Athlete’s foot—you do your best to avoid it. You wear flip flops in the locker room. You dry your feet well after every shower. But if you’ve ever had it, you know how annoying it can be. And getting rid of it can be frustrating.
Some people are more susceptible to athlete’s foot than others. It got its name for a reason. People who sweat in their sneakers are often likely to develop the condition because their feet are nestled in a warm, moist environment. However, anyone can catch the fungus, and wearing the right footwear can help treat it.
Your socks play an essential role in helping you treat and heal from athlete’s foot. We have reviewed the best socks for athlete’s foot so that you can kick the condition and avoid contracting it again.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Choice: Kodal Copper-Infused Athletic Socks
- Best Premium Product: Vitalsox Graduated Compression Circulation Socks
- Best Value Product: J & Q No Show Socks
What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin. The same fungus that causes ringworm and jock itch is responsible for athlete’s foot. However, ringworm can spread to any part of the body. Jock itch is limited to the groin area. Athlete’s foot occurs on the feet and toes.
Trichophyton, the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, lives on clothing and surfaces, like shower and locker room floors. It’s very contagious. About 70 percent of people will develop athlete’s foot in their lifetime. It’s the most prevalent fungal infection in humans.
But it’s not as though everyone that walks around barefoot will automatically contract the fungus. The conditions have to be right. If you get the fungus on your skin and then provide a perfect environment for it to grow, such as the warm, damp interior of your shoe, you might cause the fungi to reproduce and begin to live on your skin.
You can’t just wash it off. In fact, because the fungus can survive on a shower floor, you can pick it up by bathing in an infected area. The more you wash your feet, the more moisture you introduce to your skin. If you don’t dry your feet and toes completely, you can be creating the perfect atmosphere in which Trichophyton thrives.
People can also transfer the fungus by using infected towels, socks, and clothing. Therefore, if you don’t wash your own socks properly, you might continue to infect yourself.
You can spread the fungus by touching or scratching your feet and then touching another area on your body. Trichophyton is more likely to grow in your armpits or groin than your arms and legs because those areas are sweatier.
How Do You Know if You Need Socks for Athlete’s Foot?
You might want to know if you have athlete’s foot before investing in special socks. The condition shows up distinctly in different people. Some symptoms include:
- Itchy, stinging or burning skin on the feet and toes
- Dry skin on the feet
- Flaking on the sole of the feet and between the toes
- Scaly or cracking skin
- Swelling, oozing or crusting
- Itchy blisters
Athlete’s Foot Treatments and Remedies
If you have athlete’s foot, you should treat it as soon as possible. The longer it lingers, the more likely you are to transfer it to another part of your body or another person.
Some of the top home remedies for athlete’s foot include:
- Over-the-counter topical treatments – These come in lotions, creams, ointments, powders, and sprays. You apply them directly to your feet for several days.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Known to kill surface bacteria that could promote infection. It may sting when you apply it directly to the skin.
- Tea tree oil – An essential oil with anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. It must be diluted with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil.
- Neem oil – An anti-fungal oil that’s also good for treating toenail infections.
- Rubbing alcohol – Apply it directly to the feet or soak your feet in a solution of 70 percent rubbing alcohol and 30 percent water.
- Garlic – With anti-microbial properties, garlic can be smashed and rubbed directly on your feet. It does get stinky, though.
- Sea salt soaks – Mix 1 cup of sea salt in warm water until it dissolves. Then, soak your feet for about 20 minutes.
- Baby powder or cornstarch – Sprinkle this inside of your shoes and socks to absorb extra moisture. You can also rub it between your toes after cleaning your feet and drying them thoroughly.
- Colloidal silver – An anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent that kills athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.
How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot from Spreading
As you treat the fungus, you should also take precautions to prevent it from spreading. Disinfect your shower and bathroom floors every day while you’re treating athlete’s foot. To do this, spray the areas with a disinfectant that’s safe for the surface you’re addressing. Leave the disinfectant on for 10 minutes before wiping or rinsing it away.
