Barre workouts are amazing for strengthening your muscles and increasing flexibility, and many people enjoy the feeling of freedom they experience while engaging in a workout without shoes. But while shoes aren't needed on the mat, socks are a must — and the best barre socks provide the support and stability you can't get from the average pair.
The first matter of concern when choosing the right pair is hygiene. If you think about all of the germs and bacteria that can be found on your average floor (especially in a public studio), you understand why socks should always be worn. Wearing barre socks provides an important barrier between your feet and a mat or the studio floor. But that's not the only deciding factor; whether you're into barre, yoga, or ballet, you're going to find yourself holding tricky and challenging poses. The non-slip grips and sticky silicone dots found on the soles of these special socks will make it easier to maintain your balance so that you can reap the many benefits of barre class.
Thanks to the popularity of barre classes, your footwear options have exploded. You can opt for classic ankle socks with toe-to-heel grips, organic cotton socks with a special construction that lets you wiggle your toes, and socks with straps that criss-cross around your foot for additional support. Check out these four top-rated barre socks to find the right pair for you.
1. The Best Overall Socks For Barre
There are various reasons why Great Soles grip socks are considered one of the best options. With non-slip silicone dot technology that extends from the heel to the toe, these criss-cross style socks keep you grounded during barre, pilates, and yoga. They're made from machine-washable cotton and won't slip around the way some socks do — especially because of the elastic bands, which adapt to your foot size and prevent the socks from sliding off and bunching up.
They also come in great colors like heather grey, denim, and navy. The low-cut design has more than 1,000 reviews with a 4.3-star rating. Reviewers say these socks are amazing at maintaining traction and that the strappy design actually stays on: "I use these for barre," one buyer writes. "They are well made, fit perfectly (my shoe size is 6.5), are comfortable and are very cute. They help me keep my balance and they stay put when I'm exercising. I've washed them twice in the washer machine on gentle cycle with cold water and air dried them. So far there's no damage and they've held their shape."
- Available sizes: 6 — 10
2. The Most Affordable Non-Slip Socks
If you're taking three barre classes a week and can't keep up with all of the laundry, this four-pack of non-slip socks is a bargain option that'll fill your drawer without draining your bank account. They have 3-D gel dots on the heel and arch to not only improve stability, but also to cushion your foot and absorb shock (which keeps them especially comfortable for hard floors). The socks themselves are made from cotton and cover your foot from ankle to toes, so they're breathable, sweat-wicking, and hygienic.
Best of all, they come in a pack of four for $17, which means you're paying less than $5 a pair. Reviewers love how much thicker they are than other barre socks and say they stay soft, even after repeated washings.
- Available sizes: 5 — 10
3. The Most Fashionable Option
These full toe-grip socks (which feature a heel tab, non-slip grips, and five-toe construction) give your toes complete freedom of movement. That said, while they're especially supportive and comfortable, reviewers also love them for the style. Their open-keyhole design allows for a fashionable look while remaining breathable and securely fastened, and since they come in 35 shades and patterns (including melon, arcade, and American hearts), you'll be able to find an eye-catching pair that suits your personality. They're also available in various sizes (unlike the typical one-size-fits-most option).
- Available sizes: XS — L
4. The Most Breathable, Sweat-Wicking Option
If ankle socks aren't cutting it for you because they feel too hot and confining, try these toeless lace-up barre socks, which boast anti-slip silicone dots at key contact points on the soles. The toeless design may not be suitable for public spaces due to the hygiene factor, but it does allow your toes to naturally separate, which can help increase flexibility. Since these are made from thinner combed cotton, they're also more effective at wicking sweat and remaining breathable.
Finally, the elastic criss-cross bands aren't just cute — they're also functional and help keep your socks in place while you move. Reviewers, who have helped them earn the title of number-one new release, say "These socks stay on your feet, allow your toes to breathe, and grip beautifully during an intense barre class." Buyers also say that, despite the thinner, more breathable fabric, they still help to cushion your feet against hard floors.
- Available sizes: 5 — 12
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This post was originally published on 2/5/2018. It was updated and republished on 6/18/2019. Additional reporting by Maria Cassano.