Socks. When we were young we loathed the idea of receiving such a boring gift. As we got older, however, we find ourselves looking forward to a fresh pair, maybe even requesting them as a holiday gift. Don’t get us wrong though, regardless of comfort or sweat wicking features, socks are still about as mentally stimulating and exciting to talk about as the weather. Regardless of their mundane nature, though, that’s not to say socks are an unnecessary element of any wardrobe.
So unless you live in a tropical paradise where no shirts or shoes still get you service, odds are you’ll be buying or gifting a pair of these necessary foot warmers in the near future. And just like the shoes in which they spend the majority of their days, there’s a myriad of brands and types that all boast an array of features for specific wear. In our efforts, we decided to cover the big three – athletic, dress and casual – as to make the overwhelming process of purchasing the best pair of socks for a specific outing less stressful. They are only socks after all. Whatever the case, we hope you find this list of the best socks for men helpful in keeping your feet dry and snug while worrying less and less about what brand is right for you, because at the end of the day there are more important considerations to be made.
- Nike Dri-FIT Elite ($17)
- Darn Tough Vermont Hiking Socks ($17)
- Smart wool PhD Outdoor Light Crew ($21)
- Thirty48 Running Socks ($35)
- CEP Men’s Progressive Compression Socks ($54)
Too often athletes both indoor and outdoor misconstrue the purpose surrounding an athletic sock. It’s more than just comfort, it’s about safety and, in most cases, health. Because let’s face it, when you feet are confined in a dark and damp place for an extended period of time the essence of biology begins to take afoot. In addition to the troubles with athletes foot, there’s also the pressure factor. Running, jumping, or lunging adds significant pressure and stress on the feet and a great athletic sock stabilizes the foot and works to alleviate this pressure keeping you fit and agile over the later years.
Especially true for basketball players, this excessive force can lead to subsequent ankle and knee injuries. So to mitigate these issues we suggest checking out the Nike Dri-FITs with extra cushioning in areas more suspect to injury. However, if moisture management is more your need, the strategically ventilated Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crews are a great option or a pair of Darn Tough Hiking Socks that are made in the US and guaranteed for life. And for those runners out there, a pair of low-cut Thirty48s with CoolMax Fabric or a pair of CEP’s number-one-selling compression running socks will keep you cool, dry, and stabilized while training for that marathon.
- Marcoliani Ribbed Merino Socks ($30)
- Paul Smith Striped Stretch Cotton-Blend ($30)
- CCP0116L Houndstooth ($55)
- Alexander McQueen Skull-Patterned Jacquard Socks ($70)
- Falke Ribbed Cashmere Socks ($140)
While we all may not be hitting the basketball court or running track everyday, odds are we’re wearing a suit or business casual clothing five days a week. And while the classic tube sock may exhume nostalgia and comfort for everyday wear, they’re highly unsightly when paired with anything else besides a pair of basketball shorts. Proper dress socks may come in a wide range of materials though more often than not they lend themselves for the darker colors. We’re talking black, charcoal gray, dark green or brown. And it’s often best to match them with whatever pair of pants you’re wearing that day. Of course, we understand the need for irony these days which is why we included a pair of Alexander McQueens featuring their signature skull-jacquard aesthetic and a set of Paul Smith striped cotton blend socks.
However, regardless of style, the fit is meant to be one of comfort with a minimal amount of bulk. If you’re a fan of the more old-fashioned look, a pair of Houndstooths may do the trick or a pair of ribbed merino wool Marcoliani socks in dark gray. Again, a set of cotton, nylon, and spandex Paul Smiths would work brilliantly for the mustached creative executive thanks to its color palette. Though if cashmere is more your pace,then a pair of Falke No. 2’s will certainly satisfy that need.
- Stance Mondo Low ($10)
- Richer Poorer The Pastras ($12)
- N/A Sock/Three ($18)
- Marcoliani Invisible Touch Melange No-Show ($21)
- Junya Watanabe Man X Merz B. Schwanen Sock ($29)
Casual socks earn the award for most mileage. They’re worn at all hours where a specifically-designed pair of socks isn’t necessary or desired. In this instance, comfort is king. Whether canvassing the bars in and around the neighborhood or lounging at home catching on Netflix, casual socks are there to keep you warm and snug. Yes, of course, there are times when flip-flops are preferable to wearing shoes, however most of us don’t have the luxury of living in an area where year-round sandals are the norm. Luckily, casual socks don’t have to look the part. There’s a ton of options out there that blend both a casual sock composition with dress-sock appearance. Take this Sock/Three pair for example by N/A. They’re a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex for a stretch fit and feature heather gray, white and navy blue color hues.
Now if the red white and blue pique your interest, we suggest a pair of Pastras by Richer Poorer for a unique retro Americana look or maybe a pair of Mondo Lows by Stance to show off some art-deco appreciation next time you’re in Miami on vacation. They also provide enhanced stability thanks to silicon grips on the heel. You can also throw it back to the tube sock days with a pair of wool blended Junya Watanabe socks with a ribbed ankle and contrasting stripes or a pair of Marcoliani No-Show socks for fans of the low-top canvas sneakers who aren’t interested in sweaty and smelly feet throughout the warmer months.