Prevent the spread of athlete’s foot in your laundry by taking the following precautions:
- Wash potentially infected items, like socks and gym clothes, separately
- Use hot water (at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit) and high-heat drying for these items
- Don’t forget to wash gym bags and backpacks
- Wipe down the tub or hamper that you use to hold infected items with disinfectant or bleach
- Use bleach, if desired, to disinfect white clothing in the wash
- Make sure that you dry fabrics completely.
You should also ensure that your shoes dry completely between each use. Place them in the sun or a well-ventilated area when you take them off. Consider swapping out the shoes that you wear every day to give them time to air out.
If possible, launder your sneakers when you learn that you have athlete’s foot. You might want to sprinkle athlete’s foot powder or spray the inside of your shoes with an over-the-counter anti-fungal product to kill residual bacteria inside.
Why Do You Need Socks for Athlete’s Foot?
If the skin breaks open on the feet, people can develop secondary bacterial infections. If you have any of the symptoms above, you might want to treat them right away. You can buy over-the-counter remedies for athlete’s foot. You’ll also want to make sure that your feet stay as dry as possible.
That’s where athlete’s foot socks come in. But you don’t have to wait until you get athlete’s foot to purchase the socks. People who are at a high risk of developing the condition might want to take preemptive action. You could be prone to contracting the fungus if you:
- Spend time in communal pools or locker rooms
- Share towels, socks or shoes with someone who is infected
- Wearing tight, closed-toe shoes
- Having sweaty feet
- Wearing synthetic shoes, which don’t breathe
- Wearing socks that hold moisture against your skin
- Having open sores or a nail injury on your feet
Socks for athlete’s foot allow your feet to breathe. They wick moisture away from the surface of your skin so that your feet stay as dry as possible, even if they’re sweating. Some socks for athlete’s foot contain fibers that are made out of anti-microbial and anti-fungal materials.
What to Consider When Purchasing Socks for Athlete’s Foot
Socks for athlete’s foot are made from a variety of materials. They also come in various shapes and sizes. Here are some things to think about before buying socks for athlete’s foot.
Most socks for athlete’s foot are made out of synthetic materials or a combination of synthetic and natural fabrics. Nylon and polyester wick moisture away from your feet. So does wool. However, you shouldn’t wash wool socks in hot water and dry them on high heat in the dryer. Therefore, wool might not be the best option for socks for athlete’s foot.
You might think that cotton is breathable and a good option if you have athlete’s foot. Cotton absorbs moisture and holds it next to your skin, though. It’s one of the worst materials to wear if you have issues with sweaty feet and fungus.
Some metals, such as copper and silver, have biocidal properties. When copper oxide is woven into socks, it has the potential to kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Copper can also improve the skin’s overall appearance. In one study, more than 50% of people with athlete’s foot who wore copper socks experienced an improvement in their skin’s appearance and were more comfortable revealing their bare feet in public.
Loose socks allow for pockets of moisture to build up next to the skin. Try wearing compression socks, which grip your feet tightly. They’ll pull moisture away from your skin more rapidly than loose socks.
Plus, socks that fit well and don’t rub on your feet are less likely to cause blisters than other types of socks. Preventing open sores is an excellent way to avoid bacterial infections and help your feet heal from athlete’s foot.
Socks for athlete’s foot come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Get the ones that you’re comfortable with. If you prefer crew socks, don’t buy athlete’s foot socks that go up to your knees. You’ll be more likely to wear the types of socks in which you’re most comfortable. Wearing them regularly and exchanging them for a clean pair after every use is an excellent way to clear up a fungal infection.
The Best Socks for Athlete’s Foot: Reviews
These socks have many of the properties that people with athlete’s foot should look for. They’re made with materials that reduce wetness and fight bacteria. They offer the right amount of compression to reduce friction and prevent blisters. The socks are also versatile. They’re great for any sport and all seasons.
Let’s begin by talking about the copper in these socks. According to the manufacturer, copper is anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-mite. Reactions to copper are very rare. Copper is naturally found in your body and skin. It’s necessary for almost every tissue in the human body to function optimally.
