It’s a topic nobody wants to discuss, but sweaty and smelly socks and feet are a huge source of embarrassment, even to the point of annoyance. Especially when you remove the shoes and socks at the end of a long and tiring day, or if you need to pull it out unexpectedly in the middle of the day, it is a real problem. If it is a continuing issue, despite changing shoes and socks several times, it may be time to change your hosiery brand.
Feet do sweat naturally, but some may sweat more than others. There are socks that have been designed specifically to keep your feet dry and cool throughout. Let’s take a look at how we can eliminate this nagging problem and look at the best socks for sweaty feet.
Top 9 Best Socks for Sweaty Feet Reviews
If your job requires too much physical activity, if you travel a lot, or if you like exercising very frequently, you sure are prone to sweat a lot, and surely nobody likes lugging sweaty feet around. Good for us, there are quite a lot of socks available in the market now, which can wick moisture and sweat away, leaving your feet dry and cool through the entire day.
Various models of socks with moisture-wicking properties have been subjected to a thorough study, looking especially at material, comfort, breathability, and style. The list below gives a thorough review of the few top best-rated socks, especially for sweaty feet. These are socks that are ideal for any type of activity, such as hiking, walking, jogging, running, working, for use in hot weather and cold weather, and regular daily wear.
1. Dickies Men’s Multi-pack Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks
Dickies is a popular work sock brand in the USA for 95 years and is known for making work products equipped for heavy-duty work. Their work socks have been built to deliver superior performance and comfort on the job and even when you are off it.
The Dri-Tech Sock collection from Dickies with Moisture Control feature provides moisture management so that your feet are kept dry, cool, and comfortable through the day. The sock collection covers the complete solution for men and women alike. These quality socks are built tough and have earned the Dickies badge.Features:
These Dri-Tech 6 pair in a pack crew socks are made of a material which wicks away the moisture on the feet keeping the feet comfortable and dry. It also provides in-step support, reciprocated toe and heel for a superior fit with full-cushion comfort. The arch compression technology hugs the feet and keeps the socks in place.
The product seems to have quite a lot of raving reviews with many satisfied customers. At times, the 6 pairs may not be the same size in cases of less availability of stock. They seem to be quite durable and at an affordable price range too.
2. Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks for Men and Women
Balega is a well-known American-South African manufacturer and designer of performance socks. The products are developed in production facilities in both North Carolina and South Africa and provide unmatched comfort and a superior fit. Balega products are committed to quality, technical excellence, and performance.
Balega socks provide durability and quality resulting from years of dedicated research and it is evident in every seam, every thread, and every detail.Features:
These running socks fit snugly on the feet and don’t move around. Different sizes are offered to ensure a perfect fit. 30% more stitches are knitted and branches are added onto the heel to ensure optimal stretch and heel protection. The toe seams of Balega socks are hand-linked for seam-free comfort. These socks wick away moisture, with the help of the ventilation panels.
They are generally durable and do not lose color, fit, or comfort if the washing instructions are carefully followed. Customer reviews are generally good and the product is said to meet general customer expectations.
3. BLITZU Compression Socks 20-30mmHg Men Women Recovery Running Travel Nursing
Blitzu is a physician-recommended American brand and is a leading manufacturer of compression garments. Blitzu Compression socks use a unique blend of top materials ensured to enhance performance.
The graduated compression Blitzu socks are ideal for athletes, nurses, travelers, etc. who are always on the move, to protect them from cramps, muscle strains, and fatigue. It helps to reduce muscle injuries and enables athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to train harder and perform better. It also helps to relieve foot pain for those people whose job involves too much standing. It is the best socks to be used while running since it helps in reducing pain by improving the blood flow in the legs. Since it prevents and reduces symptoms of calf cramps, shin splints, pulled muscles, and swollen legs, these socks are ideal for use by anybody who has leg problems.Features:
Blitzu company offers a full satisfaction guarantee on their socks and offers refund or replacement in case you are not satisfied with the purchased product. If you wash it as per instructions, they do last long and are comfortable and helpful, as seen in the customer reviews. Finding the right fitting size can be a challenge, but different-sized socks are available.
