If you have foot pain, consider changing your socks.
The best padded socks for foot pain can add an extra layer of protection to your feet and work together with your shoes to keep your feet comfortable and as pain-free as possible.
We’ve reviewed the best padded socks available today. Out of all of them, we recommend the Feetures High Performance Cushion Crew sock. It places cushioning in high-impact areas, has targeted compression, and uses moisture-wicking material to keep you comfortable.
Browse through these socks to find the one you like the most and start seeing an improvement in your foot pain!
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Feetures High Performance Cushion Crew
Nike Everyday Plus Cushioned Training Crew Socks
1. Feetures High Performance Cushion Crew
These socks are crew-length, which is a great combination of warmth and comfort.
These socks cushion your feet with high-density padding, specifically placed in impact areas for the best protection. Their anatomical left/right design ensures that the right part of your foot is always cushioned.
You’ll also find supportive target compression in the arch. Power bands made of stretchy Lycra hug the arch and provide support in this area. It creates a snug fit and also helps to prevent chafing due to loose material. A seamless toe also reduces the chance of blisters due to chafing.
Mesh sections on the top of the foot keep air flowing easily throughout the sock, making the feet cool and keeping them dry. There are also iWick moisture-wicking fibers in the sock, which wick sweat away to keep the feet dry.
The company offers a lifetime guarantee so you can buy these socks with confidence. Some may find that it takes time to get used to the thickness of the cushioning.
- Targeted compression
- Cushioning in high-impact areas
- Moisture-wicking fabric
- Seamless toe
- Some may find that the sock feels too thick
2. Balega Enduro
Balega’s socks are comfortable and protective, thanks to dense cushioning that’s soft and comfortable.
Although they are very well-cushioned, the Enduro is a medium-volume sock, so it shouldn’t be too thick in your shoe.
They’re designed to contour to the foot, with a deep heel cup and V-Tech Arch Support to provide a tight but comfortable fit. A seamless toe reduces the chance of blisters developing, and non-slip compression bands prevent the sock from slipping down.
Microfiber mesh panels provide not only good ventilation but also add sturdy reinforcement. Balega’s Drynamix fibers wick away sweat to keep your feet comfortable, dry, and blister-free.
- Molds to the shape of your foot
- Signature V-Tech Arch Support System
- Mesh ventilation panels
- Dense cushioning
- The reinforced cushioning may begin to pill after a few washes
Top Low Cut
3. Feetures Elite Max Cushion Low Cut
If you don’t like your socks to be too high on your calf, then the Feetures Elite Max Cushion Low Cut could be the sock for you.
It may be low and unobtrusive—around 2 inches high—but it also has max cushion for protecting your feet and minimizing foot pain.
The sock features an enhanced fit and feel thanks to its anatomical design, which allows the socks to fit more precisely around the curves of your feet. This custom-like fit reduces the chance of chafing and prevents blisters from developing.
You’ll find zone-specific compression for better support and a seamless toe for less friction.
You may be interested to learn that these socks are made from recycled plastic bottles. The plastic is processed and spun into yarn, so when you choose these socks you’re also making a difference to the environment.
- Enhanced fit and feel
- Zone-specific compression
- Anatomical construction
- Max cushion design
- Some may find that the socks slip into their shoes if the ankle collar is high
Top Crew Length
4. Darn Tough Boot Midweight Tactical Sock with Full Cushion
Darn Tough socks are heavy-duty and these crew-length socks are made to be high-performing and comfortable, no matter what you’re doing while wearing them.
They utilize a performance fit, which means no bunching up in the toes, no slipping in the heel, and no chafing that could lead to blisters. Fine gauge knit makes it light and comfortable against the skin, and the fibers wick away moisture to keep your feet dry.
A True Seamless Toe and full-length, high-density cushioning with reinforcing in the toes and heels provide the best protection and comfort when wearing this sock.
Elastic support in the arch provides a bit more stability, and the socks are breathable and odor-resistant as well.
Made from Merino wool, they help to keep your feet cool in the heat and warm in summer. It’s the perfect comfortable, well-cushioned pair of socks for year-round wear.
These socks are guaranteed for life, so if you find a problem with your pair, the company will refund or replace them.
We should note that some may find that they feel slightly tight around the calf, especially if you have large calf muscles.
- Full-length cushioning
- Elastic arch support
- Reinforced toes and heel
- Breathable and odor-resistant
- May be too tight around the calf
Best Color Options
5. Nike Everyday Plus Cushioned Training Crew Socks
The Nike Everyday Plus Cushioned Training Crew Socks are highly comfortable and padded enough to provide shock absorption. They come in a range of colors, and you can also get them in tie-dye designs.
You’ll find reinforced cushioning under the forefoot and the heel, for extra shock absorption and protection of the foot. There’s also a supportive arch band, which provides a snug fit and stability.
Nike Dri-FIT technology features in this sock, wicking away moisture and helping you to stay cool and dry as you exercise. There’s a knit pattern on top of the sock that’s specifically designed to allow ventilation.
Double-up cuffs around the top provide added support, stop the socks from falling down, and give it a stylish folded-over look.
- Doubled-up cuff
- Extra cushioning in the forefoot and heel
- Supportive arch band
- Breathable, quick-drying fabric
- Some may feel that the socks are a little tight around the calf
Top Merino Low Cut
6. Merrell Cushioned Heavyweight Hike Crew Sock
Merino wool is an exceptional fabric for a sock, and the Merrell Cushioned Heavyweight Hike Crew Sock is the ideal choice if you want something that’s suitable for year-round use.
