Feetures! Elite Merino+ Running Sock Review

What to Look for in Running Socks {Feetures Giveaway}

After a properly fitting pair of running shoes, the next most important item for runners is a good pair of running socks. Socks are often overlooked when it comes to assembling a running wardrobe or racing kit, but I promise you that a good pair of running socks can transform your running. 

No more blisters, no more stinky feet, and no more soaked socks on rainy runs – if you choose the right type of sock. Today I have an exciting giveaway for you, but first I want to talk about what to look for in a running sock. 

What to Look for in Running Socks

Fabric

Just say no to cotton. Cotton is a wonderful fabric except when it comes to running gear, and your socks are no exception. Cotton absorbs and retains moisture, including sweat. When your skin gets wet, it becomes less durable and more elastic. The same thing happens to your socks; think about how fabric stretches and sags when it is soaked. The combination of wet skin and stretchy, wet fabric produces friction of one soft surface against another – and that’s how you get blisters on your feet. 

Instead of cotton, opt for synthetics or (even better) merino wool. As someone who runs hundreds of miles a year in the rain, I always opt for merino wool because of how it protects the skin against blisters. How exactly does merino do that? Let’s move onto the next factor…

Wicking/Breathability

Fabric matters for running socks because you want breathability and wicking abilities. Your socks should wick sweat off of your feet. Socks that are not breathable will lead to sweaty feet and, as a result, stinky running shoes. You don’t want either of these. 

Wicking and breathability vary from brand to brand and sock to sock, and ultimately it’s sort of an issue of trial and error of what you find the most breathable. I have thick socks that kept my feet dry through a 20 mile long run, and I have thin socks that soak after a mile in the rain. 

Cushion

You can find running socks ranging from paper thin to thick and warm. Beyond keeping your feet warm in winter and cool in summer, the thickness of a sock is a sign of how much cushioning that sock will provide. For a more cushioned feel, opt for thicker socks; for a minimal, barely-there sensation, choose a thin sock. You may find that you want a variety of socks in your wardrobe – thinner for speedwork, more cushioned for long runs, etc. 

Snug Fit

Just like wet fabric, loose fabric causes blisters and other irritations on your feet. You want your running socks to have a snug, glove-like fit around your feet – no extra fabric. 

Feetures Elite Merino+ Review & Giveaway

Feetures! Running is a brand that offers socks specifically designed for runners. They sell socks in a variety of styles (high performance, graduated compression, therapeutic, elite, and elite merino+), heel heights (no show tab, quarter, mini crew, crew, and knee high), and cushioning (ultra light, light cushion, cushion, and max cushion).

Feetures! Elite Merino+ Running Sock Review

I received a pair of Feetures! Elite Merino+ Cushion with No Show Tab socks to try and review. The Elite Merino+ socks are made with a blend of merino wool, bamboo rayon, nylon, and spandex. According to the website, these socks provide compression, an anatomical fit designed for comfort and blister protection, high density cushioning, moisture-wicking and odor protection from the merino, and insulating merino for cold, wet conditions. 

Initially, I was very pleased with my Feetures Elite Merino+ Cushion socks. I wore then on a few easy runs (as you should do to test out any new gear) and they were comfortable, especially in the cooler fall weather. If I didn’t live in Seattle, where rainy season spans several months out of the year, these could have contended for my go-t0 socks for easy runs. The thick fabric provided extra cushion for my feet and felt comfortable on 5-7 mile runs. 

Then, I opted to wear my Feetures socks on a long run in the rain, to see how they lived up to the promises of keeping my feet warm and blister-free in cold, wet conditions. For me, this is the true test of a good running sock – how it feels on a long run and how it endures in the rain. Within a couple miles, my socks were soaked through. I felt some discomfort on the bottom of my left big toe halfway through and wondered if it was a blister. When I completed my run and removed the soaking wet socks, my concerns were confirmed – I had a huge blister on the bottom of my left big toe (and it’s been a long time since I’ve had blisters on my feet). 

The socks did live up to their promise of keeping my feet warm in cold, wet conditions, but not to their promise of eliminating blisters. 

This run was an extreme one – there’s nothing routine about an 18 mile long run in the pouring rain (unless, you know, you train for marathons during fall and winter in the PNW). So while the Feetures socks will still be part of my rotation on easy days, I don’t plan on wearing them for rainy runs or long runs. Perhaps if I had tried a thinner (and possibly more breathable) sock, I would not have gotten the blister during my long run. 

I support small businesses and appreciate how Feetures is a family owned brand that strives to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle. I do believe these socks are great for runners in drier climates or who don’t often run in the rain. 

I’m giving away two pairs of Feetures socks! Two readers will win a pair of socks of their choice from Feetures. Simply enter the giveaway below to qualify!

This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. The giveaway lasts from today (October 27) through Thursday, November 3. One entry per person. 

