs:
Material:
Cotton, polyester, rubber, spandex | Length: Ankle | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thick | Cushioning: Medium

bombas womens ankle socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Isabella Broggini

Best Design

Lululemon Women's Daily Stride Mid-Crew Sock

4.7
Lululemon Women's Daily Stride Mid-Crew Sock

Lululemon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    3.5/5
Pros
  • Cute design and colors

  • Luxury feel

  • Great arch support

Cons
  • Expensive

Reap the many health benefits of walking by lasting for miles in the luxurious Lululemon Daily Stride Socks. They’re comfortable, supportive, and breathable—all you can ask for in a well-designed walking sock. 

Unbelievably soft, the pair provided a snug fit, lightweight breathability, and valuable arch support for our tester. The crew length fell right above our tester's ankle—and not only does it look cute, but the raised length helps to prevent blisters, too.  

Testing Notes: “They're more luxurious than any other socks I've ever worn, but they're still pretty light. I'm really impressed.”

The sock earned a perfect score in most of the key categories we tested for, but scored a 3.5 out of 5 for overall value because of its higher price tag. However, our tester did note that these socks are extremely durable and should last for years of wear and washes.

Price at time of publication: $18 per pair 

Key Specs:
Material:
Polyester, cotton, nylon, elastane | Length: Crew | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thin | Cushioning: Medium

lululemon daily stride socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Ashleigh Morley

Best Wool

Darn Tough Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock

4.7
Darn Tough Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Cushioning
    4.5/5
  • Blister Protection
    4.5/5
  • Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Cute design and colors

  • Cozy and comfortable

  • Snug but not too tight

Cons
  • Expensive

  • May be too thick for hot weather

Whether you’re traveling to the mountains, hiking the backcountry, or living in a cooler climate, a quality pair of wool socks is essential when dressing for cold weather walking. Darn Tough’s Light Hiker Micro Crew Socks feature a combination of wool and performance materials to keep you warm and dry on all chilly outdoor adventures. 

Snug but not too tight, the socks provided cozy comfort without excess overheating. But our tester does warn that Darn Tough’s socks may be too thick for hot climates—her feet did feel hot when she wore these in warmer weather.

Testing Notes: “Durable, comfortable, merino wool socks at a reasonable price point that are guaranteed for life, or you'll get sent a new pair. I'm really excited to own them!”

We appreciate that while not super cushioned, the socks deliver enough support for long, hilly walks. The pair is undeniably expensive, but our tester still gave it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for overall value because of the socks’ long-lasting durability and lifetime warranty. 

Price at time of publication: $23 per pair 

Key Specs:
Material:
Nylon, wool, spandex | Length: Crew | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thick | Cushioning: Minimal

Best Cushioned

Thorlos Distance Walker Socks

4.7
Thorlos Women's Dwmxw Max Cushion Distance Walking Ankle Socks

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    4/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Secure and supportive

  • Cozy and comfortable

  • Great value

Cons
  • Socks may feel bulky in sneakers

  • May be too thick for hot weather

Socks with extra cushion often provide additional protection for high-impact areas, good shock absorption, plush comfort, and welcoming warmth. Thorlos’ Max Cushion Distance Walking Socks feature thick padding in the heel, forefoot, and top of the arch—helping to reduce blisters, pain, and pressure. 

During test walks, our tester felt secure and supported in these socks—she appreciated the additional cushioning for soft comfort and blister protection. The socks earned a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for overall value because we think the price is well worth it for their heavy-duty design.

Testing Notes: “These were the most cushioned socks I have ever worn! The heel part especially had a very thick and supportive cushion which was really comfortable.”

Ideal for outdoor walking during cold winter months, we like these socks for snug warmth and cozy comfort. Because these socks are thicker than other options, our tester did note that they felt a little bulky in her shoes and that they may not be suited for warmer weather.

