Along with the bench press and squat, deadlifting is one of the main powerlifting exercises.
It works your glutes, legs, and back.
It’s also an exercise that may cause injury if you’re not careful.
When participating in powerlifting competitions, you’ll need to wear powerlifting shoes and shin-length socks. These items are mandatory.
If you’re just working out in a gym, you can wear whatever you want.
To reduce the risk of injury, some people wear just socks or deadlift barefoot.
Wearing just socks or going barefoot helps you plant your feet firmly on the ground. You can easily shift your weight back and better engage your glutes and hamstrings.
However, compared to deadlifting barefoot, wearing socks can help protect your shins and keep you from slipping.
If you want to enjoy these benefits, you need to find the right pair of deadlift socks.
For most people, I’d recommend any option from MOXY Socks. If you’re in a hurry, click here for our top recommendation. Otherwise, there are a few other options. Check out the rest of this guide to find the best socks for performing deadlifts.
Top Five Deadlift Socks Reviewed
So which deadlift socks should you buy? I’ve got a few recommendations.
Here’s a short review of each option to give you a little more information before choosing a pair:
If you search for deadlift socks, you’ll find lots of options from MOXY Socks. It’s the leading manufacturer of powerlifting socks, including this knee-high pair.
This is one of the few options designed specifically for deadlifting. Here are some of the details:
- Deadlift cushion padding
- Compression material
- Side ventilation
- Ventilator mesh material
- Heel protection and arch support
Pros and Cons
This is the top choice, thanks to its cushioning. The extra padding along the shins ensure that you’ll leave the gym without any cuts or scrapes.
With the ventilation slats on the sides of the calves and the ventilator mesh material, you get more breathability compared to some of the other choices.
Overall, you get superior protection, comfort, and durability. The one drawback is the cost.
These socks cost more than you’ve probably ever spent on a pair of socks but you also get the best protection.
Adidas is a trusted name in sports apparel. With this set of over-the-calf socks, you get two pairs of thick athletic socks at one of the lowest prices available.
If you have a tight budget, you should explore the features of this option from Adidas:
- 93% polyester, 4% spandex, 3% nylon
- Moisture-wicking yarn
- Arch and ankle compression
- Cushioned foot
- Six different color choices
Pros and Cons
These are athletic socks but they’re a little thicker compared to your average athletic socks. You get enough protection for deadlifting and comfortable material.
The moisture-wicking yarns keep your feet cool. Unfortunately, the material around the calves isn’t as breathable. You may sweat a bit.
The main advantage of these socks is the price.
If you want more compression, try this pair of Hoplite Premium Compression Socks.
Compression material improves circulation, reduces fatigue, and shortens muscle recovery time.
The compression stabilizes your muscles and adds protection. However, that’s not the only feature of these socks. Other details include:
- Superior compression
- 90% nylon, 10% spandex
- Extra knitting on the shins
- Durable stitching
- Moisture-wicking yarn
Pros and Cons
Yes, you get compression but you also get protection. Hoplite uses a 220-needle process that results in a denser knit.
The denser design increases the durability, thickness, and padding of the socks.
The socks also have extra knitting along the shins and around the footbed. You get an additional layer of protection, reducing the risk of bruises and scrapes.
These socks are a good runner-up to the MOXY Socks. They’re one of the best powerlifting socks available but also cost a little more compared to the athletic socks.
Under Armour is another recognizable brand. It turns out they make a pretty good pair of deadlift socks.
While they’re not made specifically for deadlifting, they add cushioning in the footbed and breathable material.
It’s another affordable option and one of the most comfortable pairs, making it the top choice for those seeking overall value. Some of the main features include:
- Half-cushion footbed
- Dynamic arch support
- Ventilation channels
- Synthetic anti-odor materials
- Lightweight yarns
- Five different color choices
Pros and Cons
Why should you wear these socks? They’re comfortable. The material is breathable and lightweight. It includes ventilation channels to aid breathability.
However, these aren’t the most durable option. They may start to unravel after a few washes. They also lack compression or extra protection along the shins.
You get a little bit less protection in favor of better breathability and comfort.
They’re also cheap. Even if they start to unravel, it’s not a major loss.
This option from TrendWell costs about the same as the Under Armour Socks. It’s one of the most reviewed options and comes in a wide range of colors.
If you don’t want basic black or white, you can choose from bright orange, green, red, blue, yellow, and more.
The main highlights include:
- Arch and ankle support
- Breathable mesh
- Moisture-wicking properties
- Antimicrobial material
- Blister control
- Cushioned sole
Pros and Cons
These socks have arch and ankle support along with extra cushioning in the soles. You’ll also get moisture-wicking material and odor control, helping to keep your feet from getting too stinky.
They’re thick, comfortable, and breathable.
It’s hard to find any problems with these socks. Besides offering a wide range of beneficial features, they’re not very expensive.
The TrendWell socks even come with a one-year warranty.
The one issue that you may find is that they don’t have extra padding along the shins. They’re relatively thick socks and should shield your shins from bruising but they’re not the most protective option.
