best material for socks for sweaty feet

If you are looking for the Best Material For Socks For Sweaty Feet, then you are on the right page. It contains best socks for sweaty feet running. Suppose you want moisture wicking socks instead. Then this article is what you need.

There’s nothing quite as nerve-wracking as taking off your shoes around people and wondering if you’re going to clear the room with the stench from your shoe. There’s no reason to live in fear! In reality, the most likely culprit of your stinky, sweaty feet comes down to one thing: poor choice in socks.

Many people feel as though there isn’t a lot they can do about the embarrassing problem that is sweaty feet. But that’s not the case! You CAN make your feet smell better! But how? The Soxperts at SocksAddict.com are here to help! Let’s take some time to answer your burning question: What are the best socks for sweaty feet? Which socks are best at fighting foot odor? 

best socks for sweaty feet running

Best Material For Socks For Sweaty Feet

Cotton: The Reason Everyone Has Wet Stinky Feet 

If you’re like most people, the majority of the socks in your drawer are made from cotton. While cotton socks are very popular, they’re certainly not the best choice for fighting foot sweat or odor. 

In fact, cotton is one of the main reasons people complain of sweaty, stinky feet! Even though cotton feels like a light and comfortable material, moisture absorbed by cotton fibers doesn’t evaporate back into the air outside the sock! Cotton fibers retain heat, instead of insulating (like wool) and that heat creates bacteria and odor. This sweat, bacteria, and odor is absorbed by cotton and doesn’t really go away until you put them in the wash. 

Plastic, Nylon, Polyester: Old School Synthetic Fabrics 

As you’ll read later in this article, synthetic fibers can be amazing for preventing hot, humid feet. Fabric technology has come a long way since these materials were first developed, so steer clear of the non-technical versions of plastic, nylon or polyester when purchasing socks. Breathability is key for preventing sweat and odor and plastic, nylon and polyester are not very breathable unless combined with other breathable fabrics. 

moisture wicking socks

Top 5 Best Sock Materials for Sweaty Feet 

We have three words for you: Moisture Wicking Socks. If you struggle with sweaty, smelly feet, you should be wearing socks that absorb moisture and wick it away. Fibers that “wick” draw moisture from the surface of your skin and release it into the air, keeping the fibers and your feet dry and comfortable. There are many natural and synthetic fibers with wicking properties. Let’s talk the Top 5! 

5. Merino Wool: The Natural Choice for Dry Feet

Merino wool is a natural wonder. It’s light, soft, insulating, and has natural anti-microbial properties. It is a great choice for socks, and unlike cotton, it won’t make your feet hot or trap moisture. Merino wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture while still not feeling wet and uncomfortable. There’s a reason wool was the #1 choice of sailors for centuries. 

Here are just a few of the benefits of Merino wool socks: 

  • Wicks sweat away from your feet to be reabsorbed into the air rather remaining trapped in fibers 
  • Absorbs up to 30% of its own weight in water without feeling wet 
  • Breathes well by insulating instead of trapping heat. Cotton traps heat, creating a tiny swamp in your shoe 
  • Thicker than cotton 
  • Insulating power means your feet stay warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot 
  • Merino wool stays warm, even when wet, making a great sock for running 
  • It also dries quickly, so if your socks do happen to get wet, it won’t be for long 
  • Naturally anti-bacterial. This bacteria fighting action is another way wool socks reduce foot odor 

4. Polyester: Not Just for Leisure Suits 

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is durable, quick drying, strong whether wet or dry, wrinkle resistant and easy to clean. It is more breathable and absorbent than nylon. 

3. Coolmax: Scientifically Engineered to Combat Sweaty Feet

Coolmax is a polyester based moisture-wicking technical fabric developed by DuPont in 1986. It is fade and shrink resistant and is often combined with cotton, wool, or Spandex and best used during extreme physical exertion and in combination with other materials to provide warmth. 

Coolmax was engineered to improve breathability compared to natural fibers. Sweaty feet (and the problems that come with them) are such an issue for so many people that someone out there specifically created a fiber to combat it. 

2. Olefin: Nobel Prize Winner 

Italian scientists won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the process of making Olefin fibers. This space-age synthetic is very lightweight, extremely strong, durable, quick drying, easy to clean, stain and soil resistant, and comfortable to wear. Olefin is one of the best fibers for both repelling water and wicking water away. Not only is this material moisture wicking, it’s also hydrophobic and moves sweat away from your feet up to 25 times faster than other synthetic fibers.

