How to Shrink Socks?

Do you have a sock drawer full of socks that don’t quite fit? If so, you’re not alone. This may seem like a trivial problem, but believe it or not, there are people who struggle to keep their socks from growing.

In fact, this is such a common problem that there are now products on the market that claim to be able to help.

If you’re one of these people, never fear; there are some tips and tricks you can use to help shrink your socks.

Fast View of the Socks that Are Easy to Shrink and Wear:

Breathable Cotton Socks for Athletics: Amazon Essentials Cushioned Ankle Socks

Best Design for Sweaty Feet: Dickies Dri-tech Moisture Control Socks

Ideal One for Hiking or Winter to Keep Feet Warm: Alvada Thermal Warm Crew Socks


Why Are Sock Sizes So Big?

shrink socks

The answer to this question is surprisingly complex, and there are a few different factors that play into why sock sizes are so large.

The first reason is that socks have to be able to fit comfortably over a wide range of feet. Sizes also vary depending on the type of sock. A dress sock, for example, is going to be much smaller than a woolen sock.

Another factor that manufacturers consider is shrinkage that comes up when washing. Since most socks are made from wool or cotton which are natural fibers that shrink when exposed to a lot of heat, the socks have to be big enough to accommodate the shrink in size that comes after popping them in the dryer or washing them in the washing machine set at a high heat mode.


What Materials of Socks Can Shrink?

Socks are made of different materials which shrink at different degrees when washed.

Generally, natural materials like cotton and wool shrink more than synthetic materials like acrylic and nylon.

In some cases, socks are also treated with a shrink-resistant finish, which will inhibit them from shrinking at all.


Do wool socks shrink?

This is one of those questions that has been asked by many people over the years. Wool socks are a popular choice for many people during the colder months because they are known to keep your feet warm.

However, there is a common concern that they will shrink after being washed. So, does this popular winter clothing item really shrink when you wash it?

Wool socks can shrink if they are not washed properly or if they are exposed to high levels of heat. However, if you take the proper precautions, your wool socks should not shrink after being washed.


Do cotton socks shrink?

The answer is yes, cotton socks do shrink. Cotton is a natural fiber and, as a result, it shrinks when it is exposed to warm water and heat. This is why you should always wash cotton socks in cold water and avoid using the dryer.


Do Merino socks shrink?

The answer to this question is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. Merino wool is a natural fiber that comes from the Merino sheep. It is known for being soft, comfortable, and non-itchy.

Merino wool socks are a popular choice for people who want to avoid the problems that can come with wearing cotton socks, such as shrinking and fading.

Merino socks are made from fine wool that doesn’t shrink as much as other types of wool. In fact, most merino socks will only shrink about 3-5% in the wash.


How Can I Make My Socks Tighter?

Wash on high heat in the washing machine.

how to shrink socks with washing machine

Most of the fabrics that socks are made from reacting to heat by shrinking. Simply turn up your washing machine to the hottest possible setting and pop your socks in there.

For a much better effect, ensure that they stay in the hot washing machine for the longest time possible. This gives time for the material to react to the extremely high temperatures in the machine. Finally, finish off by popping them in the dryer also at the highest setting.


Drying the socks in a clothes dryer.

how to shrink socks by drying machine

If the socks are clean and don’t need to wash them in the washing machine, simply soak them in some warm water for some time. You can then go ahead and pop them in the dryer.

For the best effect, set the temperature to the hottest and use the longest time setting possible. Check on them once in a while to ensure they are reaching the required size.


Boiling the socks.

boil the socks to shrink socks

By now we’ve learned that heat shrinks most natural fibers. This said you can simply put some water in a pot and simply boil your socks for some time. Just ensure that you wash the socks first as the pot will most likely be used again later to cook.

Fill a pot 2/3 full with water and bring it to a boil. Place the socks in the boiling water and leave them in there for about ten minutes. Use tongs to remove the socks and put them in a dryer. You then dry the socks and there you have it, a perfectly fitting pair.




Remember that wool socks react more to heat compared to cotton socks and tend to shrink more when exposed to heat.

For synthetic fibers like nylon or polythene, try doing the opposite of what is stated above. They will most likely expand rather than shrink when exposed to heat.

To avoid all the above processes just ensure that you buy the right sock size that perfectly fits you and does not fall off when worn.

You should also consider buying high-quality socks that don’t get too big over time making you want to find ways to shrink them.



How to shrink wool socks

Since wool is a natural fiber, it reacts greatly to heat, more specifically, it shrinks when exposed to high temperatures. With this in mind, washing in warm water, putting them in the washing machine on high heat, or drying them in the dryer will most likely shrink the socks.

Do Nike crew socks shrink?

Nike socks are made from a mixture of cotton and polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is known to shrink in the wash. Cotton, on the other hand, is a natural fiber that can shrink or stretch when it comes into contact with water and heat. So, the answer to this question depends on whether the Nike socks you are washing are made from mostly cotton or mostly polyester.

How to shrink Nike socks?

Because Nike socks are made from either cotton or polyester or a mixture of both, you can simply wash them in a batch of warm water. this will surely do the trick.

Do socks shrink in the dryer?

It all depends on what material they are made from. Socks made from natural fibers like cotton will most likely shrink in the dryer because of the heat. However synthetic socks will most likely retain their size.



If you are plagued with the problem of baggy socks, please be sure to try one of the easy fixes above. But the best advice you can get anywhere is just throw away your old socks and get a new, high-quality pair that will not expand over time.