10 Best Socks For Sweaty Feet in 2023 (Avoid These Critical Mistakes)

Sweaty socks and wet feet can be an embarrassing and very frustrating issue. Some people find that even when they regularly change their socks, wash their feet, and take their shoes off when possible, they still find them damp and sticky from overly sweaty feet.

In actuality, the main culprit is probably your socks. Finding the right socks can go a long way towards keeping your feet dry and comfy. The main thing that determines how well a sock can absorb sweat is the material it is made out of. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best socks for sweaty feet.

Materials To Avoid When Buying Socks For Sweaty Feet

If you have constantly sweaty feet no matter how good your personal hygiene is, odds are your socks are just not made out of the right material. If you have ultra-sweaty feet, avoid socks that are made out of these materials:


Synthetic socks, in general, will make your feet sweat a lot, especially if it is hot outside. Synthetic materials (plastic, nylon, polyester) do not breathe very well so they do not allow sweat to evaporate off your feet.

Even worse, they tend to not absorb moisture either, so your feet will stay wet and sticky. Water on the feet can cause blisters and sores from rubbing. Additionally, constantly wet feet and socks provide a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, which can make your feet smell really funky.

Some synthetic materials are very effective at keeping your feet sweat free, but these are almost always specially engineered synthetic materials. In general, it is a good idea to stay away from non-specialized synthetic fabrics when buying socks.


Despite being probably the most common material for socks, cotton based socks are actually one of the worst kinds of socks you can have for sweaty feet. Although they tend to be lighter and breath better than synthetic socks, cotton socks cannot absorb much moisture without becoming soaked and sodden.

When cotton socks get wet, they stay wet for a long time. Your soaked cotton socks are a perfect place for the growth of Brevibacteria, the bacteria that is responsible for the moldy, cheesy smell of wet socks.

The Best Socks For Fighting Sweaty Feet

Overly sweaty feet comes with a lot of issues; constant smell, uncomfortableness, difficulty wearing open-toed shoes, and sweat damaging shoes. That’s why a good absorbent sock can make all the difference to your walking routine.

In general, socks that are made for overly sweaty feet are constructed with special materials and fibers that are highly absorbent and wick moisture away from the foot. The best socks for sweaty feet not only keep moisture off of the feet but can also prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.

The feet have more sweat gland than any other part of the body, so it is impossible to stop foot sweat completely. However, moisture wicking socks can reduce the amount of sweat your feet produce and its negative effects by keeping your feet dry and cool.

5 Types of Moisture-Wicking Socks

Wool Socks

Wool is already a favorite among sock enthusiasts for its soft texture and excellent insulating properties. Not only will they keep your feet warm in the winter; they will keep them cool in the summer as well.

Wool socks are good for sweaty feet becaue wool is much more absorbent than other fabrics such as cotton. In fact, most common varieties of wool are a third more absorbent than cotton and can absorb up to 30% its weight in water.

Even though they absorb more water, wool socks are better at staying dry because of the way the wool fibers absorb water. Wool fibers trap moisture inside the fiber itself, rather than the whole fiber, as is the case with cotton. So even though wool can absorb more water than cotton it does not become waterlogged as easy.

Wool socks also tend to last a bit longer than cotton socks because wool is just a thicker tougher fiber.

One of the more effective varieties of wool is merino wool, a specific fiber that comes from the merino sheep. Merino wool can absorb up to 35% of its weight in water before becoming damp and has antimicrobial properties that prevent odor and the growth of bacteria. Merino wool is also very fine and soft, a good feature as some wool can be described as scratchy and irritating.

Some recommended brands of merino wool socks include:

1. Darn Tough Hiker Cushion Sock

darn best socks for sweaty feet

The Darn Tough Hiker Cushion Sock. Even though it is branded as a hiking sock, it works for all occasions. 100% merino wool and seamless construction for durability

2. Pure Athlete Wool Running Socks

Pure Athlete Wool Running Socks. A great sock for athletes with sweaty feet. The wool and synthetic fabric keeps the feet dry but also lets the socks be tough and stretchy without losing shape.

Coolmax Fibers

Coolmax is a polyester based synthetic fabric that was first invented by DuPont in 1986. Coolmax fibers are found in socks from many major brands including Nike, Rebook, and Puma. Coolmax fibers are normally mixed with wool, nylon, cotton, and sometimes spandex.

Coolmax fibers are specifically engineered to take perspiration off of the feet. Each individual fiber has 4 to 6 channels that wick moisture away from the feet. This moisture is transferred to the surrounding fabric for absorption.

So, strictly speaking, Coolmax fibers do not absorb water, but they make water absorption much easier because their extremely hydrophobic nature removes water from the foot via capillary action and transfers it to the outside fabric. Because it is a polyester fabric, it drys very quickly and is durable.

Coolmax fibers also have microbial properties that discourage the growth of bacteria.

Good examples of socks with Coolmax fibers are:

3. Thorlos Experia Low-Cut Athletic Socks

In addition to being made out of 70% Coolmax fibers, these socks also have built-in cushioning for the heel and balls of the feet. They are also extremely breathable and keep your feet cool while exercising.

4. Bridgedale Ultralight Coolmax Liner Socks

Great liner socks to wear under your wool socks. Made from 60% Coolmax fibers combined with merino wool. Perfect for outdoor activities.

Olefin Fibers

Olefin fibers are another kind of synthetic fiber derived from the chemical polyethylene. Olefin fibers are extremely tough, resistant to staining, and very quick drying. Olefin fibers are rather large but cover a large area making them useful insulators.