1. DryMax: The Ultimate Sweaty Feet Sock Defense 

DryMax is a brand of specially engineered Olefin fabric socks. DryMax fibers are infused with an anti-microbial treatment at the molecular level, so DryMax socks stay odor free. This treatment is both non-toxic and long-lasting. DryMax fibers have a comfortable springiness and don’t get stiff, shrink or lose shape and all DryMax socks have top and/or bottom air vents to release moisture and keep feet dry and cool. 

Take a moment to let the relief wash over you – now you have the tools to fight your sweaty feet! Be sure to change your socks every day, switch back and forth between at least two pairs of shoes, and wear high-quality socks made from wool or synthetic materials designed to wick moisture so you can say goodbye to smelly feet! 

WHAT IS THE BEST SOCK MATERIAL FOR SWEATY FEET?

Feet are the foundation the body stands on and sweaty feet make getting around comfortably more challenging. Many times, people who deal with excessively sweaty feet are suffering from a condition called primary focal hyperhidrosis – a condition that causes an overproduction of sweat. Luckily, hyperhidrosis is not dangerous, but it does come with some unique issues, especially when someone has plantar (foot) hyperhidrosis. The skin of the feet is densely populated by eccrine sweat glands and the bottom of the foot actually has more sweat glands than the top, so sweaty feet can affect a person’s ability to walk comfortably.[1] Some of the other practical challenges that come along with sweaty feet include soaking, staining and destroying shoes, difficulty wearing sandals or open toed shoes, problems walking barefoot, and a need for especially absorbent socks.[2] Sometimes, the effects of sweaty feet can actually be detrimental to a person’s health as excessive exposure to moist conditions can cause discomfort, maceration, athlete’s foot, warts, and bacterial infections. That is why it is imperative that people with plantar hyperhidrosis take care of their feet. One of the simplest, but most effective, ways this can be done is by wearing the proper type of socks.

The type of material socks are made from determines how they are able to handle moisture. Traditionally, most people wear cotton socks. Cotton is a natural fiber and it makes one of the best types of clothing for people with excessive sweating to wear, but this is not true when it comes to socks. Cotton is very absorbent, so it holds on to moisture produced by sweaty feet which becomes a problem when feet are trapped inside of shoes. This keeps feet wet which causes skin break down and allows for bacterial growth. Instead, it is better to use moisture wicking materials that will keep moisture away from skin and protect feet from a damp environment. Wool is a natural fiber, like cotton, but it is able to keep feet dry while absorbing sweat. In fact, one study looked at the impact sock material had on foot health and found that out of wool, cotton, and acrylic fibers wool had the best impact on foot health.[1] Wool also has antibacterial properties that can inhibit the growth of bacteria – the cause of another sweat condition, called bromhidrosis, that causes stinky sweat. Merino wool is a good choice of material for socks as it is less scratchy than regular wool but it still has water resistant and moisture wicking properties. It comes from sheep indigenous to New Zealand and parts of Australia that produce wool that is finer than other breeds of sheep and therefore softer.

Synthetic fabrics that use modern moisture wicking technology are also a great option for people with sweaty feet. Polyester is known for being stifling when it is used to make shirts, but it makes surprisingly good sock material. This is because polyester is quick to dry, durable, and easy to clean. It is fairly breathable compared to other synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester is even better when mixed with other fibers. Several brands, including Nike, use a polyester blend for their athletic socks which are advertised as being moisture wicking. Modern science has spawned even more synthetic fibers that can be especially helpful for people with sweating issues. Some of these new and improved fibers include certain polyester blends like Coolmax, or completely new types of fibers, like Olefin, that were specifically designed for sweaty feet. Both of these materials are able to quickly move moisture away from feet so that they stay dry and healthy. Scientists have also figured out how to make these synthetic fibers antibacterial so they also keep bacteria to a minimum. Most socks marketed towards people with sweaty feet use one of these synthetic fibers and they are very effective at keeping feet comfortable and dry.

Whether you choose to go with a natural fiber, like wool, or a synthetic fiber, like Olefin, your feet will thank you. Remember, the most important aspect of sock material is that it is able to keep moisture away from your skin so that feet are not damaged by damp conditions. While finding socks for sweaty feet is difficult, there are many great options on the market. If you find that using the right type of sock material is not enough, then it may be time to look into medical treatments for sweaty feet. There are many things you can do to manage your sweat and stay dry.