Price at time of publication: $16 per pair

Key Specs:
Material:
Acrylic, nylon, elastic | Length: Ankle | Sold as: 3 pairs | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Very thick | Cushioning: Maximum

thorlos womens Dwmxw Max Cushion Distance Walking Ankle Socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Michelle Parente

Best for Hiking

Darn Tough COOLMAX Micro Crew Cushion Socks

4.7
Darn Tough COOLMAX Micro Crew Cushion Socks

REI

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    3.5/5
Pros
  • Aesthetic design

  • Cozy and comfortable

  • Snug but not too tight

Cons
  • Expensive

Whether your next outdoor adventure includes hiking or backpacking, choose a pair of socks that will prevent blisters and hot spots and won’t slip down or bunch up. Darn Tough’s Coolmax Socks do just that—they’re also super cozy, comfortable, and cushioned, according to our tester.

This pair is the perfect fit for any hiking boot—added thickness provides light warmth, and the crew height prevents uncomfortable chafing. While insulated, these socks will still keep your feet dry and temperature-regulated. The thickness and cushion are also great for additional support while hiking on rocky trails and hilly terrains

Testing Notes: “These are thick socks so would be great for hiking. They are also the perfect height for hiking, as they would hit just above the tops of my hiking boots to prevent chafing.”

The socks scored high in most key categories but only earned a 3.5 out of 5 for overall value. The price per pair is high, but we still think the durable, protective, and supportive socks are worth your money.

Price at time of publication: $24 per pair 

Key Specs:
Material:
Polyester, nylon, spandex  | Length: Crew | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thick | Cushioning: Medium

darn tough coolmax socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Karen Chen

Best Compression

CEP Women's Athletic Compression Run Socks

4.5
CEP Women's Athletic Compression Run Socks

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Comes in many colors

  • Secure and supportive

  • Snug but not too tight

Cons
  • Expensive

  • May be too thick for hot weather

Compression socks help circulate blood flow from the feet to the heart while working to reduce excess swelling that often results from hours of sitting or standing. Whether you spend long days sitting at a desk or live a highly active lifestyle, you may benefit from a pair of quality compression socks like CEP’s Athletic Compression Run Socks. 

Our tester loved these socks for their secure fit that prevented any shifting, slipping, or sliding during test walks. Comfortable but not constrictive, the compression socks earned a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for cushioning, as our tester said they provided extra support in all the right places.

While she didn’t get any blisters while wearing these socks, our tester did note that her feet ran hot and sweaty during a 2-mile walk in 90-degree weather. But this wasn't a deal breaker, and despite the super high price per pair, our tester highly recommends this pair for those looking for quality compression socks. 

Testing Notes: “I really loved these socks, and I am still wearing them even after testing! They’re comfortable to walk in and feel supportive around my feet in the right places during every walk.”

While rare, compression therapy can create adverse side effects in people with diabetes, neuropathy, and other health conditions. If you have any concerns, check with your doctor before wearing compression socks.

Price at time of publication: $60 per pair 

Key Specs:
Material:
Polyamide, spandex | Length: Knee-high | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thick | Cushioning: Medium

CEP Women's Athletic Compression Run Socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Katrina Cossey

Best Waterproof

Sealskinz Unisex Waterproof Cold Weather Mid Length Sock

4.5
Sealskinz Unisex Waterproof Cold Weather Mid Length Sock

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Cushioning
    4.5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Snug but not too tight

  • Length provided added protection

  • Extremely durable

Cons
  • May be too thick for hot weather

  • Expensive

Waterproof socks have dual action—they wick away excess moisture from the inside and repel water from the outside environment. So whether you deal with sweaty feet or walk in damp areas, Sealskinz’s Mid-Length Socks are a great option. 

The socks feature a unique three-layer construction for optimal insulation, durability, and moisture control. Our tester appreciated that the pair conformed to her feet and provided just the right amount of cushioning during her walks. The socks earned a near-perfect score of 4.5 out of 5 for fit and cushioning. 

Testing Notes: “These are absolutely meant for cold weather and felt amazing during my walk on a cooler day. They do have a higher price tag, but they’re worth the price, especially for those who spend a lot of time outdoors during cold weather.”

