Athleisure Wear

The Socks You’re Wearing Might Be Making Your Feet Stink—Try These Odor-Repelling Pairs Instead

Photo: Getty Images/ Linda Raymond
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If you suffer from sweaty and smelly feet, rest assured you’re not alone. Stink happens. Fortunately, wearing the right socks can be a big help. If you find yourself in need of socks for stinky feet, make sure to choose fabrics categorized as “moisture-wicking.” These materials fight odor by moving sweat away from your skin to the surface of the fabric, and by drying quickly.

Moisture-wicking fabrics are usually synthetic—nylon and polyester, for example—but wool and bamboo are key exceptions. All-cotton socks are typically a no-no; after they absorb your sweat, they’ll stay wet and feel gross. (Note that some moisture-wicking fabrics shouldn’t be washed with fabric softener, so be sure to check care labels.)

When shopping for socks for stinky feet, other descriptors to look for are “breathable,” “antimicrobial,” “anti-odor,” “odor-resistant,” and “quick-dry.” Some socks even have silver nanoparticles that kill bacteria and prevent icky odors.

Whether you’re looking for socks for running or everyday styles, we’ve got you covered with the best socks for stinky feet, both in women’s and unisex sizes.

The best socks for stinky feet

balega
Balega Silver No-Show Socks — $17.00

Balega makes super popular running socks—and this style has almost 8,000 5-star reviews! You can throw on any socks for running, of course, but especially if you struggle with foot odor, your best bet is a sock like this one that’s specifically designed for exercise. These comfortable, durable socks even have silver ions woven into the fabric to kill bacteria. The seamless toe prevents chafing and lets your toes move freely, while the high back makes the socks easy to put on and keeps them from slipping down. These are available in unisex sizes S–XL.

One happy customer wrote, “No matter how smelly your feet get they cannot stink in these socks! I run 10 miles in the socks with no smell. … They’re the perfect athletic sock—worth the money.”

bombas
Bombas Women's Merino Wool Calf Sock (4-Pack) — $72.00

Merino wool doesn’t just keep you cozy when it’s cold out—it also helps you cool down and stay dry in the warmer months! These socks, which also contain polyester and spandex, are super soft and naturally moisture-wicking. They have a seamless toe for comfort, are designed to stay up well (no one wants to pull up their socks all day!), and are available in several versatile neutrals, both in sets of a single color and multicolor sets. Sizes are S–L. Bonus: For every pair of Bombas you buy, the company will donate a pair to a homeless shelter.

With more than 7,000 reviews, this style has a 4.7 rating. Reviewers say that these socks are soft and comfortable, while one customer with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) raved that “These socks make a huge difference.”

stems
Stems Women's Performance Anti-Stink No-Show Socks (2-Pack) — $30.00

In case you didn’t already know, “stems” was a slang term for a woman’s legs about a million years ago—but these socks from Stems are made with way newer technology than that, with polyester and elastane added to cotton fibers. The lightweight fabric blend means that these socks wick away moisture from sweaty feet and let them breathe. The material is also odor-resistant and has antibacterial properties.

The socks are available in both black and white and are one size fits all.

meundies
MeUndies Women’s Breathe Ankle Sock — $18.00

You’ve probably seen MeUndies’s social media ads, and if that’s your only exposure (no pun intended) to the brand, you may not know that it also makes socks. Their Breathe no-show sock is stretchy, super lightweight, and has tons of features: a seamless toe, reinforced toe and heel, cushioned sole, and non-chafe blister tab. The blend of nylon, polyester, rubber, and spandex is anti-odor and quick-dry—perfect for feet that tend to get smelly. Sizes are unisex (S–XL), and colorways are divided into “classic” (black, navy, etc.), and “adventurous” (palm trees, cheetahs, and other fun prints).

Bonus: MeUndies ethically sources their socks and imports them under fair working conditions.

Reviewers like that the socks are soft, comfortable, and breathable. (Note that they’re not dryer-safe.)

amazon socks
VERO MONTE Women’s No-Show Socks (4-Pack) — $8.00

These no-show socks work well nestled into sneakers, flats, and heels. The product description specifies “middle-profile shoes,” which, OK—but they’ll disappear under most styles. (For shoes that expose more of your foot, try their lower-cut option.) These breathable, moisture-wicking socks are mostly cotton with some polyester and spandex, and they have a reinforced toe and heel. They’re guaranteed to be non-slip—and if you find they aren’t, they’ll refund your money. The socks come in sizes S/M, M/L, and L/XL and are available in black, grey, “nude” (nude for lighter skin tones, that is), a black-and-white stripe, and a grey-and-white stripe.