What Material Makes the Best Socks for Sweaty Feet?

Got sweaty feet? Of course you do, we all do! In a lifetime, each person logs an average of 70,000 miles on their feet, and that means a whole lot of sweat. In fact, feet perspire about 20 to 30 gallons of sweat in total per year. Where does it go? Well, 5 to 8 gallons of that perspiration gets absorbed by each sock, and shoes get their fair share as well. We all know what sweat-logged shoes and socks smell like, so what’s the solution? Let’s dive in and find out.

Why We Sweat

Before we cover the best sock options for those of us plagued by foot sweat, let’s cover some physiological basics. A human’s core temperature is 98.6° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius). The body’s mechanism for cooling is evaporation, so clothing – especially socks – must have good moisture evaporation ability to avoid odor or discomfort.

What’s the Issue with Sweaty Feet?

Doing any activity with hot or cold sweaty feet is the worst; we all know that. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty, the truth is that sweaty feet can cause more than just a little discomfort. Here’s why sweaty feet are such a drag:

  • They Stink – Sweat is moisture, of course. And moisture can breed bacteria, which causes odor and contributes to the risk of foot fungus and other issues.
  • They Hurt – The aforementioned moisture can hang out on your skin and create extra friction, which can lead to pain points, redness and blisters that nag you all day.
  • They Get Cold or Hot – Sweat can cause feet to get too hot or too cold. While the sweat itself causes the body temperature to chill out, it can also heat it up if it lingers too long (which is especially likely if you’re wearing the wrong pair of socks).

Under varying climatic conditions, socks help balance the body’s temperature and manage perspiration, creating a pleasant feeling next to the skin while preventing odor and pain at the same time.

The Best and Worst Materials for Sweaty Feet

Fiber content does make a difference in your socks. When you’re searching for the best socks for sweaty feet, the first thing you need to pay attention to is what the socks are made of. You always want to look for a pair of temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking socks to ensure that your tootsies stay toasty (or cool) without getting drenched in sweat.

The Worst: Cotton, Sheep’s Wool and Acrylic

As you’ll see below, there are a number of reasons why certain fabrics should be a no-go for people who tend to sweat a lot. Not only are they bad at regulating perspiration, but they all bunch, sag, create blisters and can even constrict blood flow in people with circulatory problems.

  • Cotton – Avoid 100% cotton socks. Cotton is a great absorbing material, but then where does the moisture go? Nowhere! It stays right there against your foot. This moisture softens the skin, increases friction and, in turn, causes blisters.Cotton socks are like wearing a sponge that does little for breathability or insulating your feet.
  • Sheep’s Wool – This more common wool is a coarse fiber – about as thick as a human hair (80 to 100 microns or so) – that can cause itch and irritation because of that. It also absorbs moisture, as much as 30% of its weight. This moisture in sheep’s wool has an odor all its own. Plus, it contains lanolin, which is a fairly common allergen. In the same vein, cashmere (a type of sheep’s wool) may be soft, but it’s also impractical from both a price and a durability standpoint.
  • Acrylic – Acrylic and other synthetic sock materials may be great when you’re trying to wick away moisture and keep your feet cool, but they’re just not the best option for cold weather because they do little for improving warmth. You need a versatile sock that can be used in both cold and warm weather!

The Best: Alpaca

From kids’ feet to aging feet, everyone has their own set of issues, and finding the right sock can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Most people settle for what is easy or close at hand and leave their feet to deal with whatever they put on. So what should you use to keep your feet happy and healthy? Pure alpaca wool socks!

What is Alpaca Wool?

Alpaca wool is shorn from alpacas and while it looks like wool, it feels like heaven. Here’s why it’s the clear winner in the race for the best material for sweaty feet.

  • Alpaca wool is a natural fiber, free from lanolin and naturally hypoallergenic.
  • Pure alpaca wool does not absorb moisture or odor, but wicks it away.
  • Baby alpaca wool is a superfine fiber that refers to softness rather than age of the animal. With a far better fineness as compared to sheep’s wool, it takes four or five strands equal the width of a single human hair! In other words, it is 25% of the size (or 18 to 25 microns) of sheep’s wool while being just as warm.
  • Alpaca wool is breathable, letting your feet stay at an optimum temperature so you can do the things you love no matter the weather.
  • Baby alpaca wool is silky-soft and doesn’t rub, constrict or bind. It doesn’t cause blisters and won’t irritate sensitive feet – it even reduces callus buildup and blisters.
  • Pure alpaca wool is great year-round. Some may worry it’s an unsuitable fiber for warm weather, but because of the natural thermal regulation that lets your feet breathe when it’s hot and warm up when it’s cold, it is actually very comfortable.