4. Saucony Men’s Multi-Pack Bolt Performance Comfort Fit No-Show Socks
Saucony has been in the sock industry since 1898. The Saucony Performance no-show sock for men is enhanced with moisture-wicking properties and is easier on the budget. The customer rating is very good and the product is suitable even for whole day usage.Features:
The Saucony Performance men’s sock is the perfect combination of support and comfort. It is great for even tough training sessions. Whether you are on the road or in the gym, your feet are sure to stay fresh. The air mesh venting and moisture management properties ensure better and lasting comfort.
The product is found to be durable only if the special care instructions are followed well. The socks are available in many colors and are being sold widely. The price advantage is also generally well appreciated.
5. VitalSox Italy, Graduated Compression Circulation Socks, Patented, Silver Drysat Series, VT1211 Pairs
VitalSox has been in the business of making compression socks since 1998, at their own factory in the northern part of Italy. These compression socks are ideal for long periods of running, standing, walking, sitting, doing gym and yoga, and you can also sleep in them. It is a perfect match for a demanding athlete as well as the occasional runner.
VitalSox has engineered each of their styles with sport-specific technical features, and they are built using patented fibers which are the result of years of in-depth research.Features:
Dry feet are most necessary to prevent blisters and the Drystat feature of these socks provides a healthier environment for the feet keeping them comfortable and dry. It may take some trial and error to find the right-fitting size since the sizing for compression wear depends on both the foot and calf size.
Most of the reviews attest to how the VitalSox compression socks helped them on their path to recovery. Its exclusive technology provides the ideal support and fit for even very challenging environments.
6. Thorlos Experia XCCU Thin Cushion Running Low Cut Sock
Thorlos is a three-generation family business in North Carolina, US and every pair of socks is made in the USA. They design socks to be used for sports activities specifically for running, walking and hiking and research padding, protection and other considerations for socks for particular activities. The Thorlos socks are found to be generally durable too.
A wide range of socks with moisture-wicking performance is delivered by Thorlos, one of which is the Thorlos Experia running socks. On the market since 2009, these socks are preferred for their exceptional fit as well as their legendary signature cushioning in the forefoot and heels.Features:
The Thorlos Experia and other Thorlos range socks are specifically made with the purpose of protecting the feet from moisture and sweat and to withstand the intense pounding the feet receive daily. It keeps your feet ready for all workouts, running, cardio, weights, and all regular activities and is the best dress socks for sweaty feet too.
Customer reviews are generally good, providing assured comfort and performance. They come in different colors and sizes to please all types of customers and they generally keep well if used with care.
7. Injinji Run 2.0 Lightweight No-Show Toe Socks
The Injinji Run 2.0 no-show lightweight toe socks keep the toes separated and are ideal to keep your feet cool and dry. This minimalist style, ultrathin, performance sock allows the toes to splay and align naturally, which results in a very comfortable fit.
The toe socks help to support proper alignment and even weight distribution on the feet during every athletic activity. They come in unisex adult sizes of Extra-large, Large, Medium, and Small.Features:
The Injinji Run 2.0 lightweight socks are ideal for milder temperature, minimal footwear, and shorter distances. It is compatible with traditional, casual, athletic, or dress footwear. General customer reviews report it to be high quality, really nice, and comfortable socks.
The no-show toe socks rest beneath the ankle and also features the heel tab which protects against chafing and keeps the socks from sliding inside the shoe and is the ultimate in lightweight footwear comfort.
8. Bam& bü Women's Premium Bamboo No Show Casual Socks - 3 or 4 Pair Pack - Non-Slip
Bam&bü specializes in socks and is a company founded in 2015 and based in Australia. They are committed to conserving natural resources and hence use a special blend of bamboo to provide more durable and stronger socks.
