9 Different Types of Mens’ Socks You Should Know About

Even though hidden, socks are an essential part of your apparel.

The right pair of socks not only adds grace to your cross-legged suit posture but also adds an extra layer of comfort to your legs.

But has it ever occurred to you that your socks feel quite out-of-place on some occasions?

If yes, then that’s because you were wearing the wrong pair. Like shoes, shirts, and gloves, socks come in various sizes, shapes, and materials, suited for different occasions. This means you should be pretty considerate in this matter and know which socks to wear on what occasions.

But for that, it’s necessary to know about the different types of socks in the first place. And that’s what we are going to discuss here. So keep reading, and in the end, we are sure to leave you in a position where you can be the master of your socks ;).

The different sock types and how to rock each

Socks are available in a huge variety in overall shape, design, length, and height.

So huge that most gentlemen often stay confused about where to pull on which sock type.

That’s normal, even more, when you have used one type of socks all your life. No need to worry, as these details will help you rock them with different looks.

So let’s jump in!

1.  No-Show Socks

As the name suggests, no-show socks are low-profile socks hidden in your shoes; you’re the only one who knows about it ;). They are also referred to as loafer socks as they are most often worn with loafer shoes or any other shoes with a relatively lower vamp.

Although an all-weather choice for fashion geeks, common folk mostly prefer it in hotter months of the year where staying ventilated is a priority.

As for casual wearings like cuffed pants and shorts, they are a no-brainer. They are reputedly comfy and stylish. However, wearing them on a formal occasion will require a lot of confidence.

2.  Low Cut Socks

Well, low-cut socks are sort of big-brother of the no-show socks that have no height; the former ribbings fit right at your ankle height. They are also casual socks and are primarily used for practical activities like jogging.

Moreover, teenagers pull them on with cuffed pants and sneakers, which look fantastic. As most people’s skin is sensitive and can be chaffed and blistered by constant rubbing against the boot lining, these socks act as an extra protection layer.

Overall, they are great for workout activities.

3.   Ankle Socks

Ankle socks take the height factor a step further and make a delicate lining just around your ankle. Unlike the options above, they are pretty versatile as far as the wearability factor is concerned. You can confidently pull them on for your athletic endeavors, gym, or even a formal event without any problems.

They can also be worn as a great alternative to crew socks in weather like spring and summer. You require maximum ventilation without compromising on comfort. Plus, protect your skin against chafing and blisters, which are a big problem in summers.

4.  Quarter Socks

Also known as mini crew socks, the quarter socks are at a middle ground between ankle socks and crew socks. They fully cover your ankles and almost touch your shins. They are a great alternative to ankle socks if you want something more engulfing with extra cushioning.

They are equally suitable for outdoor activities, gyms, and even formal events. Apart from the style factor, they are also pretty good for people with nerve damage, cold feet, and poor blood circulation, thanks to the extra padding. They lie more on the practical side of the spectrum instead of stylish ones.

5.  Athletic Socks

Ever seen those footballers wearing those ultra-long socks covering feet up to their calves and areas just below their knees? That’s what everyone calls athletic socks. But we won’t suggest wearing them for other socks as we do with the ankle and low-cut socks. In fact, the term ‘athletic’ actually comes from its material.

For activities with a lot of running and sweating involved, and where good fit and less traction is everything, athletic socks are your best option at…feet? Plus, you don’t want your cabinet to stink, do you? Athletic shoes get you rid of it as well!

6.  Crew socks

Talk of ultimate versatility and crew socks is the first option that comes to mind. Due to the added class, functionality, and huge material variety, go well with everything, from suits to casual wear and even sportswear.

They are more practical than stylish ones, and Trekkers love to wear them for their extra comfort and grip. The only thing to keep in mind here is the material. Since there’s a huge variety of crew socks in terms of material, you must consider your needs while picking one.

That being said, you can wear them at any time of the year, anywhere you like.

7.  Mid-Calf Socks


Mid-calf socks are also known as trouser socks. Although they are the classiest among all, their use is limited to suits. So limited that people often associate it with the wall street guys or simply call it the businessmen’s socks. Unlike other socks, there isn’t a massive variety in mid-calf socks; they are all made of light and thin material.

For people of taste, there are also mid-calf socks available with lovely patterns that complement most suit colors. Just make sure to choose the suitable material according to season. You don’t want to wear thick wool in summer or thin wool in winter. 😉

8.  Calf Socks

As the name suggests, Calf socks are relatively longer and cover all of your calf areas and end just below your knee. They are more engulfing, somehow cozy, and quite comfortable, not to mention the versatility factor.

They are an ideal choice for sport and other physically demanding activities and a pretty nice fit for casual attire, especially when you don’t want your hairy feet visible when sitting cross-legged in your suit.

Another advantage of calf socks is that they usually have an excellent grip. So don’t expect them to slip down at all. Plus, you get all the cozy goodness in winter with these on.

9.  Toe Socks

Looking for something less restricting, fashionable, and highly functional? Perhaps you should try on toe socks. They are getting pretty popular among men of every age and every line. From being a popular choice among formal wearers to sportspeople and adventurers, everyone loves them for their convenience.

Since toe socks cover every toe separately, they have brilliant moist management. This means you get all the comfort with no wincing and any unwanted blisters to ruin your perfect trekking experience. They come in different materials, including Coolmax, Nu wool, and Lycra, each having its specialty. So choose wisely, and that’s the best decision you’ll ever make.

Which socks material would suit you? The pros and cons:

Now that you know everything about the different types of socks and have probably chosen a pair for yourself already, let’s talk about materials. Choosing the suitable fabric is as important as choosing the types of socks.

