They’re easy to wear every day and you don’t notice them – if they’re good. If they’re not so good, you can’t escape thinking about them. Many socks can go wrong: When they don’t fit tightly enough, when the no-shows slip off in your shoes, when you hate the pattern peeking out under your pants, or when one wash cycle makes them look completely different from what you bought.
In search of the best socks for men, we spoke to our favorite men’s fashion insiders to find out what pairs have served them the best. To ensure that no stocking was overlooked, we also searched our archives for recommendations from other cool men, including U.S.
Top 5 Bestseller Socks
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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and musician Jimmie Allen. Our top picks (plus a few Strategist-approved pairs we love), from simple and affordable staples to statement-making styles for those who like to show off their socks to a pair for big-footed guys.
Top 10 Best Running Socks Reviews
Marino Men’s Dress Socks
A whopping eight of the men we spoke with praised Uniqlo’s affordable and colorful cotton-blend crew socks for their versatility throughout the year. Phillip Wong, Hawthorne’s co-founder and creative director, says that they’re medium height and thickness, so they can be worn with many different outfits and activities.
They also come in a wide range of colors, so you can have a nice tonal effect with your outfit. Photographer David Cortes told us these are his favorite because they’re warm, soft, and don’t sag. The photographer Patrick O’Rourke likes to “wear them with black loafers so you can see the color of the top” and says he buys several pairs every time he goes to Uniqlo.
And, according to photographer Christopher Fenimore, who is known for his weekly street snaps of New York City’s best-dressed and told us he wears these for the gym, and pretty much any other occasion, the socks last hundreds and hundreds of washes before fading or tearing.
Nicolás Lazaro, a community specialist at menswear-resale platform Grailed, adds he’s been wearing his pairs of these socks for more than a decade now, agreeing that they’re cheap without sacrificing quality or fit.
MUJI – Men Organic Cotton Right Angle Sneaker In Socks
One more affordable, quality pair of socks from Uniqlo is the right-angle rib socks made from organic cotton, which fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul named as one of the items he can’t live without.
They’re thin enough to wear with any pair of shoes, he says, and they’re good for both summer and winter. He wore this heather-gray color with everything from white sneakers to black dress shoes.
In spite of the fact that they’re a cheap $5, they last forever. They don’t tear. It’s been more than a couple of years since I wore some pairs and they’re still holding up.
Bombas 2-Pack Men’s Ankle Socks
As with Uniqlo, Bombas was mentioned repeatedly in our reporting. The host of menswear podcast Blamo!, Jeremy Kirkland, says the brand reinforces its socks in key areas, which results in a fit that publicist Nick Roberts says hugs the foot and provides excellent support. Both men wear these Bombas crew socks, with Kirkland noting that he mostly wears his while working out.
Quality socks can just make you feel better, says Roberts, who promises that these socks are extremely comfortable and can withstand the test of time. A do-gooder will appreciate their mission to donate a pair of socks every time you purchase a pair, he says.
Mens BAMBOO SOCKS Assortment
Kirkland swears by these bamboo socks from CDLP for his daily wear. He says they’re thin enough to wear with dress shoes and thick enough to wear with sneakers.
The bamboo material is good because it doesn’t shrink, is antibacterial and anti-odor, and is made from a natural, more sustainable fiber. They’re also just comfy as hell. If you balk at the price, remember you’re spending $90 for five pairs, breaking down to a much more reasonable $18 per pair.
Calvin Klein Men’s Combed Cotton Flat
Calvin Klein may be better known for its underwear, but writer Kevin Smith says these socks from the brand are his favorite. He says these socks are his favorite because they’re long-lasting (I’ve had mine for several years), durable, and very comfortable.
They won’t fall down, but at the same time, they won’t leave an indent on your leg once you change into gym shorts after work. Each pair of socks normally costs a little more than $7 dollars a piece – but now that they’re on sale, they’re even cheaper.
Gildan mens Stretch Cotton Crew Socks
Jarod Taber, the co-founder of creative agency Wash and Fold, tells us that Lady White Co. socks look great with a low-top sneaker thanks to their classic, ribbed silhouette.
Although they cost a little more than the other socks in this list, Taber cites their craftsmanship (the socks are made in a 50-year-old Japanese hosiery factory) as evidence of their quality, along with the fact that they are extremely durable. Typically, I burn through socks skateboarding, running, and just walking a lot, he told us.
Moisture Wicking Heavy Cushion Crew Socks
Try these Plus Ultra crew socks from Strategist senior editor Anthony Rotunno that he has been wearing multiple days a week since getting a couple pairs to try out from the brand last year.
The socks are both exotic (made in Korea) and local (designed in Brooklyn). The Plus Ultras have proven to be truly durable and keep their shape and stretch after months of wearing and washing in his experience with Bombas (which developed holes within a couple months).
The Plus Ultras are also available in black and navy and in ankle and quarter lengths. Although Rotunno is not a gym person, the socks have made choosing socks a no-brainer when it comes to daily life.
Oddball Performance Plus II Men’s Crew Socks XXL
According to Strategist contributor Jason Stewart, who is a DJ and co-host of the How Long Gone podcast with columnist Chris Black, these crew socks from Oddball are the best for guys with larger feet.
Stewart told us that standard socks don’t really work that well for him. The socks fit beautifully (or how I might imagine normal socks would fit on a normal person).