Copper won’t oxidize in the laundry. It also doesn’t wash out, the way that some anti-fungal treatments can. Therefore, when you purchase a pair of these socks that contain copper, you’ll know that they retain their anti-fungal properties no matter how much you clean them.
Therefore, whether you have athlete’s foot or a secondary bacterial infection, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your feet are being treated every time you wear these socks. The copper also improves the appearance of your skin. It can help your feet regain their softness after you’ve treated the fungal infection.
The copper yarn also eliminates odors. If you have sweaty feet, a complication that can occur with athlete’s foot, you’ll be able to take care of the problem by wearing these socks.
Copper textiles are just as comfortable as any yarn. These socks are especially well-suited for people who move around a lot. The abrasion-resistant shape stays in place and prevents calluses and blisters from forming.
- Come in various sizes for teenagers and adults
- Contain copper, which fights fungi and bacteria
- Feel soft and like a second skin
- Shouldn’t cause allergies or skin irritation
- Made from 80% cotton, which doesn’t wick moisture as well as some other materials
- Can’t be bleached
- Should not be put in the dryer
- Only come in medium and large sizes
These no-show socks are excellent for everyday wear. They have low-cut ankle openings, which lie beneath the opening of most shoes. The thin material is cool and comfortable. Therefore, these socks are perfect for wearing in any season.
If you have athlete’s foot, wearing sandals in the summer can help your feet breathe. However, you might not want to show off your feet if they’re flaky, red, or swollen. But wearing sneakers or other closed-toe shoes can make you hot, especially if you wear socks underneath.
This presents a conundrum. Going barefoot in closed-toe shoes is a recipe for athlete’s foot disaster. Your feet will be more prone to developing abrasions and blisters, and you don’t have the added protection of a material that wicks away moisture.
J & Q no-show socks can come to your rescue. The ankles are low enough that you shouldn’t see them when you’re wearing shoes. You can get that barefoot look even though you have the protection of the socks.
Here’s where these shoes really stand out—they have a deep, Y-shaped heel, which cups your foot nicely and prevents the sock from shifting around. A strip of soft silicone lines the inside of the heels. It grips your skin so that the back of the sock doesn’t get sucked down into your shoe.
The ankle opening is loose and won’t cause uncomfortable tightness and restriction. In short, your feet will feel comfortable and relaxed in these socks.
- Infused with copper for anti-microbial benefits
- Keep feet cool and dry
- Smooth seams prevent friction blisters
- Elastic tabs in the back keep socks from slipping
- Ideal for everyday use
- No arch support
- Not the best socks for athletic wear
If you have especially sweaty feet, you might want to look for a pair of socks that doesn’t contain any cotton. These fit the bill.
The manufacturer creates these with the following materials:
- 70% silver drystat
- 10% spandex
- 10% Lycra
- 10% nylon
The synthetic materials don’t hold onto moisture. They wick it away from your skin.
These socks are particularly effective for people with athlete’s foot because they contain silver drystat. The material is a combination of quick-drying polypropylene and silver. It counters the growth of fungus and bacteria while repelling odors. Even if your feet smell, your socks won’t trap the odors. They’ll smell fresh after every washing.
Silver drystat also helps the socks maintain their breathability. Their moisture management properties prevent blisters. The material also helps your feet regulate their temperature even while they’re trapped in hot shoes or you’re working out. If your feet always feel hot due to athlete’s foot, these socks may help them feel a little cooler and less oppressive.
The graduated compression that these socks feature is excellent for improving circulation. They prevent blood from pooling at your feet and encourage it to move through your body, which supports the function of your tissues and organs.
These socks aren’t just for athletes, though. They can help people who stand for long periods of time at work or feel heaviness in their calves or feet while walking.
The four-way stretch is also comfortable to wear. The socks don’t feel too tight. If you’d like to increase the level of compression, you can go down a size. These socks are easy to put on and take off, no matter what size you choose.
Because they’re made of synthetic materials and silver, these socks dry quickly. You won’t have to worry about them developing mildew or holding onto fungus while they’re in your gym bag. They’re as good as new every time you wash them.