One of the more than 2,000 5-star reviews notes, “They were thin, which is great for the warmer seasons so there was no foot sweat or odor. They did not slip off my feet either.”

fits socks
Fits Women’s Casual Crew Sock — $22.00

These casual crew socks from Fits have a unique gradient pattern available in four color combos. The blend of suit-grade merino wool (ooh, fancy), nylon, polyester, and Lycra means that they’re moisture-wicking and antimicrobial. The socks offer extra padding at the toe, arch, and heel, and the mild compression is meant to provide “an invigorating feeling.” (You’ll probably still need your morning latte, though.) Sizes are S–L, which correspond to women’s 5–11.5.

Here’s a nice surprise: These socks have a 2-year warranty! Plus, a very impressive 96 percent of the 300 reviews have five stars.

saucony
Saucony Women's Performance Heel Tab Athletic Socks (Up to 8 Pairs) — $14.00

Everyone recognizes Saucony as a shoe brand (whether or not you can pronounce the name), but the company makes socks, too. These polyester/spandex socks have a lot going for them! They come in a wide size range (equivalent to women’s 5–13) as well as a ton of colors; they also boast “Airmesh Venting Technology” and “RunDry Moisture Management” to let your feet breathe and keep them dry; and they feature arch support, cushioning in high-impact spots, and comfort toe seams.

Here’s one of the 65,000 5-star reviews (apparently a ton of people love these socks): “My feet feel so fresh throughout the day now! They don’t smell or sweat by nighttime! Highly recommend these! Literally not buying any other types of socks any longer!”

bamboo socks
SERISIMPLE Women’s Bamboo Socks (5-Pack) — $17.00

If you prefer your socks to be made from natural fabrics, give these bamboo ones a try. They’re comfortable both for work and for working from home. The socks are breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant, and they have a reinforced heel and toe. And because they’re made from bamboo, they’re naturally antibacterial! LOTS of colors are available, including grey, white, off-white, lavender, forest green, and yellow, and you can choose either sets that are all one color or multicolored sets. Sizes are S–L. Bonus: If you get a hole in one of your socks within 30 days, the company will send you a free replacement.

One of the more than 1,800 customers who gave these socks a 5-star rating wrote, “I wear these shoes for work that aren’t breathable at all which has caused odor. Changing to these socks was a game changer.”

socks
Hugh Ugoli Bamboo Women’s Trouser Socks (3-Pack) — $17.00

Here are some thin, lightweight crew socks for work or the weekend that have the antibacterial properties of bamboo as well as a reinforced heel and toe for durability. They’re available in women’s sizes 6–9 and 9–12 in many, many colors, including neutrals like grey, navy, white, black, and beige, as well as more colorful options such as red, orange, pink, purple, dark green, and light blue. Most of these three-sock sets are all one color, but some sets have three.

One of the thousands of 5-star ratings reads, “Wow! These are great socks! Soft as can be! Nice and warm, but not too warm! No sweating, so no smell. Amazing!!!”

smartwool
Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro Socks — $18.00

Smartwool is a big name in socks, but you may not have known that they make running socks. This popular merino-wool style has hundreds of 5-star ratings and has impressive-sounding features like “body-mapped mesh ventilation zones” and “4 Degree elite fit.” Its light cushioning provides shock absorption at the heel and ball of the foot. Best of all, merino wool is a very breathable fabric that keeps you warm in cold weather and cool at high temperatures—and this wool is ZQ-certified, which means it was produced ethically and sustainably. Sizes are S–L.

One runner shared, “These are comfortable and lightweight. Reduce sweat and odor big time!”

kodal copper infused socks
Kodal Copper Infused Socks — $21.00

With copper-infused yarn, these moisture-wicking socks are designed to not only help get rid of sweat, but also the odor that comes with it. They have mesh ventilation to allow for airflow and arch compression support to reduce foot fatigue. They come in packs of five, so you can always have a spare pair on hand.

One reviewer said, “No matter how hard you work or how much your feet sweat they will NOT stink if you are wearing these.”

feetures merino wool socks
Feetures Merino No-Show Sock — $20.00

For running, hiking, or everyday wear, these Feetures socks will keep up with your sweaty feet. They’re made of a blend of merino wool and Tencel fibers, which means they’ll keep your feet cool, dry, and odor-free. They also are cushioned, have arch support, and have an anatomical design to better fit your feet. They’re no-show, so you can wear them with a variety of shoes, and the tab in the back helps prevent annoying blisters. You can get them in seven different colors, and even though they’re wool, they’re machine-washable, too.

Note: If your feet smell bad, you’re showering every day, and these socks (and foot products like these) don’t solve the problem, consult with your healthcare provider. You may have a medical issue, such as athlete’s foot (a common fungal skin infection) or hyperhidrosis (overactive sweat glands) that needs treatment.

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