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You can connect with Feetures! Running on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

I received a pair of Feetures socks in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

What do you look for in a running sock? 

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80 Responses

    1. Oh I know! I understand the cost because of the small brand and the high quality fabrics, but running socks are expensive! I buy mine from the REI outlet or at REI sales to get them cheaper 🙂

  1. I was nutty about my socks for a while until I found what works for me and have stuck with it! I actually love the gap athletic socks but when I need a little more cushion, I wear the thorlos. I actually hate the lululemon running socks which shocked me but they were awful! I returned them immediately.

    1. I should check out the Gap ones! I like thin athletic socks for everyday wear and they are probably less expensive (I can justify it for running socks, but not for around the house socks!).

  2. Wool. I’ve become a fan of mostly wool socks. Smartwool is currently my favorite but I’m willing to try something new

    1. I did put them through the ringer – and sadly that’s what many of my runs are like for several months of the year! They don’t call it rainy season for nothing out here.

  3. I actually have the Feetures merino wool socks and they are great! I have several pairs of their socks and like the compression in them. They also last a very long time as I’ve had some of the pairs of socks since 2012-2013 and they are still going strong. Well worth the money!

  4. I really like Feetures (the elites and the wool are so great). The wool ones are so great for boots! I just wish they made toe socks because that’s what I run in.

  5. Oh, I’d love to try a pair! I just have cheap crappy socks from Costco. The only real requirement I look for in running socks is that they come up high enough past the edge of the heel of my running shoe; the worst is when they’re cut too low and slide down!

  6. I was literally just searching the web for these then thought I’d hold off because of cost. I’d love to try them!

  7. I really need to up my sock game!! I’m not much of a long distance runner, between 20-25km/week, but I often get blisters and have always just worn ankle length cotton socks. I have been on the look out for some running ones though. I live in South-Western BC, so not far from Washington. It’s cool and rainy here too in the fall and winter months but super hot an dry in the summer. I’ll have to check these out!

  8. I prefer compression (ankle length) socks. They also should be thin and lightweight. I have a hole in one of my Feetures pair 🙁 so it would be great to win some new ones!

  9. Man, I didn’t know HOW important your sucks are until I started running more seriously and had problems with blisters. I definitely pay more for good socks now!

  10. Being in Canada, warmth is a key feature in the winter – especially if wet. Wool is so great for that. Haven’t yet found a summer sock that is total love!

  11. I prefer socks that have some added cushion but are not too thick. Through race swag I have been given a couple pair of thinner socks that have a bit of compression to them. These are definitely a nice change and do not add any discomfort to my feet.

  12. I’m not gonna lie, you kinda broke my heart with this review. I was SO hoping to find a running sock that can withstand the cold rain/snow of the PNW. I have been eyeing all different variations of merino socks for that very purpose. Now I am a little hesitant about switching to merino during the winter months because who likes blisters? Ugggghhhh. I still would love to test out a pair of Elite Merino No Show tab to test them out myself.

    1. I wear SmartWool run elite year-round with no problems! If you shop at REI, you can usually find them on sale or at the online outlet. They withstand the PNW winters well! I think the thinner Feetures socks would wick better as well.

  13. I think I would like to try the high performance ultra light no show tab or the elite merino tab. I don’t think a runner can ever have too many pairs of good running socks.

  14. I would really like the Baja blue elite ultra light sock!! Good running socks make the run all that much more enjoyable.

  15. I’d definitely try one of the merino versions – I pretty much only wear merino socks for running as every synthetic pair I’ve tried caused blisters on runs longer than an hour or so.

  16. I’ve tried many many running socks, and always go back to Feetures and Balega. They are the most comfortable and stay dry longest. I live and train in Miami, so it’s all humidity all the time. I need dry feet 🙂

  17. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity and for the suggestion on these socks! I’ve never heard of them. My current Adidas pairs are pretty much done so I could definitely use these. I would really like to try the High Performance Cushion No Show tab version.

  18. I would love to try these socks. I really got into running about a year ago and have done two half marathons but would love to do more. I honestly hadn’t thought about my socks possibly giving me blisters, because I had recently gotten new shoes. But I believe having the right shoes and clothes make all the difference.

  19. Feetures are the best!

    At first it was tough to spend ‘so much’ on a pair of socks, but it is SO worth it not to develop blisters and chafing. Now I don’t run in any other type of socks!

    I’d try any sock Feetures offers!!

  20. I’m a loyal ProCompression wearer. I have the knee high and ankle versions and love them both. I wait until they run their buy 2 get 3 free specials and they are about $20/pair for the knee high and half that for the ankle. They last forever, no blisters, no stink. And I’m in Minnesota so I’ve tested them in our lovely bi-polar weather; snow, rain, 90 degree 100% humidity and 20 degrees with icicles hanging off my nose. They come through every time.

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