- Come in a variety of colors
- Offer graduated compression to help with circulation issues and shin splints
- Contain arch support
- Help your feet regulate their temperature
- Hand-tested for construction and quality
- Come in size XS, S, M, and L
- Don’t contain cotton
- Compression features may be unnecessary for some people
- Some consumers may not prefer knee-high socks
If moisture control is the most important feature in your socks, then you’ve found a great pair in these. The breathable fibers supply adequate ventilation to your skin while allowing it to breathe. The manufacturers construct these socks from the following materials:
- 52% cotton
- 46% polyester
- 1% nylon
- 1% spandex
Although these socks do contain cotton, which sucks up moisture, the other materials wick it away. It’s the perfect combination of absorption and dampness removal. When your feet are dry, the athlete’s foot treatments that you use should be more effective. You’ll also reduce the risk of the fungus infecting you again.
The structure of the socks also works to improve airflow. The product features mesh ventilation channels, which help your skin breathe.
The socks also fit well. They have best-fit arch compression, which holds them in place around your midfoot and soothes sore feet. The cushioned comfort adds some plushness below the soles of your feet.
Although these are not compression socks, they feel firm around your calf. You might enjoy this feature because it helps the socks stay in place. The elastic shouldn’t dig in or create marks around your feet, ankles, or calves, though.
You can clean these socks in the washing machine and dryer. This is a benefit for people who need to bleach their socks and use high heat to kill athlete’s foot fungus.
- Comfortable, firm fit that’s not too tight and not too loose
- Keep your warm in the winter and cool in the summer
- Ideal for exercise, boots, or everyday use
- Excellent moisture control
- These are designed for men only
- Don’t contain copper or silver for fungus-fighting features
These socks are specifically designed for runners. The design mimics the shape of a running shoe. The socks hug your feet around the midsole and heel but leave your toes free to move, flex, and grip as they need to with every step.
They provide subtle pressure but allow for natural movement. The socks also compress the feet and can help with conditions such as plantar fasciitis, athlete’s foot, and arch pain.
The toe is seamless, which means that you won’t experience rubbing or chafing where the panels come together. Because the socks add some compression, they should stay in place when you walk or run, preventing blisters. The compression also enhances circulation and soothes tired feet.
These socks are not too thick or too thin. They provide some cushioning, which is comfortable when you have to wear them all day. The extra-deep heel pockets keep them in place. Furthermore, the manufacturer knits the heels with 30% more stitches than traditional running socks. This provides more give and flexibility around the heel while preventing the socks from shifting while you move.
Even if you don’t use them for running, you might find these socks helpful if you’re on your feet a lot.
Because these socks don’t contain cotton, they wick moisture well. They’re made of the following materials:
- 75% polyester
- 23% nylon
- 2% elastane
The Drynamix yarn is infused with encapsulated silver ions, which help to combat bacteria and odors. Strategically placed ventilation panels keep your feet dry even if you’re working out to the max.
The socks come in a variety of sizes to fit women, men, and teenagers.
- Help ease pain from arch issues and plantar fasciitis
- Adequate cushioning for all-day comfort
- Don’t contain cotton and are extremely moisture-wicking
- Come in sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL
- Heel blister guard shows above the back of your shoe
- Tight on the toes
- Don’t offer as much pressure as compression socks
These socks are 70% cotton, which might make you think that they’re not ideal for treating athlete’s foot. However, the cotton is extremely breathable and enhances airflow. It’s combined with polypropylene, spandex, and titanium. Polypropylene is known as one of the best moisture-wicking materials.
The manufacturer claims that the titanium in the yarn releases ions that remove foot odor. They also say that titanium works better than silver for that purpose.
Titanium purportedly releases infrared rays, which help your feet stay dry and warm. The material can also balance your pH levels and enhance your metabolism. If you’re not sure that these socks will work for you, you don’t have to worry. The company will refund your purchase if the socks don’t relieve your athlete’s foot.
The low socks have a firm cuff around the ankle that keeps them in place. They rise high enough to prevent your shoes from rubbing on your skin. They shouldn’t shift downward as you move.
Some of the comfort features of these socks include arch support, a seamless toe joint, and cushioned bottom. The heel is reinforced for durability.
