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7 Different Types of Socks for Pickleball (Women)

Woman putting on her new sport socks.

Most players understand the need for a good pair of shoes and headgear during an indoor and outdoor pickleball game. However, that’s as far as it goes. Unfortunately, a good pair of shoes can only take you so far, but the shoe and sock system will give you success.

Like the introduction song to Married with Children said, “…you can’t have one without the other.” The shoe and sock combination must work together, so there’s no point in having each individually. You can certainly just grab a six-pack of generic low-cut socks on your next trip to Walmart or Target, and it will be fine.

Still, I have found a discernable difference when wearing high-quality pickleball socks compared to your run-of-the-mill athletic socks. The thickness, material, and ability to wick moisture away affect your feet, especially when playing multiple consecutive games. Decent quality socks reduce impact shock and minimize friction during movement, thus reducing the number of blisters that could cut your game short and leave you incredibly sore.

Comfortable socks that absorb impact while keeping your feet dry are a winning combination. Since sock selection is often overlooked, most players have no idea what they should be searching for in-store or at online retailers. Who has time to browse through thousands of sock options without knowing the basics?

Well, keep reading to find out the answer!

Types of women’s socks for pickleball

1. A hypoallergenic sock

Cottonique Spandex-Free Elite Elastic-free Socks made from 100% Organic Cotton, Natural, Small

Some pickleball players have sensitive feet and want the feeling of a natural material. Therefore, many pickleball sock manufacturers use hypoallergenic alpaca and synthetics. Since hypoallergenic socks are wool-free, your feet will remain dry and cool.

While this sock type is uncommon in the marketplace and, therefore, the most expensive option, if you suffer from blisters and don’t get relief from one of the other women’s pickleball sock types on this list, they may be worth the investment.

2. Airplane style compression socks

HLTPRO Compression Socks for Women & Men(4 Pairs) - Best Support for Medical,Circulation, Nurses, Running, Travel

Compression socks are shin-to-knee high socks that are an excellent choice if you suffer from poor circulation. Although uncommon on the pickleball court, there are many benefits to wearing this sock, including extra calve support, the lessening of a foot or leg fatigue after long games, and a tighter feel against your skin. Other benefits include moisture-wicking properties, affordability, and breathability, depending on the fabric type used.

However, given the height of these socks, they may take some getting used to over time.

Pickleball Master Course by Steve Dawson ($199)

3. Your typical ankle socks

Hanes Ultimate womens 6-pack Ankle athletic socks, White, Shoe Size 5-9 US

Ankle socks appear precisely as described, with the cut ending at the ankle, which gives the benefit of more skin showing for breathability. Ankle socks are some of the most common types on this list and are available in various materials; however, you will find most in a cotton blend. The less expensive brands will have more cotton and fewer other materials, which lowers essential aspects of the sock-like moisture wicking, waterproofness, moisture absorption, and a comfortable heel.

The additional benefit is the low profile of ankle socks prevents rubbing. If this is the sock type you prefer, look for higher-end versions that are a mix of cotton and other synthetic materials.

4. The more noticeable crew socks

Hanes womens 10-pair Value Pack Crew fashion liner socks, White, 9-May US

Unlike ankle socks, crew socks commonly have a higher cut well above the ankles, which means you are more susceptible to rubbing and friction along the lower part of your legs and are less breathable. However, many of these issues are mitigated or lessened by purchasing better material blends with anti-friction and breathability properties. In addition, crew socks tend to be highly durable and comfortable to wear.

Women’s pickleball crew socks are typically assorted colors and have a different aesthetic than men’s.

5. The sister of the crew style, the cushion crew

Thorlos Women's LWXW Thin Cushion Walking Crew Socks, White/Platinum, Medium

The cushion crew is the same height and style as the regular crew, except with the addition of cushioning at the heel and on the ball of the foot since those are the two most heavily used areas during pickleball. Again, you can expect the same performance as the standard crew, except with more padding on the foot. One downside is this padding will limit breathability in those areas since the socks will be thicker than usual.

