Gym Equipment Reviews
The 10 Best Deadlift Socks
Which are the best deadlift socks on the market right now?
Deadlifting is often referred to as the king of lifts.
It also happens to cause the most bleeding. Nothing gets the blood flowing quite like dragging a few hundred pounds up your shins, as any veteran lifter knows.
We’ve put together a top 10 list of the best deadlift socks and shinguards for deadlifting. What makes them the best?
They’ll help keep your skin intact, for one.
To learn about their other benefits, keep reading.
Here’s a list of the 10 best deadlift socks:
Top 10 Deadlift Socks Compared
Our supplement lists are created by researching the best-reviewed products from the most reputable companies and web sources.
In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick:
Our number one selection is the Hoplite Premium Compression Socks.
Hoplite is a specialty tailor for socks used by ultramarathoners, trail runners, and obstacle course racers.
In that spirit, their compression socks have left no stone unturned regarding durability, support, breathability, and proprioceptive enhancement.
10. Rocktape – Rock Guards
The Rocktape Rock Guards are 5mm thick neoprene shin sleeves designed for protection, durability, and breathability.
Intended for use in various high-impact sports and fitness activities, the Rock Guards have helped athletes in the realms of rock and rope climbing, mountain biking, trail running, and Crossfit.
As a 3rd generation product, Rocktape has optimized the Rock Guard design based on years of consumer use and feedback.
These have been put through the paces of countless high-intensity scenarios.
The rear of these shinguards is a light mesh material allowing for a flexible, snug fit.
The elastic foot band, ankle tapering, and heel zipper help ensure the material does not shift around during use.
It’s worth noting that these are not deadlifting socks. They’re a padded shin covering that straps around the foot but does not cover it.
Deadlift socks can be worn in conjunction with the Rocktape Rock Guards, depending on the level of protection you’re looking for.
As a general rule, shinguards cannot be worn in official powerlifting competitions.
For that reason, the Rock Guards are not recommended if you are training competitively for the deadlift.
- Foot band, ankle tapering, mesh stitching for a snug fit
- Neoprene padding almost guarantees minimal abrasive damage while deadlifting
- Shinguard, not a sock – unusable in powerlifting competitions
- Some reviews have suggested durability is suspect with repeated use
9. RxFIT – Neoprene Shin Protector
Like the Rock Guards, RxFIT’s Neoprene Shin Protectors are shinguards – not lifting socks.
While illegal in powerlifting competitions, shinguards can offer even competitive lifters a reprieve from the abuse inflicted by high frequency or high volume deadlifting.
These neoprene-based shin cuffs are 5mm thick. Compression isn’t a concerted design focus here, which might disappoint some.
However, RxFIT’s protectors are stitched with a stretchable lycra fabric at the rear, allowing buyers to size down for a more compressive fit.
They’re also equipped with a foot strap and ankle zipper to maintain the Protectors’ position on the shins.
- Foot band, ankle tapering, mesh stitching for a snug fit
- Thick padding protects the shin from barbell scrapes and impacts
- Reviews have noted discomfort with the heel zipper
- Material can degrade quickly with frequent use
8. Bear Grips – Shin Sleeves
Bear Grips is a small, entrepreneurial fitness equipment company.
It was founded in 2014 by a personal trainer who began developing his products through firsthand testing with various clients.
The nature of the company’s origin has informed its chief priority in the product design process: user feedback.
The Bear Grips Shin Sleeves offer a number of novel features that set them apart from the preceding shinguards on our list.
The sleeves include 5mm of neoprene padding, foot straps, ankle zippers, and flexible back-stitching, but also incorporate a contoured shape for natural compression and a silicone band stitched into the rims to prevent the material from rolling.
To ensure satisfaction, Bear Grips also provides free size exchanges and a money-back guarantee.
- Free size exchanges and money-back guarantee
- Thick padding ensures protection of the shin
- Silicone band hemstitching to prevent material rolling
- Off-limits in powerlifting competitions – sleeves, not socks
- Logo material can sometimes snag the barbell during a pull
7. Hoplite – Compression Calf Sleeves
Hoplite Outfitters have nearly 20 years of experience in trail running, ultramarathons, and obstacle racing.
They’ve transmuted these bases of athletic experience into product design – namely, compression equipment that can withstand the brunt of heavy impact endurance training and racing.
On the trail, combatting moisture, high-frequency impacts, and the resulting influx of blisters, cuts, and bruises isn’t just a matter of technique.
Apparel can and does play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of your anatomy.
The Compression Calf Sleeves are 90% nylon and thinner than comparable options – meaning they’ll dry quickly and allow lifters to keep the bar closer to their shins during a deadlift.
