The 12 Best Socks for Sweaty Feet of 2023, Tested and Reviewed


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Feb 26, 2024

The 12 Best Socks for Sweaty Feet of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Our moisture-wicking picks will keep your feet comfortable no matter how much you sweat Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and

Our moisture-wicking picks will keep your feet comfortable no matter how much you sweat

Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and Verywell. He is a seasoned financial and technology journalist who served as editor-in-chief of the Potomac Tech Wire for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun. He has also been a news editor for America Online and has contributed to the Associated Press and The Washington Post.

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Courtesy of Merchant / Photo Illustration by Brian Kopinski for Health

Along with the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. If you have sweaty feet, you’re not alone. For an estimated 4.8 percent of the population with hyperhidrosis—the medical term for excessive sweating—choosing the right socks and footwear can make a huge difference in the management of symptoms.

Your socks come into direct contact with your feet, so podiatrists say to choose them wisely. “Wearing the right socks can help reduce sweaty feet,” says Bruce Pinker, DPM, a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon with a private practice in New York City. “Certain materials absorb moisture better than others and help to keep feet dry.”

Sweaty feet aren't life-threatening, but they can create a lot of worry and discomfort, limiting overall quality of life. Poor foot hygiene surrounding sweaty feet can also lead to other issues. “The most common consequences of sweaty feet are risk for skin or nail infection, blisters, fungus, and bacterial infections,” explains Adrienne M. Estes, DPM, Assistant Professor of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Western University of Health Sciences. “Therefore, it is important to keep your feet as dry as possible.” Though there is no cure for hyperhidrosis, Dr. Estes says the treatment is focused on reducing symptoms, and keeping the feet dry with moisture-wicking socks is part of that plan.

We set out to find the best socks for sweaty feet through firsthand testing and podiatrist input. A board-certified podiatrist on our Medical Expert Board also reviewed this article for medical and scientific accuracy. Based on our research, tester experience, and expert insights, we found that polyester, nylon, and wool socks are most effective at keeping sweaty feet dry, cool, and comfortable. These materials are moisture-wicking, so they move sweat to the outer surface of the socks.


Silver ions have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which can help prevent odors from sweaty feet.

They may be prone to pilling.

The Balega Silver No-Show Socks are our top pick because they possess all the qualities of a good athletic sock, especially for those with particularly sweaty feet. They’re made of moisture-wicking and ventilating fabrics like polyester and nylon, which come recommended by our podiatrists to keep feet dry. The fabrics are also infused with silver ions, giving them added antibacterial benefits, per Dr. Estes. Bacteria can lead to smelly odors, so these could help prevent smelly feet.

After trying them ourselves, we can attest to the moisture-wicking properties of these socks. “The socks were always perfectly dry when I took them off at the end of each day,” said our tester, whose feet are normally “cold and clammy” or “slightly sweaty.”

These socks have a compression fit for comfort and performance, but they’re designed much like an athletic shoe. The toe box is seamless to reduce friction and allow the toes to move freely. Plus, they have a high heel tab to prevent slipping. In terms of comfort, we were impressed. “These are seriously the most comfortable athletic socks I've ever owned,” our tester said, adding that they’re “worth every penny.”

Price at time of publication: $20

Product Details:


They’re made of podiatrist-recommended polyester to keep feet dry at a fraction of the price of other brands.

Since they’re on the thicker side, they may be too bulky for non-athletic footwear.

Athletic socks can be costly, but these budget-friendly socks are just as effective as some other pricier picks. They also come in a multi-pack of eight or 16 pairs, whereas other brands are sold individually. Like warehouse clubs have taught us, buying in bulk is always the way to save a buck. Ultimately, these socks come out to less than $2 per pair.

Polyester is one of the best materials for sweaty feet, per Dr. Pinker. These socks are made from 98 percent polyester for breathability and dryness. They also feature mesh ventilation to keep feet cool and dry with airflow during physical activity. Like pricier options, these have a heel tab to protect the heels from footwear and arch support.

Compared to other athletic socks, we found better results with these. They “do not cause feet to be sweaty whatsoever,” said our tester, who found these socks comfortable enough for daily wear. They’re also effective against odors. “My feet definitely don't get smelly in these,” our tester said.

Price at time of publication: $11 – 14

Product Details:


These are super lightweight and hold their shape even after several washes.

They may be too thin for those who prefer a thick, ultra-cushy sock.

For those who prefer a thin, low-cut sock, these lululemon no-show socks may be for you. According to our tester, they’re everything you need in a sock—they’re “light as a feather,” uber comfortable, and long-lasting. Since they retain their shape and won’t pill or shrink, our tester said “they’re worth every penny.” While some may find them too thin, they’re ideal for those who prefer that barely-there feeling compared to thick socks that make your footwear suddenly feel a size too small.