Since the cultivation of cotton plants needs much more water than bamboo, as well as too many pesticides, they help you save money by providing a better product which lasts longer. Bamboo is a renewable natural resource that grows faster than cotton and is inherently softer with moisture-wicking properties as well.Features:
This unique low-ankle no-show bamboo blend socks are so light, breathable, and comfortable that you can’t even feel them. The comfortable fitting also ensures that you look good as feel great. Made with durable and moisture-wicking fabric, these socks are a perfect match for booties.
Their customer service seems to be excellent as mentioned in many customer reviews, and is ready to find solutions for any issues connected with quality or fitting at no extra cost to the customer. Many satisfied customers say they have found the perfect no-show socks, which are not too thick, comfortable and not slipping off the feet, even though they are slightly more expensive.
9. Plantar Fasciitis Socks with Arch Support for Men & Women - Best Ankle Compression Socks for Foot and Heel Pain Relief - Better Than Night Splint Brace, Orthotics, Inserts, Insoles
Crucial Compression provides Plantar Fasciitis socks, which offer comfortable support just where you most need it. They are a small family business committed to compression products. They are the designers and creators of high-quality compression sleeves and socks. Compression technology is catching up now and many professional athletes, doctors, and runners are now recommending these compression products.
Crucial Compression uses only materials that are top grade and non-toxic and uses manufacturing practices which are highly advanced. These Plantar Fasciitis sleeves help to improve mobility, relieve pain, recover faster, and to feel great. They are breathable, flexible, and most comfortable. You don’t have to let your foot pain hold you back, but you can slide your injured and painful foot in these for a snug compression and instant support for Achilles tendon, plantar fasciitis, heel, ankle, foot, and arch pain.Features:
The Crucial Compression sleeves and socks are ideal to be born all day with slippers, sandals, socks, insoles, shoes, inserts, orthotics, splint supports, or orthopedic shoes and are recommended by doctors. They can be worn under socks or even with flip-flops and will not be noticed at all. The company offers a replacement or a full refund in case a customer is not fully satisfied with the product and provides excellent customer care service.
Things To Consider Before Buying New Socks
The ideal socks should be made of breathable material that can absorb the sweat away, keeping the feet dry without the socks getting wet. Blends of synthetic fiber and custom-made materials are a good choice for wicking the sweat away. To keep the feet dry and cool, mesh or ventilation panels are also used for improved air circulation. The breathability and moisture-wicking features allow the feet to breathe and remain healthy for longer hours.
The material used in the making of socks is the most important factor in choosing socks that can keep your feet cool and dry for long hours. Even though cotton material feels soft and comfortable, it does not wick the sweat away and leaves the feet swampy and wet since sweat builds up inside it. Custom materials and synthetic blends like Polyester and Nylon are a good choice since they are specifically designed for this purpose. Among natural materials, Merino wool leads the list for comfort as well as for keeping the feet dry.
The sock you use should not be too tight since blood circulation to the feet may be affected or too loose since it cannot absorb more sweat. The fit should be such that the entire range of motion of the feet should be accommodated. No-show socks or even mid-length socks come equipped usually with mesh inserts or ventilation around the arch or on top. Sock liners are also available with thin fabrics to provide breathability.
Comfort does not have to be sacrificed when you are looking for special styles or features. The proper fit of the sock is very important for comfort in daily use. The feet should be flexible enough inside the socks. Padding inside the socks also helps to avoid hot spots in the impact areas which may lead to extra sweat and extra discomfort. The socks need to be breathable and lightweight, but not too thick. Even if the temperature is high, you wouldn’t feel hot in a comfortable sock.
Whichever style of shoes or socks you buy, always keep in mind that a proper fit and comfort are much more important than style. Buying from a store is more advantageous than buying online, since you can always determine the right size and fit for your feet. The selection may be limited than online stores, but you can certainly try different products and make a choice.
A key feature that helps to increase the durability of socks is the reinforced material added to the high-wear areas. Front toes, heel, and ball get worn out first and causes holes to be created. The overall lifespan is increased much and the value also increases by these reinforcements.