Technically, these are neither weightlifting socks nor shinguards – but sleeves designed specifically for compressive support around the shin.
They’re still off-limits for powerlifting competitions and should be used sparingly by those intending to compete.
The best socks for deadlifting are coming up next.
- High durability tailoring
- Compression focused elements
- Sleeves, not socks – off-limits in powerlifting competitions
- Often reviewed as being too small around the ankle
6. TrendWell – Elite Performance Athletic Socks
57% nylon, 22% cotton, 15% polyester, and 6% spandex – the TrendWell Elites represent a baseline for high performance socks.
These are not particularly designed for anyone sport – but work exceptionally well as a general athletic sock.
Arch support, ankle support, a cushioned heel, breathable material, hydrophobic, and odor resistant; to TrendWell’s credit, that’s a lot of work being done by one article of clothing.
They’re clean-cut, thickly threaded, and provide 360 degrees of compression up and down the length of the material.
Those looking for a little added cushion at the front of the sock may be better served looking elsewhere.
If a pair of simple, all-around balanced athletic socks for deadlifting is what you’re after, Trendwell should have you covered.
- 360-degree compression
- Thick threading protects the shin
- Reviews sometimes question thread durability with high-frequency use
5. BOORE – Deadlift Socks
BOORE is a smaller fitness supply company offering straightforward, no-nonsense gear with a clean and sleek aesthetic.
Their deadlift socks are tailored with a focus on compression (at 15 – 20 mmHg pressure, a standard among premium athletic compression gear) and ease of use.
The hem of the socks are cuffed to reduce instances of the fabric rolling or folding.
The shin is threaded with a nylon-spandex blend to provide subtle cushioning for cleans, snatches, and deadlifts.
In addition, the soles are padded and tear-resistant due to the use of high-quality thread.
- Athletic grade compression
- Cuffed to reduce fabric folding
- Relatively unknown, newer distributor
4. TCK Digital – Camo OTC Socks
The TCK Digital Camo OTC Socks are mostly recognized for their quality as a general athletic sock.
Twin City Knitting, the manufacturer, has been in the business of athletic socks (and other apparel) since 1961. It’s safe to say they have the design down to a science.
With a 64% polypropylene, 27% nylon, 7% elastic, 2% lycra spandex thread blend, the OTC Socks are moisture and odor resistant, breathable via mesh stitching, and highly durable due in large part to the tailoring prowess Twin City Knitting has become known for.
For added stability, every sock is fashioned with a double welt stitching at the hems and specialized arch compression to reduce fabric slipping and rolling.
- Offers custom “team” colors
- Double welt stitching
- High-quality threading
- Not specialized for lifting – general athletic sock
3. MOXY – Deadlift Socks
Specializing in custom sock designs for Crossfit and other high-intensity athletics, MOXY has been in the sock game since 2009.
By targeting cross-training sports like Crossfit, MOXY has been well versed in the effects of high-volume deadlift training.
Ripped and bruised shins, torn and bloody socks – seasoned lifters know these things all too well.
MOXY’s deadlifting socks are custom built to include frontal shin padding, specified ventilation regions to accommodate the build-up of sweat, Achilles protection, and patented arch support.
Protection, support, compression, and breathability are given equitable treatment here.
Whether used as powerlifting socks, or weightlifting socks, MOXY’s pair stands at 3rd in our top 3 rankings.
- One size fits all
- Shin padding and ventilation
- Achilles protection
- Reviews sometimes question the durability
2. Pure Athlete – Lifting Socks
The Pure Athlete Lifting Socks are tailored specifically for use by Crossfit, weightlifting, and powerlifting enthusiasts.
They join aspects of compression, grip, and shin protection to provide a stable, comfortable foundation for lifters in training and competition.
Lightweight, crafted for an anatomical fit (with design elements corresponding to the left and right sides of the foot), layered for dense shin protection, and with moisture-wicking properties, the Pure Athlete Lifting Socks stand out as some of the best socks for deadlifting on the market.
One of the most interesting features of these powerlifting socks is the silicone grip embedded in the soles.
Most who deadlift regularly will know the feeling of your feet sliding around in your shoes.
Losing foot position can dramatically impact your deadlift form and put you at risk for injury.
Having your feet locked in place with an additional grip element is a blessing.
Further, the front of the sock is threaded with anti-abrasion yarn (10X the strength of cotton) to prevent fabric tearing, snagging and ensure heightened shin protection.
The material’s hydrophobic properties mean these deadlifting socks will not become weighed down, or friction-prone by moisture as your training session marches on.