To get the most out of these socks, you should wash them before you use them for the first time. Then, continue to wash them after each wearing. The anti-microbial materials are infused into the sock and won’t wash off.
The one-size-fits-all sizing is comfortable and stretchy. However, if you have especially small or large feet, these may not be ideal for you.
- Contain titanium, which is more effective than silver for fighting athlete’s foot
- Polypropylene material wicks moisture
- Breathable mesh allows for adequate ventilation
- Thin enough to wear with a variety of shoes
- 70% cotton socks may not wick moisture as well as others
- One-size-fits-all may not work for large or small feet
- The manufacturer suggests that you don’t bleach these socks
These socks contain no cotton but are soft and breathable. They contain 98% polyester and 2% elastane with copper. The stretch material is comfortable and fits well. The copper fights fungus and bacteria.
If you deal with painful, sore feet, you might let out a sigh of pleasure when you put these socks on. The heel is slightly padded. Therefore, it’s comfortable for long runs or doing other activities where you’re on your feet for long periods of time, such as golf.
Because these socks have a spandex arch support, they cradle your feet gently. They also provide some compression, which relieves shock and prevents muscle fatigue.
They’re also structured to fit well. The heel tab prevents the socks from slipping down. Hand-seamed toes are flat and won’t rub or chafe.
Plus, these socks are exceptionally good at keeping your feet dry. The material wicks away moisture quickly. Plenty of ventilation helps your feet stay cool even in the warmest conditions.
The socks are unisex and can be worn for any activity. Because they wick moisture well, they’re perfect for long days. You can wear them at the gym or with casual shoes around town.
- Copper-infused fibers
- No cotton
- Mesh construction keeps feet cool
- Non-slip ankle tab prevents blisters and rubbing at the Achilles
- Extra cushioning in the ankle is comfortable and adds durability.
- Perfect for sports and casual wear
- May run large
- Very thin
These socks are supposed to dry at the same rate as you perspire. Therefore, they do more than just wick moisture away from your skin; they stay dry.
The manufacturer knits them with 48% olefin. Olefin is polypropylene, a synthetic material that doesn’t absorb moisture. It repels dampness, pulling it away from your skin to the outer surface of the fabric.
The exterior layer of fibers absorbs that moisture so that it doesn’t end up inside of your shoes. This protects your shoes from your sweat and won’t contribute to fungal growth there.
Olefin is also a lightweight fiber and won’t add bulk inside of your shoes. The manufacturer claims that these are the lightest running socks around.
The other materials that make up these socks are 10% elastane and, 36% polyester, and 6% nylon. These fabrics are light in weight. Some people don’t like thin socks, though, because they’re uncomfortable against the bottom of the shoe.
The manufacturer of these socks solves that issue by adding dense cushioning to the bottom of the product. The padding is compact, but it’s not thick. Therefore, it won’t affect the way that your shoes fit.
Because these shoes dry so easily, they’re also ideal for travel. You can wash them by hand in your hotel room and hang them to dry. They’ll be ready to wear the next day. Other socks, especially those with cotton fibers, can take much longer to dry completely.
Because of this feature, the socks will stay odor-free even if you forget them in your gym bag for a few days. They don’t contain any special materials to combat smelly feet, but you shouldn’t have a problem with stink when you wear these.
- Dry as fast as you sweat
- Lightest running socks available
- Resilient and durable
- Easy to wash
- Size runs slightly large
- Not as soft or padded as some of the other options
These socks are marketed as high-quality running socks. They’re not specially designed for people with athlete’s foot, but they have many features that make them well-suited for individuals who struggle with the condition.
For starters, they’re made of the following materials:
- 79% polyester
- 20% nylon
- 1% elastic
The blend of fabrics absorbs moisture and keeps it away from your skin. Plus, it’s extremely breathable and will prevent your feet from getting hot and stinky.
The material fits like a glove. It’s not too stretchy and not too loose. These socks are ideal for people whose feet feel hot due to athlete’s foot. Sometimes, if socks have too much compression, they can make athlete’s foot feel worse.