To keep sweaty feet dry, these are a winner. “My feet definitely feel drier in these after testing for several weeks,” our tester said. The material consists of 95 percent nylon and 6 percent elastane. Like other synthetic fabrics, nylon is a podiatrist-approved fabric that wicks moisture to keep feet cool and dry. In the long run, keeping feet dry with this fabric will reduce odor-causing bacteria, irritation, fungus, and infections, per Dr. Estes.

The no-show design is truly low cut, though it still manages to offer arch support and a tab that prevents slipping. The 5-pack brings the cost down to just under $12 per pair, making them a competitive option.

Price at time of publication: $58

Product Details:


Extra padding provides support and keeps feet warm in colder weather.

Acrylic is good at retaining heat, so it may not be the most efficient at keeping feet cool.

This sock is ideal for colder climates and seasons because it’s made largely of acrylic. This synthetic fabric is moisture-wicking, so it’s good for keeping feet dry from sweat, rain, and snow. It has extra padding to provide support and comfort, which has the added benefit of keeping feet warm when it’s cold out.

They’re also approved by podiatrists. “I recommend Thorlos Distance Walking Ankle Socks because they are composed of mostly synthetics like acrylic and nylon, and they are well-padded for added cushioning,” Dr. Pinker says. “These socks are designed to keep feet dry during activity, and they are also made to provide comfort.”

Those with sweaty feet sometimes run into problems like slipping, blisters, and sores, per Dr. Estes. She says the sculpted heel design and no-slip padding in the heel can help prevent these issues.

Our tester, who is used to more lightweight socks, was surprised by the thickness, however. The socks proved to be comfortable and posed no issues with sweat or odor, per our tester, but the thickness may be an obstacle for some since acrylic “doesn't lend itself to being super breathable.”

Price at time of publication: $20

Product Details:


They’re slim, low, and stay in place.

They excel at odor control but may not be the most supportive option.

Our tester, who generally dislikes thick, bulky socks, approved of these for everyday use. “They have just a bit of cushion but overall are a slim sock,” our tester said, noting that some may find themselves wishing for more support from these socks. “There really isn’t a ton of cushion or support,” per our tester. Finding the right balance of lightness and cushion can take some trial and error, but these could work for those who prefer more lightweight socks—or for day-to-day activities where extra support isn’t necessary.

Those who find their socks extra ripe after heavy use might take a liking to these. “Even after long, hot runs they don't stink,” our tester said. If your polyester socks tend to smell, nylon socks like these may be a better option for you. Nylon fabrics have a higher odor reduction rate than polyester, so they may absorb more odors, according to the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal.

After testing multiple pairs, our tester preferred these ones. “They kept my feet cool and dry but were slim and low enough to stay in my shoes,” our tester said. “[They] stayed dry and fresh smelling all day long.” You can’t really ask for more.

Price at time of publication: $17

Product Details:

Backcountry Gear

The moisture-wicking blend of wool and nylon explains why hikers favor wool socks.

Wool is a polarizing material—some people, including our tester, detest the itchy feeling that wool is infamous for.

Both the podiatrists we spoke to independently recommended these wool socks from Patagonia. So, what’s the deal? For starters, they’re made of high-quality wool. The brand uses virgin merino wool certified to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). According to Patagonia, less than 1% of wool used globally meets these strict standards.

The wool isn’t just high-quality—it’s also effective for keeping sweat at bay. “This sock is designed for breathability and durability,” Dr. Pinker says. “Wool is also moisture-wicking.” Dr. Estes, too, approves of the breathable, durable blend of wool, nylon, and spandex as they help keep feet dry and comfortable.

When it comes to wool, “comfortable” is subjective. Some people flock to it for its superior ability to keep feet dry and warm in cold, wet conditions while others are repelled by the infamous itchy, scratchy feeling. Our tester belongs to the latter group. The first impression wasn’t the greatest—they felt “super itchy” at first—but after several runs and hikes, our tester appreciated the breathability. “My feet weren’t sweaty at all,” our tester said.

Price at time of publication: $15

Product Details:


They keep feet warm and cozy without overheating.

They’re not up for workouts or vigorous exercise.

When you want to curl up and stay warm on a cold day, these are the socks for the job. They’re not designed for athletics, but what they are designed for (staying cozy) they excel at. We felt like they were basically soft little blankets for our feet when we tried them on. They have a fuzzy interior that really helps make them so comfy but the outside is still a traditional stretchy sock. And if you’re worried about them stretching out and becoming too loose, rest assured—these form to your feet, unlike traditional cozy socks.

