7 Best Anti-Blister Running Socks (According To Runners)

You’re running a long distance when, in the middle of your run, you feel this burning sensation in the skin of your foot which will eventually become blisters. I’ve been there multiple times. And an easy way to prevent that is by simply using good running socks.

To prevent foot blisters when running, wear socks that are made with moisture-wicking fabric. Make sure they have cushions and paddings at the contact points to decrease friction in your skin. Most running-specific socks have these features. 

But that’s not all. Ahead, we will look at what you should look for in running socks as well as go over some of the best anti-blister running socks that are approved by runners.

A photo of my feet in running socks getting ready for trail running.

What To Look For In Running Socks


Although cotton socks may be soft and comfortable for casual wear, they will cause lots of blisters and discomforts when you use them for long-distance running.

The ideal running socks to prevent chafing is one that’s made of moisture-wicking material such as polyester, nylon, or wool. They are effective in drawing out water from your skin which helps reduce the amount of heat and friction on your foot.

Related post: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wear Cotton Socks For Running


Good anti-blister running socks have a thick cushion in the heel and toe are to provide more protection upon ground contact.

Furthermore, they have padding all around the parts of the foot that’s in rubbing contact with the shoe such as the lace part (top of the foot), heel part, and the sides of the bunions.


The thickness or thinness of the running sucks should be a matter of weather conditions or personal preference.

Good running socks, even thin ones, should not give you any problems with blister or chafing.

Related post: Thick Or Thin Running Socks: Which One Should You Get?


Socks come at many lengths. And although the length of your socks is mostly a matter of personal preference, there are certain things that you must consider before choosing one.

  • Knee-length compression socks seem to have positive benefits for blood circulation and prevention of cramps
  • Crew socks tend to slide down
  • No-show socks, without a heel tab and when the band loses its elasticity, tend to slide inside the shoes

Please note that at some point you’re still going to need to replace your socks. You may already have changed your socks even before these problems occur so there’s not much to worry about in terms of durability.


The durability of the socks matter because you don’t want a sock that feels crispy after a few washes. Nor do you want a sock that develops holes or loses its elasticity.

I only included durable socks in this list. In fact, a lot of these socks have a lifetime guarantee. Meaning you can replace it when it starts to give you problems. These socks will last for multiple years.

But the premium quality comes with a premium price. Most of the socks in this list costs upwards of 13 USD.


During hot weather, the ideal running socks are light and breathable. Usually, they have lots of vent panels to allow as much air as possible.

On the other hand, cold weather socks are usually thicker and have fewer vents but are still breathable.

Compression Vs. Non-Compression

Compression socks are socks that aid blood circulation and potentially help to reduce fatigue and aid performance. On the other hand, regular running socks are the usual fitting socks. Still snug, but no compression.

This too is a matter of personal preference. Some runners swear by the effectiveness of compression socks and never run without them, others don’t seem to benefit much from the compression feature.

Balega UltraGlide No-Show Running Socks

Best For Long Runs

A personal favorite of mine, the Balega UltraGlide No-show running socks are a great sock for stacking up mileage. They are made with moisture-wicking Drynamix fiber and friction-free yarn and incorporated with textile lubricant to boost comfort and anti-blister/anti-chafing properties.

What I like most about the Balega UltraGlide is the overall feel of the sock. They feel soft and snug around the foot and their protective cushioning and pads are on point. They’ve become my go-to long-run socks because of the amount of cushioning and comfort this sock offers.

Aside from that, these socks have an amazing quality. I’ve worn and washed them multiple times and they never break down or feel crispy (yes, this happens with some socks). The fabric always feels soft and smooth and it never loses its elasticity. I’ve worn mine for more than a year and they still feel the same.

However, if you’re most concerned with speed (like short-distance races or sprinting), I suggest you pick up thinner and less cushioned socks.

Best features at glance:

  • Targeted cushioning in blister prone areas
  • Has heel tabs to prevent socks from sliding inside the shoe
  • Has reinforced cushioning in the heel and toes
  • Lots of ventilation panels to keep your feet cool in hot weather
  • Very durable
  • Great for long-distance runs

Injiji Run Lightweight No-Show Running Socks

Best For Those Who Get Blisters In Between The Toes

If you’re someone who frequently gets blisters in between the toe, the Injiji Run Lightweight No-Show socks are the one for you.

What’s unique about them is that they have individual compartments for every toe so they offer protection from blisters in between the toes. Usually, you get that when you’re trail running where there’s lots of lateral movement causing your toes to rub against each other. Or when the conditions are wet where there is added friction.

They feel light and breathable. It has a good level of cushioning and it fits well.

However, if you’re not used to toe socks, they may feel weird at first and they’re a little harder to wear. So if you’re running a race where you’d have to change socks after a certain mile, I’d recommend that you go with the traditional running socks.

Best features at glance: 

  • Individual compartments for each toe prevent blisters in toes
  • The fabric is soft and comfortable
  • It has deep heel pockets to secure your heel better
  • Very breathable
  • Fits well
  • Lots of cushion

Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks

Best For Running In Hot Weather

Despite being made with 100% recycled materials, the Rockay Accelerate is one of the top-performing socks I’ve worn. Especially in hot summer months.

They feel light and extremely breathable. At first, I thought I’d have hot spots or blisters because of their thinness, however, after running double digits multiple times while wearing them, I never experienced any blisters whatsoever.

My feet feel secure and the amount of compression or snugness around my feet is just right.

These socks are durable. And they’re willing to back it up with a lifetime guarantee.

“I’ve worn and washed mine hundreds of times and I never had any problems with its quality”, says one verified product user. My socks are relatively new and I haven’t worn them as often yet, but I’ll update this article if I found something about the quality once I get to the hundred washes.