Used in warm weather, the socks may generate some excess heat inside the shoe. But because of their thick three-layered construction and waterproofing design, your feet will remain dry and blister-free.

Price at time of publication: $55 per pair

Key Specs:
Material:
Polypropylene, wool, acrylic, nylon, polyester, elastane | Length: Mid | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Very Thick | Cushioning: Medium 

Sealskinz Unisex Waterproof Cold Weather Mid Length Sock

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Katrina Cossey

Most Stylish

Athleta Retro Tennis Crew Socks

4.5
Athleta Retro Tennis Crew Socks

Athleta

Our Ratings
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Cushioning
    3.5/5
  • Blister Protection
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Aesthetic design

  • Reliable blister protection

  • Secure and supportive

Cons
  • May be too thin for some

Athleta's Retro Tennis Crew Socks offer a comfortable fit and reliable blister protection. The pair delivers a cute and sporty style that can elevate any look (and your overall walking experience). 

Our tester appreciated the crew height for not only its look but also the added protection for the heel. She found these “knock-your-socks-off comfortable,” adding that they felt cool and remained blister-free during long test walks. The socks got a 3.5 out of 5 for cushioning because they are quite thin, but our tester said they still felt supportive. 

Testing Notes: “I'm obsessed with these socks. If you're on the hunt for a cute, comfortable sock you can wear on walks, low-impact workouts, or out and about, you've found a winner.”

If you’re looking for a pair of cute but functional walking socks that you’ll reach for every day, Athleta’s Retro Tennis Crew Socks are made for you. They offer studio-to-street wearability and are suitable for a variety of daily activities and workouts. 

Price at time of publication: $16 per pair 

Key Specs:
Material:
Cotton, nylon, spandex | Length: Crew | Sold as: 1 pair | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Thickness: Thin | Cushioning: Minimum

Athleta Retro Tennis Crew Socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Lily Moe

How We Rated the Walking Socks

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best walking socks we tested. We recommend them without reservation.
4.5 to 4.7 stars: These walking socks are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great walking socks, but others are better.
3.5 to 3.9 stars: These walking socks are just average.
3.4 and below: We don't recommend walking socks with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

lululemon daily stride socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Ashleigh Morley

How We Tested the Walking Socks

The Verywell Fit team tests many products in The Verywell Testing Lab, but some products better lend themselves to at-home testing. This type of testing allows us to evaluate products long-term through consistent, real-world use to get the most accurate insights. Walking socks fall into this category, so 11 of our expert testers got outside and on foot in mixed terrains and at different intensities to test each pair of socks.

For each pair tested, our testers completed three separate walks in varied conditions: 

  • Walk one: An easy, comfortable stroll for 2-3 miles on flat ground.  
  • Walk two: A brisk walk for 2-3 miles on hillier terrain.
  • Walk three: A sustainable, but not leisurely, 5-mile walk on varied terrain. 

Throughout each trek, testers paid special attention to how the socks fit and felt, the amount of cushion and support, and how well they defended against blisters. Then they rated each pair of walking socks on a scale of 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (highly recommend) for fit, comfort, cushioning, blister protection, and overall value. We used these scores and insights to curate a list of the best walking socks on the market today.

We Also Tested

In total, our experts tested 27 pairs of walking socks, but we only included 15 in our final list of recommendations. While these three didn’t make our top picks list, our testers did highlight some valuable features. 

  • Dizzard’s Walking Socks are cozy and comfortable because of their wool material, which our tester found great for colder weather. The socks are also well cushioned, especially in key areas of the foot, like the heel and toes. But our tester docked significant points because the socks fit rather loosely, an uncomfortable feature that could lead to blisters.
  • Our tester loved the contoured fit of Under Armour’s Women’s Essential No Show Socks. But when compared to other socks she owns from the brand, this pair felt thin—lacking comfort and cushion for support and long-term blister protection. 
  • Primarily made of wool, our tester found Smartwool’s Light Cushion Crew Socks to be thick, bulky, itchy, and not suitable for everyday walking. But they are warm and cushioned, so the pair could work for outdoor hiking in colder weather.