Thorlos Experia feel like a second skin and have ventilation panels to keep your feet cool. They also have elastic bands that are spaced throughout the sock to prevent it from sliding down the length of your foot.
Furthermore, Thor-Wick COOL fibers are embedded in the ball and heel of the foot. This improves the socks’ moisture management abilities.
There’s lightweight padding on the Achilles area. This cushion prevents rubbing and chafing. However, you don’t have to deal with a tab that can stick out of your shoe’s ankle opening. Therefore, these socks are streamlined and can be worn with a variety of casual shoes, including running shoes.
If you’re looking for a running sock that will stay cool and comfortable while you exercise, this might be an excellent option for you. These might be the most comfortable socks that you’ve ever worn.
- Extremely comfortable
- Aerodynamic design with padding in all the right places
- Protect against moisture and blisters
- Great ventilation protects against odors
- Unique sizing chart may be confusing
- Don’t contain copper or special materials to combat athlete’s foot
Although many people think that wool is itchy and uncomfortable, it’s a great option for those with sweaty feet or athlete’s foot.
Merino wool is soft and breathable. It’s a natural fiber that absorbs moisture. However, it draws it to the surface, where it can evaporate and dry off. Therefore, it wicks dampness away from the skin surprisingly well.
While merino wool is warm in the winter, it’s not just a cold-weather material. Because it’s so breathable, it keeps you cool in the summer. It helps your body adjust its own temperature.
We’ve talked a lot about the way that moisture from sweaty feet affects athlete’s foot. But if you run in wet weather, you can also deal with the same problems as people with sweaty feet do. Merino wool socks are perfect for working out or walking in the rain.
The wool repels moisture. Your feet will feel great even if your socks are soaking wet. Because the dampness should end up on the outside of the sock instead of against your skin, you’ll avoid getting blisters.
Still, remember to take the socks off as soon as possible and dry your feet and shoes well. Running in wet conditions too often can exacerbate athlete’s foot and prevent it from healing.
These socks have cushioned heel and toe pads. The toe is seamless, which puts you at a lower risk of developing blisters and irritation.
The socks aren’t 100% merino wool. The36% polypropylene, 7% nylon, and 4% spandex provide the perfect combination of moisture-wicking properties and comfortable fit.
- Merino wool wicks moisture and neutralizes odors
- Ideal for summer or winter
- Thermal-regulating socks keep feet at a comfortable temperature
- Seamless toe prevents irritation
- Extremely breathable
- Thicker than some of the other socks that we reviewed
- Can’t wash them in hot water
- Dry slower than synthetic materials
If you have athlete’s foot, you need to wear socks to soak up moisture, keep your feet dry and comfortable, and avoid contaminating your shoes with the fungus. However, you should wear the appropriate type of sock. Cotton socks can hold onto moisture and make your burning, itching, flaking symptoms worse.
While some of the socks that we reviewed do contain cotton, they’re balanced with other fibers that make the products dry quickly. All of the socks in this article have moisture-wicking properties and should keep your feet dry.
The best socks for athlete’s foot overall are the Kodal Copper-Infused Athletic Socks. We love the fact that they have copper in them. It helps to know that you’re treating and preventing fungus every time you wear the socks. Plus, they fit well. They squeeze your feet in the right places and stay put in your shoes.
If you want to splurge, consider the Vitalsox Graduated Compression Circulation Socks. One pair costs almost as much as the Kodal athletic socks. However, if you need compression from the middle of the foot throughout your calf, you can’t go wrong. Plus, these socks contain silver drystat, which fights fungus. It’s tough to find specialty socks for athlete’s foot that also have other benefits for people with foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
For people who are on a budget or want to round out their sock collection with a more cost-effective option, the J & Q No Show Socks are ideal. These do not have copper or silver. However, they are made with quick-drying materials and prevent odors. We also like the silicone strip on the heels, which prevents blisters and keeps the socks in place.
You’ll likely need different socks for different uses. Most people don’t wear the same socks to work as they do to work out. Therefore, you might want to try a variety of these socks to keep your feet comfortable and resolve your athlete’s foot woes.