6. Like ankle socks, quarter socks a little different

adidas womens Athletic Cushioned Quarter Socks With Arch Compression (6-Pair), White/Shock Pink/Bright Cyan, Medium

Quarter-length socks are slightly different than ankle socks in that they are cut just above the ankle, which provides additional ankle cushioning and protection during pickleball games. This is beneficial if you are accidentally whacked in the ankle by a paddle or ball and your sneakers don’t cover your ankles.

7. The high performing, performance sock

Saucony Women's Performance Heel Tab Athletic Socks (8 & 16, Grey Assorted (8 Pairs), Shoe Size: 5-10

Women’s pickleball performance socks were built for athletes. They offer most or all the properties required in an athletic sock, including moisture-wicking, water absorption, breathability, comfort, a tight fit, lower friction, and durability, especially within the stitching. In addition, there seems on performance socks also help reduce friction and abrasion.

Best material sock types

With the invention of new synthetic materials that offer a variety of properties, the list of sock materials grows every time I look. Below are the most common base materials outside of different blends.

You’re probably picturing a hard acrylic

Different acrylic colors.

When I think of acrylic, I picture a hard piece of plastic used for several types of packaging. This is mainly poured acrylic, which is liquified, poured, and cooled to harden. This is not the same process for socks. Instead, sock acrylic is a wool-like, warm polymer that allows socks to maintain an elastic shape, despite pulling.

Since it’s a polymer, acrylic also offers the benefit of wicking away sweat.

The basic cotton option

No list is complete without adding the most popular and primary material type, cotton. Although most women’s pickleball socks are made from cotton blends with other materials to maximize performance characteristics, cotton remains one of the least expensive options. However, the downsides of 100% cotton socks include quickly losing elasticity and absorbing a disproportionate water amount meaning sweat will gather in your socks.

Simultaneously, your feet will emit heat, and this combination creates the ideal environment for fungus and blisters, so it’s best to avoid 100% cotton socks and focus on blends.

Gore-Tex, new but old

Although Gore-Tex has become more popular and commonly used in recent years, it continues to be an expensive synthetic but offers the benefit of excellent water resistance. Although primarily found in boots, some sock manufacturers use it in thick athletic socks.

The non-military grade Kevlar

Close-up of Kevlar material - 09302022

Like Gore-Tex, Kevlar is expensive and produces thick socks. Kevlar is best known as the primary ingredient in lightweight, bulletproof vests that police and military fashion. It’s best to use in pickleball socks to prevent leg abrasion and friction against the skin.

The staple sock option, nylon

Nylon is a well-known polymer that offers the benefits of resistance and durability. It’s best suited for socks that will be exposed to excessive amounts of stretching and pulling. One of the most significant challenges with nylon is it absorbs water compared to other synthetics, which is not good when you’re trying to eliminate water from your feet.

Luckily, nylon material blends eliminate this issue to keep your feet cool and dry.

Ole-what? -fin?

Different types of fabric.

Also known as Coolmax, olefin is a synthetic that’s the main ingredient in many sock material blends. Olefin is one of the top fibers on this list at passing water through the material to the outside of the sock and then repelling it for evaporation. This is where having a good, breathable pair of shoes comes into play, and the system works together to keep your feet dry.

The beginning of a lot of poly sock options, polyamide. Polyamide is a nylon grade added to women’s pickleball socks to improve comfort due to its soft nature.

Polyester, different from your dad’s 1970s leisure suit

Like nylon, polyester is an inexpensive polymer that is exceptionally durable and has fiber memory to snap back into place. Polyester socks manage absorption much better than nylon and offer improved breathability. The best-known polyester socks are Nike’s “DRI-Fit,” which are moisture-wicking.

Polypropylene isn’t just for packaging materials

Green polypropylene non woven fabric sheet.

Polypropylene is a super waterproof fiber that offers tremendous moisture-wicking abilities. These socks are hot if you’re playing in the winter and are often found in inner sock liners to help with insulation.

