MD Podiatrist Discusses How to Shop for Athletic Socks

When shopping for athletic socks, keep in mind that selecting appropriate fabric is crucial. Synthetics, including acrylic, nylon, and polyester (that all wick moisture), are the best. “Cotton retains moisture and causes blisters, smelly feet, and increases the chance of fungal infections in nails and skin,” says Dan Michaels, DPM a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon. You can also consider natural fibers, such as Merino wool, which is temperature-regulating (will keep your feet warm in chilly temps and cool on hot days) and sweat-wicking to help keep blisters at bay.
Dr. Michaels also points out that the best athletic socks also have built-in cushion to prevent blisters and injuries and to minimize sores. Look to seamless designs to avoid irritation, and you may even want to consider nerdy toe socks, which can really benefit your foot health. “Some socks can be seamless for a better experience or have built-in toe separators, which are excellent for preventing blisters,” notes Dr. Michaels. These types of socks can also help reduce foot concerns, such as plantar fasciitis, by providing arch support.