- Silicone grip in the sole
- Anti-abrasion yarn and hydrophobic
- Anatomical fit
- Occasional durability concerns with regular use via customer review
1. Hoplite – Premium Compression Socks
Hoplite makes another appearance on the list – and at the number 1 spot, no less.
There happens to be quite a bit of carryover in the qualities of a good ultramarathon sock and the best socks for deadlifting.
Durability against high-frequency impacts and abrasions, hydrophobic material to wick away large amounts of sweat and environmental moisture, long-lasting arch and ligament support, and proprioception-enhancing compressive elements – these are things both endurance and strength athletes can benefit from.
Nowhere is that crossover more apparent than in the Hoplite Premium Compression Socks. 90% nylon, 10% spandex, and a dense 220 needle knit – these compression socks are tailored to fend off skin abrasions, blister formation, and impacts on the trail.
It makes sense that they’d stand up well to a barbell being dragged against them.
If they can protect athletes from rope burns during a climb, they can do the job of shielding you from some of the damage of sharp knurling during a deadlift.
Hoplite’s compression technology has been fire-tested by endurance and obstacle course athletes to maximize lactic acid mitigation, blood circulation, and recovery time.
These elements might be less important in an anaerobic activity like deadlifting but shouldn’t be dismissed.
The proprioceptive enhancement brought about through adequate compression can often be just what we need to signal proper form cues during a heavy lift.
- Arch and ligament support
- Hydrophobic and thick, supportive stitching
- Well established high-intensity sports apparel company
- Occasional customer reviews indicate some durability issues related to deadlifting
FAQs About Deadlift Socks
Q: What Do Deadlift Socks Do?
Powerlifting socks, weightlifting socks, deadlifting socks – it’s up for debate if these are real categories for any given pair of socks.
Sure, there’s branding. But what constitutes a “deadlift” sock, exactly?
Generally, lifting equipment should be defined in consideration of two things: (1) reducing the risk of injury, and (2) providing additional stability to the lift.
Elements like compression, arch support, anatomical design, cuffed hems, and others are nifty add-ons but not critical to the endgame of the best possible deadlift sock.
The main concern is that we do not end up bleeding all over the bar in a public gym or powerlifting meet because the bar just ripped our shins up during the pull.
Q: Are Deadlift Socks Mandatory?
Deadlift socks – or socks that reach up to the knee, like a typical athletic sock – are required in nearly every mainstream powerlifting federation.
In fact, alongside a powerlifting belt, singlets, and knee sleeves, long socks are about the only other piece of equipment allowed on the competitive platform.
The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), one of the largest powerlifting organizations in the world, notes the regulations on deadlifting socks in their rulebook:
Socks may be worn.
(a) They may be of any color or colors and may have manufacturer’s logos.
(b) They shall not be of such length on the leg that they come into contact with the knee wraps or knee cap supporter.
(c) Full-length leg stockings, tights, or hoses are strictly forbidden. Shin length socks must be worn to cover and protect the shins while performing the deadlift.”
Recreationally, it’s simply good gym etiquette to wear apparel that reduces your chance of bleeding on equipment.
Q: Should You Scrape Your Shins When Deadlifting?
Proper deadlift form involves pulling the bar from the floor in a straight line.
Achieving this necessitates positioning your shins as close to the bar as possible in order to maintain efficient biomechanical leverage.
The further away your shins are from the bar, the more you will be pulled forward out of position once the weight leaves the floor.
Unfortunately, staying so close to the bar means the knurling (the sharp, carved grip on a barbell) can scrape your shins on the way up.
To some extent, this is unavoidable. However, the goal should not be to “scrape” your shins outright.
Excessive abrasions might mean you’re dragging the bar out of position or keeping your shins angled over the bar for too long.
It can take practice to find the right balance.
Strictly speaking, deadlifting socks are not absolutely necessary to perform at your best.
Strength, technique, consistency, recovery, and effective training principles are always going to be the primary determining factors for progress in the gym.
Long socks of any kind will help reduce the shin abrasions caused by deadlifting, but the added specificity of the products listed here can provide an extra edge.
There’s something to be said for looking good, feeling good, and playing good – and as you build more training experience, you’ll find that every little bit keeps the progress machine moving along.
Save your shins. Grab some socks.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best deadlifting socks:
- Hoplite – Premium Compression Socks
- Pure Athlete – Lifting Socks
- MOXY – Deadlift Socks
- TCK Digital – Camo OTC Socks
- BOORE – Deadlift Socks
- TrendWell – Elite Performance Athletic Socks
- Hoplite – Compression Calf Sleeves
- Bear Grip – Shin Sleeves
- RxFIT – Neoprene Shin Protector
- Rocktape – Rock Guards
Which of the best deadlift socks would you buy? Leave a comment below.
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