Choosing the Right Running Socks

Josh Ferenc running down the road in darn tough running socks

Hey, what's up? I'm Josh Ferenc coming at you from Vermont, talking to you about how to choose running socks

Why Running Socks

For those of you asking if running socks really make a difference, let me pose this to you: is it a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter?

Running socks are going to make a huge difference (especially DTV socks for runners). Why do we use studded winter tires instead of our all seasons during the awesome winter months? We do this because the equipment is designed for a specific function and for specific elements.

Josh and two friends out running on the road in the different socks they chose

I'm going to tell you the main reasons why the right running sock is important, and why I'm rocking DTV socks when I'm running on the roads, trails, and in mountains, be heard!

What is the objective?

That’s part of choosing the ideal running sock. I need a sock that will enhance, or allow, myself to train at the elite level. Training at an elite level is a mindset everyone can embody.

The best running sock criteria, for me, needs to be rugged and fit in a way that I am not going to have a distraction. Here's my quick thoughts, with the why behind each further down.

Purpose FUNction

Speed days, recovery days, and pure enjoyment days all serve their purpose. And choosing the right sock will only enhance these days to their fullest potential.

Josh wearing the Pacer darn tough running socks to go fast on trails

For example, on speed days I want a run sock that will be able to tolerate the pure nasty speed and rugged sex panther power I am looking to produce. I transcend to a metaphysical level, and through primal expectations/implications of running, I want my run sock to match the speed or ruggedness.

Hot nasty speed? I’m looking for a lightweight, breathable, quick dry run sock. For epic gnarly rugged speed? I’m getting down with that cushion version.

Elements of Nature

I always take into consideration the weather, elements, and terrain. DTV ain’t effin’ around with the seasons and I love that I can wear Merino Wool in any extreme temperatures.

The option on sock height is influenced by where I am about to roam. If I am debris/mud free, and want to feel fast, I gravitate towards a no show fo’sho’! 

Josh seated on stairs in no show socks for running

Mud and wet trails will influence me to grab either a micro crew or quarter sock with moisture wicking (which is an epic novelty in DTV Merino Wool, feet are always fast warming).

I flex mostly between the no shows and micro crew height, as I found that the extra height can also be great in dealing with the elements of nature (sticks, ticks, other shit).

The Color Theory

Specific socks are for specific occasions. If I’m meeting new people, I’m rocking the cock sock. This lets them know that I’m here and not afraid to ruffle some feathers.

On race day…ALL BLACK! If I'm sporting all black socks, the race is over, and blood will be spilled.

Josh putting on running shoes over black running socks

All black is when I'm there for blood sacrifice offerings to the gods and death of souls will commence. I bring a presence to races and my choices in what people see are an extension of who I am. When I’m rolling in blacked out in the socks, it’s intimidating.

To Cushion or Not Too Cushioned

The cushion choice is a preference of comfort. I highly suggest getting both to test and add to the run socks rotation.

Two runners wearing the pacer micro crew running socks with cushion

Cushioned socks are tremendous for all things from the wild trails to the long beautiful scenic paved (or dirt) roads of Vermont (or anywhere). I will typically use the cushion options in colder months, and then non-cushion for the warmer months.

Then again, this is a preference, and when the mood/conditions are right, I’m down for either choice!

Which socks will help prevent blisters?

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold the sheep on this one! I can’t agree or support the idea that Darn Tough Socks are (or have anything to do with) a contributing factor to blisters.

What Darn Tough Socks do is prevent a poorly fitted shoe from rubbing a blister raw! Darn Tough Socks will help NOT lead to a horrendous blister. I can honestly say, that having been a Darn Tough Socks (solely) wearer since 2011, I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED A BLISTER DUE TO THE SOCK CHOICE!

Let it be known, and if you don’t know, now you know people!

What's the deal with compression socks?

Recovery is the most important day and expectation to run at any level on a day-to-day basis. I view compression socks as a necessary advantage to help expedite my recovery process so I can roll out and do it again and again and again.

Josh wearing the Stride light compression running socks

Choosing the right running socks can make the difference between an enjoyable experience and back to the couch. Running can be hard enough as it is, so preparing and equipping yourself with the right run sock shows signs of intelligence. The right run sock is essential. Darn Tough run sock innovations are futuristic, and no matter your preference, DTV got it covered.

About the Author

Josh Ferenc is an absolute wild competitor hailing from the great state of Vermont. He loves putting everything he has out there and leaving every fiber of his existence on the trails and in the mountains where he runs. 

Josh Ferenc wearing darn tough running socks the pacer

His proudest moments include: having represented Team USA and the USA Long Distance Mountain Team in Switzerland and Poland; The USA 50k World Championships in The Netherlands; and traveling to Canada and Colombia for epic ultra-Sky Running events have been amazing.