Whether you're taking an in-studio class or doing a workout at home, grip socks are an essential Pilates accessory. These specialized, no-slip socks give feet extra traction for sweaty sessions on the mat or machine, improving stability and performance (plus, many studios require them).
"The best Pilates grip socks keep you from slipping on the reformer, and the fabrics keep your feet dry and not too sweaty," Subha Lembach, a certified Club Pilates instructor in Columbus, Ohio, says.
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Lembach wears her favorite styles around the house year-round. "I like them better than slippers because they let all of the muscles in my foot and ankle work and build strength while keeping my feet warm in the winter and securely grounded in the summer," she says.
But choosing from the large variety of best workout socks can be overwhelming for beginning students and advanced Pilates practitioners alike. Here, top instructors like Lembach recommend their favorite brands and styles.
How We Chose
We talked to several experienced instructors to determine what you should consider when shopping for a pair of Pilates grip socks. Taking into account their recommendations, we chose the best 10 pairs based on the following criteria. You can learn more about how we cover products here.
- Cut and thickness
- Machine washability
- Available sizes and colors
Pilates grip socks are typically marketed according to gender, and we have listed mostly women's picks below. However, these socks should work for anyone, and the biggest difference between men's and women's socks is the sizing — so, people with bigger feet will want to go for larger sizes. However, some companies make unisex sock sizing, so make sure to read the product label before you buy.
1. ToeSox Full Toe Low Rise Grip Socks
- Large selection of sizes and colors
- Affordable price point
- Long-lasting, breathable fabric
- Limited sizes in select colors
- Some instructors find them challenging to put on
For high-quality, no-slip socks that form to your feet while separating your toes, Alexa Idama, a certified classical Pilates instructor and founder of the online fitness platform Low Impact Fit, recommends ToeSox. "The rubber grip at the bottom is great quality and prevents your feet from slipping on Pilates equipment," she says.
The brand is also a favorite of Karen Ellis, creator of the clothing company Pilates Nerd and owner of Prana Pilates in Costa Mesa, California. She suggests this style for clients with foot issues like arthritis and says the breathable, organic cotton fabric also offers "compression and a bit of arch support."
Both Idama and Ellis say the affordable socks — basic styles start at $9 a pair — hold up well after several machine washings, especially when line-dried. Choose from basic solids, colorful patterns and seasonal themes, available in sizes XS to XL that accommodate all-gender shoe sizes from 3 to 15. Just plan extra time before your session: This style can be challenging to put on, especially for first-timers.
2. Tavi Lola Grip Socks
- Mesh arch band for a snug fit
- Soft, durable fabric
- Socks coordinate with the brand’s tops and leggings
- Limited sizes
- Colors are plain
Channel your inner ballerina with these slipper-like Tavi grip socks, one of Idama's preferred styles. "The quality and feel of these socks are great, plus they are soft and provide a really good grip. They are a good alternative for those who do not like socks with separated toes," she says.
A mesh arch band ensures a snug, comfortable fit for added security while performing advanced movements or on warm days. Lembach also wears Tavi grip socks and likes to coordinate them with the company's matching leggings and tops, calling the pulled-together look her "Pilates power suit."
At $24 per pair, the 87 percent organic cotton grip socks are pricier than other options, and the colors and sizes are limited. But they can be washed in a machine, and both Lembach and Idama say the quality and durability are worth the investment.
3. Pointe Studio Crew Grip Sock
- Colorful options
- Crew style offers full foot coverage
- Affordable price
- Looser style
- Limited sizes
Pointe Studio's crew grip style has the best of both worlds: the look and coverage of a traditional sock with the functionality and performance of a sticky studio sock.
Tracy Green, a certified Pilates and barre instructor at Louisville's Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center, loves the simple, quarter-cut ankle style in "cute colors and patterns and with grips that work well and last."
Cassandra Cotta, a certified instructor and owner of Pilates People in New York City, says the socks are extremely durable. "I was a little nervous to wash them at first for fear the grips would lose their grip, but several classes and washes later, they are still holding me to surfaces! I personally love their fuzzy smiley face socks, and at my studio, they were an immediate hit that sold out within days," she says.
