LAST UPDATED: September 23, 2019
Best Socks: Keep Your Feet Warm and Comfortable All-Day Long
These top socks work for a variety of activities
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON September 23, 2019
If you ever want a lesson in the importance of paying attention to the little things in life, try walking around all day in uncomfortable socks. We wouldn’t wish that on anyone, which is why we’ve put together a list of the best socks you can buy. The options below are so comfortable, you may never want to take them off (but please do—even the best socks get a little smelly after a few days).
Made of a combination of Merino wool and Lycra, these Vermont-made socks cling to your legs without bunching, giving you both warmth and support. While made to wear with boots, you can pair them with other casual shoes as well.
- Seamless toe is extremely comfortable and also reduces the risk of blisters
- There’s plenty of cushioning on the mid-sole, giving you comfort and support with every step
- They may cause your feet to sweat more than other socks due to their heavier material
- Lycra can make them a little too tight for some users
Athletic people will love these socks as they’re made using moisture-wicking materials. They’re also extremely air-permeable, enabling your feet to stay cool and breathe, regardless of what you’re doing.
- Lots of compression and support in the arch helps to cut down on foot pain and potentially reduce the risk of injury
- They hug your ankle snugly, so they shouldn’t slip in the middle of frantic competition
- They tend to pill with repeated use, so you may have to replace them faster than other pairs of socks
- They’re also thick for athletic socks, which could reduce the amount of space you have in your shoes
This unisex pair is a simple, no-frills option that gets the job done without being flashy. There’s ample padding throughout each sock, and special attention is paid to the heel and forefoot.
- Made with highly durable fibers, these socks should survive for months, even with regular use
- Padding makes them an excellent choice for sports that require a lot of starting and stopping, like tennis or basketball
- While they’re attractive when clean, they attract dirt and mud-and it shows
- All that padding may make some users feel a little claustrophobic, as it makes the socks tighter than some other models
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Best Socks Reviews & Recommendations 2021
This pair of full cushion socks comes in sizes from small to 2X large. They are available in a handful of color combinations that include black and gray, green and orange, all black, dark and light brown, and cream and gray. The soft merino wool is moisture-wicking, thermo-regulating, and flame-resistant. They are seamless for a smooth and comfortable feel. The full cushion protects you from blisters and foot pain. These are also designed to be highly durable and long-lasting for Darn Tough’s lifetime guarantee. They are very stylish with block patterns and logo highlights.
These are around the price you would expect for athletic-style socks. They come up to the mid-calf to help protect your legs and wear well with boots. Darn Tough claims to replace these socks if there are any tears or holes, no questions asked. These socks have been praised for their comfort, their long life, and for how great they feel even after a full day on your feet.
However, these socks are expensive. But despite what seems to be an elevated price for a pair of socks, with these you are getting top quality that is hard to find anywhere else. That’s why these have made our best overall choice.
If you are looking for a great value along with durability, this set of socks from CelerSport is a great all-around choice. Coming in a set of six pairs, these ankle socks are designed for running and are unisex. They come in black, white, gray, or a mixture. A tab at the back of the foot ensures the socks won’t slip. The mesh keeps these socks breathable and flexible. A seamless toe allows for comfort, while a thick cushion protects your feet. They are made of cotton, polyester, and only one percent spandex. They come in sizes small to extra large and have both a women’s and men’s sizing chart on their product page.
These are very affordable, costing less than $20 for a set of six. They fit as you would expect from the sizing, and are very comfortable and slip-resistant. They should sit just at the top of your shoe depending on what you are wearing. You would think for the reduced price that these would wear out over time, but they are made for plenty of walking and running and are highly durable.
However, they don’t offer the best arch support, so if that is something you need, you might want to invest in more expensive socks.
Another great choice that makes the top of our Honorable Mention list is Thorlos’ crew socks. These come in sizes small to extra large. You can get them in white and gray, all black, or white with a hint of brown on the toes. They ride to about mid-calf and are made of acrylic, nylon, and elastic. There is padding in the heel to help protect your feet, as well as along the back to protect your Achilles. The seam along the toe is designed for excellent comfort.