If cozy socks tend to make your feet run a little too warm, don’t fret. These are made from mostly polyester, which is excellent at wicking moisture and keeping feet dry. “They kept my feet so cozy in my sandals,” our tester said. “I didn't feel any cold gusts of wind but I also didn't feel hot or sweaty when I had to hustle a bit and ended up getting a little overheated.”

Though the price is steep for non-performance socks, we found them worth it for the quality and cozy factor.

Price at time of publication: $14

Product Details:


They’re comfortable, moisture-wicking, and vegan-friendly.

These are one of the most expensive socks we tested.

As the brand name suggests, these socks are tough, but they’re also “super comfortable and cozy,” per our tester. They’re designed for prolonged activities like walking and hiking, specifically to move moisture away from your feet during activities and adventures. Our tester wore these while walking more than 11 miles per day at Walt Disney World and found the elements no match for these socks. “They were very comfortable and even in very hot weather and very rainy weather, my feet were dry and comfortable— ever too hot, cold, or wet,” our tester said.

They’re also liked by podiatrists. “The Darn Tough Coolmax Socks have a seamless quality in the stitching design to provide added comfort in the toe box,” Dr. Pinker says. “These socks also have a moisture-wicking quality and are ‘vegan-friendly.’" They have the look of wool without using animal-derived fibers.

At $24 a pop, the price can be hard to justify. We wouldn’t normally spend this much on a single pair of socks but would make an exception since these worked so well, especially for trips that involve a lot of walking.

Price at time of publication: $24

Product Details:


They make for a supportive athletic sock since they’re form-fitting, resist tears, and made with moisture-wicking materials that keep feet dry and odor-free.

The materials include a small amount of cotton, which typically isn’t recommended for athletic socks.

Our tester, who experiences sweaty, smelly feet, put these to the test and was blown away by the results. “I was dripping sweat, which normally would not stop at my feet, but for the first time in my life my feet weren't all moist,” our tester said, claiming that these are the best-ever workout socks.

A good athletic sock should feel snug and supportive, and these are a prime example. “They mold to your feet like a piece of couture. but they don't suffocate them,” our tester said. “These were snug but not tight.” They also stay up and don’t roll, slip, or bunch, creating an uncomfortable feeling in your shoe.

Made from nylon and polyester—two synthetic fabrics that come recommended by our podiatrists—these are designed to wick away moisture. Whether playing sports or hitting the gym, these keep feet dry and comfortable while also resisting tears and rips from heavy use.

Price at time of publication: $11

Product Details:


Traditional wool socks can be bulky and itchy, but these are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.

At more than $20 a pair, they’re not a budget-friendly option.

If you’re on the hunt for the best running socks, you’ve likely heard of Bombas. They’re incredibly popular among runners, and after giving them a whirl, our tester now understands why. “They are truly amazing,” our testing. “I’d wear these every day if I had enough pairs.”

So, what makes them superior to other options? They’re wool socks, but they’re probably unlike any other wool socks you’ve tried in the past. Soft, itch-free wool provides cushion and absorbs excess moisture, which our tester can confirm.“My feet felt dry the entire time I was wearing them," our tester said. Moisture-wicking polyester also helps keep sweaty feet dry. The design features airflow vents that allow cool air to flow in, keeping feet cool and ultimately preventing sweaty feet.

Like a good running sock should, these have some compression and arch support. “These feel comfortably snug, like a nice hug on your feet,” our tester noted, adding that they’re comfy enough for lounging. They mold to your feet and even protect against blisters with the help of ankle tabs in the front and back.

Though they’re pricey, Bombas socks are on a mission. A pair is donated for every pair bought since socks are the most requested clothing item in homeless shelters.

Price at time of publication: $66

Product Details:


These feel nicely made and do a solid job of keeping feet cool and dry during workouts.

They’re minimal socks, but the lack of cushioning is noticeable.

Though they’re thin and lightweight, these performance socks won’t be overpowered by sweaty feet. “They kept my feet dry even on super hot, sweaty days,” our tester said. “My feet stayed cool and dry through all my runs or gym sessions.” Since they don’t budge, our tester found them to be an “ideal workout sock.”

The materials include nylon and spandex—an effective recipe for keeping sweaty feet comfortable. The nylon wicks moisture and reduces odors while the spandex adds stretch and prevents slipping. Though they’re not as substantial as other options, our tester noted they don’t feel cheap. They feel well-made and get points for breathability.

“They are a solid pair of socks at a reasonable price,” our tester concluded. “There's not many bells or whistles here but they got the job done and I really like these.” These will be well received by those who prefer airy socks without any bulkiness.