While sizing is limited to women's small and medium (5 to 10 shoe size), the blend of polyester, nylon, spandex and lycra provides compression and arch support but is thicker and less form-fitting than other non-slip socks.
Green says the cozy, breathable sticky socks work well for mat Pilates in all seasons, keeping feet from "getting too sweaty in the summer or too chilly in winter." And the cheery, whimsical patterns — think colorful stripes, tie-dyes and happy clouds — stand out from more basic Pilates and barre socks on the market and are $16 per pair.
4. Pilates Honey Crew Socks
- Trendy styles
- Extra grips for foot traction
- Affordable price point
- Limited sizes
- Some styles unavailable in all sizes
"Who doesn't love ruffles and the cheeky sayings?" Lembach says of Pilates Honey's crew socks, which have fitness-oriented slogans like "Get a Grip" and "Let's Get Physical."
The non-slip socks, designed for workouts on Pilates equipment, have a large number of grips, which offer extra traction for sweaty feet. "I always feel very secure no matter what exercise I am doing," she says.
She also says the fashion-forward designs "are great to wear to class and then to brunch." While the sizes are limited to women's S/M (6 to 8) and M/L (8.5 to 10.5), she says they fit great and "never feel too loose or too tight."
The socks — made with a blend of cotton, nylon, polyester and spandex — and grips hold up well after multiple washings and are a good value at $16, especially considering the unique designs.
5. Tavi Savvy Grip Socks
- Large selection of colors and patterns
- Comfortable and long-lasting
- Pair with the brand’s stylish clothing
- No options for extended shoe sizes
Nia Friley, certified Pilates instructor at MNT Studio in Palo Alto, California, likes Tavi's Savvy Grip Socks for the "great variety of styles and colors, with the perfect amount of thickness, even after a lot of washing," describing them as snug but with a comfortable amount of stretch.
Idama also likes the Savvy grip socks for the "cute, foot-flattering designs," which include 30 core and seasonal colors ranging from basic black to soft florals and bold prints.
The mostly organic cotton sticky socks are machine washable and come in all-gender shoe sizes from S to L, and are moderately priced at $14 to $16 per pair.
6. Bombas Gripper Ankle Socks
- Soft and comfortable
- Versatile use for home and studio
- The company donates a pair of socks for each pair purchased
- Men's and women's sizing
- Limited colors
"Bombas makes great socks in general," Green says. (In fact, the brand has made our lists of best hiking, running and tennis socks.) "I like their fit and cushioning, so when I realized they had a grip option, it was an easy sell."
She likes the no-show style, but the brand also has a calf option, and she says all of the socks have an arch support system and "are versatile enough for wearing in the studio or around the house."
While the colors are limited and subdued — mostly earthy solids, with a few striped solids — your purchase supports a good cause. "For every pair of Bombas, they donate a pair," Green says. The $15 price is moderate, and you'll get a discount for purchasing multi-sock packs directly from the website.
They're also machine washable and made with a soft Supima cotton-polyester blend with elastane for grip and support to get you through even the most intense Pilates session.
7. Tucketts Allegro Grip Socks
- Fun patterns and colors
- Toeless design
- Eco-friendly fabric and packaging
- Limited sizing
These moisture-wicking socks have anti-slip grips to prevent sliding on the mats and machines while leaving the toes exposed for a barefoot-like workout experience.
"I like these best because they allow for sensory connection of the toes to the floor and equipment," Ellis says. Made from recycled yarns, the sustainable design features "a lightweight knit that is comfortable, and it provides some arch support, which can be helpful during a workout without shoes," she says.
In addition to fun colors and patterns like leopard and tiger prints, many of the socks have a breathable, mesh design — great for working out during warmer months. The Mary Jane style is also easy to slip on and off and is machine washable.
8. ToeSox Half Toe Low Rise Grip Sock
- Thin but durable material
- Half-toe design
- Wide range of colors
- Can be pricier for certain colors
For a thin, performance-oriented sock, Tara Hutton, a certified classic Pilates instructor who teaches at The Pilates Loft in Arlington, Virginia, recommends the half-toe, low-rise grip ToeSox.
