We know how important the right basketball shoes are when it comes to making the game safe, easy, and more productive. Most sports put a great deal of stress on the foot and a good pair of shoes works to solve that problem. However, many people overlook socks.

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden began the first day of practice each year with the most important lesson he could teach: how to correctly put on socks and shoes. That may seem silly, but wearing the right footwear built the foundation for everything they would need to know for the rest of their lives.

How do you pick the right socks for basketball? Does the fabric matter? What about style, design, or color? To answer such questions, we’ve picked out the best socks on the market.

In this article you will find some helpful information on how to decide which one is the best fit – pun intended – for you!

Quick Summary

  • Nike is one of the best brands in the sporting industry, and they prove it again with the Nike Men Elite Versatility Basketball Crew Socks. These are designed to provide support without sacrificing comfort.
  • Originally made for runners, the Rockay Accelerate Anti-BlisterSocks are made with the athlete in mind. They are also one of the only socks to come with a lifetime guarantee.
  • The Elite line by Nike is a basketball sock that you are likely to see worn by professionals. The support and shoe cushioning are superb.
  • Under Armour Men’s HeatGear 3-Pack Crew has a simple design but is soft and extremely comfortable. Under Armour also has HeatGear technology, which keeps feet cool through excellent moisture wicking.
  • Designed for both basketball and soccer players, the Adidas Team Speed Traxion Crew Sock is comfortable in a way that prioritized high performance. The extra support in key areas gives it stability as well.

Who Should Get This?

Selecting the right basketball sock is every bit as important as selecting the right shoe. My feet are narrow, so thin and cheap socks do not work for me. Real basketball socks made a huge difference.

Basketball socks are a “must purchase” for every basketball player – from the athlete-driven to progress to the next level of competition to the average Joe that shoots around at the gym on the weekends.

Best Basketball Socks: What to Consider?

What characteristics should be considered in evaluating high-performance basketball socks? Here is a shortlist.

Comfort

The very best basketball socks will be comfortable to wear before, during, and after play. They need to be free of seams or other materials that will rub against the skin, but also resistant to slippage.

Comfort isn’t just about padding. Thickness is a personal preference, but I tend to want my performance socks thicker than everyday wear. As a rule, the narrower the foot, the thicker the sock should be to increase the fit of the shoe. A better fit helps avoid blisters and makes quick moves much more comfortable.

Breathability

A good sock needs to be breathable. That is to say, it needs to allow air to get in and sweat to escape out. How well does the sock perform in this area? This is often measured in wicking capabilities, which refers to how well it draws moisture away from the body. The best socks are usually made out of synthetic materials or wool blends.

Durability

How well is the sock put together? Is it durable enough to last for more than a practice or a spin through the washer? Let’s face it, your socks need to be as tough as you are. You don’t want to spend money on a product that is going to rip, tear, or give out after a couple of uses.

Size

There was a time when basketball players wore long tube socks that stretched to the knee. No longer in fashion, this length has been replaced by compression pants. Today’s basketball socks primarily come in three styles or lengths. The crew cut sock it the style that goes up to the middle of the shin, the mid-cut sock ends just above the ankle, and the low-cut sock (sometimes called “no-shows”) are almost invisible when wearing shoes.

Size also refers to how the sock fits the foot. Many socks will offer “one size fits all.” The manufacturer hopes that one sock will fit a shoe size 6 the same way it fits a size 12. If that doesn’t sound very realistic to you, it doesn’t to us either. If your only choice is one size, make sure you read reviews to get customer opinions first. If the size is wrong, cushioning and support will hit your foot in all the wrong places.

Cushioning & Support

Cushioning may be the most important feature in the footwear of both shoes and socks. Like a shock absorber in a car, cushioning allows for shocks to be absorbed and more evenly distributed throughout the foot. That then puts less stress on the ankles and knees.

Support also needs to be strengthened around the arches of the foot. The arches handle between 200,000 and 300,000 pounds of stress with every mile you walk. The number increases significantly when you are running.

People who have collapsed arches or are especially susceptible to arch pain should consider using compression socks. They provide a tighter fit around the arches, which then strengthens and protects the foot. That, mixed with arch support shoes, provides double protection.

The Best Basketball Socks: Our Picks

Whether you are a pro or an avid fan, a good pair of basketball socks can affect your performance during training, practices, and games. To help you make the best possible purchase, we are listing the top products in today’s market.

We compared twenty products to our criteria: comfort, breathability, durability, size, and cushioning & support. Each category could earn a total of five stars, making each product’s ceiling 25 possible stars. Here is our list.

1. Nike Men Elite Versatility Basketball Crew Socks

  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Breathability: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5
  • Size: 5/5
  • Cushion & Support: 5/5
  • Total: 24/25

Nike is one of the best sports brands, and they prove it again with these basketball socks. The clothing is designed to provide extra support while placing a high priority on in-game comfort. The material used is of the highest quality and provides long-lasting performance even when worn every day.

