Basketball Socks Buying Guide: How to Get the Best and Perfect Pair
Isn’t it surprising that choosing basketball socks these days is just as important as choosing the best pair of shoes? The right socks can improve a basketball player’s performance and at the same time maintain the feet’s healthiness. Alternatively, socks that are poorly built can cause bunions, toenail problems, bursitis, blisters, and even infections. If a basketball player has any of these foot problems, the game will be affected.
This is why choosing the best socks for basketball is essential. With the right pair of socks, its user will be able to jump, run, and move around with ease. The right socks should have the perfect fabric and fit, as well as enough arch support and cushion.
While often bought without much thought, socks that are well chosen will do its important role as a barrier against infection and irritation. Like getting the right shoe size, socks must always fit perfectly. A sock that’s too big and long will bunch up inside the shoe, causing great discomfort every time one maneuvers. On the other hand, socks that are too tiny will restrict the toes’ movements, create friction, and will result in corns and calluses.
If you’re an avid basketball player or a person who has an active lifestyle, keep in mind that there are things to be remembered when shopping for socks. You can benefit from today’s modern technology integrated with socks, and although the price may surprise you, it will improve your game and activity. Continue reading to know better.
Top 10 Best Socks for Basketball 2018
Last update on 2019-01-23 PST - Details
The Socks’ Use and Purpose
A sock can be made for a specific type of sport, which is why it is important to keep in mind what sports one is playing when buying athletic socks. For a basketball player, there are several sock features that should be considered, such as length, thickness, and in some cases, the color of the socks matter too.
Length and Height
The length or height of the socks can be sport-specific. For basketball, over-the-calf socks are more appropriate since they protect the ankles. This height is also preferred among players of soccer, baseball, and snow sports.
Basketball requires thicker socks since this sport involves running, jumping, sprinting, and cutting. All these activities strain the tendons and the muscles, so extra support is needed.
A sock has different types too, with some having one or more paddings in a specific area. These paddings even out sudden movements and the impact a basketball player causes when he lands from a jump. Below are some of the models found in most socks out on the market:
- Achilles Tendon Support Socks: These socks will lessen the risk of incurring painful tendons.
- Ankle Stability Socks: These provide the tendons with structure and stability to keep fatigue and injuries at bay.
- Soft Foot Padding Socks: When landing, these socks will absorb the pressure on the toes, heels, and the whole foot.
- Extra Arch Support Socks: These socks have pads that add balance, reduce pain in the arch, and give players a solid foundation all throughout the game.
- Extra Toe Protection Socks: These socks also mitigate the impact of a jump or a sudden motion, and at the same time prevent blisters.
It’s worth noting that the padding on the balls and the heels of the feet are important for basketball players, especially those who are starting to age. As a person ages, thinning of fat on the base of the feet occurs, thus pads are needed for the player to avoid injuries especially when landing.
The color of the sock doesn’t usually matter, but some players opt to match their socks with the team colors. While most socks come in the usual colors – black, white, and grey – there are also brighter hues that one can choose from. It all depends on the player’s sense of style or personal preference.
Socks with Compression Fit Feature
You may have heard of compression fit socks and wondered how they fare better than traditional cotton socks. Compression fit socks, when worn, generally feel tighter with a reinforced weave in the arch of the foot. This makes sure the socks are snug and at the same time allows the cushioning to be in the right areas of the foot.
Compression fit socks are also specifically designed for the right and left foot – you just can’t wear each pair randomly. This is to ensure that the needed support is provided to the arches of the feet, and as a result, will prevent soreness and feet fatigue. The design of these socks also allows better blood circulation and some manufacturers claim that it can even improve a basketball player’s endurance.
Although unofficial, Allen Iverson may have started the compression items worn by today’s basketball players. To the uninitiated, Iverson made the crowd curious when he was seen sporting a white hosiery on his right arm in 2001, the same game that scored him 51 points.
The hosiery was easily a standout, and many were left wondering what its purpose was. The reason eventually came to light when it was found that the basketball star had a swollen muscle that night, and one of his coaches advised him to wear the compression hosiery on his arm. Since then, basketball fans and players have come to love compression items, including compression fit socks.
Benefits of Wearing Compression Fit Socks
- Injuries are Lessened: The vibration created by the muscles when a player is moving is reduced because ample support to the tendons and muscles are provided.
- Faster Recovery: The technology behind compression socks prevents cramps, decreases lactic acid, increases oxygen delivery, and reduces fatigue in the muscles.
- Improved Blood Circulation: Wearing compression socks causes the arteries to dilate, which in turn improves the flow of blood to the muscles.
