Best toe socks for running in 2023
Weird but wonderful, these unorthodox running socks are sure to keep you on your toes
Recent years have seen renewed views of how humans should approach running. As technology develops and race records are broken, we’re often caught up in new tech that makes races more efficient, including everything from multisport watches to carbon running shoes.
A different approach has been taken by some, who argue that humans should turn to more minimalist methods of training. Greater attention has been placed on how the foot should move, leading to a wider fascination with inventions like barefoot running shoes. Another invention from this approach: the toe sock.
Inventors of the toe sock argue that normal socks restrict our toes, not allowing our feet to move naturally. Socks that allow separate compartments for the toes claim to support and promote the natural anatomical shape of the foot while running, allowing the toes to splay outwards and align naturally.
Its proponents argue the added material helps to ensure your feet are free and more comfortable, allowing runners to utilise their entire foot. It’s also stated the design can prevent blisters between your toes.
If you’re looking to embrace your running instincts and set your toes free, we’ve chosen our best picks below. These options were chosen based on in-depth research and analysis of user reviews.
Best toe socks for running
Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show Toe Socks
Injinji is essentially the titan of the toe sock world. Founded in 1999, the brand first began selling its socks in 2004 and has been doing it ever since.
A number of lines are available and are aimed at different sports and functionalities, but the no-show sock from the running range may be the best fit for a triathlete.
It features Injinji’s low-bulk design, which will make the sock a good all-rounder for a range of runs and races, according to the brand.
The sock also uses Injinji’s Coolmax EcoMade fibres, a sweat-wicking material stated to keep feet dry and comfortable. There’s also an integrated arch support in the form of a supportive band designed to ensure a secure fit.
Hilly Toe Socklet Socks
This pair of socks from Hilly features CoolmaxFX technology, a form of polyester that the brand claims combines softness and durability to prevent rubbing and blisters. There’s a vented upper layer, designed to allow cool air to enter and prevent a build up of heat for added comfort.
There’s an added layer of grip to the arch of the foot, which Hilly says is effective in reducing slippage. Hilly also includes a cushioned cuff and comfort tab to provide some extra support.
Injinji Liner Crew Toesocks
While the Injinji’s running socks were designed to be a more heavy-duty running sock, this pair of liner crew socks are designed to act as a multipurpose base layer.
They’re stated to be lightweight, made from a combination of Injinji’s CoolMax EcoMade and nylon fibres to promote breathability and softness. They have a needle count of 200, which Injinji claim makes the fibre more durable and lightweight.
This lightweight feel is intentionally designed for the sock to work as a liner underneath other toe socks for trails or cold weather. Injinji also says they’re durable enough to be used as a standalone lightweight sock for runs in warm weather.
Kiprun Run900 5-Finger Socks
This pair of toe socks from Kiprun by Decathlon are stated to have an extra layer of yarn on the heel and toe that’s designed to prevent blisters. This was done using a map of perspiration rates common during exercise, used as a reference point to place the anti-friction yarn in areas where it’s most effective.
The socks are made from 95% polyamide, which is designed to ensure the material absorbs and wicks away perspiration. There’s an elastic strip running through the arch of the midfoot, which Decathlon says helps to hold the sock in place.
Meaiguo Toe Socks
Meaiguo’s pair of budget toe socks feature a range of colours and ankle heights to ensure you can find the sock that is right for your feet.
They’re made from 100% cotton, which is stated to be thin enough to provide some breathability while also reducing friction between your toes. However, there is no dedicated performance materials or zones designed to provide support to your foot.
Each pack includes four pairs, but they’re only available in one size, which is said to be able to stretch to accommodate UK men’s shoe sizes four to eight and women’s four to nine.
Vibram Fivefingers Socks
- Buy now from Sports Shoes (£11.24)
This pair of no-show socks from Vibram are made from a mix of Coolmax, nylon and Lycra, and are stated to provide a premium stretch that allows for improved movement and comfort.
The brand says they also offer decent moisture-wicking properties and thermal regulation to keep your feet cool when working hard.
Vibram has added padding between the toes to help prevent blisters, while their subtle design is stated to make them versatile enough to be worn with conventional shoes on an everyday basis, as well as with barefoot running shoes.
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