What We Liked:

  • Available in three different lengths
  • Strong arch support
  • Styling to fit left and right feet
  • The feel of the material is almost plush-like
  • Incredible moisture wicking
  • Snug fit with compression features

What We Disliked:

  • Can become stiff when putting in dryer
  • Socks can be too tight and uncomfortable for some people

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women

  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Breathability: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5
  • Size: 4/5
  • Cushion & Support: 4/5
  • Total: 23/25

Originally woven for runners, these socks are made with the athlete in mind. They come from Europe and have some of the finest features in the sock market. The pair is made from premium materials to create a snug fit. They are one of the only socks we noticed with a lifetime guarantee. Talk about value!

What We Liked:

  • The socks are made with a combination of organic Merino Wool, Polyamide and Elastane. The blend assures great breathability and moisture-wicking
  • Strong arch support
  • Anti-blister
  • Separate socks for the right and left feet
  • Heel tab protects sensitive areas from chafing. (Am I the only one that gets blisters there?)
  • Lifetime guarantee

What We Disliked:

  • Confusing sizing
  • Cushioning not as strong as could be

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. NIKE Dry Elite 1.5 Crew Basketball Socks

  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Breathability: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5
  • Size: 4/5
  • Cushion & Support: 4/5
  • Total: 22/25

The Elite line by Nike is a basketball sock that you are likely to see worn by professionals. The cushioning and support are superb. Nike, whose name along comes with value and dependability, has patented a Dri-FIT Technology to assure strong moisture-wicking throughout the fabric.

What We Liked:

  • The socks are made with a soft fabric
  • Strong arch support
  • No slip heel
  • Dri-FIT Technology improves moisture wicking
  • Many color choices allow you to match your mood or team
  • Machine washable

What We Disliked:

  • Confusing sizing
  • Cushioning not as strong as it could be

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Under Armour Men’s HeatGear 3-Pack Crew

  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Durability: 4/5
  • Size: 3/5
  • Cushion & Support: 5/5
  • Total: 21/25

A simple design makes this crew sock soft and comfortable. The material used also provides the durability athletes need. Under Armour has HeatGear technology, which keeps feet cool through excellent wicking.

What We Liked:

  • Synthetic blend leads to advanced durability
  • Strong arch support works on reducing fatigue
  • Snug fit with compression support around the ankles
  • Separate socks for the right and left
  • Heel tab protects a sensitive area from chafing. (Am I the only one that gets blisters there?)
  • Lifetime guarantee

What We Disliked:

  • Simple style only comes in white
  • Limited sizing options

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. Adidas Team Speed Traxion Crew Sock

  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Durability: 3/5
  • Size: 4/5
  • Cushion & Support: 5/5
  • Total: 20/25

Designed for both soccer and basketball, Adidas has developed a comfortable sock that doesn’t compromise high performance. The extra support in key areas give it stability, and the high-quality construction offers support.

What We Liked:

  • The socks are made with a combination of organic Merino Wool, Polyamide and Elastane. The blend assures great breathability and moisture-wicking
  • Strong arch support
  • True shape prevents blisters
  • Separate socks for the right and left feet
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Climalite sweat-wicking fabric gets rid of moisture quickly and efficiently.

What We Disliked:

  • The thickness felt heavy and bulky
  • Limited size options

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips and Resources

There are so many things that need to be considered when making the right decision regarding performance basketball socks. Here are a few items to keep in mind.

Sizes

Men’s Shoe SizeWomen’s Shoe SizeYouth Shoe SizeSock Size
6-86-103-5M
8-1210-135-7L
12-15XL

Material

Performance socks are made of varying mixtures, including cotton, polyester, nylon, elastane (spandex) and wool.

It is impossible to shop for performance material without running into the description “moisture-wicking.” The moisture-wicking fabric has two tasks. One is the move wetness (sweat) to the fabric’s outer surface, away from the body. The other task is to dry quickly so that the moisture does not saturate the material. Synthetic materials excel at moisture wicking. Wool is able to let out moisture through small openings in the fabric. Cotton is almost considered “anti-wicking” because it actively absorbs moisture.

Always consider moisture-wicking when making a decision about basketball socks. The foot has somewhere around 250,000 sweat glands that can produce from 4 to 6 ounces of sweat a day, and it needs to stay dry during a game.

Final Words

The right socks are important for all activities, but they are even more vital in a sport like basketball. A lot of stress is put on the feet, and you need to take measures to protect your body.

Using socks that have been lying around the house may be tempting, but can be dangerous on several levels. Your feet may be uncomfortable, blisters and other injuries may occur, or you simply may not be able to perform at your best level.

While the above list is not exhaustive, the selection covered will give you a feel for the most popular and best-rated basketball socks on the current market.