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4 Sock Styles That Every Man Should Own

Nowadays, there are many kinds of men’s socks available on the market. You can buy antimicrobial socks, classic argyle designs, branded merchandise of your favorite team, and even pairs with funny cartoon prints to add a quirky element to your outfit. With so many options available, you might wonder if you really need to have multiple styles of socks in your wardrobe. 

Socks for men

Although you might be using your sport socks for every event and any outfit, having different types of socks allow you to create a well-styled look for certain occasions or to match particular styles of clothing. Some activities or different seasons might also require a specific sock type. Men’s sock styles are generally categorized by length, and their material and thickness further determine what situations they are best used for. As such, it’s a good idea to have different sock styles available in your drawer so you always have an appropriate pair to match the occasion. If you’re still a novice and aren’t sure about which socks you should own, this article narrows it down for you. Read on to learn about the four styles you need as staple socks. 

No-Show Socks

No-show socks end right at the top of your heel and cover the top half of your feet. Because of their cut, no-show socks are ideal for wearing with low-cut shoes. No-show socks are usually made with thin cotton or polyester, making them breathable and comfortable to wear in the summer or spring.

No-show socks are usually worn for casual events together with informal footwear styles like loafers, boat shoes, low-top sneakers, and other kinds of low-cut shoes. These are best paired with shorts, chinos, and cuffed pants. 

Ankle Socks

Ankle socks or low-cut socks end right below your ankle or slightly above the ankle. If your shoes chafe the back of your heel, it’s best to wear ankle socks because they give just enough coverage to act as a barrier between your shoes and the irritated area. 

Ankle socks can be made with thin or thick fabrics. Thinner ankle socks are worn for casual events and can be paired with low-top sneakers so that the sock design is visible above the shoe. Meanwhile, thick ankle socks are usually worn with athletic shoes. The dense material can help to cushion our feet and reduce your risk of injury while being physically active. 

Crew Socks

Unlike other sock styles that were named after their cut or length, the term “crew socks” was inspired by their popular usage. Crew socks got their name for being the standard length of socks worn by the US naval ship crew members. Nowadays, crew socks can be used to refer to a range of sock styles that hit above the ankle but go no higher than the mid-calf. Moreover, crew socks can be made of different fabrics for a variety of functions, so they may look vastly different from brand to brand. To better distinguish one from the other, crew socks generally fit into one of three categories, based on their length.  

Short Crew Socks 

Short crew socks, mini crew socks, or quarter-length socks have a leg area about six inches long. They can sit right above the ankle or a few inches below the calf. Because they cover the entire ankle, they are also sometimes referred to as ankle socks. 

Short crew socks made from thin materials can be worn for formal events with oxford shoes and dress pants. They’re good alternatives to mid-calf dress socks during the summer, so your legs don’t feel too warm underneath the layers of clothes. You can also wear thin short crew socks with mid or high-top sneakers, as the socks’ length can prevent your shoes from scratching your ankles. 

Meanwhile, thick short crew socks are good to wear for athletic purposes, especially hiking or trekking outdoors. With their length and thickness, thick short crew socks can protect your ankles from thorny plants and bug bites.

Standard Crew Socks

Following the look popularized by Navy personnel, standard crew socks sit just below the calf. They are commonly thick, white, and worn while playing sports. These socks provide your feet with additional cushioning and absorb the sweat from your legs. In addition, tennis players often wear crew socks to avoid getting stones or clay inside their shoes. You can also wear crew socks with boots or trousers during the fall and winter seasons, as they can keep your legs and feet warm. Nowadays, crew socks come in different colors and designs apart from the usual whites. 

Mid-Calf Socks

Mid-calf socks, also known as dress socks, are a type of crew socks that sit right on the middle of your calf. As dress socks, these socks are usually made with fine fabrics, like silk, satin, and thin wool. Traditionally, dress socks come in dark, muted colors like black, gray, and brown but modern designs now incorporate brighter colors as well as eye-catching patterns to give the wearer more flair. Because of their thin material, dress socks can only be used for semi-formal and formal events, and not exercising. You can wear mid-calf socks with well-polished leather shoes and dress pants.

Over-the-Calf Socks 

Over-the-calf socks sit right below the knee and cover the entire length of your calf. This sock design solved the problem of mid-calf socks sliding down the leg and bunching up around the ankles. Like mid-calf socks, over-the-calf socks are usually worn with dress pants and shoes for special occasions. These socks are good to wear if you have to attend a formal gathering during the colder seasons, as they can also help keep your legs warm. Over-the-calf socks can also be worn for sports if they are made from thick enough material. Soccer players wear thick over-the-calf socks to minimize scratches or bruising without impeding their movements. 

By making sure you have these four sock styles in your closet, you can achieve a flawless look whatever the occasion. Having the right kind of socks can make or break your outfit, and in some cases, contribute to your comfort while engaging in certain activities. Consider getting at least one set of each style so you always have a pair ready to match your shoes and attire.

What do you think?

Written by Mark Greene

Mark Greene is writer and life coach dedicated to helping men to perform at peak level. He shares dating advice, style tips and strategies for building wealth and success.

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