"I like the socks with cutouts because they help me feel and connect to my toes. The foot connection is important in Pilates, and they are available in a wide range of styles and colors," she says.
Composed primarily from organic cotton for solids and a polyester and organic cotton blend for prints, the fabric is durable, comfortable and melds seamlessly to the foot.
You might want to stock up on seasonal colors and fun patterns, as they often sell out quickly. And budget accordingly: This style of ToeSox ranges from $9 up to $24 per pair, a bit more than other Pilates and barre socks, but they don't need to be hand-washed and hold their shape and grip over time.
9. Gaiam Grippy Yoga Socks
- Affordable price
- Toeless option
- Polyester fabric does not hold up long-term
- Only offered in one-size-fits-most (up to a men's 9)
Yes, the brand is known for all things yoga, but these grippy socks from Gaiam also work well for Pilates. Sarah Cook, a certified Pilates instructor and owner of Atlanta's Physical Culture, says, "Gaiam has many options to choose from, and the price point is much more affordable than what you'll find in a boutique studio."
This toeless style allows for a tactile experience on the floor and equipment, while the silicone grips provide traction for the arch and forefoot.
While a budget-friendly pick, Cook says they "do not have the longevity of other brands," so they might be better for the occasional class or as a travel Pilates sock.
10. Lululemon Find Your Balance Studio Tab Sock
- Snug, comfortable fit
- Men’s and women’s sizes
- Lightweight, breathable fabric
Patricia Sabulis, a Brooklyn-based certified Pilates instructor, says the best reformer Pilates socks balance stickiness with a snug, modeled fit.
"Lululemon's socks are the perfect combination: grippy enough to feel like your foot won't slide during footwork, but not so sticky that you find yourself peeling your foot off the reformer carriage. The fit is perfectly snug and lightweight," she says.
The mesh fabric keeps feet cool and dry, and the socks can be tossed in the washing machine on cold to clean between uses, even if that's just lounging around your house.
Also available in a crew style, the socks come in women's and men's sizing and are expensive at $24 per pair, but have staying power in the studio and beyond.
5 Things to Consider Before Buying
1. Fit and Style
Our experts agree the best Pilates grip socks are the ones that make you feel the most comfortable and secure. For some professional instructors, toeless, non-slip socks give a grounding, barefoot-like workout experience, while others prefer the full coverage of sticky socks in a traditional crew or full cut.
Whichever sock you choose should fit snuggly but comfortably, allowing for full movement of the toes and feet without slipping or bunching.
2. Type of Pilates Workout
For hygienic and safety purposes, many Pilates studios require grippy socks for equipment and mat classes. For all Pilates types, the right sticky socks have ample grips to keep you from slipping on the machine or the mat, lowering the risk of injury during complicated movements with potentially sweaty feet and maximizing your performance.
A looser crew sock may be more comfortable in winter or for low-intensity mat class, while those doing an advanced reformer session may prefer a no-show or slipper style with breathable details like mesh uppers and open toes.
Some classical Pilates studios prefer clients workout barefoot for maximum grounding and foot mobility, so it's best to call ahead before taking a class to determine what footwear (if any) is required.
The best Pilates grip socks are made from breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics like organic cotton and nylon that keep feet cool and dry during even the most intense workout sessions.
Also, look for synthetic fibers like spandex, which can provide structure, support and even light compression, ideal for people with foot issues like plantar fasciitis or arthritis.
4. Colors and Unique Features
Are you into basic black, whimsical patterns or clever sayings? Non-stick socks come in a variety of colors, styles and designs, and choosing your pair is often a matter of personal preference.
Thin, toeless or low cut-styles often work better for people who prefer the sensation of being barefoot, while thicker, more cushioned designs and crew or full-length styles can keep feet cozy in winter and provide additional support for sensitive or arthritic toes and feet.
Most Pilates and barre socks come in standard XS to XL shoe sizes, but others are offered only in a combination like M/L or one-size-fits-most. So if you're between sizes or your feet fall outside of these ranges, you might have to shop around for the perfect fit.