I recently made the mistake of purchasing the thickest, heaviest socks I could find because I’m always cold and hey, more is more when your feet are freezing. It seemed like a great idea at the time until I discovered that I literally couldn’t wear any of my shoes, boots, or even wellies with them because these über-socken made my feet a full size bigger. The best thin socks — whether you’re shopping for comfort, performance, warmth, or the holy trinity of all three — will provide just enough protection against sweat and blisters without making your shoes tight or feeling so paper thin that you’re afraid they’ll run.
Athletic socks come with a few more specifications than a pair you’re buying purely for comfort. Socks made from moisture-wicking synthetic blends will keep your feet dryer than cotton socks that are known for clinging to wetness. Generally speaking, increased ventilation will correspond to decreased thickness, so keep an eye out for mesh weave panels across the top instep where you don’t need as much padding. If you’re constantly hitting the hiking trail, you may want to consider a merino wool sock that offers thermoregulating, antimicrobial wear. Believe it or not, a well-engineered toe sock is another go-to for marathon runners and hikers alike because their glove-like fit protects against blisters even between the toes.
As for everyday socks, you can opt for a soft and absorbent cotton here, but there are also polyester knits known for being buttery-soft. Whichever shoe you're slipping on for the day, these are the best thin socks on Amazon.
1. These Ultra-Thin Drymax Crew Socks That Actually Prevent Blisters
As revolutionary light athletic socks, the Drymax Hyper Thin running socks are no thicker than a dime and weigh less than 12 grams (0.42 ounces) each. They're woven from a special moisture-wicking synthetic blend that features microbe-resistant olefin (a synthetic fabric that’s incredibly strong and surprisingly eco-friendly) with an upper that's comprised almost solely of thin breathable mesh for superior ventilation. The brand’s unique blister prevention system goes a long way towards eliminating hot spots, due in no small part to the fact that they're engineered in three dimensions for a perfect anatomically correct fit. "I am both a marathon and ultrarunner and these are the only socks I trust on my feet — I have never had a blister," one shopper raved. They've been tested and vetted to hold up well through Spartan races and Tough Mudders alike with excellent longevity that kept feet dryer than the competition.
- Available colors: 7
- Available sizes: 4 (Small - X-Large)
2. Some Quarter-Length Socks In A Budget-Friendly Multipack
Admittedly, these sport quarter socks are probably more aptly described as a mid-weight sock, with reviewers describing them as having the perfect balance of “not too thick, not too thin.” So for a whisper-thin option, you’d be better served with the pair above. But for those shopping on a budget, it’s hard to beat this 6-pack for less than $15. These Starter socks provide plenty of comfort and protection during practice, but won’t take up room in your sneakers or wear out quickly after a handful of beatings. They’re made of a synthetic-cotton blend with proprietary moisture-wicking technology, with a cushioned footbed and arch support, plus thin panels across the top for enhanced breathability. The wider quarter cuff provides nice protection against chafing with a good snug fit that won't slip down when you speed up. "I use these for my walking exercise and they are wonderful. They never feel 'wet' in my shoes even though I'm working up a sweat. The material feels good on my feet and the socks provide some compression," one active fan wrote of their performance.
- Available colors: 2
- Available sizes: 1
3. A Pack Of Thin Everyday Socks That Are Tall Enough For Boots
Hanes' ComfortSoft crew socks were woven to be lightweight and buttery-smooth. The downy polyester-spandex knit won’t take up room in your boot, and several reviewers noted they made for surprisingly excellent trouser socks as well. They have a contour-stitched heel and narrow cuff to stay up without the need for thick ribbing, and come up to approximately the mid-calf. "Love the feel of these socks. So very soft, and thin enough to wear with shoes or boots," a fan raved. Also consider these extra-tall socks from a different brand that are long enough for over-the-knee boots and made from silky modal.
- Available colors: 7
- Available sizes: 2 (5-9, 8-12)
4. These Thin No-Show Socks With A Cult Following
Backed by more than 6,500 Amazon ratings, these thin no-show socks provide just enough comfort and protection inside styles like ballet flats and kitten heels without peeking over the top. However, just because they’ll disappear inside your shoe doesn’t mean you’ll need to worry about constantly pulling them up: these cotton blend socks feature a good amount of silicone grip at the heel to keep them in place. "I cannot wear shoes without socks, but it has been a struggle to find some no-peek socks that don't slip off my heel all day. I'm SUPER happy with these," one fan remarked after two weeks of wear. "They are thin enough that they don't feel bulky inside my shoe, they are low enough across my toes that I don't have to readjust them throughout the day, and they have not slipped off my heel AT ALL" For a similar sock that doesn’t come down quite as low, these well-reviewed BERING no-show socks are made from combed cotton with a similar anti-slip grip on the heel.
- Available colors: 7
- Available sizes: 1 (fits 6-11)
5. Some Extra-Fine Merino Wool Trail Socks
These merino wool socks are tough enough for the great outdoors yet thin enough to slip into a pair of loafers. The extra-fine merino provides itch-free warmth, wicking, and anti-odor benefits with a dash of synthetics and spandex for durable stretch. A soft terry loop finish on the interior adds just enough cushioned protection for when you’re on your feet all day. "I was in Thailand and the trail head was on the other side of a small bay. Trek across a section of ocean to hit a jungle trail? Of course. The socks kept my feet from rubbing, no blisters even though I hiked through the rest of the day," one shopper wrote, adding, "These were on the thin side, which is perfect for running shoes or tighter fit shoes." The price is right, too: they break down to just over $6 per pair, which is a pretty great bargain for good wool socks.
- Available colors: 5
- Available sizes: 1 (fits 4 – 10.5)
6. The Toe Socks Distance Runners And Hikers Swear By
These ultra-thin no-show trail socks are anatomically designed with a designated left and right foot for a truly glove-like fit to stave off blisters even between the toes. The brand’s proprietary CoolMax fabric, blended with nylon and lycra, is designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable in the most sweltering conditions, and they’re woven with a thinner mesh top to drive ventilation. There’s a bit of arch support as well, and a tab on the back of the ankle that both protects your Achilles from blisters, and makes them easier to peel off after a punishing day. "Marathon runner (50-60 mi/week) here. This is one of the few products that once you try it you can never go back — this sock is for real AMAZING," one fan praised. "I just ran a 23 miler last week wearing this: no blistering or sore toes whatsoever...with this baby on it's smooth sailing. Seriously, great for running long distances or loooong hikes."
- Available colors: 8
- Available sizes: Small – X-Large