Alpaca + Cutting-Edge Microfibers = Sweaty Foot Savior

Pure alpaca wool combined with cutting-edge microfibers is a Warrior Alpaca Socks creation that keeps your feet happy and are easy to clean too. Just toss them in the washer and you’re on your way. Made from 100% alpaca wool spun with the newest synthetic microfibers, these Warrior Alpaca Socks styles of are a gift to your feet and are unequalled in every way. Socks with an inner layer of microfiber transfer moisture away from the foot to keep it dry.

Here are some of our best socks for banishing sweat:

The Most Versatile Socks for Sweaty Feet

Try our alpaca microfiber socks today and we are sure you will agree, nothing is so versatile! So go ahead: fish, ski and sled. Play the sports you love and finally take off those shoes in the house! Sleep comfortably with warm, toasty feet not plagued by smelly sweat. Love your feet with alpaca wool socks and your feet, no matter their needs, will love you back.

moisture wicking socks

Best Socks for Sweaty Feet

If you have sweaty feet, you just can’t win: in the summer, your feet swelter in hot shoes, and in the winter you’re forced into thick warm socks that make your feet sweat. Stinky feet are a common problem – our feet have over 250,000 sweat glands and easily pick up bacteria that creates a distinctive smell when our feet sweat. 

Sweaty feet make for stinky feet. One surefire way to keep foot odor at bay is to wear proper sweat-absorbing socks. Look for these features when searching for moisture-wicking and anti-odor socks:

  • Anti-Odor Properties – Socks infused with silver anti-odor technology stops odor-causing bacteria.
  • Moisture Wicking – Moisture-wicking fabric keeps sweat away from your feet. Less sweat on your feet means less stink in your shoe.
  • Breathable – Mesh ventilation zones improve air circulation, keeping feet cool and dry.

Along with the moisture-wicking and breathable features, look for socks that are also designed for comfort. Cushioned footbeds, seamless construction and non-slip cuffs reduce friction and irritation.

Here are 18 of the best socks for sweaty feet and stinky feet. As you’ll see, they’re designed for moisture-wicking, breathability, and odor management – and are our top choices for smelly feet.

Best Socks for Smelly Feet - Brown Shoes being tied

1. Balega Unisex Hidden Dry No Show Socks

If you love options and need a no-show sock that can handle intense situations, these socks from Balega are a great option. They come in 18 different colors and styles and are made of primarily polyester and nylon. They’re a bit more expensive at a per-pair cost than others on this list though.

2. Bridgedale Ultralight Coolmax Liner Socks

Looking for an ultralight liner sock? Bridgedale has what you’re looking for! Bridgedale Ultralight Coolmax Liner Socks are made primarily of Coolmax, a proprietary microfiber that helps keep your feet dry and cool all day without making the socks bulky or thick. 

3. Champion Dri Moisture Wicking No Show Socks

Need a good, go-to pair of socks for working out? These ones from Champion come in a six-pack, in either white or black, and work well for the price. They’re mostly a combination of cotton and polyester, helping your feet keep breathing even as you work up a sweat.

4. Darn Tough No Show Tab Ultra Light Cushion Sock

For another athletic-style sock to manage foot sweat and odor, these Darn Tough no-show socks are a good contender. With big breathable panels on the top of each foot, they’re made from merino wool (great for moisture wicking) and nylon (great for breathability). They have a slightly higher price point per sock, but might be a good option if you’ve tried all the others.

5. Dickies Dri-tech Moisture Control Quarter Socks

Dickies Dri-Tech is a well known line of their socks, which are designed to reduce moisture around your feet to keep them dry and cool (or warm, depending on the season). They come in 6-pack multi-packs in black, white, grey, and a few other colors if you’re a bit non-traditional that way.

Best Socks for Smelly Feet - Athletic Socks

6. Drymax Hyper Thin Running Mini Crew

If you need an ultra-thin sock for running or other activities – but still need it to hold up to foot sweat and odor, consider this one from Drymax. Despite its thin profile, these socks can handle it. They’re made primarily of Olefin, a great moisture-wicking material, along with polyester and nylon. 

