Toe socks for running? Yes, you read that right. If the thought is strange to you, you’re not alone.
You may cringe at the thought of going for a run with stuff between your toes. But we can promise it’s not as bad as it sounds. In fact, running with toe socks can have some distinct advantages over normal socks.
The bulk of these socks are made by Injinji, the leading toe sock brand for running. In fact, the stylish and quick-drying Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show toe socks come out on top. But we’ve included a few other brands to even the list out.
And depending on your personal preference, you may want a thicker sock or a taller height. We’ve got you covered with this list of the best toe socks for running, no matter your style or preference.
Top 4 Best and Favorites
Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show
Injinji Run Original Weight No-Show
Injinji Women’s Run Lightweight No-Show
ToeSox Minnie Sport Socks
Best Lightweight Toe Socks
1. Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show
The Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show socks wins top spot for their combination of comfort, durability, and stylishness. Yes, socks can be stylish too.
You can get as funky as you want to with these socks, choosing between solid colors and a variety of unusual, brightly colored patterns. While this is what makes them eye-catching on the road, what first caught our eye was their quality.
The No-Shows are made of a blend of Coolmax, nylon, and Lycra, which makes them wonderfully moisture-wicking and quick-drying. The Lycra gives them a stretchy element which makes it easy to get them on and off, while they retain their shape well.
Another feature that helps remove these socks easily is the heel tab. It also serves the purpose of preventing the back of your shoe from chafing your heel as you run, which is a welcome help.
They have a needle count of 200, which is a thin-but-hardy construction for a lightweight feel under your shoes. The thicker, extended cuff makes sure they don’t get lost in your shoe while you’re on the move.
These socks also sport a mesh top for enhanced airflow, added arch support for increased comfort (especially over longer runs), and 5-toe Fit System technology. Unfortunately, if you happen to have more than 5 toes on each foot you’ll need to find another sock.
For 5-toed runners, though, this is a great option if you’re looking to make the switch to toe socks.
- Coolmax/nylon/Lycra blend
- Built-in arch support
- Mesh top for added breathability
- We like the heel tab for easy removal
- They’re pricey for just one pair of socks
- May be uncomfortable for those who prefer longer socks
Best Medium-Cushion Toe Socks
2. Injinji Run Original Weight No-Show
If our number one choice is too lightweight for you, this is the medium-weight version of the same. They feature the same great quality, just in a more cushioned version.
If you’re the kind of runner who prefers marathons to sprints, you may appreciate the added padding. These socks provide a little more comfort than the above ones, without adding bulk or weight.
Runners who have narrower feet may also prefer the slightly thicker sock to fill out the space in their shoes.
Whether you’re out for a run or hitting the trails, your feet should stay comfy and dry. Just don’t go traipsing through rivers for extended amounts of time. They’re moisture-wicking, but they may not survive that much water.
The left/right sock design may sound obvious, but it’s unique in a world where many pairs of socks are interchangeable between feet. This allows for a better fit, as the sock can mold to your foot and take on its shape for long-term comfort.
They offer the same cool styles as the lightweight version. At this quality, you can buy a pair for every color shirt you own and they should last you a good long time.
As long as you’re happy with shorter socks, the Injinji Run should add a layer of cloud-like comfort to your run.
- Slightly thicker than our top option
- More padding adds more comfort over longer runs
- Left/right sock design for a better fit
- Great for runners with narrow feet
- Pricey for a single pair
- May not fit runners with wide feet
Best Crew Length Toe Socks
3. Injinji Run Lightweight Crew
If you find the shorter, no-show socks uncomfortable, crew-length may be more your style. They sit mid-calf or perhaps higher, if you’ve got shorter legs.
One of the greatest benefits of crew-length socks is that they keep dirt, gravel, and other debris from landing in your socks or simply irritating your shins as you run. They’d be great for trail runs or areas where you might want a layer of protection from underbrush encroaching on the path.
The classic Injinji Coolmax/nylon/Lycra mixed fabric offers the best of both the moisture-wicking and elastic-fitting worlds. Not only will your toes stay dry, but you’ll also find these mid-length socks to be tight but not compressive (provided you get the right size). Sizing seems to run quite true.
These would also be great for winter running, for a bit more coverage than the tiny socks. You can find them in both lightweight and medium, so whichever works for you.
While they don’t quite serve the same purpose as proper compression socks, the added length on these socks gives a slight compression that may improve circulation.
- Mid-calf length or higher (depending on your leg length)
- Moisture-wicking material throughout
- Unisex design and fit
- Shorter runners may find them uncomfortably high
Best Women-Specific Toe Socks
Brands like Injinji know that women’s and men’s feet are different. So they’ve designed socks to meet this need. Plus, they usually come in lots of fun colors.
4. Injinji Women’s Run Lightweight No-Show
Injinji acknowledges that women and men more often than not have differently shaped feet, and one design is perhaps not best for all. These particular socks are designed specifically for women, and feature a narrower design with a longer heel-to-toe stretch.
