What are the best socks for men? That really all depends. Are you looking to keep your feet dry in swampy heat, or keep your feet warm in cold weather? Do you need extra arch support, or a reinforced heel and toe? Athletic socks or dress socks? Crew socks or ankle socks? Supima cotton or merino wool?
The Best Socks for Men Buying Guide
If that seems like a lot of thought to give the layers you wrap around your feet, trust us: getting this nitty-gritty about your hosiery won‘t just improve the feel of your footwear—it’ll help make them look exponentially cooler. Ever seen a pebble-grain oxford paired with ankle or quarter crew socks? Just doesn’t feel right.
Maybe you’ve got specific answers to those questions, or maybe you need all of the above. Either way, we’ve rounded up the six essential types of men’s socks you’ll want to reacquaint yourself with once you start wearing shoes that aren’t cozy slippers. (Which, to be clear, should be now.) From weighty hiking socks to moisture-wicking performance socks, here are 24 of the best socks for men for every budget, style, and situation.
The All-Purpose Half-Calfs
If you’re looking to overhaul your sock drawer from the ground up with the most useful, versatile pairs around, these are the ones to stock up for year-round wear. From best sellers crafted out of comfy, ultra breathable cotton to high-quality picks blended with just the right amount of stretchy elastane, these socks will hit every time. Thin enough to slide into sleeker shoes—your loafers or Oxfords— without causing you to break a sweat (therefore causing blisters), but thick enough to keep your toes warm should your fancy footwear carry you to freezing locales. So good you’ll be thankful you got the multipack.
The C-Suite Essentials
Ribbed, solid-hued dress socks are still the very best way to fill in the gap between the cuff of your suit trousers and the tops of your brogues. That means get real teal! And eggplant! And maybe neon pink?! Because they’ll look good against gray or navy pants. With brands like Pantherella –known for being obsessed with fabric weights and finishes for the past 80 years—and Uniqlo offering up a plethora options for less than five bucks each, you’re more than covered.
The Heavy Hitters
Winter boots call for darn tough winter socks. But if you’ve got the kind of feet where people start leaving the room before you’ve even finished untying your laces, it’s time to carefully consider your options. The key is to settle between warm and breathable, which is why you’ll want to go for fabrics like wool and cotton. Below we’ve picked out the top contenders for best athletic socks, from combed cotton to wool blends, that you’ll actually want to show off.
The Fall-Approved Specials
We’ve entered peak-PSL season which means only one thing: it’s time to bust out your finest wool socks. Whether they’re a slubby pair knit on a vintage machine flown in from Japan (or just bought online from the good ‘ol Bean), these are socks built for fond memories ahead.
The Retro Athletic Tubes
Whether you were a jock or an affiliate, if the classic tube sock speaks to you by all means lean into it. The best pairs are going to hit that old-school charm while leaning into retro prep style.
The Total Swerves
We may not abide by novelty socks anymore—sorry, Justin Trudeau—but these freaky patterns will scratch the itch your Frasier socks used to. And just to be clear, freaky doesn’t mean kitschy. (Blindingly bright confetti print? No. Leopard print? Hell yes.) It can be tricky to differentiate between the two, so start here.