Lastly, I love supporting Rockay because every pair I buy is equal to 22 bottles of plastic removed from the ocean. I’m big on protecting the environment so this is a good way for me to help support their project.

By the way, If you’re reading this in summer, I made a full summer gear guide that will walk you through everything you need to run in hot weather. Check it out.

Best features at glance: 

  • Very light and breathable, the best socks for hot weather
  • Amazing fit, the amount of compression in your foot is just right
  • Has a lifetime guarantee which tells much about the quality of their socks
  • Tight around the ankle, you don’t feel like it’s gonna slide down
  • Made of recycable materials, 1 pair is 22 plastic bottles removed from the ocean

SmartWool PhD Light Low-Cut Merino Wool Running Socks

Best For Running In Cold Weather

SmartWool PhD Run is one of the most popular running socks in the USA, and for a good reason—they’re one of the most comfortable running socks, period.

The SmartWool is made with more than 50% merino wool that’s known for its comfort, moisture-wicking abilities, and thermoregulating properties. In other words, they’re perfect for any running conditions.

But, if you want something more specific for cold weather, you can check out the SmartWool PhD Run Cold Weather.

Out of all the socks in this list, this is the sock I’m most comfortable recommending because you can hardly go wrong with SmartWool. They work great for most people.

By the way, if you’re running in cold weather, find out how you can stay warm by reading this article.

Best features at glance: 

  • Made of wool, has superior moisture-wicking and thermoregulating properties
  • Great for cold weather and good for hot weather
  • Feels soft and comfortable
  • Doesn’t lose its elasticity
  • Extremely durable feels the same even after multiple washes

CEP Crew Cut Running Socks

Best Compression Socks

Lots of runners have told me about how they fell in love with the CEP running socks. I even read one comment in a Reddit thread claiming that for him, switching from regular running socks to the CEP was like night and day. So even though I’m not a big fan of compression socks, I had to see for myself what they’re all raving about.

And boy oh boy, this is one great sock! They provide just enough compression (20mmHg) to reduce the amount of swelling in my feet after a long run without feeling too restricted.

Related post: Are Compression Garments Good For Running? (The Facts)

They have lots of cushioning underfoot as well as the sides preventing the possibility of blisters. I also use them for trail runs because they give me some ankle stability which I badly need.

These socks are perfect for those who are experiencing pain in their foot when running for a long time. Alternatively, if you want to reduce cramps and improve blood circulation in your calves, you can opt for the below the knee length CEP.

Best features at glance: 

  • The compression aids blood circulation and provides ankle stability
  • Very durable construction, they don’t easily lose elasticity and they don’t get holes easily
  • Very comfortable to wear, it makes your feet feel more compact
  • Reduces swelling in the foot during long-distance running
  • Very breathable

Darn Tough Ultra-Lightweight Running Sock

Most Balanced

Another option that you can’t go wrong with is the Darn Tough Ultra-Lightweight no-show running socks.

Whether you’re running long distances or sprinting in either cold or hot weather, the Darn Tough running socks can be your go-to socks.

It’s made with a blend of nylon, merino wool, and spandex giving its snug fit and superior moisture-wicking capabilities.

Since I started using darn tough, I started to actively look for them in my closet. I only have two pairs at the moment but I run with them most of the time. They feel exactly the same as they were when I first got them 2 years ago” says John, a long-distance runner who is one of the contributors to this list. “I just feel very comfortable when wearing them. I never had any experience of blisters or chafing [wearing them]”, he added.

Furthermore, Darn Tough guarantees the durability of their socks. They’ll gladly replace the socks if they tear or develop holes.

The Darn Tough running socks are odor-resistant. So if you have stinky feet, you might want to pick this up.

Best features at glance:

  • Constructed with merino wool that is known for its superior moisture-wicking and thermoregulation capabilities
  • Odor resistant
  • Guaranteed against tears or holes – Darn Tough will replace any socks that get damaged
  • Very light but has plenty of cushions

MudGear Premium Running Compression Socks

Best for Trail Running

Trail runners need not only socks that prevent them from having blisters and chafing, but also socks that can protect them from the debris in the trail.

The MudGear below-the-knee compressions socks are the perfect solution for trail running in technical terrain where there are lots of debris and mud.

MudGear socks are made with very tough and durable yarn. It can help prevent sharp objects from penetrating or scratching your skin. In addition, the graduated compression helps improve the blood circulation in the lower leg which could potentially help reduce fatigue.

Despite their thickness, MudGear socks are fairly breathable. I trail run in very hot weather conditions and the breathability of MudGear socks is good. Not the most breathable compression socks I’ve worn, but it’s something I’m willing to sacrifice for more protection.

Best features at glance:

  • Very thick and durable fabric prevents scratches and punctures in your lower leg
  • Good compression can help improve blood circulation
  • Great cushion in the toe and the heel, prevents blisters and black toes
  • Way less expensive than CEP

Final Thoughts

We’ve covered 7 different running socks, all of which are proven to be effective at preventing blisters and chafing. Just like running shoes, finding the right running socks are a matter of personal preference, so it is best if you can try multiple pairs of socks and see which one works best for you.

If you have any suggestions or comments about any of the socks we’ve reviewed here, please feel free to contact me.

Nicho Mauricio

Running wasn't always my favorite sport. I was a CrossFit athlete and I loved every bit of it. But since the pandemic began, I was forced to stay away from the gym and train at home instead. Things got boring. That's when I decided to trail run with my friends. I instantly got hooked. So I started training and researching all things running. As a beginner, I want to buy only the best running gear and do only the best practices. This blog is where I share what I've learned in my journey and my experiences as a runner.

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