Deadlift Socks Buying Guide
How do you pick the right socks?
The perfect choice should offer comfort. It should also provide protection for your shins.
So how do you determine if the socks offer these features? We look at the following details:
- Arch support
- Overall value
Before reviewing these details, there are a couple of issues you should pay attention to when shopping for deadlifting socks.
First, don’t assume that the socks offer extra protection around the shin guard simply because they have a stitched pattern over the shins.
The different colored stitching may appear around the shins, resembling a patch or square. It’s just a design choice made to fool you into thinking that the socks offer more protection.
You may also find socks labeled as “deadlift socks” instead of athletic socks or powerlifting socks.
Some manufacturers produce socks specifically for deadlifting, such as MOXY Socks. However, most of the so-called “deadlift socks” are simply basic knee-high socks with a higher price tag.
You should also review the following features:
Ventilation or moisture-wicking technology is a useful feature for deadlift socks. Some socks are incredibly thick or offer compression.
You want breathable socks. This allows you to find options with more padding, thickness, and compression.
Try to find socks that list “moisture wicking” as a feature. Moisture-wicking helps absorb and disperse the sweat, keeping your legs more comfortable.
Moisture-wicking material draws the moisture away from your body. Typically, moisture-wicking socks and other sports apparel come from blends of poly fibers instead of cotton.
Cotton can absorb more water but it takes longer to dry.
Some socks feature moisture-wicking just in the soles and footbed instead of all the way up the legs. Without the moisture-wicking around your calves, the socks will trap more of the heat.
How thick are the socks? That’s one of the main concerns when comparing deadlift socks.
If the socks aren’t thick enough, they won’t protect your shins from the bar. You can still end up with scrapes and bruises.
Of course, if the socks are too thick, you’ll have to deal with incredibly sweaty calves.
I try to find socks that provide a good medium between too thick and too thin.
Along with thick material, some socks feature extra padding.
As mentioned, some socks also use colored stitching to resemble extra padding.
If the socks truly have padding, you’ll get a little bit more protection from the bar when deadlifting.
It’s typically a narrow strip of cushioning along the shin. However, some options feature cushioning that fully wraps around the calves.
Compression material helps promote circulation and keep your muscles taut. When you wear compression socks, the extra pressure provides more of a response as your muscles tighten and loosen.
You feel every change in your movement, helping to provide a little extra stability and support.
Arch support isn’t an important feature but it deserves your attention.
If you’re running or performing exercises that require lots of foot movement, arch support helps reduce foot fatigue.
When you’re deadlifting, you want your feet firm and flat on the ground. You don’t need arch support.
However, if you’re pairing deadlift socks with powerlifting shoes or deadlift slippers, the arch support may help your feet feel more secure.
So if you’re only wearing deadlift socks, don’t worry about arch support. It’s just an extra feature that tends to increase the price of the socks.
Obviously, you want your socks to last. They’re going to take a bit of beating as they’re protecting your shins from the bar during your deadlifts.
With cheap socks, the fabric may start to wear quickly. The stitching may start to come undone. You may also find that the socks aren’t as thick as advertised.
To find the best socks, look for options from recognizable brands, such as the deadlift socks reviewed above.
The last detail to consider is the overall value. Compare the features of the socks to the price.
If you’re going to spend $20 or more on a pair of socks, they better offer some of the details discussed, such as extra padding and superior craftsmanship.
Of course, if you spend $3 on a pair of socks, you shouldn’t expect compression material or extra-thick socks.
Why Do You Need to Protect Your Shins When Deadlifting?
Scraped shins can become a problem when deadlifting. It’s often due to incorrect posture and technique.
Some instructors tell you to drag the bar up against your legs as you lift instead of lifting the bar straight up.
When you drag the bar against your shins and thighs, you’ll eventually chafe the skin and end up with some nasty cuts, bruises, or even chunks of flesh missing.
Even if you work on your form, you may occasionally drag the bar.
If you end up with scraped shins, you may need to hold off on your deadlifting exercises until the wounds heal. This puts you out of commission for a little while, increasing the risk that you give up on your fitness goals.
The solution is to use proper form and wear protective gear.
You could wear thick soccer socks or shin guards. However, soccer socks don’t always have enough padding. They’re also more likely to slide around.
Shin guards offer more protection but some people find them restrictive.
Deadlift socks provide the best balance of protection and comfort.
If you want more freedom of movement without sacrificing protection for your shins, consider wearing one of the pairs of deadlift socks mentioned earlier.
Last Thoughts on Socks for Deadlifting
You don’t need socks for deadlifting unless you’re competing.
However, they provide many benefits. Besides protecting from bloody shins, quality socks can help promote blood circulation, shorten muscle recovery, and provide more stability and support during your deadlifts.
All five of the options discussed are great choices.
The MOXY Socks and Hoplite Socks provide the most compression and protection for deadlifting but they’re also a little pricey.
If you want to save money, the other three athletic socks provide a good balance of protection and comfort.
No matter which option you choose, you should hopefully experience fewer scrapes on your shins.