Injinji has created the individual toe sleeves to be slightly shorter to fit, although some customers report that their toes are a little long for the sleeves. It might be best to measure first!
They’re available in two sizes – extra small to small, and medium to large. Women with larger feet may find themselves unable to find a pair that fits, as could ladies with longer toes.
The 200-needle count makes for a tight but lightweight garment that’s ideal for summer running. Your feet will stay dry and comfy, while feeling like you’re running on air.
The light material means that having a layer between each toe isn’t a problem. You’ll hardly feel it there, but you’ll notice the difference when you stop getting blisters and pressure sores.
These socks come in a couple of eye-catching designs, so pick one to match your favorite shirt and hit the road in comfort.
- No-show design means no tan lines on the ankle
- Designed for a women’s foot
- Needle count of 200
- May not fit women with larger feet
5. ToeSox Minnie Sport Socks
For women who prefer ankle-length socks, ToeSox Minnies are perfect. And they won’t break the bank either. They’re our top value women’s sock choice.
They feature a cushioned sole from toe to heel, for a lighter, comfier step. It’s shock-absorbing and reduces pressure on common problem areas of the foot.
As well as the padding, these socks offer extra support with a gently compressing arch band to give prolonged arch assistance on both short and long runs.
The welt band at the ankle is tight but not restrictive, and keeps dirt and debris from getting into your sock. There are few things worse than having something stuck in your shoe in the middle of a race!
They’re made of polyester, which is a great sweat-wicking material and dries quickly. Simply throw them in the washing machine after every run and you’ll be good to go with a fresh pair next time.
- Polyester construction for quick-drying function
- Ankle-length for support and comfort
- Supportive arch band
- Vented knit top for extra breathability
- Not as lightweight as some
Best Compression Toe Socks
6. ToeSox Zoe Sport Compression Knee High
Compression socks are a super recovery tool, and if you haven’t tried them yet, you should! This pair is a great way to start.
The combination of splayed toes and compression can make a significant improvement to bad circulation. Not only will your toes be in a position to reduce pressure and pain, but the compression will keep blood flowing adequately.
These socks also have built-in arch support, which helps reduce fatigue on longer runs. They’re also quite breathable, being made from a polyamide/spandex mix.
The toes on these socks seem to be a little “bubbly” in comparison to the tight fit of the rest of the sock. It may or may not be uncomfortable, but it’s something that shouldn’t be difficult to get used to.
- Graduated compression for better blood flow
- Defined heel cup for better fit
- Polyamide/spandex construction
- Compressive arch band
- The toes seem to be larger than average, which may be uncomfortable for some
Top Wool Toe Socks
Wool socks are ideal for running because they wick moisture to keep your feet dry in all weather conditions. They also don’t retain odor like traditional running socks.
Best No-Show Wool
7. Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show NuWool
Wool socks are super for running in winter, as they keep the heat in better than synthetic fabrics.
Winter socks can be a bit tricky, but these ones cover all bases. The wool/nylon/acrylic/Lycra combination ensures that your feet will stay warm in cold weather, but still have space to breathe. If you do sweat, it gets wicked away and dries quickly.
They’re the same classic Injinji design. You’ll find the mesh top, arch support, and the easy-off, non-chafe heel tab.
They’re a little thicker than the other Injinjis we’ve reviewed, but they’re meant to be warmer than average.
- Mix of wool and synthetic fibers for warmth and increased moisture-wicking
- Breathable but warm
- Heel tab for less chafing
- They don’t seem to be as durable as other Injinji socks
Best Crew Length Wool
8. Injinji Outdoor Original Weight Crew NuWool
If you like crew-length socks, this wool version could be the perfect warm winter sock for you.
With more coverage than the no-show or ankle-length options, the crew NuWool socks will keep you snug and comfy no matter the terrain.
The cushioned bottom absorbs shock, and the higher length prevents debris from flying up and scratching or irritating your legs.
They’ll also stay put where they need to be and not fall down as you run, thanks to the tighter band around the top of the sock.
- NuWool Merino fiber
- Midweight for extra cushioning
- Perfect length to prevent ankle friction
- They’re a little more fragile than the polyester socks
Best Value Toe Socks
9. UGUPGRADE Toe Socks
If you’re looking for the best value toe socks for running, these get our thumbs-up. You’ll get two pairs with your purchase.
They’re nice and short and won’t get in your way while running, or leave tan lines in the summer. These socks consist of 12% Lycra, which is more than twice what’s usually found in socks, so it provides a stretchier fit.
The balance of the fibers consist of 20% nylon, which is sweat-wicking, and 68% cotton, which is slightly on the thicker, warmer side. But it’s also soft and comfortable, and will be easy on pressure points.
Toe socks can get pricey, so it’s great to see a pair that’s both high-quality and affordable.
- Cotton/nylon/Lycra mix for warmth and quick drying
- Two pairs for the price, very affordable
- Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Cotton means they may be slightly warm for summer use
Top Casual and Fun Toe Socks
These socks aren’t ideal for running in everyday due to their cotton fabric. But they do make for fun and comfortable socks for wearing around the house.
