I've been running for 8 years and really haven't thought a whole lot about socks. As long as they didn't bunch in my toes or cause blisters, then they were okay in my book. And considering I don't have problems with bad toenails or blisters, then most socks worked for me. When I finished 2nd in my age group at the Crystal Coast 1/2 Marathon, I won a gift card to a local running store. I used that gift card for two new pairs of socks. And WOW! They were like the best socks I've ever worn.
The brand of the socks is Balega. They have a perfect amount of cushion and I love the extra fabric around the achilles tendon area. My racing flats really rip up my achilles area so these socks really make a difference. The same manufacture makes Zulu socks which are made out of bamboo. I haven't tried them yet, but I know they are cheaper.
Let's talk about compression socks. They seem to be all the rage right now, and yes I own two pairs. One pair I bought at Meijer and they fit really tight. The other pair are Sugoi. I like them both and think they are both effective. Now I don't wear them while running because that's now what they're for, but I do wear them after hard workouts to aid in recovery. I feel like I get less sore when I wear them for a few hours after hard workouts. I also wear them when I'm flying to keep from getting blood clots. Multi-use!!!
What sock brands do you swear by and why?