Climacool, Duo Dry and Coolmax. Spider Nets, Y Heels and Zone Cushioning. These are just a few of the high-tech fabrics and special features of the latest crop of performance running socks. These days, you can spend upwards of $50 on a pair of compression socks, but for this review we decided to stay away from that lofty area and keep our sights on products in the sub $10 range.

Here’s three that worked for us:

Adidas Athletic Superlite Socks

Adidas Climacool Athletic Superlite 3


The Adidas Athletic Superlite socks come three to a pack for a per pair price of around $5. Not bad for a branded running sock. Feature-wise, you get a mesh upper panel for ventilation and a more heavily cushioned heel and toe. Underfoot, you’ll find three Adidas stripes that lend a touch of arch support. Adidas makes the Superlite from a blend of polyester, cotton and spandex. It’s a proprietary blend they call Climacool and it did a fine job on our winter and early spring runs. And like Henry Ford, these products come in almost any color you want (as long as it’s basic black with a touch of red accent).

Champion C9 Premium Mid Ankle Socks

C9 Premium


I’m not sure what’s going on with Champion and their relationship with retailer Target. Seems like they’re pulling back from their joint selling and C9 product brand. Shame that, because we’ve come to really like their value-priced athletic gear including the socks. The C9 Premium Mid Ankle socks come two to a pack or around $4.50 per pair. They’re made from a 97 percent polyester fabric called Duo Dry. Zone cushioning puts extra padding under the heal and toe. A mess panel underfoot provides additional ventilation. And there’s a Y Heel to keep your foot from slipping in the sock. They’re very thin but quite comfortable.

Lorpen Trail Running Lite Socks

Lorpen Trail Running Light


The Lorpen Trail Running Light socks run around $8 per pair making them the most expensive in the test. They’re substantially heavier duty than either the Adidas or Champion products. Lorpen makes them from a blend of Lyocell, polyester, nylon and Lycra. The socks have mesh panels for ventilation, a Spider Net across the forefoot for additional support and variable cushioning on the heel and toe. Colors range from bright green and blue to more subtle beiges. Nicely done and very comfortable.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to Lorpen for providing products for this review.

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