The Importance of the Right Cushioning
The extra cushion feature in sports socks adds to the comfort, resulting in a longer and harder gameplay. There is also this fact that when a person grows older, the soles of the feet lose its natural fatty pads, so additional padding is highly needed.
In the best socks for basketball, the padding is mostly situated in ball and the heel for landings to be less painful, which will eventually prevent soreness and discomfort.
There are also players who choose to wear two layers of socks to achieve optimum support in the ankles, to prevent blisters, and endure hard landings. Keep in mind, however, that if two pairs of socks are worn, it should be fitted on the shoe before the game to make sure the shoes are still comfortable to wear.
Making Sure the Fit is Just Right
It’s fortunate for us these days that shoe vendors that measure the feet to find out the right sock size exist, that is if you’re not sure of your own sock size.
A game of basketball requires the whole body to move, and players rely heavily on their feet to achieve most tasks. Making sure basketball socks fit properly is important to make sure the player stays consistent for the entire game.
As mentioned, poorly fitted socks can cause a whole lot of products that may cause a basketball player to quit untimely. Attaining blisters and other foot injury is at risk, and you don’t want this to happen if you want to ace the game.
In finding the right fit for your basketball socks, the fabric of the sock should be snug, but not too much that the material stretches. The socks should neither sag nor hang, with the right thickness in consideration as well.
Finding the Correct Fabric
The right fabric will prevent the buildup of fungi and bacteria on the feet. This goes to show that the importance of buying socks doesn’t only benefit your basketball game in the end – it’s for the overall health of your feet as well.
A pair of feet has 250,000 sweat glands altogether and has the ability to produce as much as a half pint of sweat on a daily basis. If the sock you’re wearing retains most of the moisture, fungi and bacteria will thrive. Choose a sock that will not saturate your feet or your shoe in order to stay comfortable for the entire duration of the game.
While playing basketball, the feet must stay dry, which puts cotton out of the picture. Although comfortable and soft, cotton absorbs wetness and fast but drying it takes a long time. This why basketball socks and other athletic garments are made of wool or synthetic fibers. Some companies even integrate technology in socks in order to wick moisture away.
Socks these days easily dry out because of the technology that allows moisture to evaporate, resulting in dry and cool feet free of blisters.
You may have noticed sock brands marketing their socks something made of breathable and sweat-wicking materials. Others are still doubtful whether these are merely advertising stunts, but many sock brands in the market these days are actually used by professional athletes and they themselves attest to the safety and efficacy of these products.
According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), the material of the sock, as well as the mechanism in which fibers are structured determine whether the sock is indeed sweat-wicking.
One thing is for sure: cotton is a big no-no. This is because cotton easily compresses compared to synthetic acrylic, and the result is that the fiber gets swollen causing the feet to overheat. AAPSM’s studies concluded that cotton socks, aside from the problem of bunching and causes blisters, becomes rougher after being washed multiple times.
Other than finding the correct material the sock is made of, don’t forget the material of your shoes as well. Athletic shoes are designed to be breathable so the socks won’t soak with sweat, so make sure to invest in one.
Basketball players ought to choose shoes with mesh upper soles, instead of nylon and plastic. Should your feet still get moist, change into another pair of socks and shoes to avoid fungi and bacteria to thrive. At the end of the day, health should be your priority to prevent injuries and boost athletic performance.
Playing basketball is a skill that not all people are blessed with, so those who have it are encouraged to go big — join the big leagues and establish a name that can be closely linked to the word ‘basketball’ itself. But having this honor entails a lot of caring for the body, and while most basketball players do this by eating right and working out, choosing the right piece of clothing to enhance athletic performance is also necessary.
It’s important therefore to always go for the best socks for basketball and not just any random sock you fancy at the mall or a sports shop. The guide above should give you an idea on what to purchase, and while your own personal preference may affect your choice in the future, your consolation is that you picked the right material, fit, and thickness.
Professional basketball players often have sponsors that provide them with socks and other pieces of clothing — most of them expensive. The goal is not to buy exactly what they’re wearing. You always have the option to go for brands that are far more affordable, but still have the same material to keep you comfortable throughout the day.
It’s all about making smart purchases, and to do this, research is necessary. You have this guide to cover the basics, but for ideal brands that are budget-friendly, you can either ask your friends or scour the internet for the best deals in your area.
Keep a good balance between price and quality, and don’t let one compromise the other. Above all, know your measurements. This will contribute greatly to your comfort levels while playing basketball, even if you do so for hours.