Price at time of publication: $15

Product Details:

They’re incredibly breathable and comfortable for both physical activity and regular wear.

Bombas socks start at $13 a pair, but these are almost double.

If you’re on the hunt for ankle socks that don’t slip, bunch up in your shoe, or leave your heel exposed to footwear chafing, Bombas socks may be the ones you’re looking for. They’re made from soft, breathable, and quick-drying yarns to keep feet dry and comfortable while exercising. Bombas combines wool with polyester and spandex to create a stretchy arch support symptom that contours to your foot. Our tester found them effective at keeping feet dry and odor-free. “I wore them to the gym and just around casually for long periods, and my feet never once felt warm, which happens with most other socks,” our tester said, adding that the socks never developed any odors.

Over time, Bombas socks hold up well. They don’t shrink, unravel, or fade after washing and drying, per our tester.

For some, the price may be the only deterrent. “I really liked these socks, but I'm not sure that the merino wool made enough of a difference to justify the jump in price between other Bombas socks and these,” our tester said. At $22 a pair, these are the brand’s most expensive socks. However, Bombas users tend to justify the price since Bombas donates a pair for every one sold.

Price at time of publication: $66

Product Details:

A group of testers gave each pair of socks a whirl. Testers were instructed to put on a pair of clean socks on freshly washed feet. The socks were to be worn for five days with washes between each use. Testers wore the socks per their usual routines, including their workouts and with their normal footwear.

After use, testers were to note whether the socks felt cool, bunched up, or stayed dry. At the end of the day, testers paid extra attention to any dampness or odors on both their feet and the socks.

In addition to firsthand testing, we checked in with two podiatrists:

The podiatrists shared their recommended socks for sweaty feet and provided criteria to look for.

The best sock material for sweaty feet is any fabric that wicks moisture. “Moisture-wicking materials work by drawing the sweat away from the skin,” Dr. Estes explains.

According to our podiatrists, the best moisture-wicking sock materials for sweaty feet include:

These are essentially broken down into two types—synthetic and natural.

Polyester, nylon, rayon, and acrylic are synthetic materials. “These have a wicking quality that will move the moisture from the foot to the sock, keeping the foot relatively dry,” Dr. Pinker says. Of them, polyester and nylon are the most common, and they’re also affordable.

Wool and silk are natural materials that come from animal sources. They can be on the pricey side but may be worth it to some. Wool can be itchy, so look for a soft version. It’s good at keeping feet dry in wet conditions and has been shown to have good antibacterial properties. Wool and silk are both good insulators, so they’re good at keeping socks warm, but silk isn’t as durable. Between the two, wool is likely a better choice for sweaty feet and a long lifespan.

Contrary to popular belief, cotton socks aren’t the best choice for sweaty feet. Though it was the go-to recommendation for athletes in past decades, it’s no longer in the running as one of the best materials.

“When it comes to considering supportive foot care the overall goal is to avoid any material that can encourage trapping moisture,” Dr. Estes explains. “The worst material would be cotton as the moisture is absorbed well by the cotton fibers and does not evaporate well, creating a wet sock feeling.” She recommends changing your socks frequently if they are made of cotton.

You can expect to pay more for performance socks than for regular varieties. The cost also increases for natural materials like wool. Our picks ranged from $2 to $24 per pair, averaging around $15 per pair. To save, buy in packs and opt for synthetic materials like polyester and nylon—these materials are among the best for wicking moisture anyway.

While these socks didn't meet our full expectations, they may still be of interest to you.

The type of sock (no-show, ankle, crew, etc.) isn’t as important as the material when it comes to sweaty feet. The soles of the feet have significantly more sweat glands than the rest of the foot (and even the rest of the body), so having more or less material at the ankle doesn’t make a huge difference. For the best results at keeping your feet dry and comfortable, choose moisture-wicking materials.

Cotton is all-natural and breathable, so it’s a good material for keeping you cool and odor-free. It used to be the recommended material for athletic wear, but synthetic materials tend to be better at wicking moisture. For sweaty feet, cotton may not be the best choice. Try synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon or animal-derived fibers like wool to keep feet dry.

Lacey Muinos is a health and fitness writer. Living in sunny SoCal, she battles the triple-digit temperatures every year. Naturally, she’s no stranger to a little sweat. Her sock of choice is made from polyester and spandex.

Ivankovic T, Rajic A, Ercegovic Razic S, Rolland du Roscoat S, Skenderi Z. Antibacterial properties of non-modified wool, determined and discussed in relation to iso 20645:2004 standard. Molecules. 2022;27(6):1876. doi:10.3390/molecules27061876

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