What to Look for in Walking Socks

Fit

Socks are often sold in a size range instead of a specific size, so it may be challenging to find a pair that fits well. However, Evan Lynch, running coach and manager at Jackrabbit in New York City, says that following the size recommendation on the packaging is a fairly safe bet. If you’re on the cusp of a size recommendation, Lynch recommends to always size up—the socks should be fitted to your walking shoe size, which is typically a half-size larger than your go-to shoe.

More often than not, walking socks have an anatomical fit—meaning they have a left and a right sock. Each one is stitched to perfectly fit the shape of each foot so that it doesn’t slide around and provides support in the right areas.

In terms of thickness, Lynch says that most options should be thin enough to fit in your shoe comfortably. If you need extra cushioning, consider a thicker sock (just make sure to go up a half or full size in your shoes). It's also a good idea to wear your walking socks when trying shoes on, so you can get the right fit.

Support

Finding support for your feet when walking goes beyond the shoes you wear. Socks can also provide moderate support to minimize pain or discomfort when engaging in physical activity. Check for padding on the instep, heel, and sole before buying a pair. 

The correct pair of socks should have varying degrees of compression in the mid-foot and should leave your arch feeling supported, says Lynch.  “Most shoes don’t have an insole with a lot of support, so a good pair of socks can help.” 

With that said, Lynch says that socks that fall under the “compression” category aren’t necessary for most people. But, “if you’re recovering from an injury or you have plantar fasciitis—something a lot of people deal with when city walking—then a compression sock may be a better option," he says. 

The best pair of compression socks on our list is the CEP Athletic Compression Run Socks

Material

The material of your walking socks plays a major role in how well they breathe, their moisture-wicking properties, and how they feel in your shoes. “You want to find a pair made with synthetic materials because they will draw moisture away from your skin and help fight against blisters,” Lynch says. 

Lynch recommends looking for blends of polyester, nylon, and spandex as they’re lightweight and breathable. While many socks on the market are made with cotton, Lynch recommends avoiding them, noting that in addition to giving you blisters, they can lock in and absorb moisture—making them generally uncomfortable.

Cost

A pair of high-quality walking socks will likely cost you more than your average pair of cotton socks. The performance fabric, in addition to the longevity, typically correlates with the price tag. 

“I’ve seen people come in with socks that are five years old because they decided to make the initial investment in a sock made with good material,” Lynch says. Generally, he explains, budget-friendly options are lower in quality. 

But, according to our tester, the Saucony Heel Tab Socks are a breathable, comfortable, budget-friendly pick.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should you wear socks while walking?

    "Yes, you should definitely wear socks while walking," says Saylee Tulpule, DPM, a podiatrist in Maryland and Washington, DC. “Socks will provide cushion to the bottom of the feet, absorb moisture and sweat, and can act as a barrier between the foot and shoe to prevent blister formation,” Dr. Tulpule adds.

    In addition, "you should wear socks made from a material that wicks away sweat from the foot to help prevent fungal infections and odor," William D. Spielfogel, DPM, a podiatrist in New York, NY, and foot and ankle expert for The Good Feet Store, says.

  • Are thick socks better for walking?

    Thick walking socks generally have more cushioning than thin socks, so they may feel more comfortable when you’re walking. However, thick socks may cause your feet to overheat and sweat in warmer weather, so very cushioned socks may not be a good choice for summer walking.

    They also may not work for people with wide feet who won’t have a lot of extra room in their walking shoes.

  • Should you wear compression socks while walking?

    “Compression socks help to promote vein circulation and blood flow in the legs and feet back to the heart,” Melissa Prestipino, PT, DPT, clinical director of Therapeutics Unlimited in Sparta, NJ, says. “Wearing them while walking and standing can help to prevent blood clots, swelling, and varicose veins in the legs.”

