The best running socks

Yes, you need proper socks before you embark on starting CouchTo5K.

Women putting on running socks and trainers

by Paul Larkins |

When it comes to running, whether that's road running or on a treadmill, you’ll be swamped with tech-spec concerning the shoes you should buy or breathable, lightweight jackets you should consider.

But allow us to remind you of one important piece of athletic apparel that on no account be skimped on - and that’s your socks.

Related: How to choose the best running shoes

Get them right and you won’t know they’re there, get them wrong and you won’t finish your run. They’re vital and as you’ll discover packed with their own advances. Today’s socks are a long way advanced from the lucky pair you favoured for PE.

We've found the best running socks to keep you moving and help to optimise your run performance.

What to look for when buying running socks:

Why do I need specific socks for running, I hear you ask? Some runners say their socks are the most important part of kit they own. But won't your old trainer socks do? NO. No, they will not.

Looking after your feet while you're running is vitally important - think about how much your feet go through during a marathon. They're the only part of your body in contact with the floor, and they take all of the pressure, so good socks are vital to take care of those extremities. Ignore your socks and you'll just end up with blisters.

• Running socks should be made from a breathable, quick-drying fabric to keep your feet dry.

• You might wonder why running socks have a left and right foot - it's because most of them include extra padding, especially in the toes, heels, and arches.

• Also look for compression technology and special fabrics that can help stop your socks from smelling, no matter how much you sweat.

• Buy the same size socks as your shoes, to prevent blistering.

• Don't tumble dry your running socks - they'll probably shrink.

The best running socks to buy:

Get kitted out with everything else you need for your run:

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The best women's running backpacks for commuting

Paul Larkins, a former sub-four-minute miler and currently the editor of Trail Running, has been testing for running shoes and apparel for more than 30 years now. First-hand, he's experienced the running shoe evolution – running miles in everything from microchip-controlled footwear to barefoot mimicking shoes.

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