Another important consideration is making sure that they can be machine-washed before putting them in. Also, take care to follow any special care instructions mentioned by the manufacturer.
Compression socks are those that put pressure on specific areas of your legs without causing any discomfort or pain. They are not the same as tight socks and are specially designed for specific health conditions such as vein diseases, ulcers of the leg, or venous insufficiency.
8. Advanced Features
Socks with Achilles tendon tab or padded collar add to the protection your legs need during repetitive motions in running and walking and to prevent rubbing and blistering. Some come with padding at the bottom of the foot to aid shock absorption, or with a supportive cushioning arch. Some even provide the toe socks, which separate the toes in order to reduce the likelihood of corns and blisters.
There are some products which even offer special features such as:
- SPF Protection: SPF 20-50 protection for runners living in very hot areas with light-weight shoes.
- Antibacterial Protection: It provides anti-bacterial properties so that the growth of bacteria is prevented while sweating.
- Extreme cold protection: These are socks that claim to keep you warm even in winter while at the same time reducing sweat.
9. Ease of Use
Since all the different models of socks mentioned above are made of different materials, maintaining them hole-free and clean may not be so easy. When synthetic materials and wool are added to the socks, extra attention has to be paid on how to wash them as well as dry them.
Generally, socks are to be washed only on a cold washer cycle to prevent shape loss and shrinking. The dryer or even external heating also has to be avoided. When you make a new purchase of socks, always check the information regarding how it is to be washed and make sure it is not tedious to handle.
Other Factors to Consider
1. For People Who Just Don’t Want Sweaty Feet Anymore
If you wish to get rid of sweaty feet at all, choosing the right socks is most crucial. Lots of branded socks with moisture-wicking properties are out there in the market these days. Some are for specific purposes and are high end and more costly. But there are also quite a few best wicking socks at budget prices with very good quality for everyday use. The choice of socks should depend upon your usage and the weather. The Saucony socks, for example, are suitable for everyday purpose if you are not into much exercising or physical activity and are very reasonably priced. If the weather is too hot and you have excessive sweat in your feet, it is advisable to change the socks every day even if they remain dry.
2. For Outdoors People
For those who do engage in physical activities during at least the weekends and don’t want to have sweaty feet, the options can be different. Since they are not for daily use and only for occasional use, you don’t need to sacrifice on quality. Choose the top pick, since it is going to be an investment for your recreational activities. Merino or even traditional wool is recommended to be an ideal option and there are lots of brands offering quality products. Choose one which can dry easily by a fire and can be ready for the morning.
4. For Runners
For sweaty runners, olefin type materials that are durable, lightweight, and able to keep the feet dry even through tough workouts are advisable. Merino wool is good, but for daily tough use, the other lightweight options are to be preferred. The Drymax Runner socks, as well as the Thirty48 runner socks, are good choices. They have excellent moisture wicking properties and actually use two different methods for wicking and drying.
What Causes Smelly Feet?
Smelly feet is caused by a medical condition called bromodosis. It is a body odor caused when the sweat of the feet mixes with bacteria. The reasons can be:
A. Excessive foot sweat
Since there are 250,000 sweat glands on each of our feet, all feet sweat. Excessive sweating needs to be taken care of as it can cause other problems.
B. Fungal infections
Athlete’s Foot or other fungal infections can also cause smelly feet. Take care to keep the feet dry and apply lotion carefully so that the moisture does not get locked between the toes.
C. Socks, Shoes and other footwear
Foot odor becomes worse in winter, especially in very cold climates since heavy winter socks are essential. They do not breathe well and causes the feet to produce excessive sweat. Smelly feet increases when the socks get damp from slush and snow as well. Athletes are mainly vulnerable since they tend to sweat more while running.
D. Stress sweat
Even stress can cause excessive sweating of the body. The sweat produced due to stress stinks more regardless of bacteria on the skin. Washing the feet and changing the socks as soon as possible and using the best socks for sweaty feet is most essential in such situations.