The price on these varies depending on how many you are ordering. But overall, they are well-priced. Thorlos offers a sizing guide for women, men, and children on their product page.
While these are great all-around socks, they are not meant for heavy athletic wear, or to be used for foot pain and problems. However, the comfort of fit and padding could be what you need for general foot discomfort. They are also fairly thick, so your shoe will fit tighter than you are used to. But these socks are known for their durability and comfort, so it is hard to go wrong for the price.
If you are looking for a sock to address health challenges, Dr. Scholl’s is already a well-known brand. These socks from the company are excellent for diabetic or circulatory issues. While these are designed for men, it does depend upon your own build. And Dr. Scholl’s offers a women’s sizing chart on their product page. They come in two sizes that include a one-size-fits-all and a big-and- tall. They also come in black or white and with four pairs. These are designed for a comfortable fit, with a non-binding top, moisture management, and cushioned bottoms. With their odor-resistant build, they will stay fresh and clean on your feet for extended wear.
If you are looking for affordability, these definitely check that box. They also don’t leave any lines on your leg for ultimate comfortability. They are not too thick, so you can wear them in the winter and summer.
While Dr. Scholl’s is known to be an excellent brand, there are recent reports of the quality of these socks deteriorating and not being as durable as they were in the past. For the price, though, these are definitely a great deal.
Looking to another well-known brand, Hanes makes our Honorable Mention list with these low-cut socks. While they are designed for women, they could work for men depending on build. They come in two different sizes and in white or black. Arriving at your door as a 10-pack, these are definitely affordable. They are made from a blend of cotton, polyester, natural latex rubber, and spandex. They are soft, comfortable, and breathable. With cushioning on the bottom, they help to ease pain and add comfort to your walk. The heel is reinforced for added durability.
These are thin socks, so they are not meant to be used during hard athletic activity. They go just below your ankle, making them lower than average socks. While the product page advertises a high percentage of content, upon arriving there are reports that the cotton content is much lower. And if you are looking for socks to ease foot pain, these definitely are not the right ones for you. But for solid, durable, and soft everyday socks, these are an excellent choice.
- Make sure the socks you buy are appropriate for the activities you engage in as well as the shoes you pair with them. You may need to buy several different styles so that you have an appropriate pair for just about any situation.
- Padding can definitely make socks more comfortable, but it can also make them feel tighter and hotter. If your shoes have plenty of padding already, you may be able to skimp on this feature when shopping for socks.
- If the room clears out every time you take your shoes off, then you’ll want socks that can control the amount of sweat your feet produce. Look for options that wick away moisture, which can help cut down on bad odors.
Q: What’s the best way to care for socks?
It’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer to this question because that depends largely on the materials the sock is made of. Be sure to read the label. In general, you should wash them in cold water and tumble dry them. Avoid bleaches or other harsh chemicals.
Q: Does it matter whether I wear crew or ankle socks?
One is not necessarily better than the other, but each is better suited for certain occasions. Crew socks pair well with boots or high-top sneakers and provide more warmth and support to your calves. Ankle socks are usually better suited for athletic endeavors and create sleek lines when worn with low-top sneakers.
Q: Is there any way to prevent my socks from slipping and sliding?
The best way to do this is to buy the right size. Also, buy socks made with form-fitting materials like lycra or spandex. These will cling to your feet, reducing the risk of slippage, but they will also feel tighter than regular cotton socks.
The Darn Tough Full-Cushion Socks are an excellent choice for anyone who wants warmth and comfort, especially hikers. They stay in place well with little bunching or sliding, so you should be comfortable and blister-free all day long.
Athletic types should give the CS CelerSport Low-Cut Tab Socks a try, as they can wick sweat away while you work out, ensuring you won’t knock everyone in the locker room unconscious when you take your shoes off after the game.