Best women’s running socks: we test options from Balega, Sweaty Betty and Rockay

IT’S crazy the difference that a pair of the best running socks can make to your run.

When you spend a lot of time pounding the pavements, you learn to appreciate good quality running gear, along with anything else that can make the next 5K feel a little less arduous.

And when you’re struggling for motivation, having a pair of socks that give you blisters or that slip inside your shoe on the run can tip you into calling time on your exercise early.

Luckily, we’ve tried out a number of popular pairs of running socks and have listed some of our favourites below.

Whether you like thin socks to help you feel the road or something thicker to keep your toes warm, there’s a great option for you in our roundup. 

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  • Best men's running socks
  • Balega Hidden Comfort running socks review
  • On Mid-sock review

What are the best running socks for women?

In our testing, our reviewers were unanimous: Balega for the win.

Balega’s running socks are excellent quality, cushion your feet with superb padding and have seamless toes to ensure no friction and no blisters.

There’s plenty of options in Balega’s range, so whatever colour and style you prefer, you should be able to find something to suit you.

Do running socks make a difference?

If you’re knocking out a couple of 5ks a week and you’ve got a decent pair of trainers, you probably don’t need to break the bank for a pair of the best running socks (unless you suffer from blisters, then it’s definitely worth it).

But if you’re a regular runner or you’re on a training plan that sees you racking up the miles each week, some good running socks can make a world of difference.

A bit of extra padding can help protect your feet and stop your soles getting too sore when you’re pounding the pavements. 

Plus, the best running socks will be designed to fit your foot snugly and provide you with support, so they won’t slip around on the go (and they won’t end up bunched around your toes halfway through a 10k!).

And, if you’ve got bad circulation and suffer with cold feet, getting some warmer running socks made of moisture wicking fabric is the perfect solution.

Balega Ultraglide Running Socks

  • UltraGlide Running Socks, from £11 at Amazon – buy here

Balega specialises in super-comfortable running socks and this UltraGlide pair is no exception.

They were cloud-soft on our feet and we found ourselves wearing them around the house in-between runs in the winter because they are so warm.

When you’re running, these have lots of padding for comfort and they hug the foot in all the right places; sometimes forget we were wearing socks at all, which seems like a good sign. 

We think they’d be a bit sweaty for summer running, though, unless you’ve got poor circulation.

On Running – High Sock

  • On Running High Sock, £20 at On – buy here

If you like a high sock for keeping mud off your ankles while trail running (or you just like the feeling of having extra support) it’s worth trying out a pair of high socks.

We loved this pair from On which are on the thinner side of running socks but still provide adequate padding. They’re very supportive while not being too tight like other high socks we’ve tested.

Rockay Accelerate Performance socks

  • Rockay Accelerate Performance Socks, from £16 at Amazon – buy here

For medium padding with a low profile the Rockay Accelerate socks are a good option. 

They’re not super thick but they fit incredibly well, so you’ll get minimal chafing and avoid blisters.

They're also made from 100% recycled materials, so they're good for the planet too!

Rockay 20Four7 Ultra Light socks

  • Rockay 20four7 Ultra Light socks, from £14 on Amazon – buy here

If you like your running socks minimal, these Four7 Ultra Light performance socks might be the ones for you.

They’re lightweight with slim padding, but good support around the centre of the foot.

If your feet get hot on the run, these could be the solution.

They've also got a lifetime guarantee, so you can be sure they're built to last.

Sweaty Betty Technical Running Socks

  • Sweaty Betty Technical Running Socks, £25 – buy here

While the colour scheme might not be for everyone, we loved how these technical running socks performed in our testing. 

The padding and thickness was comfortable on the go and the raised style meant there was zero chance we could lose the sock inside our trainer mid-run.

If you like the colour scheme, there’s nothing to put you off these socks.

Balega Ultralight Running Socks

  • Balega Ultralight Running Socks, from £12.50 at Amazon – buy here

These Ultralight running socks from Balega are designed to help you avoid blisters and we loved wearing them in testing.

They’re so comfortable you can forget you’re wearing them and they’re made from moisture-wicking fabric to keep your feet from getting too clammy.

Sweaty Betty No Show Training Socks

  • Sweaty Betty, No Show Training Socks, £18 – buy here

Made from an organic cotton blend, we found these sport socks from Sweaty Betty to be a useful do-it-all addition to our sock drawer.

The rubber gripper at the back is a handy addition to help ensure your socks don’t slip around when exercising, but the low cut design means you won’t see them above your trainers.

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