Materials to Avoid When Buying Socks for Sweaty Feet
The material used in socks is a major factor in determining how well the moisture is removed from the feet. If not, it can lead to various problems such as bacterial infections, embarrassing odors, fungal infections, blisters, and even immersion-foot syndromes. These issues can be avoided by selecting socks made of good materials that can wick away the moisture.
Some of the synthetic materials used in making socks will cause the feet to sweat too much, especially in hot weather. Plastic, polyester, or nylon are not breathable and hence the sweat is not evaporated away. They don’t absorb the moisture well too, leaving the feet sticky and wet. Unless the sock is made of synthetic materials specially engineered for the purpose, it is better to stay away from standard synthetic materials.
Cotton socks do not have the property of wicking away sweat, but rather the moisture builds up within. They can also cause blisters due to the friction against the foot. The moisture it holds in leads to feet infections. Cotton socks do not last long, lose shape, and become abrasive and stretched out with long use.
The Best Sock Materials for Sweaty Feet
While shopping for socks, which reduce sweaty and smelly feet, and keep your feet nice and dry throughout the day, the fabric is the most important factor to consider. The following fabrics are to be noted while searching for these dedicated socks.
A. Merino Wool
Merino wool is definitely the best socks for sweaty feet while looking for suitable fabrics. The wool is sourced from Merino sheep found in New Zealand in the Southern Alps. The rapid variations in temperature in their living environment cause the sheep to develop a coat that is breathable in summer and insulating in winter. This temperature regulation feature makes Merino wool ideal for those with sweaty feet.
The wool absorbs most of the moisture, keeping the feet dry and free from bacteria and odor. Moreover, the wool can wick moisture even in the vapor state before it actually becomes liquid and keeps it locked there until it has evaporated. This feature makes it better for making hiking socks than synthetic fibers and even traditional wool. Darn Tough, as well as Rockay Accelerate running and hiking socks use this material.
This is a synthetic, lightweight fiber specially designed to keep the body comfortable and dry even when exposed to the elements. The fabric material involves specific cross-sections of polyester fiber in order to keep moisture away from the skin. The material is designed such that the moisture is wicked by the fabric and then it just evaporates. The Thirty48 socks use this material.
The Drymax technology utilizes a scientific approach for moisture-wicking quality. Sweat moves through the socks and the inner side is immediately dry. There is no need to wait for the sweat to evaporate. The foot is left dry throughout and the Drymax Run Hyper-thin socks utilize this technology.
Polyester is also commonly used to combat sweaty feet. It offers sweat-wicking properties and breathability but is not able to hold moisture. Another common combination is a lining sock of polyester under wool socks. This combination serves to remove moisture from the foot, locking it into the wool, thus providing a healthy and dry foot environment throughout the day.
E. Bamboo Fiber
Socks made of bamboo fiber are suitable for eco-friendly as well as vegan activists. There are micro gaps between the weaves that allow water absorption and ventilation. The bamboo fiber also has very good temperature regulation as well as natural antibacterial properties which make it an ideal solution for sweaty and smelly feet.
Why Cotton Socks are Bad for People with Sweaty Feet
Even though socks made of cotton material are supposed to be most soft and comfortable, they leave the feet damp and wet and do not wick away the sweat and are not the best breathable socks. The excessive sweat, which is built up within the socks causes most of our problems.
Cotton socks absorb moisture and become saturated. This, as well as the heat within the shoes due to the cotton socks, becomes an ideal breeding medium for bacteria and fungus and that’s what causes the terrible smell from our feet. The cotton socks do not dry fast either and so need to be dried in front of a good fire to remove the dampness at the day’s end if you are hiking out.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Type of Sock Material is Best for Wicking Away Sweat?
Answer: Materials that absorb the sweat from the feet without getting saturated or feeling damp and wet are the best for sweaty feet. Merino wool fits the bill and is good to wick away the sweat at all seasons. Other synthetic materials and custom-made blends are also good for the purpose.
