These Are The Socks You Should Actually Be Wearing When You Work Out
If staying active is important to you, you probably spend a lot of time researching workout gear, not to mention, a good chunk of change buying it. But if you're like most, your efforts likely go toward finding a supportive pair of and yoga pants that make your butt look great—not your socks. That's a mistake, says Lisa Jhung, a gear expert, and author of.
"Socks are often an afterthought, but wearing the wrong kind—ones that fit poorly or are simply not right for your activity—can ruin your workout," she says. Socks that are too big, for example, can bunch up—and that extra material can be irritating. Wear a pair that's too tight and the sock can slip down, causing your heel to rub against the back of your shoe which can leave you with a nasty blister, Jhung says.
(Customize your own walking plan with and lose up to 5x more belly fat—just be sure you're, you know, wearing the right socks!)
But even if your socks fit perfectly, with so many styles, fabric blends, and thicknesses to choose from, it can be tricky to tell which pairs will keep you comfortable while you're running and which are best for hiking or Zumba. Here are the 5 pairs worth adding to your sock drawer—and exactly when to slip each one on.
Make sure your shoes fit properly too by finding your arch type:
Nikegrip Elite Lightweight Running No-Show Socks
Best for: Road running
Since sweaty feet are more likely to develop blisters, Jhung says a thin, sweat-wicking sock is best for road running. "If your socks don't wick sweat, you run the risk of moisture staying in the sock, which can cause friction and discomfort," she says.
Another reason she loves : It has an asymmetrical build that hugs the feet through the arch, offering support and a secure feel. Plus, the reinforced heel and toe make them superdurable. (Psst: Whether you log 3 miles per week or 30, you should be doing these 12 essential exercises for runners.)
Buy now:One pair, ,
Balega Ultra Light Quarter
Best for: Trail running
Consider a slightly higher sock that extends past the anklebone for trail running—like . "The extra length helps to keep trail debris from sneaking into the sock and irritating the feet," she says.
Buy now:One pair, ,
Smartwool Women’s PhD Outdoor Light Micro Socks
Best for: Walking
As long as you choose a sweat-wicking material, you can opt for any style of sock for walking, says Jhung. is made from breathable Merino wool, which helps to keep your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making it among the most versatile options on the market. (Take in some fantastic sights while fitting in your steps with these 50 Best Walks In America, exclusively fromPreventionPremium).
Buy now:One pair, –,
MORE: Exactly How I Lost 18 Pounds And Almost 12 Inches Just By Walking
Darn Tough Vermont Hiker Boot Full Cushion Sock
Feet can get beat up during long hikes—especially if you're carrying a heavy backpack, which puts extra pressure on the joints. have padding in the heel and forefoot that can help soften the blow of each step, Jhung says. (Add further support with these 6 pairs of hiking boots we love.) The sock height is spot on, too. "This is another instance where a higher cut can help to keep out trail gunk like rocks and dirt," she says. (Looking for a tasty, filling snack to take on the trail? These 6 high-protein chip alternatives are all great options.)
Buy now:One pair, ,
Nike Dri-Fit Quarter Socks
Best for:Racquet sports and dancing
Whether you're in a racquetball league or can't get enough of that new cardio dance class at your gym, Jhung says lightweight, sweat-wicking socks, like , are your best bet. "You don't want wet, slippery socks in your shoes when you're going through all the quick movements a game like tennis or a class like Zumba requires," she says. Plus, if your socks don't draw off sweat, you're more likely to wind up with blisters.
Video: THE #1 PAIR OF SOCKS YOU NEED IN YOUR LIFE!
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