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What Do You Need to Know About Socks?

What Do You Need to Know About Socks?

Are you wearing the right socks? Before you buy your next pair, take a look at what you need to know about this must-have under layer of footwear.

What Are Your Socks Made From?

Socks are made from a variety of materials, such as cotton, nylon, polyester, spandex, Lycra, and other manmade options. Many types of socks are made with a combination of materials. A cotton-spandex-nylon or other blend gives socks:

  • Comfort. The cotton component of the blend provides a soft material that feels comfortable around your feet. Even though cotton is comfortable, athletes or active individuals may not want to choose a full cotton sock.
  • Sweat wicking ability. While cotton won't pull moisture away from your feet, the manmade materials will. Synthetic materials such as spandex, Lycra, polyester, and nylon wick moisture and reduce the risk of sweaty feet.
  • Durability. One hundred percent cotton socks are comfortable when worn properly. But repeated wear and washing can make the sock scratchy. Add a mix of synthetic materials and you get a more durable sock.

The type of material mix you choose depends on how and why you wear your socks. While a cotton sock is fine for at-home or work wear, it may not give your feet everything they need during a hiking trip or on a fishing weekend.

What Length Sock Do You Need?

Not only do socks come in different material makeups — these under footwear accents are also available in a variety of lengths. The most common men's sock lengths include no-shows (below the shoe level), ankle, mid-calf, and over the calf. To select the sock length you need, consider:

  • Comfort level. If you want to feel some protection or want at least partial coverage, no-shows and ankle lengths aren't realistic options. But if you don't like the full coverage of a knee sock, a mid-calf may offer a more comfortable choice.
  • Occasion. No-shows and ankle length socks aren't appropriate for most work settings or some types of special occasions (such as weddings). Instead, choose a mid-calf or full-length style.
  • Activity. Will you wear your socks for a jog? Athletic activities and no-shows or ankle socks often go hand-in-hand. But that doesn't mean you can't wear a mid-calf or calf-length sock — especially if the activity is outdoors in cool weather.

Along with the material and length, you also need to choose a color and pattern.

What Style Sock Should You Choose?

With more than a few color and pattern options, it's not always easy to pick the perfect sock. Before you decide, think about:

  • Your personal style. Do you prefer a solid, muted color or a bold pattern? Even though you may have to wear a dull gray suit to work, you can make a statement with a well-concealed pair of highly patterned socks.
  • The rest of your outfit. What else will you wear? While you don't have to match your socks precisely, keep them in the same color family. You may also want to offset a plain outfit with patterned socks or vice-versa.
  • The occasion. Some occasions may call for a subdued sock. But if no one will see your socks or you have a casual event to attend, a colorful or patterned pair are perfectly acceptable.
  • Your mood. Are you in a fun, playful mood? If the day's mood isn't a serious one, pick a pair of patterned socks with a bold hue.

There's no rule saying you can buy only one color or one type of pattern. Mix and match the pairs of socks you own. This gives you an option for almost every occasion.

Do you need new socks? Contact Over Under Clothing for more information.