Olefin fibers are capable of wicking water away from your feet up to 25 times quicker than other synthetic fabrics. In fact, two Italian scientists won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 for developing Olefin fibers. Like Coolmax fibers, Olefin fibers do not themselves actually absorb moisture but repel water away from the feet to be captured in the outer fabric.

Olefin fibers too have microbial properties that prevent bacterial growth. This makes Olefin socks very useful for combating foot odor and fungus.

Some great picks for Olefin fiber socks are:

5. Swiftwick Performance One

A great athletic sock made out of Olefin fibers.  Contoured compression fit hugs the foot and it has a high density 200 knit construction.

6 . Wigwam Double Duty

Perfect for work. Very thick and durable with a cushioned footbed. Also has an antimicrobial treatment to fight foot odor.

Bamboo Fiber

It may sound strange to some but bamboo fiber socks are among some of the best socks for sweaty feet. Although that actual bamboo plant is very rigid and hard, individual bamboo fibers are extremely soft and flexible and can be woven into tons of different things.

Bamboo fiber socks are great for sweaty feet because bamboo fiber is much more absorbent than cotton. Each bamboo fiber absorbs water inside it like a little sponge so bamboo socks can take on a lot of moisture before becoming damp. Bamboo also has great thermal regulation properties so it will keep your feet warm and cool when they need it.

Bamboo fibers are also known for their antibacterial and antifungal properties. Bamboo fabrics have antimicrobial properties that guard against bacteria, keeping your feet smelling fresh. They are described as exceedingly soft and gentle on the feet. Some good bamboo fiber socks include:

7. BambuuHome Premium Bamboo Socks

Made out of 100% organic bamboo fibers, these socks are moisture and odor resistant. Works for active, casual, and formal wear.

8. SERISIMPLE Bamboo Low-Cut Crew Sock

80% bamboo and cotton fibers. Extremely soft and tough. Good for all occasions and machine washable.

Metal Fiber Socks

I know, it sounds strange. Metal in your socks? How could that be comfy? Modern technology allows us to spin and mix metal with fibers so that they are extremely durable but as soft as normal fabrics. These fibers can be woven into ordinary materials to give them unique properties.

When it comes to metal fiber socks, their main draw is the amazing antimicrobial properties of metals. Many metals are strong antibacterial agents. Metals can kill bacteria and break down the chemicals they produce that are responsible for the raunchy odor associated with sweaty feet. Metal ions are also good at wicking water away from the feet becaue they attract polar water molecules.

The most common kinds of metal fibers found in socks nowadays are copper, silver, and titanium. Many older shoes contained copper insoles which largely performed the same function.  Metal fibers in your socks, copper threads in particular, can also be good for the skin as they rejuvenate collagen.

Recent tech has seen the use of silver nano-particles woven into fabrics to fight against smelly feet. Silver has long been known as an antibacterial agent and several ancient cultures would use silver to keep foodstuffs from going bad. Silver ions also do a great job of attracting water so silver treated socks do wonders for keeping the feet dry.

Titanium-based fibers are also becoming more popular, but are less common than silver or copper threads.

Great examples of socks with metal threads include:

9. Balega Silver Antimicrobial Running Socks

Made with silver ions in the yarn, these socks are made for combatting the odor associated with sweaty feet. Works very well to keep the feet dry.

10. Iseasoo Copper Compression Sock

Copper ions in the thread kill bacteria and keep the feet dry. Copper also has strong electrical properties which can help with blood circulation in the feet.

Other Things You Can Do To Avoid Sweaty, Smelly Feet

While finding a good sweat-wicking sock is important for taming your stinky feet, it is not the whole story. Combatting sweaty feet also takes regular hygiene. In particular:

  • Make sure to change your socks daily. Sweat held in socks becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. It helps to keep an extra pair of socks on you while you are at work or school.
  • Several foot powders also exist to lessen foot sweat.
  • Use hot water to wash your socks. Hot water clears bacteria and sterilizes that fibers. If you have polyester socks, let them air dry as the heat of a dryer can cause the fibers to shrink.
  • Sometimes it may be necessary to wear two layers of socks.
  • Make sure to buy breathable shoes (i.e. leather, canvas, and mesh). Very tight shoes can exacerbate foot sweat.
  • Make sure you alternate shoes from day to day.
  • Take your shoes off whenever you get a chance. Exposing your socks and shoes to air drys them out and prevents bacterial growth.
  • Regularly wash your shoes, in particular, the insoles. The insoles are the part most likely to trap moisture which over time can degrade the shoes.
  • If you wear boots a lot, store them upside down so moisture does not sink into the footbed and midsole.
  • If worst comes to worst and you still experience overly sweaty feet, go visit your podiatrist. Podiatrists can prescribe strong antiperspirants, regiments of iontophoresis, or in extreme cases, botox injections.


To recap, the best socks for smelly feet combine both strong moisture wicking to keep feet dry and antimicrobial properties to prevent foot odor. If you have excessively sweaty feet, it is recommended to stay away from cotton and common polyester socks as both do a poor job of keeping the feet dry.

Ultimately, the best socks for sweaty feet will depend on your individual needs. However, this guide will at least put you on the right track to managing that pesky podiatric perspiration.

Stewart Hovis

Stewart is a professional writer with over 10 years of freelance writing experience. He has written many product reviews and he’s doing it amazing. Stewart lives in Maine and recently joined us to contribute a top-notch, reliable and accurate content.

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