Why Runners Need To Wear Moisture-Wicking Socks


Sneakers might be the most important gear runners need, but having anti-blister socks is also a major necessity. Think about going for a run and really getting in the zone. It starts as a small irritation, but then the longer the run goes on for the more pain the runner’s foot starts to feel. Before long, the runner knows the inevitable has happened: they have a blister. This means dreading taking their shoes off post-run, especially having to peel off the socks. This is exactly why runner’s need to wear moisture-wicking socks.

What Causes Blisters?

When there is friction again the skin, such as a sneaker rubbing against the flesh while running, blisters can form. What happens is the rubbing against the shoe causes tiny tears on the skin’s inner layer. Fluid then begins to fill in and raises the outer layer of the skin.

The feet being wet increases the risk of blisters or makes a blister worse. This is due to more friction caused by the moisture. This is why sweaty feet and running can be a problem for runners.

Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash.

Moisture-Wicking Socks And Blister Prevention

Beginner runners would probably never think twice about putting on a pair of socks then their sneakers and heading out for a run. That is until they experience the pain of running with a blister. But this can be prevented when it comes to properly gear up.

First, it’s important to note that blisters can also be formed from poorly fitted shoes. Incorrect size or tying the sneakers too tight or too loose can cause and increase the risk of friction between the foot and the inside of the shoe.

But moisture is often a major culprit. That means those cotton socks just aren’t cutting it when it comes to getting dressed for a run. Instead, the runner should wear moisture-wicking socks. Moisture-wicking socks allow the feet to breathe. As a result, sweat and thus wetness doesn’t build up. And thus the lower risk of friction.

Moisture-Wicking Magic

It isn’t magic but sure seems like it. Moisture-wicking socks are made of fibers that allow wetness to be pulled from the skin and to the outside of the fabric so that the moisture can evaporate. What’s left is dry feet.

Moisture-wicking socks can either be constructed from a single type of fiber or a blend of different materials. The blend varies when it comes to how well the sock performs. Fiber used to create moisture-wicking socks include acrylic, polyester, and polypropylene. These are quick to dry and repel water. All of these are known as synthetic fibers. Some combos include spinning the fiber with specific moisture-wicking fibers like Coolmax to make the sock even more breathable.

On the contrary, the most water absorbent is cotton and wool. While these materials make sure soft and comfortable socks, they soak up moisture that then is trapped in the fibers. This means the feet remain wet, combined with friction causes blisters.


Where To Find Moisture-Wicking Socks

So where does one find moisture-wicking socks? Local running or sports stores sell moisture-wicking socks. The same is true for online retailers and sites like Amazon.

Look for synthetic materials and not cotton socks. However, merino wool actually does have moisture-wicking properties. These socks also have natural anti-bacterial properties. Plus they are warm but breathable and soft and comfortable. This makes them perfect for running in the winter or paired with hiking boots.

Runners should look for socks constructed with CoolMax and/or DryMax technology for their added moisture repellent properties. The socks should be lightweight, breathable and comfortable.

Of course, other factors like price, color, and styles like a low cut or knee-high also come into consideration when picking out the best for a specific runner.

Why The Feet Sweat

Photo by Jan Romero on Unsplash.

The soles of the feet contain eccrine sweat glands. The eccrine sweat glands are of high density on the soles of the feet. This means there is more sweat gland on the feet than anywhere else in the body. The role of the sweat gland to help regulate temperature. This is why the feet tend to sweat when running or working out, or when hot. Some people just have sweaty feet in general, usually caused by overactive hormones.


  1. 10 Best Moisture Wicking Socks Reviewed & Compared, Lauren Keating, Runner Click.
  2. What Causes Blisters, ENGO
  3. Moisture Wicking Socks, Blister Prevention
  4. Thegearhunt.
  5. Gearweare.
  6. Be Smart and Don’t Get Sweaty Feet When Running, The Complete Runner
  7. Understanding Eccrine Sweat Glands, ,How Stuff Works

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