Since each material has its specialty, it’s crucial to pick the one that equally complements your purpose and matches the conditions you’ll be using it in. That being said, let’s get into the pros and cons of different socks materials, and see which one suits you the best:


Well, calling cotton the poster child of socks materials won’t be an exaggeration. Due to its economical price and suitability for every type of garment, it’s one of the most widely used organic fabrics globally.

As for socks, you’ll find almost every one of the socks mentioned above sizes and types made of this material. Since cotton doesn’t have enough elasticity, it is often mixed with polyester for better grip and durability.


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and absorbent
  • Biodegradable
  • Best for winters due to heat retention


  • Distortion in shape over time
  • Not durable
  • Not suitable for summers


Wool is the second most sought-after natural fiber after cotton with its ultimate cozy goodness and premium quality. It is usually blended with polyester to add the much-needed elasticity to socks and make them wearable. The wool is usually obtained often from sheep; however, goats, camels, and rabbits’ wool are also quite popular. Wool socks are a favorite choice among hikers and those living in cold climates.


  • Great insulating ability
  • Moisture-wicking ability
  • Odor resistance
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Natural and sustainable


  • Expensive
  • Not for warm climate/weather


About 50% more absorbent than cotton with the softness of silk, modal socks are made to provide the wearer with a comfort unmatched for the price. However, if we keep these features aside, there’s nothing much to offer. They are more expensive than cotton and comparatively less breathable. This means once the sweating is out of control, the experience can get a bit uncomfortable.


  • Soft and stretchy
  • Durable
  • Better sweat absorption
  • Eco-friendly


  • Poor heat retention
  • Less breathable and more expensive than cotton
  • Mau cause an allergic reaction


Polyester is one of the most commonly used synthetic fabrics used in everything, from jackets to socks and anything in between. It is usually blended with cotton for better moisture absorption and softness. However, the higher percentage of polyester means it would dry much more quickly while retaining every good feature cotton has to offer.


  • Highly affordable and accessible
  • It is available in a variety of blends
  • Hold color better
  • Best quality


  • Can cause an allergic reaction


Undoubtedly the most expensive, elegant, and oldest fabric, silk, is often used as a synonym for comfort and luxury. However, wearing socks made of pure silk is entirely impractical, especially for males. Therefore, going for socks that contain even some percentage of silk will be a great choice.


  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Strong and durable


  • Expensive
  • Difficult to clean
  • Needs extra care
  • Delicate


Well, if you ask us, keeping at least a pair of every type of socks type is quite handy at times. No one knows when you are going to need one. Nevertheless, if we had to narrow it down to a very selective collection of socks pairs, we would probably keep a pair of no-shows for party nights and a mid-calf for formal, black suite events.

Moreover, a pair of ankle socks and crew socks for casual events in the wardrobe wouldn’t hurt. As far as athletic wear and luxury like silk socks are concerned, that’s a choice. Given that every person isn’t crazy athletic or in sheer extravagance, it’s challenging to build a generalized opinion here.

That being said, let us ask you: did you learn anything about socks in this article? And if you did, how about giving us some tidbits about which socks you are choosing. Where are you going to add to your wardrobe? Plus, if you have any questions, you would like to ask? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.



What socks should a man have?

A man should have several types of socks in his wardrobe to catch up with the need of the moment. You should have at least two to three pairs of mid-calf socks to match the colors of different suits. In addition to mid-calf socks, you should also have a pair of ankle socks, calf socks, and low-cut socks for casual and party events.

A nice pair of athletic and crew socks are highly recommended for sporty people. And a piece of advice, always keeps in mind that the socks’ color should always be several shades darker than the suit or dress color to perfectly complement your look. In short, it’s essential to keep your needs into account when you choose your socks.

How do you choose socks?

Well, choosing the best socks for yourself might not be as straightforward as you think. There’s a lot that goes into it. You’ve got to think about the fabric used in it, the perfect height, the perfect length, and even the perfect thickness to get “that” feeling. Not to mention the ideal fit.

For example, every type of fabric has its pros and cons (which you can check out above) and are suited for different conditions and weathers.

So if you are looking for something warm, perhaps you could rely on wool. Similarly, if you want something affordable, cotton is your thing. And the list of fabrics and their qualities goes on. The same goes for other qualities like height, length, and fit.

In short, it all comes down to your choice and needs.

Should guys wear ankle socks?

Definitely yes! As time passes, they become increasingly popular among men of every age, especially teenagers. Moreover, they are also used by guys in the gym as well. However, those socks are a bit higher than the normal ones.

Ankle socks are highly comfortable and functional and in fashion these days. You can rock them with your casual outfit at any hour of the day. And guess what, they can also be a great alternative if you have been facing issues with the low-cut socks.

What size is one size in men’s socks?

By definition, there’s no specific definition to “one size in men’s socks” precisely. However, from a general definition, one-size socks come only in a single size, usually the XL. Since there’s little to no synthetic material used in one-size socks, they are less stretchy and have to match the wearer’s legs perfectly.

As for the quality, their shape gets deformed pretty quickly compared to the synthetic ones. Plus, they are always susceptible to getting loose on the leg. So you’ll have to keep them with great care if you want them to last longer.

Which type of socks is the best?

That’s a great question. Now it comes down to what you mean by ‘the best. If you are talking of everyday wear, something from cotton would be great. For running, you would love something made of polyester.

Polypropylene and Nylon can also be great choices for men who are more into athletic activities. They are quite breathable and comfortable, with a nice moist absorbing ability. And for hiking and other sports, nothing beats spandex and bamboo.

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