Battle of the Barre Socks: I Tested 6 Pairs To Find the Best One

Before ClassPass and my love of boutique fitness, I never thought about barre as a workout beyond my younger ballerina days. When I found out that you could take a barre class that wasn’t set to classical music, I was intrigued.

Several months and hundreds of classes later, I’m officially a barre addict.

I usually wore sneakers or went barefoot in most of my fitness classes, but once I entered the glorious world of barre, I quickly learned that the sticky socks reigned supreme. Why socks? Well, for starters they help you balance. Since you spend a lot of time on your toes, the grippy socks prevent you from slipping and sliding. Trust me, the workout is hard enough on your core so you don’t want to feel additional instability!

The socks also promote circulation throughout your workout. In addition, some studios require socks for sanitary reasons. You’ll find that many barre studios are actually carpeted, so keeping feet covered are meant for your protection.

Since grippy socks aren’t something you typically have in your gym bag, you’ll need to invest in a pair (or two… or um, seven) to conquer your barre classes. The problem is, there are so many styles, colors, types; where do you even begin?! I totally sympathize with the stress of choosing the perfect barre sock, so I tried ’em all for you.

Many barre studios sell their own brands of grippy socks or flats that go well with class. There’s also other brands that specialize in grippy socks. I tested 7 pairs and evaluated design, material, price and more to help you choose the best bang for your buck:

Physique 57

Design: Black with teal grips on the bottom
Material: Silicon and dura-grip outsole with elastic collar
Size: Order to your shoe size
Surface Worn On: Carpet
Cost: $60 for the Reebok Slipper or $22 for the two pairs of the classic grippy socks
Where To Buy: Purchase at their studio locations.

What I thought:

While Physique 57 does sell traditional grippy socks, I opted to test the Reebok slippers. I was worried that the material would result in sweaty feet but I was totally wrong. The slippers felt secure (thanks to the elastic) and comfortable the entire class. The grip was also super hardcore! There was no slipping at any point of class. They run a little small so I suggest getting a half size larger than you would in a sneaker (I wear an 8 and the 8.5 was a perfect fit).

The Bar Method

Design: Solid color with white grips; available in all colors of the rainbow
Material: Mostly cotton with polyester and spandex
Size: Available in small, medium, large or extra large
Surface Worn On: Carpet
Cost: $15-$21
Where To Buy: Purchase online or at their studio locations.

What I thought:

I tested the classic grip socks at The Bar Method and if there is one word to describe these socks, it would be comfy. The socks are on the thicker size and make your foot feel super cushioned. I could see myself wearing these in class but also around my apartment. The extra height and padding on the heel was super helpful, because I never feared that they would slip off my foot. Their sizing chart is pretty accurate so you should have no problem finding the perfect size for you.

Exhale

Design: Black sock with white grips
Material: Cotton blend
Size: Available in small, medium, or large
Surface Worn On: Carpet
Cost: $11-$14 for grip socks
Where To Buy: Purchase online or at their studio locations.

What I thought:

I made the mistake of trying to wear these socks to class in our sneakers. They are not meant for that! When it came to taking the class however, they were really comfortable and sturdy. Too thick to be worn under your sneakers, but not too thick that it would leave your feet sweating. Although I tested these socks on carpet, I would actually recommend them for wood floors or mat classes. These socks have a higher heel so they won’t slip and they were nice and sticky on the ground.

Pure Barre

Design: Black sock with multiple grip colors available. Also has selection of socks specifically for new/expecting mothers and brides-to-be.
Material: Organic bamboo cotton blend
Size: Available in small or medium
Surface Worn On: Carpet
Cost: $12 for sticky socks
Where To Buy: Purchase at their studio locations.

What I thought:

These are your classic barre socks. They are tried-and-true and get the job done. If you want a solid, reliable pair, you won’t be disappointed with these. I actually got to test these after a couple of machine washes and they truly hold up over time! You may will also find that Pure Barre is adding new styles with fun quotes and sayings on the feet that you will absolutely love.

The Barre Code

Design: Variety of colors and designs for the grips of the socks. Socks come in both solid colors and patterns.
Size: One size fits most
Surface Worn On: Wood
Cost: $12 for sticky socks
Where To Buy: Purchase online or at their studio locations.

What I thought:

Most of the socks I tested were low-rise ankle socks, but these were higher. Although I worried I might be warm with my entire ankle covered in sock, I was actually happy they came up so high because they were extremely secure on my feet. When the sock slipped a little, it didn’t matter because I had complete coverage!

Sticky Be Socks

Design: Variety of solid colors and inspiration says on both the top of the sock and the grips on the bottom.
Material: Mostly cotton with spandex/elastane
Size: Unisex, one size fits most
Surface Worn On: Wood
Cost: $15 for full toe and half toe socks and $16 for pom pom socks
Where To Buy: Purchase online.

What I thought:

This was the only non-studio pair I tested and I was pleasantly surprised! There are so many colors and styles to choose from that it was hard to choose just one. I was nervous about the one-size-fits-all but found the socks to be super snug and didn’t slip at all. Not to mention, the idea that you can look down as your pulsing your way through class and see an inspiration message was certainly a bonus.

Cara Friedman is the Director of Community at ClassPass. When not trying new classes, you can find Cara at the movies, reading her Kindle or celebrating happy hour.