Last updated: August 19, 2021

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Welcome back! There are accessories or complements in our wardrobe that we think are not of great importance; however, every item we use has characteristics that make them indispensable, and this time we will talk about one of them.

Did you know that the best way to control the cold is on your feet? It is the area of the body that we must warm up first, besides the fact that they require a great level of comfort because we use them every day to walk. This is solved by socks!

As you know, we love to help you, and this time will be no different, we will teach you everything you need to know about socks, how to compare one with the other in order to make a good purchase.




Summary

  • Socks are a complement to the foot. They help to protect your feet during daily activities or sports. They are also beneficial for circulation and keep you warm in winter.
  • There are special models of socks for sports disciplines, such as Yoga or Pilates, where they are usually non-slip, and are not recommended for use with shoes, as they are designed to be in direct contact with the ground.
  • The price of socks varies according to their function and material. They can be very economical and accessible if they are for daily use, but when they are for sports disciplines or circulation problems, the cost increases, because they come with special designs that provide benefits and cover specific needs.

The Best Socks: Our Picks

Buying Guide

With the above ranking you may already understand what details socks have; however, before you decide to make a purchase, you should know other important facts, to avoid being dissatisfied with your new pair of socks.

A family would be incomplete without socks. (Photo: Hongqi Zhang / 123rf.com)

What are socks and what are their advantages?

Socks are basically clothes for your feet. They protect the feet, offering support and comfort when walking, playing sports or even keeping warm, as they also help to maintain the temperature.

One of the biggest advantages of this product is that it prevents direct abuse of the foot and controls perspiration. After a long walk, for example, if the foot is not protected, it can develop blisters or sores, which harden the foot and even cause pain.

Socks, like any product on the market, have their "pros" and "cons", which you should be aware of before making your purchase, so that you will be aware of all the elements (both good and bad) of the product.

Advantages
  • Protects the foot
  • Provides walking comfort
  • Improves circulation
  • Takes up little space in the wardrobe
Disadvantages
  • Can store odours
  • Heel area wears easily
  • Material can increase perspiration

Everyday socks and sports socks What should you pay attention to?

Although all socks serve mainly the same function, there are differences in functionality from one model to another, which usually lead to changes in design, fabric or price. For this reason, it is important that you know how to differentiate one model from another, especially those for everyday use and those for sports, which tend to be the most easily confused.

  • Everyday socks. This model is the common one for everyone. They usually offer support in the soles and extreme softness, so that walking does not generate early fatigue in the foot. They also help to avoid pain after long periods of activity. These socks are usually very accessible, do not take up much space and are not very thick, as the idea of them is not to keep you warm, but to protect your foot and make it easier for you to move around and carry out your daily activities. Normally they will not help you to avoid foot sweating, they may even condense bad odour after a long time of use and this can have consequences, which is why many people use talcum powder together with their daily socks.
  • Sports socks. These are for special use, as they are designed for sportsmen, athletes or people who do daily training. Therefore, among their best qualities is the control of perspiration through a system of mesh and absorption. In addition to this, it offers adjustments in the comb area to avoid displacement, and reinforcements in fragile areas to increase durability. Because they allow oxygenation of the foot, they do not tend to retain bad odours. This type of socks can be more expensive, as their design is exclusive for athletes. Brands such as Nike or Puma are experts in the manufacture of this type of socks, having the highest level of textile technology available for these models. Each sock, as you can see, has its own qualities and is designed for certain needs, which is why you should know how to differentiate between them before buying, to ensure the greatest satisfaction. In the following table you can see the most relevant aspects to buy between them:
Everyday socks Sports socks
Sweat control No Yes, it offers ventilation through mesh
Price Very affordable Higher than normal
Washing Machine washable Hand wash is recommended
Resistance They are fragile in the heel and toes Reinforce fragile areas to avoid wear and tear

What are winter socks?

There is a particular type of socks that is good to know, as their function, design and material is very specific. These are winter socks: These have only one function, and it is very direct and precise: to protect the feet from the cold.

It has been proven that one of the areas of the body that should be warmed first are the feet, as they help regulate the rest of the body temperature. Their design allows for activities in extreme climates, such as hiking, camping, fishing or cycling.

Because of this, they can be used for sporting purposes or at home, as their function does not vary according to the activity. They have features such as absorbing moisture from the foot, and not allowing air to pass through.

They generate a feeling of high comfort because their interior is usually "brushed" or velvety. Although they are very useful for many daily activities, they are not recommended for sleeping, as they can be too hot and uncomfortable.