Aside from being functional, Stewart likes Oddball socks because of the thoughtful design details, such as the navy detail on the heel and toe box.
Under Armour Adult Cotton Socks
Republican New York City mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa recommends these discreet and affordable crew socks from Under Armour if you love the feel of a classic gym sock but wear suits more often than streetwear.
He compares them to a white tube sock, but they’re black. The feel of an athletic sock is great, but you can’t wear white socks everywhere. There are some guys who wear white athletic socks to weddings, and they look like real gavones. He has worn them to numerous formal events, and says no one has ever noticed.
Bombas Mixed Brights Cushioned No Show Sock 4-Pack
Menswear designer Dan Snyder, founder of Corridor, enjoys the Bombas ankle socks as a daily running sock. Although designed for exercise, the ankle socks are also Antonio Nuo’s favorite everyday sock.
He says the ankle socks are very comfortable, durable, and have a lot of small details that make them stand out. Nuo’s favorite detail is a blister tab that protects your toes when you first put new sneakers on.
What to Look When Choosing Socks
Let us warn you in advance: once you add some of these socks to your closet, you won’t settle for anything else. To make sure you always have matching pairs, you should take your laundry more seriously and practically do a roll call. Therefore, if you’re looking to up your sock game, here’s everything to consider before you click purchase.
As a general rule, the higher the sock, the more formal it is. The key question here is whether or not you want people to see your socks. As a result, you should probably stick with no-show socks or ankle socks, depending on the type of shoes you’re wearing. Socks with no show are worn mostly to add comfort and prevent your shoes from smelling, rather than for style.
They are perfect for casual outfits and go well with shorts and boat shoes. It’s best to avoid no show socks unless you want your ankles to be on display, as the name and style suggest. Make sure your shoes have grips in the heels so you won’t slip off as you go about your day.
There are more options if you wear trousers that cover your ankles, from mid-calf or crew socks, or even higher with over-the-calf socks. The most common socks are mid calf socks, which come in the greatest range of colors and materials.
To prevent irritation with boots, opt for higher socks if you are wearing calf socks or dress socks. As a result of their longer length, these socks are much less likely to slide down your feet and provide extra protection.
Whether your socks are made from synthetic materials, cotton or luxurious materials like silk, cashmere, or wool, it’s important to consider the fabric of your next pair. Natural materials are more breathable, so if you’re prone to hot feet, stay away from synthetics.
Socks made of natural materials are likely to wash better and last longer, so you won’t have to buy new pairs every time you go shopping. Wool, and particularly Merino wool, is the ideal material for thicker socks that provide a higher level of comfort.
Moreover, wool can hold a third of its weight in moisture before feeling wet, so it makes an excellent material for socks you’ll wear all day. Silk socks are a great premium choice for black tie or formal events. However, they are generally more expensive than other materials and won’t last as long, so they are best reserved for special occasions.
If you’re someone who gets blisters frequently or if you’re breaking in a new pair of shoes, look for socks with extra padding in the heel to add an extra layer of protection between your feet and the shoes.
The socks in your wardrobe are a relatively small investment that can either make or break your mood by the end of the day. So you’ll want to choose socks that complement your outfit, depending on how strenuous your day is and where you’re going.
Performance and athletic socks should feature moisture-wicking and odour-reducing properties, so you can finish off your workout feeling almost as clean and fresh as when you began. Wear black dress socks that cover the ankles fully if you’re heading somewhere formal or professional. The socks should be thinner.
When shopping for hiking or protective socks, look for thick, reinforced materials to prevent blisters and ribbing around the top to prevent them from falling.
Those fun, jazzy socks you’ve got might be perfect for weekends or a quick lunch out, but you should stick with neutral shades for work. Unless you are going somewhere very casual or doing sports, don’t wear white socks as a general rule.
When wearing black shoes, the only colour socks you should wear with them are black. Socks should always match the color of your pants, not the colour of your shoes, if you have trouble with coordination.
How many socks does a man need?
Men should have at least seven pairs of socks, including athletic socks, dress socks, ankle socks, and no-show socks. For last-minute events and laundry days, keep three pairs of each of the above on hand. Check out our guide to the best men’s essential socks for a complete breakdown.
What brand of socks are the best?
AllBirds makes the best socks for everyday wear. The AllBirds Trino Tubers are our top pick for everyday wear with moisture-wicking material that’s thick, durable, and breathable. Find out the best brands for men’s socks for any occasion in our full guide.
What brand of socks last the longest?
There are many durable sock brands on the market, such as AllBirds, Mr P, and Innotree. AllBird’s Trino Tubers are odour-reducing, moisture-wicking socks that are suitable for everyday wear. Men’s essential socks guide details the best brands that will last the longest for any occasion, from professional wear to athletics.
What are the most comfortable men’s socks?
Men’s socks from brands like Pyvot, AllBirds and Nike are the most comfortable. Each of these brands is known for producing comfortable and high-quality socks made from premium materials that will endure wear after wear. Learn more about the best men’s sock brands for all types of activities in our full guide.
Our feet have never felt more comfortable than in the Stance Icon 200 crew socks, and we wish we had enough pairs to wear every day of the week. The decade socks from Darn Tough were the perfect companions for walking and light hikes, while the On Running mid socks made a great addition to our running wardrobe.