Few things will mess with your favorite barre workout like wearing the wrong socks — slipping and sliding on the studio floor can be a recipe for injury, not to mention embarrassment. But you can save your bum and your dignity by making grip socks a regular part of your barre routine.
Grip socks — sometimes called yoga socks or Pilates socks — are similar to regular socks, but their soles are dotted with a soft, rubbery material that provides the traction you need to navigate smooth surfaces with ease. This “grippy” material makes it easier to hold poses when you start to sweat, which is key in a barre class. When you’re powering through a set of deep pliés, you don’t want to worry about your feet slipping out from under you.
What Grip Socks Should I Buy?
As with any essential workout gear, the best grip socks are made with breathable materials, a bit of cushioning, and anti-stink technology.
Grip socks can be toeless or closed-toe, cut-out or full-coverage, low-profile or lace-up — so you won’t have a problem finding a pair of grip socks that suit your style. Spoiler alert: We’re partial to Xtend Barre grip socks, which are designed to hold up through an intense full-body barre workout.
Grip socks are easy to care for: Simply turn them inside out and wash in a gentle cycle, then dry in low heat. And never iron or bleach your grip socks — not that you were planning to iron your socks anyway. When in doubt, check the tag or the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions.
Want to find the best grip socks for your barre, yoga, or Pilates workout? Here are a few of our favorite pairs.
1. Xtend Mary Jane Socks
These Xtend Barre just might be the coziest non-slip socks of the bunch. Made of a thick-yet-flexible cotton-poly blend, these closed-toe grips socks offer both cushion and mobility. The cut-out on top lets your feet breathe, while the bottoms are grippy from heel to toe for maximum slip protection. Amazon.com
2. Apex Non-Slip Socks
The soft, breathable fabric on these grip socks makes them perfect for both workouts and everyday wear. And if you’re not into flashy socks, you’ll appreciate the full coverage, low profile, and basic black-and-white color options. Apex non-slip socks are popular with hospitals, so you know they’re serious about safety — the grippers extend past the heel for maximum skid and blister protection. Amazon.com.
3. ToeSox Grip Pilates Barre Socks
This pair of grip socks from ToeSox is the next best thing to being barefoot. The half-toe design lets you spread your toes for a little extra balance, while the fitted heel stays put without slipping or bunching up. Pick from a wide array of colors that range from basic black to bright and fun. Amazon.com
4. Tavi Noir Grip Socks
This pair includes arch compression for mid-foot support, which can help minimize fatigue — you’ll be grateful for this when you’re balancing on your tiptoes. The Mary Jane style gives these socks a barely-there feel, while the fitted heel ensures you won’t have to keep stopping to hike these up during class. Amazon.com
5. Bombas Women’s Grippers
These grip socks may be spendy, but they certainly don’t skimp on function. Each pair features ultra-thin grips made from environmentally friendly PVC, a blister tab to protect vulnerable spots, and a footbed designed for performance and comfort. Plus, for every pair purchased, Bombas will donate a pair to a homeless shelter. Bombas.com
6. Gaiam Grippy Lace-Up Yoga Socks
The ballerina-inspired ankle ribbons will make you feel like the real deal when you step up to the barre. But these grip socks are just as functional as they are fashionable, with rubbery grips to keep you from slipping all over the floor. If you’re not a fan of the laces, the Grippy socks also come in sporty stripes or criss-cross top straps. Amazon.com
7. FITLEAF Toeless Yoga Socks
Rest assured your feet will stay fresh during even the most grueling workouts. This pair of toeless grip socks is made with bamboo fiber, a material that’s naturally antibacterial but still super-soft and breathable. Silicone grippers on the bottom ensure you stay grounded. And these grip socks are sold in two-packs, making them a great value. Amazon.com