All types of socks are easy to find, you just have to know how to choose. (Photo: Spotpoint74/123rf.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different socks

After all that we have seen, there are aspects to compare one product with another, helping you to determine which is the best option depending on the needs you have. Remember that each model has a design designed for certain needs, and it is essential to know what features you are looking for in order to choose the right socks. Therefore, we will show you the criteria you should have at the time of purchase:

  • Thickness
  • Softness
  • Length
  • Material

Thickness

When you touch the sock, one of the first things you will notice is its thickness. The thicker a sock is, the less air passage it will have, so you should consider the function it will perform. Everyday socks are recommended to be of medium thickness, because if the thickness is similar to a wool sock, it can even hinder the use of shoes.

Similarly, thin socks should also be evaluated, as the problem they present is their fragility. If you are looking for sports socks, the thickness can be thin, with reinforcement in fragile areas, which are the heel and toes. This is because the thinness allows for greater airflow. Although there is no exact measurement of thickness, you can be guided by this:

  • Thick socks protect the foot more, and will help reinforce the fit of your footwear when wearing them.
  • Wide or bulky feet. Thin socks may be a better choice, as adding more bulk to your foot with thick socks would be a hindrance.

Physical characteristics of socks by thickness

  • Thin socks. They can be transparent, their layer is very thin and there are no reinforcements inside. Their weight is very light and their elasticity is higher.
  • Medium socks. They don't let you see through them, but they don't feel heavy, even if they have reinforcements. Their elasticity is reduced, so they do not stretch when stretched too much.
  • Thick socks. They feel dense, a bit heavy. You can't see through them, and inside they have a protective layer, which reinforces the fabric and generates heat when worn. They don't stretch.

The thicker the sock, the warmer it is. (Photo: Kirill Ryzhov/ 123rf.com)

Softness

This point is determined by the fabric, as it is the one that generates the direct sensation on the foot when wearing the socks, these have particular materials that are used for their manufacture:

  • Cotton. The most common of all, it is highly recommended for daily use, it provides a high level of softness at a low cost.
  • Silk. This fabric tends to be more exclusive and expensive, but its softness is unsurpassed, it is usually transparent. It is the perfect fabric for work wear, especially in the executive area.
  • Polyester. This, together with the tights, are used in the sports area, it is a fabric that provides a high level of comfort, but stands out for its resistance and support, being more for protection than comfort.
  • Wool: The softness of wool is comparable to a cloud, they are very cushioned and warm, making the feeling of comfort envelop your foot. In case you are an athlete, socks of this type are soft on the sole, giving extra support due to the high intensity exercises that are usually done. In daily use, the sole is usually soft, but it does not have a reinforcement to cushion impacts, since it is assumed that the activity to be carried out is walking. This quality is also determined by the material, as cotton is softer than synthetic fabric, wool is softer and more comfortable than cotton and the softest fabric is silk.

Photo: elenathewise / 123rf.com)

Length

The length of the sock can be functional or not depending on the need. If you look at compression models that help circulation, it is common to see them reaching up to the knee, as they stimulate the area completely. There are sports socks that are also long, and serve for protection.

  • Short socks. These are usually worn for activities such as running or jogging, to allow the leg to perspire freely. Everyday socks are also usually short, unless the person needs the special benefits of a long sock (compression). Short" socks are ankle-high, which is why they are also known as ankle socks. There are also 3/4 socks, which measure approximately 7 to 10cm from the ankle upwards.
  • Long socks. They can increase sweating in the leg, which is why it is not recommended to wear them daily or for simple physical activities, in order to allow air flow in the leg. However, for work or an important event, long socks are well regarded, so they are more commonly worn in these situations. They are the perfect pair for a formal event. These socks reach exactly to the knee, either below or above the knee. If they are above the knee, they are approximately 10 cm, covering the knee completely.

Material

The material the socks are made of has a great influence on their comfort, durability and washability. Each material has its own characteristics, which help to define which one is best for you, depending on your needs:

  • Cotton. It may be comfortable and affordable, but as it absorbs and condenses moisture, it can cause blisters or bad odours. They also produce lint.
  • Wool. Keeps your feet warm in winter and absorbs moisture, but can be very thick and uncool. They are uncomfortable to sleep in and take a long time to dry after washing.
  • Polyester. They are often good for ventilation, as they allow air to pass through, but if they get wet, they become insulated and can be very uncomfortable. Excess moisture can lead to fungus or infection.
  • Silk. It is very soft to the skin, fresh and light, but it breaks easily and is transparent. It dries very quickly after washing. Its price can be high. Therefore, for daily or sports use, synthetics are excellent. If you want something more economical, there are cotton ones. If you want to keep warm in winter, wool is the material of choice, and for formal or more elegant events, silk is the best option.

(Featured image photo: Diego Vito Cervo / 123rf.com)

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