Between WFH and Seamless deliveries, you might find yourself sitting around more than ever. Unfortunately for couch potatoes everywhere, too much sedentary time has been scientifically linked to a host of health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, even depression. Proven ways to counteract those risks include working some incidental movement into your day and shaping your environment (like stacking books for an ersatz standing desk). Even donning a humble pair of the best socks to keep your feel cool could help if it inspires you to get up and move around, whether that's for a quick walk around the block for a high-intensity workout. At least you know your feet won’t feel like swampy furnaces when you’re done.
While cotton socks are super breathable, they're not going to do the best job of keeping you cool and dry given their hydrophilic nature. For moisture-wicking, opt instead for a performance synthetic or natural bamboo. Extra features to look for are breathable mesh panels to give your toes plenty of air, and some socks are antibacterial to boot (pun intended) so you never have to worry about your feet smelling rank by the end of the day.
Sure, they’re “just socks” – but these five pairs are really good socks that will make you, perhaps, a little bit more inclined to make tracks.
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1. Some breathable, vented socks for sweaty feet
These moisture-wicking socks are made from a performance cotton blend with polyester, rayon, latex (for durability) and other stretch fibers. The brand's responsive fabric tech, with built-in odor protection, means these socks work even harder to keep you cool when things heat up. There’s a reinforced heel and toe with super-smooth seams that won’t chafe your toes, and a low-profile, mesh-woven instep for extra ventilation. (Heads up: There’s a colored Hanes logo on the bottom toe that didn’t thrill picky shoppers, but that didn't stop them from commenting on the "air flow and breathability.")
- Available colors: 4
- Available sizes: 2 (6-12, 12-14)
2. These copper-infused antibacterial ankle socks
This set of breathable performance socks are a lot like the cult hit Bombas — without the price tag. They share a similar compression arch support, padded footbed, and reinforced ankle tab with a seamless toe. These are woven with a thin mesh upper in a moisture-wicking polyester/spandex blend that’s infused with antimicrobial copper to help combat odor. Grab sets in ankle and crew lengths.
- Available colors: Several solid and multicolor packs
- Available sizes: Small —11 Plus
3. A budget-friendly pack of hard-working socks for hot weather
The original tough-as-nails workwear brand, Dickies serves up seriously durable socks with moisture control fibers that will work as hard as you do. They have a high cotton count for breathability with wicking polyester and nylon (plus spandex for stretch). You'll find a reinforced heel and toe with supportive arch compression and ventilation channels to help keep your feet cool. Grab 'em in packs of up to 18 and you're covered for over two weeks.
- Available colors: Several solid and multicolor packs, including hi-visibility sets
- Available sizes: 3 (5-9, 6-12, 12-15)
4. These moisture-wicking dress socks made with cooling bamboo
These cooling work socks are made with bamboo that feels absurdly soft. (How soft? "Seriously considering replacing my socks with all bamboo socks," according to one review.) Bamboo is naturally moisture-wicking, thermoregulating, and hypoallergenic with antibacterial properties that slay odor. It’s blended with cotton for strength with a bit of stretchy Lycra, and features a seamless toe with a reinforced heel.
- Available colors: 14 multicolor sets
- Available sizes: One size fits most (8-11.5)
5. Some low-cut mesh running socks with a cult following
These running socks are woven with a proprietary polyester/spandex fabric blend that is “ultra-wicking” and has airmesh ventilation for extra airflow. They feature a cushioned sole that helps absorb shock and a supportive instep with arch compression to stabilize your foot and keep the socks from slipping down. "Exactly what I needed for my workouts. They keep my feet cool and are very comfortable," one shopper noted. Opt for a basic six-pack or spring for a laundry-day-extending 12-pack.
- Available colors: 5
- Available sizes: 4 (6-9 — 15-17)