2018 Top 5 Running Socks Comparison Review

by Sportitude
13 Jun 2018

Do you prefer a well-cushioned ride or a minimalist, barely there feel?

However you love to run, Josh has the sock for you with his top 5 running socks review for 2018; Steigen, 2XU Vectr, Balega Ultra Light (Second Skin), CEP and Lightfeet Evolution.

Pair them up with your spiffy new running shoes for blister free protection and breathability when you next hit the pavement.

Check out the full review with transcript below.

Hey guys, it’s Josh from Sportitude. Today we’re going to be doing a sock review, top five socks for 2018. We’re going to get through the Lightfeet Evolution, the CEP, Balega, the 2XU Vectr and the Steigen.

We’re going to review them from the least amount of cushioning to the most amount of cushioning and then you’ll see what’s in between.  


The Steigen sock has been a very popular one for us the last 18 months. It comes in four different lengths; a zero, mini, quarter and half. I’ve got the quarter length in front of me and it sits above the height of the shoe.

With Steigen’s there’s no left and right foot padding. We’re talking about a very thin sock, so there is not a lot to them. For those runners out there that want a minimalistic feel inside their shoe, and almost like to run with no sock the Steigen is a great option.

They do have some nice structure through the midfoot with extra elasticity to give the sock a bit of hold, however it’s not a sock you’d go to for extra padding. Steigen socks are a great pick for 2018.  

2XU Vectr

Next sock in the range with a slight increase in cushioning is the 2XU Vectr and this guy comes in three different lengths. The 2XU Vectr sock has a little bit of padding through the heel and the forefoot, just a little bit.

However it has a considerably large arch wrap, the biggest arch wrap out of all the socks we’re going to talk about today. It does have left and right foot ventilation and left and right foot padding underneath the foot identified by the ‘R’ and the ‘L’.

As I already said it comes in three different lengths. This shortest length has a little tab at the back which is an important difference. It stops the sock from riding down the back of the shoe. All the socks I’m talking about do come in different colours as well.  

Balega Ultra Light (Second Skin)

For the next step up in terms of padding we’re talking the Balega second skin fit. There’s a couple of different Balega’s like the contoured fit which is a good sock, but this is my pick.

It’s quite thin on top so you get plenty of ventilation, more so than the 2XU Vectr I found but it’s just a slight increase in padding.

It has similar toggle at the back, so you never get that sock slipping into the back of the heel. However, it has an increase in the amount of padding through the heel and forefoot. 


Next sock in terms of cushioning system is the CEP sock. This little guy has again like all technical socks a nice arch wrap. However, the padding isn’t split between the heel and forefoot, it goes the whole way underneath your foot.

That’s a point of difference from this company. They haven’t split heel cushioning and forefoot cushioning with an arch wrap in the middle. They’ve kept the padding the whole way through the actual foot and kept it nice and tight on top for that arch wrap.

CEP socks are a great addition to our range at Sportitude. It features left and right padding again identified by the ‘L’ and the ‘R’. Great socks, I rate them highly so it’s definitely a pick for me in 2018.

Lightfeet Evolution

Moving on to the staple running socks of Australian athletes out there at the moment. It’s the Lightfeet Evolution, they just keep on keeping on. They haven’t changed the design for probably five years and why would you, it’s such a popular sock.

Lightfeet out of my selection I’ve grabbed has the maximum cushioning system. It has a considerable amount of padding through the heel identified by the grey material and then you’ve got the same sort of setup through the forefoot as well. 

You can see underneath there is a lot of padding. The good thing about this sock is it’s not just padded underneath but as you come up around your toes you get the same amount of padding through that whole toe box. If you’ve had shoes in the past and need to increase the volume inside them the Lightfeet evolution will do so through that forefoot.

They have left and right foot ventilation channels and padding. However, it’s not identified with a ‘R’ and ‘L’ on the sock down the bottom. It’s identified by tiny writing underneath the collar of the sock, ‘right’ and ‘left’.

That’s my only criticism of this sock, reason being is if you’re getting changed very early in the morning or in the dark, good luck trying to read which one goes on which foot.

You’re not going to run in circles if you get them on the wrong feet, however it’d be nice if they made the identified ‘right’ and ‘left’ bigger, bolder and on the forefoot of the sock. Other than that, it's an absolutely fantastic sock, very comfortable.

I’ve got here in front of me the mini crew. The mini crew sits a little higher on the collar of the shoe, so you never have that issue of the sock running down. It does come in a micro mini if you like that very minimalistic look as well.   

That’s my top 5 socks for 2018. I do want to touch on one thing. It’s vitally important that when you’re picking a running shoe you should also consider a very good running sock as well.

You can get caught up in the fact that you’ve spent over $200 on a really decent fitting running shoe to fit your requirements.

However, if you’re putting a very cheap sock on your foot to go for a run in an elite running shoe, I can tell you right now I can’t guarantee you won’t get blisters because that’s what the socks do. They minimise friction, increase ventilation and they offer a little bit more padding.

Do yourself a favour. You don’t have to buy ten pairs of good running socks, you might only need to buy one or two. Get yourself a good pair of running socks, it’ll make the running shoe you pick that much better and that much more comfortable.

There you have it, until next time happy running and we’ll see you out on the track.