If you like rocking the Chariots of Fire look on the track, these retro Tracksmith Merino Tube Socks have the style and go the miles…

Tracksmith Merino Tube Socks

$20 / £20, tracksmith.com 

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  • Slick old-school styling
  • Highly padded heels and toes


  • Classic cream colour gets dirty easily
  • Leg cuffs might loosen off

Comfort: 4/5
Breathability: 4/5
Durability: 3.5/5

They might not be as important as picking the best running shorts or shoes, but choosing the right socks for running can make a real difference. Boston-based Tracksmith makes gorgeous, classically-styled running kit that harks back to the halcyon days of running. But it’s not all style; the well thought-out apparel also comes with a performance edge and careful attention to detail. It’s running kit for running connoisseurs. And its performance credentials extend right down to its running socks. 

Tracksmith Merino Tube Socks

The Merino Tube Socks are made from a blend of 73% ultra-fine-gauge merino wool that’s lightweight and durable, with elastane and polyamide to boost the stretch, softness and durability. 

The highly padded heels and toes have a fleecy softness that increases comfort and takes some of the impact out of your road and track miles. The padding is very thick, though, and these probably aren’t socks you’ll want to wear with your tight-fitting race shoes. They work better with a roomy daily trainer. 

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Close-up of a man's legs, running

The toes aren’t quite seamless but the seams are nice and flat and that cuts the risk of unwanted rubbing. I also found the leg cuffs weren’t quite as secure after a few runs. 

The merino fibres are naturally coated with lanolin, which has anti-microbial properties so is better at resisting sweat sock aromas. That means you can get away with less washing. Sssh… we won’t tell anyone.  

Speaking of washing, while the cream colour I tested is wonderfully stylish, the clean, crisp, cream look didn’t last long on London’s wet, dirty streets. It’s definitely not very muddy trail-friendly either. You might want to save these for trips to the track.  

The Tracksmith Merino Tube socks come in five different colours and four sizes from XS to large. They have to be washed cold but can be tumble dried on low.   

If you’re not into the mid-cut look, and no-show socks are more your style, check out the Tracksmith Merino No-Show for a similar performance in a more minimal cut. 

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