Best Running Socks That Don’t Slip Down (And How To Spot Them)

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

You’re in the middle of a run and about a half-mile in your socks started slipping. You pull it up and about a few mins after, it slips again. Ever had an experience like that? It’s pretty frustrating, right? I’ve worn dozens of running socks and I’m in a unique position to share my experience on some of the best socks I’ve worn that don’t slip.

Here are some of the best socks that don’t slip down.

  • Balega silver no-show socks
  • SmartWool PhD Run
  • CEP Ultralight Tall Socks
  • Stance Low Sock Run Light
  • Darn Tough Ultra Lightweight 1/4 Socks

Ahead, we will talk about the one by one including their overall feel and performance. But first, let’s look at how we can spot a good running sock that won’t slip down.

How To Know If A Running Sock Won’t Slip

It has a good level of elasticity

Before you pick up a running sock, make sure to try to stretch it out and observe whether or not it comes back to its original shape quickly.

Also, check the fabric composition. Make sure they have some elasticity components like spandex or elastane. A good composition will be at least 2% of either fabric.

It has a tight cuff

Most often, the socks that end up sliding down are the ones with loose and thin cuffs (the top part of the sock).

In choosing a running sock, make sure that the cuff is tight around your leg at the get-go. Some socks, particularly crew socks, have loose cuffs to fit the thicker part of your leg. If you have small legs, socks at this length may not be the best option for you.

Has a heel tab (for no-show socks)

A lot of runners hate no-show socks because the low-quality ones “slide inside the shoe” which is common and very frustrating.

One way to make sure that doesn’t happen to you is to buy socks with thick heel tabs. It not only prevents heel blisters but also prevents the socks from sliding down.

Choose the one with thicker heel tabs so it could physically block the sock from sliding in the heel part of your shoes.

The heel of the socks is right on your heel

Make sure that your heel sits right in the heel pocket of your socks. No matter how good the heel cuffs or the elasticity of the socks are, if you do not make sure that your heel is right on the heel pocket of the socks, it will slide down.

The sock feels snug overall

Lastly, you should make sure your socks feel snug overall. There should be no excess fabric anywhere because it will create friction and pull the socks downward.

This brings me to the next point. Find the right size.

Most sock manufacturers have different sizing for their socks which is accompanied by a sizing chart. Make sure you check that out before buying the running sock.

The length

Crew socks and mid-calf socks are usually the ones that slip the most because the cuff band is at the thickest part of the leg and directly below it has a much smaller circumference.

Long socks are unlikely to slide inside your shoes but it still feels uncomfortable to wear socks that are supposed to look good and be snug but aren’t.

That said, it is best to stick with above-the-calf tall socks, high ankle, and no-show socks.

Related post: Why Your Running Socks Slide Down And How To Prevent It

Best Running Socks That Don’t Slip Down

Balega Silver No-Show Socks

On the top of my list is the Balega no-show running socks.

I’ve been using this on different types of runs and never has it even slid down inside my shoe, thanks to its compression fit and thicker heel tab that sits above the heel of my shoes.

Performance-wise, it’s very light, breathable, and it works really well in wicking away moisture.

Plus, its mid-volume cushion ensures comfort without affecting the responsiveness of your stride. It’s the perfect pair for endurance events in hot weather.

Smartwool PhD Run

For cold weather running, the SmartWool PhD run is one of my highly recommended running socks.

It’s made with more than 50% merino wool which is known for its superior comfort and thermoregulation properties keeping your foot warm and comfy during those long hours out in the winter.

Its high ankle length ensures that the cuff isn’t at the meaty part of your leg that could stretch the cuff band and which could cause it to slide down.

In addition, SmartWool is known for providing high-quality wool garments giving you the peace of mind that you’re getting a pretty good value for your money.

CEP Ultralight Tall Socks

If you’re looking for a longer sock and hat the fact that most of them slide down, here’s a great option for you.

The CEP running socks sits right above the calves. Because the calves are much bigger than their cuff bands, it will prevent them from sliding down.

With regards to its comfort and performance, it feels breathable despite being tall socks, thanks to its ultralight design. The cushioning around the heel and toes are just right. Not the softest I’ve worn but it feels great overall.

In addition, these below-the-knee compression socks improve blood flow to your leg area and could aid athletic performance or improve recovery.

If you’re interested in compression garments, I made an article detailing the studies behind different compression garments. I recommend that you check it out.

Stance Low Sock Run Light Tab St

I’ve been a fan of Stance for a long time mostly because of the comfort and designs of their socks.

Stance is one of the few running sock manufacturers that add cotton to their fabric composition making the overall softness and comfort different from polyester and nylon blend. And they have done it without sacrificing its moisture-wicking properties or breathability.

In addition, Stance running socks feel more elastic than most running socks making them conform more to the shape of your foot better.

I have used stance socks (both the low and the crew length) and I have never had the experience of having to pull them up from inside the shoe. And despite the many washes, they remain soft and elastic making them feel the same from the moment you bought them.

Darn Tough Ultra-Lightweight 1/4 Running Sock

This Darn tough Ultra Lightweight sock isn’t just lightweight, it’s also very well cushioned.

On the top side, it has a thin layer of socks allowing for maximum breathability.

Below, it’s very well cushioned for maximum comfort.

It’s made with 50% merino wool offering good thermoregulation and moisture-wicking abilities. In addition, it has a lifetime guarantee against holes or tears.

Its elastic properties are from a blend of lycra spandex which is known to have long-lasting elastic properties so it doesn’t wear off or slide down easily.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right pair of running socks is as important as choosing the right pair of running shoes.

Before you head out for a run, make sure you’re wearing a high-quality running sock to ensure a good running experience.

If you have past experiences of socks slipping down when you run, don’t worry, a new pair of running socks will likely solve the problem.

Also, if you’re running with a sock that frequently slips, get rid of them. There is no way of reversing them and they will only clutter your closet.

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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