When you run, you can think about a lot of things: Your pace, the music you’re listening to, your scenery and surroundings, the guidance of your running app trainer, whether or not you should stop to get some coffee or a snack on the way home. And so on. One thing you probably don’t want to think about are your socks. If you do, it’s probably for the wrong reasons—maybe they’re slipping around, rubbing against your ankle, creating hot spots and blisters.
But before you head out (or in, if you’re using a treadmill), you should think about your socks. Maybe not too much, though, because we’ve done a lot of the thinking for you in a big, comprehensive test of women’s running socks. After 20 hours of research and testing, and pounding out 56 miles of test runs, Bombas’ Performance Running Ankle Socks ($16.50 a pair) made my choosy feet the happiest.
Bombas Women’s Performance Running Ankle Socks
- Lightly cushioned toe and heel
- Comes in sizes S-L to fit U.S. women’s shoe sizes 4-13
- 51% polyester, 33% nylon, 12% cotton, 4% spandex
What Is Bombas?
Bombas was founded as a sock company in 2013 by David Heath and Randy Goldberg. (And yes, the brand got its start on Shark Tank.) In recent years, the band has expanded into slippers, underwear, and T-shirts. According to Bombas, socks, underwear, and tees are the most requested clothing items at homeless shelters. (Most shelters back this up, too.) For every Bombas product purchased, the company donates one of these items to a homeless shelter. Since its founding, the company says it’s donated more than 50 million items to more than 3,500 community organizations.
For years, I had heard great things not only about Bombas’ cause, but also about its products. Bombas says it spends “years” in R&D with its socks, and to most customers, it’s paid off. The performance running socks have a 4.8-star review out of more than 6,000 ratings on Bombas’ site, with at least one person saying the pair is “the only socks I’ll wear for running!”
What Are Bombas Performance Running Socks?
With all this hype, I was looking forward to trying the performance running socks for myself—and pitting them against some other top-rated brands. In specs: The women’s performance socks come in sizes small (intended to fit women’s shoe sizes 4-7.5), medium (8-10.5), and large (11-13) and no-show, ankle, calf, and knee-high lengths. I tested the ankle socks, which are the most popular option. They’re made up of Bombas’ performance Hex Tec fabric, or a blend of 51% polyester, 33% nylon, 4% spandex, and 12% cotton. The brand also promises “Strategic Zone Cushioning” (basically, light cushioning around the toes and heel with a supportive band around the foot arch) and “Airflow Venting” (a type of stitching in the mid-foot section of the sock that lets cool air in).
Then, there’s the price. At $16.50 a pop, Bombas are certainly on the pricier, high-end side, even compared to other Bombas products. (The Original Ankle socks are $13 per pair.) But after testing them extensively, I’m OK with the price. Six months after testing, they’re still the socks I reach for again and again. Not only do they fulfill all the necessary features for a good running sock, they’re just plain comfy.
Do Bombas Socks Run True To Size?
As someone with tiny feet (I typically wear a women’s size 5 or 5.5 depending on the brand), it’s vital to find socks that fit properly. Nothing is worse than having an ill-fitted sock rub or awkwardly bunch up during a workout. Naturally, I ordered the smallest option. They fit my feet perfectly, so I would feel comfortable saying that Bombas socks run true to size.
Like a go-to little black dress, these socks hug my feet in all the right places (namely my arches and heel) allowing me to feel confident that they won’t budge. But they still have a decent amount of stretch left, giving me confidence that they could easily fit someone with a foot a size or two larger than mine. Most reviewers agree with me. If you’re between sizes, Bombas suggests sizing up.
The men’s socks appear to be exactly the same, with size options that range from M to XL, or men’s sizes 6-16. For reference, these should fit women’s shoe sizes 7.5 and up. If you fit into this range and want the socks but prefer men’s styles, this shouldn’t be a problem.
What We Like About Bombas Performance Running Socks
The first thing I noticed when I put the Bombas socks on was the feel of the fabric. I love cotton, but it tends to absorb moisture more than wick it away, so most running socks are made from synthetic materials. Bombas’ Performance Running Ankle Socks manage to deliver a soft cotton-like feel while maintaining the moisture-wicking qualities of synthetic fabric. In addition, the compression provided by the Hex Tec arch support is enough to do its job but not so much that it’s uncomfortable. They also provide just the right amount of cushioning, with a little give but not so much that my feet sink all the way in with every stride.
During my runs, the Bombas stayed in place with no movement for rubbing. Although my feet were certainly sweaty when I finished, the socks were just a little damp, thanks to the cotton-poly fabric blend. And, as an added bonus, they are super easy to care for, with no overly complex washing instructions. As long as I use non-chlorine bleach, I can just throw them in with the rest of my laundry.
In the six months since the initial test, I have continued to wear my Bombas on a regular basis for both running and non-running activities. So far, I haven’t noticed any signs of wear and tear. The fabric still feels just as soft as when I first took them out of the packaging and the elastic is still strong enough to keep the socks in place even during my most vigorous workouts.
What We Don’t Like About Bombas Performance Running Socks
After months of wearing the Bombas socks, I don’t have any real complaints. Their biggest fault, if you can even call it that, is the fabric. Despite being a blend that I find super comfortable, they don’t wick moisture quite as well as some of the other brands that I tested. So, if you happen to be someone with super sweaty feet, you might want to think twice before ordering a big multipack of Bombas. Instead, consider Smartwool PhD Run or Saucony Performance No-Show tab socks.
Should You Get Bombas Performance Running Socks?
If you’re looking to up (or start!) your running game, it’s hard to go wrong with Bombas’ Performance running socks. Not only are they supportive, secure and moisture-wicking—as all good athletic socks should be—they’re just plain comfortable. Whether you’re an avid runner looking for an edge, someone who leads a generally active life, or just someone who likes great socks, Bombas’ Performance Running Socks will treat you well.