2. How can I Prevent Odor Caused by Sweaty Feet?
Answer: Good hygiene practices help in eliminating smelly feet to an extent. The first thing to do is to wash the feet thoroughly using antimicrobial soaps to remove the bacteria and the odor. Soaking the feet in warm water also helps. It is also important to dry the feet well before putting the socks and shoes.
3. What Causes Feet to Sweat?
Answer: The bottom of each foot consists of 250,000 sweat glands, which sweat more naturally to regulate the body temperature. Since it is enclosed in footwear, the sweat cannot evaporate. Excessive sweating can also be due to hormonal changes or medications.
4. Aren’t Wool Socks Itchy?
Answer: In fact, no, and they are actually very soft and nice to wear even when the weather is hot. They can absorb moisture well without feeling wet and have anti-microbial and anti-static properties. They are also insulating, and very breathable and the all-round winner.
5. What Socks Should I Wear in Hot Weather?
Answer: Properly fitting socks that can wick away moisture and keep your feet insulated are the best choice. Even though wool socks seem too thick for summer, they are the best for absorbing moisture and provide good insulation to keep your feet cool in hot weather.
6. Does Wearing a Liner Sock Under my Regular Sock Help with Moisture or Preventing Blisters?
Answer: Not necessarily. Blisters are usually caused by using ill-fitting socks and material which wicks moisture is essential for moisture control.
7. Is it possible to find socks that will provide comfort with sweaty feet that are different colors than your normal athletic sock colors?
Answer: Yes, absolutely. Moisture-wicking socks are available not just for sports purposes. Many companies provide dress socks or socks for regular use also which provide the same comfort.
8. How do I Know If My Sweaty Feet are an Issue?
Answer: Sweating is a natural way in which our body regulates its temperature. But excessive sweating can be a problem related to hyperhidrosis, and can cause palm-sweating too. When the feet become too sweaty, they tend to slip sideways in the shoe and can impede sports activities.
9. Can Sweaty Feet Cause Other Health Problems?
Answer: A skin infection caused by a fungus, called as Athlete’s Foot may occur. Toenail fungus is also common, which can spread to other nails as well and cause pain and serious infection. Itching is also another problem when the feet get sweaty.
10. Are There Other Ways to Prevent My Feet from Sweating?
Answer: Over and above using socks with moisture-wicking properties, using the right antiperspirant or deodorant for the feet is helpful. Special powders are available as well which help prevent infections and skin irritation.
11. Why Can't I Just use a Foot Deodorizer?
Answer: It may work for some people, but maybe not for all. Soaking the feet in warm water or solution and using antibacterial soap also helps. Keeping the feet dry at all times is very important. Washing the shoes regularly and spraying them with germ killers once a week too is a good practice.
12. I don’t want to spend a ton of money on one pair of socks for sweaty feet, are these really worth the investment?
Answer: The best products are not necessarily the most expensive ones. The material, the quality, and the fit are more important among other things. But the cheapest pair may not be the best either. Saving money on something as important may not be worth further health problems which can ensue.
13. How long will a good pair of socks last before needing to be replaced?
Answer: The lifespan of a pair of socks depends on various aspects. The material used, frequency of usage, your lifestyle, are all important factors. Taking heed of the washing and drying instructions given by the manufacturer is also important. An active person may be able to use one pair for 4 to 6 months before needing to replace it.
14. What are some extra features that make for a comfortable, reliable sock?
Answer: Compression and arch support are good options for those who need a form fit so that the socks don’t slide around. Additional padding on impact points on the foot or around the ankles also provides extra protection as well as comfort. Seamless toes or flat-knit seams also give a smooth feel and prevent irritation. The extra features add to the comfort and quality of the purchase.
As a conclusion, we can see that there are quite a lot of options to get rid of our nagging problem, and this list will surely help you get started. Use the above guidelines to choose the best socks for sweaty feet since it is most important for enjoying your outdoor adventures and athletic activities.