UPDATE: Bombas socks made our list of the best gifts for runners 2020
Long before I got pairs of Bombas Socks in hand, their socks were recommended to me by a few trusted friends. The recommendations centered around all day comfort and durability. That, of course, piqued my interest. Afterwards, I discovered Bombas’ pledge to donate one pair of socks for every pair purchased. It’s always a nice bonus to be able to support mission-driven brands so I was again attracted to them. Finally, browsing their website revealed a focus on performance alongside running and basketball specific socks. And at WearTesters, if you’ve got a performance focus, we’re intrigued. All that convinced me. It was time to try Bombas Socks.
Since Bombas offers a lot of options, I’ve divided my review into sections focused on the versions I’ve tried. My aim is to give the pros, cons, or differences of each so you can make a decision on whether you’d like to purchase a pair.
As always, it’s hard to foresee every potential question so feel free to reach out via Twitter or Instagram with any follow up questions. Often, audience questions let us know what else is important and help us update our reviews to better serve future readers.
Bombas Performance Running Socks
There are a ton of “performance running socks” on the market. It can be hard to differentiate between them and tell the good from the bad. In my mind, the “need to have items” are extra cushioning at the toe and heel, arch support, and a heel tab to prevent blisters (if it’s an ankle cut sock). Bombas Performance Running Socks check all of those boxes. They also go the extra mile in terms of arch support with their Hex Tec midfoot band. It’s a breathable, lightweight material that provides a really nice arch hug. Since they’ve nailed the basics, let’s dive into the pros and cons:
- Thickness. Not too thin, not too thick. Will work for wide footers or narrow footers. Usually running socks go one way or the other. Bombas provide the perfect middle ground of thickness.
- Breathability: The airflow is reminiscent of super thin socks even though Bombas are more substantial. The “vent” beneath the bend in the toes is especially ingenious and helps aerate a normally sweaty area.
- Materials. The polyester/nylon/cotton/spandex blend is super comfortable. It’s a soft sock that you can wear all day (or for a marathon).
- Arch support. As I mentioned above, the Hex Tec band is very effective and comfortable.
- Sporting specific design. Bombas’ running design varies quite a bit from their basketball, cycling, and tennis designs. It’s nice to see sport specific socks.
- Durability. Bombas have a great reputation in this area. I wore mine a lot and put them through the washer/dryer many times. They still look basically new. Though I haven’t tested long term durability yet, that’s a good sign of things to come.
- Available in ankle, quarter, and calf heights. Depending on where you run and what shoes you use, you may prefer a different height. It’s strange they’re all the same price, but the flexibility to choose is nice.
- Blister tabs. With Bombas performance running socks you get both front and back blister tabs. It’s a nice little touch that provides 360° protection from potentially uncomfortable shoe collars.
- Stay-up technology. Not sure exactly what type of elastic Bombas uses, but it works. The calf socks don’t slide down even when soaked with sweat on a hot day. My lower legs are usually remarkably efficient at pushing down any crew height sock during athletic activity but the Bombas stayed in place both when new and after several washings.
- Slickness. Bombas Performance Running socks are occasionally a little too slippery for some shoes (heavily dependent on insole material) and floors. They’re not crazy slick like a lot of dress socks but they’re just a touch slicker than I’d like. I think it’s a fair trade off for the overall comfort and softness, but it’s something to note.
- Dust. Black colorways attract a lot of dust. Make sure you use dryer sheets. Dryer balls just won’t cut it in terms of drying them without a lot of particles clinging to your dark socks.
Overall, Bombas Performance Running socks are winners. The $16 price point is in line with other performance running socks, there’s a ton of fun color options, and they’re super comfortable.
Bombas Merino Performance Running Socks
The Bombas Merino Performance Running Socks look exactly the same as Bombas normal performance running socks. But here’s how they’re different:
- Materials. The Merino version is 51% wool, 45% nylon, and 4% spandex vs the original’s 51% polyester, 33% Nylon, 12% cotton, and 4% spandex.
- Warmth and breathability. Due to the wool, they’re warmer and less breathable. The temperature regulation is good. The Merino version will keep my toes warmer on a cold day but isn’t ideal for high heat or humidity.