Profilen, the end of the poly materials

Profilen is a significant ingredient in the DryMax sock technology. With the lowest friction coefficient of all these materials, you won’t get blisters when profilen is added to the sock material blend.

Teflon Don, so you know it’s smooth

Teflon is added to other sock materials to add waterproof characteristics without impacting breathability. Due to its smooth nature, Teflon offers superior friction resistance.

Spandex, like you don’t want to find at the beach

Blue spandex fabric sheet.

The very well-known spandex offers extreme stretching resistance, as you sometimes see at a European beach. This means that spandex socks will always keep their shape, regardless of how much or far you stretch them. Spandex is also known as lycra or elastane.

The newest addition to the pickleball sock world, X-Static

X-Static is a rather new fabric that’s woven from silver directly into the socks with other materials. The major benefit of using X-Static with another material is it boasts anti-microbial properties that prevent fungus and odors in damp environments inside the shoe.

What to look for in a pickleball sock?

Female runner on compression sock.

When searching for the best pickleball sock to meet your needs on the court, look for the following crucial elements.


Comfort is one of the most crucial considerations when deciding between socks. Many studies show that comfort is related to leg fatigue, so uncomfortable pickleball socks will drain your muscle energy fast. Also, you won’t be able to focus as well since your thought will be on the inferior quality, blister-inducing socks.

Comfort, of course, is a subject feel that’s specific to the wearer and dependent on the height, cushioning, thickness, materials used, and other personal preferences.


The sock material is a critical priority in determining your sock’s longevity. An inexpensive and thin fabric will wear out faster, and you must replace them more frequently. While many of the sock types on this list appear more expensive, over the long run, purchasing higher quality and more costly pickleball socks constructed of durable material will save you money.

Most are frugal regarding socks, but if you have blister issues and are tough on these undergarments, then investing in a few pairs of high-quality, comfortable socks is an excellent choice.


There are numerous sock height types that you can purchase, including:

  • No show – no-show socks earned their name because they will never show above the shoe. This is the lowest pickleball sock height available but also offers poor ankle cushioning.
  • Tab – tab socks are better versions of no-show and low-cut because they have an extra fabric tab in the upper heel rea to eliminate sock slippage during pickleball games. This fabric tab also makes sock removal easier.
  • Low-cut – this sock time delivers an excellent balance of cushion, comfort, and breathability for those who don’t like socks running up their leg. These socks usually end at the anklebone section.
  • Quarter – quarter socks are slightly higher than low-cut and add incredible support and protection for an exposed ankle.
  • Crew – the crew sock cut usually ends at around 8-inches above your shoes. Although no-show and low-cut are the two most popular types, many court players are drawn to the crew style because of the extra calf support.
  • Knee-high – unless you’re ordering compression socks due to circulation problems, knee-high socks are usually too high for pickleball.


Most modern women’s pickleball socks aren’t made from single material because you will benefit from the properties of blended fabric. While most think cotton socks are the most comfortable, they don’t offer any of the benefits of cotton and synthetic blend, so it’s best to avoid a mono-material. The suitable fabric will offer a variety of other uses you need when stepping onto the pickleball court.

The proper material mixed with the right shoes will keep you comfortable and safe while playing.


Three women’s pickleball sock thicknesses exist, including:

  • Thin – the thinnest socks are also the most breathable, lightest weight, and dry fast. Most options feature moisture-wicking properties, so those with excessive sweating will gain the most benefit from thin socks.
  • Medium – despite being called medium, they are only slightly thicker than thin socks and offer the significant benefit of additional cushioning. Although they are medium, this sock thickness is thin enough to be comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. This is the most common sock thickness found on the pickleball court, but it’s a matter of personal preference.
  • Thick – the thick sock is relatively straightforward since they are heavier than medium socks but significantly different than the thin variety. Thick socks provide excellent insulation and impact protection but are heavy and bulky, so they are not recommended for outdoor summer pickleball games.