Socks are an oft-overlooked aspect of the racer's arsenal, but the right ones provide cushioning and keep feet dry and comfortable during a marathon, while the wrong ones can bunch up inside a shoe or retain moisture, both causing severe discomfort. The best running socks for a marathon fit properly, provide cushioning where it's needed and are effective at keeping feet dry during a run.
Nike Elite Running Sock
Called the best racing sock by Runner's World, Nike's Elite running sock is made with Dri-FIT fabric, which is designed to keep feet dry during a run, and its anatomically designed right/left distinction provides cushioning in strategic areas to keep the sock lightweight. Runner's World's Brian Metzler hailed the sock's efficiency, saying its right and left design provides “cushioning only where it's necessary” and gives better arch support than traditional symmetrical socks.
Teko Merino Midweight Minicrew
Teko's Merino Midweight Minicrew sock provides both cushioning and moisture management, two of the biggest factors in comfort during a marathon. The Merino Midweight's combination of Merino wool and a poly blend provides ample moisture-wicking, and as an added bonus, the Merino wool makes the sock stink-resistant. Runner's World hailed the sock's ability to keep feet dry, with one tester noting that he was "soaked with sweat, but my socks were dry. And they had absolutely no odour afterward."
Injinji Toe Socks
On long distance runs, many runners' toes have a tendency to rub together, which can cause blisters. Socks like Injini's toe sock prevent this by encasing each toe in its own sleeve like a glove. Injinji socks are widely recommended for distance runners for their blister-fighting fit. Runner's World's Michael Lanza called them the best blister protecting socks, particularly for distance runners, while Trail Running's John Vonhof specifically cited Injinji in a blister prevention article, saying they're “great for those prone to blisters between toes, as each digit is individually encased.”