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Battle of the Football Socks

We put Trusox, Nike Grip and adidas Alphaskin to the test to see which sock works best for your feet.

There has been a lot of innovation in boots and jerseys since sports manufacturers have taken football seriously. However, a rather recent trend has been the production of “performance socks” which has been meant to aid in the comfort and improvements in performances when used in match with a boot.

No, these socks won’t turn you into Neymar overnight but there is added value in feeling comfortable and locked in during a competitive match. I tried on 3 of our favourite football socks in the market right now and how they feel on feet.

Best Grip – Trusox

It’s very rare that a brand can break adidas and Nike’s duopoly in the football apparel category but Trusox has been the exception when it comes to performance football socks. Trusox has gained a ton of popularity as its iconic dots have featured heavily on the calves of many professionals plying their trade in Europe.

Battle of the Performance Socks - Trusox
The iconic dotted design of Trusox has caught the attention of viewers every weekend.

Trusox is developed with grip in mind. The base of the sock is covered with textured grip pads which are meant to keep your feet from sliding in the boots. Newer versions of Trusox also comes with these pads on the inside which claims to be activated when in contact with sweat.

The Good: Trusox is truly the most “grippy” of the 3 socks we’re reviewing here. Each grip pad does have a grainy rough texture which does reduce the slip within the boot without compromising on comfort. The traction is quite evident when making sharp movements though the pads don’t make it tougher to put on or remove the boot. For those who like their sock thick, Trusox is for you, though they also sell a thinner variation.

The Bad: The material of the sock doesn’t feel very premium and feels alike to a regular pair of thick tennis socks. Trusox is the priciest of the 3 socks, at a whopping $49 per pair (knee high, ankle and mid calf variations are all similarly priced), and for that price, I expect a pair of football socks which feel better than what’s on offer. The sock also doesn’t offer a compression fit which may lead to creating some uncomfortable folds and bunching up when putting on a tight, compressive boot like the adidas Predator 18.1 or the Nike PhantomVSN Elite.

Battle of the Performance Socks - Trusox
The Trusox’s material feels like plain tennis socks and could do with an upgrade.

Best Sock Quality – NikeGrip Socks

Nike has also joined the performance sock game with the NikeGrip socks. They’re aiming to take on Trusox directly with their take on the grip elements though these socks are not made just for football. Nike has also created variations for running, basketball and other sports too.

The cool thing (on paper at least) about the NikeGrip socks is that Nike claims the grip elements work best when paired with Nike footwear that also has a NikeGrip inner sole usually found on their higher grade models. This is due to the yarn in both the sock and inner sole activating to provide a strong connection upon contact – kind of like velcro.

Battle of the Performance Socks - NikeGrip
A great design and super premium feel.

The Good: The quality of the NikeGrip sock is exquisite and the most premium of the bunch – something we’ve come to expect from the swoosh. The sock offers a tight compression fit unlike any other, is on the thinner side and is really comfortable. It’s a really dizzying sensation and is one of our go-to socks when pairing with a tighter boot as it doesn’t bunch up and fold like the Trusox does. It looks fantastic too with the subtle arrow prints throughout the sock and the striped base making this look and feel premium while selling at a slightly cheaper price point ($35 for a calf-high pair, $45 for a knee-high pair) compared to Trusox.

Battle of the Performance Socks - NikeGrip
Loving the subtle arrow graphics.

The Bad: I call bullshit on its grip technology. I tried it on with the Nike Tiempo Legend 7 and the Nike PhantomVSN Elite and I did not feel any added traction within the boot as compared to when we used it with another non-Nike boot. Part of the steep price you’re paying is for this special technology that unfortunately doesn’t deliver for me. It has slightly more grip than the average football sock but not enough to justify the branding of this technology.

Battle of the Performance Socks - NikeGrip
The grip technology fell short of its claims.

Best Comfort – adidas Alphaskin

Last of the performance socks, but definitely not least, is the adidas Alphaskin. They’re not as popular as the 2 previous socks as adidas hasn’t been as aggressive in marketing or producing this range of socks for the market. That’s a shame as the Alphaskin has grown a lot on me and I wished they sold more of this out there. As a sock, it doesn’t try to do too much except be as comfortable as possible for the player wearing it.

Battle of the Performance Socks - adidas Alphaskin
The most comfortable and best value for money among our 3 performance socks.

The Good: For those who like a thicker pair of football socks, the adidas Alphaskin is definitely one to consider. That said, it doesn’t have the issues that Trusox does with its fit as the sock does provide a tight compression fit too. I really liked the combination which makes it feel locked in while being super plush and comfortable. The Tango logo on the shin area makes for a really cool graphic if you’re into that style. All in all, you’re getting the most comfortable sock in this list with a premium feel at a relatively low price of $25 for a knee-high sock. That’s great value for money.

Battle of the Performance Socks - adidas Alphaskin
Plush comfort and compression fit right out of the box

The Bad: If you’re expecting grip elements or strips, you’re bound to be disappointed. Though the Alphaskin doesn’t slip around a lot in the boot, it would have been nice if they worked on some minor elements that could further enhance the traction with the boot.

Battle of the Performance Socks - adidas Alphaskin
These embossed strips are comfortable but add no extra traction to the sock.

Which football socks are best for you?

We’re spoilt for choice here when it comes to a selection of football socks for our games. Each one is fantastic in their own right and would be a worthy set to pair with your football boots.

However, if I had to pick 1 pair to wear in every game, it has to go to the NikeGrip socks due to the excellent compression fit and premium quality of the sock. The material is unlike any other and the mid-calf version would be worthy of my $35. However, $45 for a knee-high NikeGrip sock is a wee bit steep and I’ll gladly go with the Alphaskin if I looked to buy a higher cut sock.

I like the grip from the Trusox but I’ve grown accustomed to compression fit which the 2 other options can provide. Which are your favourite football socks? Share with us in the comments below.

Looking to buy new gear? Get 10% off at Ultra Football with the voucher code “BOOTHYPE10” at check out. Special thanks to the good people of The Arena for the great shoot venue, who are also featured in our article of the Best AG Pitches in Singapore.

 

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