Cushioning Properties for Athletic Socks

The Institute of Preventative Foot Health shared a unique perspective study from Blackmore et al in Clinical Biomechanics from 2013.

Patients routinely ask about footwear for both comfort and joint protection and this study provides the first mechanical analysis of the cushioning properties of athletic socks.

The authors used 8 socks with varied thickness, material and cut style along side a control of no sock.

Their conclusion reads in part that athletic socks attenuate peak impact force by up to 20%, delay the onset of loading by up to 33% and reduce the loading rate by up to 47% under impact testing conditions.

A strong relationship was also observed between sock thickness and reductions in impact force when testing the socks alone.

Furthermore, when tested in conjunction with a shoe, athletic socks attenuated peak impact force by up to 14%, delayed the onset of loading by up to 32% and reduced loading rate by up to 35% although these effects were less than that in the sock alone condition.

Therefore, it is concluded that athletic socks demonstrate cushioning properties under impact testing conditions.

Blackmore et al have provided the first statistical evidence of sport sock benefits through scientific impact testing.


  1. Tim Blackmore, David Jessop, Stewart Bruce-Low, Joanna Scurr (2013) The Cushioning Properties of Athletic Socks: An Impact Testing Perspective. Clinical Biomechanics: April 3, 2013, pp. 825-830

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