Best Color & Design
10. UBUMO Five Finger Toe Socks
These wildly colored and patterned socks are 5 or 6 in a pack, so they’re not only bright, they’re affordable too.
To be honest, they may not be the best toe socks for running in summer. They’re made mostly of cotton, which is quite thick and may cause your feet to overheat.
They would, however, make a great pair of winter socks. Your feet will stay warm, breathable, and stylish all at the same time.
You can choose whichever length you like best, but be aware that colors may vary according to which length you select!
- Extremely affordable with 5 or 6 pairs in a set
- Various lengths available
- Elastic sock cuff
- Slightly thicker, therefore warmer (may not be comfortable on hot days)
Best Budget Cotton Toe Socks
11. VWELL Cotton Toe Socks Five Finger Socks
These ankle-length socks are well-made, and surprisingly, you come away with 4 pairs for the price of one in this purchase.
Made from high-quality combed cotton, polyester, and (a tiny bit of) spandex, they’re cushioned and soft for extra protection and enjoyment while running.
They’re of medium thickness, so you should be able to use them in cold to moderately warm weather without breaking a sweat.
With breathable mesh sections, a deep and stable heel pocket, and a thick and comfortable heel tab, your feet will thank you when they’re in these socks.
- 4 pairs in one purchase
- High-quality combed cotton for sweat absorption
- Heel tab adds extra comfort
- The “one-size-fits-all” design may not actually fit all
Best Budget Crew Toe Sock
12. VWELL Toe Socks Cotton Athletic
If crew socks are your thing, these ones come in top as our budget crew sock choice. It can be tough to find the best toe socks for running that have a nice price tag too, but these ones fit the bill very well.
You’ll get three pairs in a pack, which makes these some of the most affordable out there. You have to sacrifice color variation for the price, but it’s a worthwhile price to pay!
Combed cotton is easy on the skin, soft and sleek, and has pretty good sweat absorption properties. The mesh top allows for some extra airflow to keep your feet cooler in warmer climates.
They’re available in “one-size-fits-all”, which covers men’s sizes 7 to 11. If your feet are larger or smaller than that, you may struggle to wear these socks comfortably.
- Crew-length for extra coverage
- Mild compression benefits
- Soft and easy on the feet
- Not many color options
- May not fit all foot sizes
Thinking of switching to toe socks? Here are some questions you may be asking yourself.
Why Would Runners Wear Toe Socks?
The thought of wearing toe socks while on the road might seem a little odd to you, especially if you’ve never worn them before, or if you have but found them uncomfortable.
But you may be surprised to learn that they have certain advantages over normal socks.
Instead of just your outer foot being cushioned, each of your toes will have their own little comfy cushion area. The extra layer of material between the toes allows them to be a little more splayed out, reducing friction and allowing for more space.
Less Chance of Blisters
The spread-out nature of your toes in toe socks means that there’s less chance of blisters (which should have every runner excited). The less your toes rub against each other, the smaller the chance you’ll develop friction sores.
Fit With 5-Toed Shoes
Toe shoes were quite the thing several years ago. They’re still around, of course, even if their moment of popularity has passed. If you’ve taken the leap and bought a pair of toe-shoes, you will have quickly discovered that you can’t wear normal socks with them. That’s where these fellas come in extremely handy.
What Is The Best Material for Toe Running Socks?
Synthetic materials have the best moisture-wicking properties. Any runner knows that sweaty feet is not something you want to deal with on a run. These materials include polyester, nylon, Coolmax, and acrylic fabric.
For winter running, wool may work better. It has insulating properties that synthetics don’t have, and will keep your feet warm while out in the cold.
Why Are My Feet Colder With Socks On?
You’d think that socks keep your feet warmer, but it’s not always the case. While they do protect your soles from the cold coming up from the floor, they don’t always do a great job of keeping your feet warm in general.
Here are some possible reasons why:
They’re Slightly Damp
If your socks are made from fabric that doesn’t wick away moisture, they can become damp fairly easily. Damp socks have the nasty habit of pulling the warmth from your feet, keeping you cool. This isn’t usually an issue when you’re running in the heat, but when the weather is cool to begin with, it can be extremely noticeable and not very nice.
They’re Too Tight
Yes, too-tight socks can cause cold feet. This is because they alter your circulation. Even though your feet may not feel numb or tingly (giving you an indication that there’s a circulation problem), just a little circulation problem can cause cold feet.
When your socks are too tight, the blood doesn’t flow quite like it should. Without the usual movement and friction of rapidly-flowing blood through veins, there’s less generated heat. It’s a minute difference, but the body can be incredibly sensitive to even the tiniest changes in temperature.
If you suffer from diabetes, you’re more likely to have circulation problems than those who don’t. If you haven’t been diagnosed, constant cold feet could be an indication, and you should see a doctor just to be safe.
Diabetics will have circulation problems and cold feet more often than non-diabetics. In this case, even loose socks may not help warm your feet up, unfortunately.