7. Ejis Dress Socks with Odor Fighting Silver

We obviously think that our socks are among the best socks for smelly feet, too! Dress stock have odor-fighting silver woven right into every sock – and it won’t wash out like other anti-odor sock treatments. Our socks are also designed to help remove sweat from your feet so that you stay dry and cool; we think that’s what makes them the best dress socks for sweaty feet! Buy a pair in black, blue, grey, or all three, for just $14.99 per pair in the.

8. Kodal Copper Infused Moisture-Wicking Low Cut Socks

We found this copper-infused moisture-wicking style from Kodal, a lesser-known brand, that might be worth trying. The copper infusion cuts down on odors, while the rest of the material is 80% combed cotton to help your feet breathe and stay dry. They come primarily in athletic styles and colors, but the price for a six-pack is pretty reasonable.

9. New Balance NBX Hydrotec No Show Socks

New Balance is another running company that it’s no surprise to see on the list: they’ve been around for a long time making socks and shoes to keep your feet cool and comfortable for athletics or leisure. These socks are unisex despite the bright colors, and have a proprietary moisture-wicking fabric blend to help manage foot sweat.

10. PowerSox Cushion Low Cut Socks With Coolmax

If you recognize “Coolmax,” its the same name as the Bridgedale socks we mentioned earlier. While the two companies aren’t related, they both have the same idea: design socks to keep your feet as cool as possible. These PowerSox ones are basic and affordable, and made primarily of polyester and cotton.

Best Socks for Smelly Feet - Leisure Socks

11. Saucony Bolt Performance Comfort Fit No-Show Socks

Like the Kodal socks mentioned above, these Saucony no-show socks are designed for athletic use and are colored the same way. But they have a totally different composition that may make them better for helping your feet sweat and smell less: they’re 98% polyester, a good breathable material to have on your feet.

12. Serisimple Bamboo Breathable Low Quarter Sock

Did you know that bamboo is a great natural fiber to help reduce foot sweat and smell? Bamboo is a thin, soft material for socks but also has natural antibacterial qualities. Serisimple sells a breathable low quarter sock that’s 80% bamboo fiber, able to last the whole workday, and one of the top socks for sweaty feet. 

13. SIXDAYSOX No Show Odor-Resistant Non-Slip Socks

If you love shoes that show some ankle but also struggle with foot sweat and stinky feet, you know first hand the pain of trying to find socks. Luckily SIXDAYSOX offers a good option: their No Show Odor-Resistant Non-Slip Socks are good for an active day – or just one when you want to show a little ankle. 

14. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Micro Socks

Smartwool is known for their great wool products; we all know that wool is an excellent moisture-wicking material. These “micro socks” are among their smallest, most performance oriented; they have a number of other styles in the PhD line that will also have the same result. 

15. Stance Men’s Athletic Tab ST Sock

If you’d like another athletic sock option, this one from Stance is a great choice. In addition to being designed for performance with tear and rip resistant design, they also have a “FEEL360” technology to keep feet dry and comfortable even through a long workout. They come in a number of colors – including black for you traditionalists and red for those a bit more bold. 

Best Socks for Smelly Feet - Dress Socks with Oranges on them

16. Thorlos Experia Prolite Xptu Ultra Thin Cushion No Show Socks

These socks from Thorlos Experia are a mouthful to say – but don’t let that turn you off from trying them if you’re looking for the best socks to help with sweaty feet. They’re made from nylon and polyester and ar designed for maximum moisture-wicking. They also come in a number of unisex styles and colors.

17. Under Armour Elevated Performance Crew Socks

If you prefer a taller sock without suffering from sweaty feet and sweaty ankles, these Under Armour crew socks are worth a try. They’re made from a combination of polyester, nylon, and cotton for maximum comfort and breathability, and are taller than most of the other socks on this list. Additionally, there’s a mesh panel over the toes to help with ventilation. 

18. Wigwam Double Duty Crew Length Work Sock

The Double Duty Crew Length Work Sock from Wigwam makes our list of the best socks for stinky feet because it has several good things going for it. First, the socks are made of a blend of materials that help reduce foot sweat – and thus foot smell! The socks are also infused with an antimicrobial treatment that helps reduce bacteria on your feet, also reducing foot stinkiness.

With the right socks, you can confidently step out of your shoes in any situation… knowing your feet are cool and dry; and your shoes are fresh and odor-free. Which socks will you be adding to your wardrobe?

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