- Dust. Just like other wool socks I’ve owned, they pick up hair and dust easily. They pick up less hair and dust than the highly reviewed Darn Tough merino wool running sock. While durable, the Darn Tough socks run a little too hot. I think the build of the Bombas Merino Wool running sock is much better for cooling down sweaty feet.
- Softness. Not quite as soft as Bombas regular performance running socks.
- Slickness. The merino performance running socks are slightly slicker than the regular version. If your house has naturally slick floors, be careful.
- No calf height version. Only available in an ankle height configuration. Bombas does make longer versions for hiking, skiing/snowboarding, and casual wear.
- Price. The merino wool version costs $2 more. This is less than I expected. Merino wool clothing is often much more expensive than normal versions.
If you need warmer socks or love the feel of Merino wool, the $2 merino wool “upgrade” will be worth it for you. Otherwise, stick with Bombas regular performance running socks as everything else is the same.
Bombas All-Purpose Performance Socks
The Bombas All-Purpose Performance Socks also look very similar to performance running socks but they’re not tuned specifically for one sport, instead taking a more general approach.
At 80% polyester and 20% cotton, the all-purpose socks feel more like an upgraded version of the traditional cotton sock. These socks feel built for all day use with the occasional run, sport, or gym time thrown in. I prefer the material blend of the performance running socks but others may prefer this mix.
The All-Purpose performance sock is priced the same as the performance running sock but ditches the highly elastic Hex Tec arch support for a thicker, less elastic version (also called Hex Tec on the sock itself). The All-Purpose sock is thicker all around so you get increased padding versus the running specific version. You also lose the front blister tab. Finally the all-purpose performance socks feature the Bombas Crowned Bee logo prominently on the top of the foot (ankle version) and the lateral side of the calf height version. I’m not a fan of the bee logo but your mileage may vary.
At the same price as the performance running socks it’s hard for me to recommend the All-Purpose Performance Socks instead. The All-Purpose look a little more traditional and less running tech-y, are thicker all around, and feel more like a traditional sock. If that’s the kind of feel you prefer, you’ll be happy with them.
Bombas Compression Socks
Bombas makes another sock aimed at performance, specifically recovery. Bombas Compression Socks are knee high with medium strength compression meant to encourage circulation in the lower leg to reduce swelling and aid in recovery.
Bombas use 15-20 mmhg of compression. That’s not as much compression as more expensive brands (want more compression…that’ll be $60 per pair of socks 🤯) but for $18 you’re getting more than you’d expect at that price point. They’re also the softest, most comfortable compression socks I’ve owned. Durability-wise they’re holding up just as well as my $60 pair. In addition, Bombas offers a bunch of fun colors with a clean design. A lot of compression socks have bright colors but no sense of fashion.
There are some cons but they’re relatively small. First, you’re not supposed to put them in the dryer. I don’t dry a large portion of my workout clothes so this wasn’t a big deal for me, but I know a lot of readers dry everything and this may be an annoyance. Second, the calf and arch compression are really good but I wish there was more compression around the achilles. That’s a trouble area for many runners and could use some extra blood flow to promote healing. Admittingly, that’s a hard area to compress and it’s an area only the more expensive compression socks and ankle sleeves tend to do well.
Bombas Compression Socks are a solid deal at their $18 price point and a great way to try out compression with a good looking sock that’s comfortable and durable. They come in handy for sore legs and feet so it’s nice to have a pair in your sock drawer.
Performance Basketball Socks Review
Bombas Customer Support
I’ve read numerous accounts of Bombas Socks customer support being extremely helpful and accommodating. I didn’t have any reason to get in touch with them myself but looked across the internet for reviews. My search revealed very little criticism of their support system. Their customer focus and good return policy stood out thus making purchasing relatively risk free. I always like when that’s the case because you get more peace of mind when buying.
To see current deals, sales, and promo codes, see our Bombas Socks Deals page.
Thanks to Bombas Socks for sending pairs to test. Bombas was not given any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the socks for running, basketball, weight training, casual wear, and more.