The Merino wool is soft against the skin and doesn’t chafe. It’s also quick-drying, thanks to MerinoMax technology, so your feet won’t have to contend with moisture. A seamless toe closure means there’s no chance of chafing causing blisters.
Cushioned footbeds provide impact absorption, and the heel and toe areas are reinforced with NanoGLIDE, a plaited fabric that increases both cushioning and durability. Strong bands across the arch offer support and a tight, comfortable fit.
- Soft, quick-drying Merino wool
- Cushioned footbed
- Extended heel and toe area
- Supportive arch bands
- Some may feel that these socks are too short
7. Rockay Accelerate
If being environmentally friendly is important to you, we highly recommend Rockay apparel.
Their Accelerate socks are comfortable and cushioned, as well as being made from recycled material.
They are thick enough to keep you warm in winter but low and breathable enough to be appropriate for summer as well. The socks have moisture-wicking and anti-odor technology built into them for comfort and practicality.
Maximum cushioning is strategically placed in the areas that take the most impact, to provide an extra layer of shock absorption and comfort. There’s also no seam in the toe, so your toes won’t get chafed.
You’ll also find targeted arch support that offers light but effective stability under the arch. These socks have a lifetime guarantee.
- Durable, eco-friendly socks
- Highly breathable
- Maximum cushioning underfoot
- Anti-odor technology
- Some may feel that these socks are slightly tight in the arch
8. Thorlos 12-Hour Shift Work Maximum Cushion Ankle
If you need more than one pair of socks at a time, we recommend the Thorlos 12-Hour Shift Work Maximum Cushion Ankle sock. They come in a pack of three pairs, so you’ll be covered multiple days of the week.
They’ve been designed for people who spend long hours on their feet. Whether you’re wearing work boots or sneakers, these socks should help reduce foot pain by providing padding, shock-absorption, and comfort.
The socks are made of a nylon, polyester, acrylic, and elastic blend. They have been carefully manufactured to have a seam-free toe, which means less chance of chafing and developing blisters.
Plenty of cushioning in this shoe helps to absorb vibration on every step. There’s padding in the heel and forefoot, but also on the sides of the sock and over the toes. Your foot is extremely well-padded in these socks!
You’ll also find graduated compression in the arch to provide support and reduce fatigue that can lead to pain.
For a fresh environment inside your shoe for hours on end, Thor-Lon fibers wick away sweat to keep your feet dry.
They run a little tighter than Thorlos socks usually so, so if you want a more comfortable fit you may need to order a size larger.
- All-round foot padding
- Reinforced heel, forefoot, and toe
- Graduated compression
- Seamless toe
- These socks can run slightly small so you may need to order a size larger
Warmest For Winter
9. Smartwool Hike Full Cushion Crew
Merino wool is the ideal fabric for winter socks, as it insulates your body heat and keeps your feet from getting cold. Indestructawool technology makes these socks highly durable.
As well as being made from responsibly-sourced, temperature-regulating material, these socks use maximum cushioning to not only provide comfort and impact absorption but also increase warmth.
The 4 Degree Elite Fit System creates a near-custom fit for your feet. The Virtually Seamless Toe reduces the risk of chafing and blistering.
Although these socks are warm, they also have body-mapped mesh zones across the foot to provide welcome airflow and keep your feet dry. The high cuff ensures that there’s no chance for the socks to slide down, maximizing warmth and comfort.
If you’re in between sizes, you may find that there’s a bit too much room in the toe box if you choose a larger size—which can cause chafing.
- Enhanced durability
- Body-mapped mesh zones
- Cushioning throughout the sock
- Flat toe seam
- If you’re in between sizes, you should choose the smaller size as the larger may leave you open to chafing
What Socks are Best for Foot Pain?
If you suffer from foot pain, you should consider buying socks that have more padding than usual. This helps to reduce pressure and absorb shock, reducing strain on the feet and vibration through the joints.
Extra padding can also help to prevent chafing and reduce the chance of developing blisters, which can help the feet to feel better.
The padding should be on the heel and the forefoot. You should make sure that the extra padding doesn’t cause your shoes to become uncomfortably tight or cut off circulation.
How Does the Padding Work?
Padding in socks is created by using more densely-weaved material in certain areas. Sometimes other fabrics are woven in with the sock’s fabric, and these are usually dense and durable.
What Other Features are Important?
As well as padding, the best socks for foot pain should have the following features. Reinforcement in the arch—tighter weave or compression—offers extra support in the midfoot and can be helpful for individuals with all arch types.
This extra support can help to protect against foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis. However, you should pay careful attention to the shoes you’re wearing as well, as they will provide the primary support for the feet.
The socks should fit snugly and should not be too long in the toes or too short on the heel. A sock that’s too long can bunch up and cause chafing, while a sock that’s too short can slip down into the shoe and cause blisters.
Check the manufacturer’s sizing specifications to find the right size for you. It may take some trial and error, but make sure to try your new socks on with the shoes you will be wearing most often so you can make sure they’re a good fit.
Can Bad Socks Cause Foot Pain?
Wearing the wrong kind of socks can cause chafing, which can lead to irritation, tenderness, inflammation, and blisters.
As a result, you may end up positioning your feet differently, which in turn can lead to extra strain being placed on the joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the feet. This can lead to more pain.