    If you don’t have issues with varicose veins, calf swelling, or blood clots, you probably don’t need to wear compression socks while walking, but they typically won’t cause any adverse effects. Talk to your healthcare provider for advice on when to use compression socks and how long you can safely keep them on.

  • Is it better to wear thin or thick socks?

    The thickness of your socks depends largely on preference. Both thin and thick socks have their advantages. You should also consider the weather conditions and the type of activity you’ll be doing while wearing socks.

    Opt for thick socks if warmth, cushioning, and support are important to you. They’re suitable for outdoor activities during cooler months. Some thick socks also provide more compression for those looking for a constricting fit. Thick socks are generally recommended for activities like running. They help prevent blisters and can even wick moisture.

    Thin socks are an option for those prone to overheating. They tend to offer more ventilation to keep you cool, especially during the warmer months. Reach for a pair of thin socks if your activities are high-intensity, such as HIIT workouts.

    Keep in mind that the thickness of your socks can affect how your shoes fit. If you need a thicker sock with more cushioning, consider ordering shoes that are a half or full size larger. It's also a good idea to wear your walking socks when trying shoes on before you buy them.

  • What should walking or hiking socks be made of?

    Wool is generally regarded as the best sock material for walking and hiking. It may sound like it would lead to overheating, but it’s the opposite. Wool helps regulate your temperature, keeping sweating at bay. This can help prevent blisters. Wool also provides cushioning for comfort and support.

  • How do socks prevent blisters?

    Socks prevent blisters in a variety of ways, but primarily from their moisture-wicking properties. Too much moisture can lead to the formation of blisters, so preventing a buildup of sweat helps prevent them.

    Some socks, like Wrightsock’s Endurance Crew, are made with two layers. The inner layer wicks moisture to the outer layer, keeping the foot dry. Double-layer socks also help reduce friction. The friction between your foot and single-layer socks can sometimes cause blisters, especially if the socks don't fit you well. Socks made with two layers help reduce that friction.

    Sock material also contributes to the prevention of blisters. Materials like cotton, which absorb sweat, stick to your feet, and increase friction, aren’t the best choice for anti-blister socks. Opt for socks made of wool, polyester, spandex, or silicone instead.

  • Can you wear running socks for hiking?

    Compression socks, usually reserved for running, can also be used for hiking. Hikers also swear by wearing two pairs of socks at once or wearing a thick pair of wool socks to regulate temperature, wick moisture, and prevent blisters.

    Some running socks, however, may not be best geared for hiking. Certain types of running socks may be too thin or low cut. Thin socks can increase friction, and ankle socks can be uncomfortable to wear with tall hiking boots. The best socks for hiking are long, thick, and made of wool.

  • What is the best material for walking socks?

    Socks made from blends of polyester, nylon, and spandex are great as they’re both lightweight and breathable. These materials will draw moisture away from your skin and help fight against blisters—the socks will feel more comfortable, too.

  • How much do quality walking socks cost?

    You can expect to pay between $10 to $60 for quality walking socks. Cheaper options may lack support and durability, both of which are important when choosing a pair of socks for walking.

    Higher-priced items are great when you're looking for a more specific type (like compression) or a name brand. But the cheapest socks on our list, ASICS Cushion Socks, also scored the highest during our test and were $10 when we published this list.

stance crew divide walking socks

Verywell Fit / Courtesy of Sabrina Weiss

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Michelle Parente is an experienced fitness writer who is passionate about making great product recommendations. She participated in our real-world walking socks test, testing and evaluating products hands-on. Lululemon’s Power Stride Sock was her favorite pair—the most lightweight and comfortable socks she’s ever worn. As a fitness enthusiast, Michelle knows how quality activewear can truly elevate your workouts—keeping you focused and committed.

2 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.
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  2. Rabe E, Partsch H, Morrison N, et al. Risks and contraindications of medical compression treatment – A critical reappraisal. An international consensus statement. Phlebology. 2020;35(7):447-460.