40+ Types of Socks & How to Style

Last Updated on April 1, 2021

Socks come in different shapes and patterns. This is because they are crafted and intended for similarly diverse purposes. Finding the right pair for the job might never be really easy hence. We are way very aware of this. That is why we have seen it necessary to draft this review-cum-buying guide.

In our conversations below, we shall:

  • Examine various kinds of socks for both men and women
  • Explore the significance of making the right choice
  • Special tips on deciding which types of socks are suitable to choose
  • Multiple materials of socks for choosing
  • Common sock faux pas you should avoid

Importance of Choosing Suitable Types of Socks For Men and Women

Below are the importance of choosing suitable types of socks for men and women:

Fit

The fit of the pair in your feet should be your primary concern here. Needless to say, you have to settle on a pair that is slightly larger than the size of your feet. This is to create room for your feet to expand and contract at will especially when the temperature outside is too hot.

 

Comfort

Your own comfort has to really come in handy here. You must insist on a pair that is soft, warm, and cozy for your feet. The pair must also possess the ability to trap all the heat during the cold winter months while also enabling the smooth outflow of stale air to keep the feet dry and comfortable.

 

Suitability for the stated purpose

Socks are designed for different purposes. Some play athletic roles whereas others are mainly meant for décor and elegance. Make your choice strictly on the basis of the role you would want the same to play. That is to prevent any clashes that may often compromise your own convenience ahead.

 

20 Types of Socks For Men

We now get to look into 20 types of socks for men on the basis of the below-set criteria:

 A. Sock length  

#1: Thigh high socks

As the name implies, this pair of socks are long enough to get to the thigh areas of the limbs. It may be a good one to tap into if you want to cover yourself from all the cold that may emanate during the harsh cold winter months. This stems from its ability to provide wholesome coverage to all the cold.

#2: Over-the-knee socks

These are so-called because they stretch to the area slightly above the knees. In this regard, they also provide wholesome coverage to the feet and prevent the cold from attacking those parts. Such pairs may also be great for taking on the excess cold. It is, in most cases, worn alongside boots.

#3: Knee-high socks

The knee-high socks are mainly awesome as official wear either at school or in the office. As its designation implies, this pair reaches the knee areas. It hence provides complete coverage to the legs and up to the knee region. Most of the time, the pair blends well with the official shoes.

#4: Mid-calf length socks

If you mainly only wish to put on the trousers or any other attire that may completely cover the socks, the mid-calf length socks might be the ones we recommend. These pairs are not long but nonetheless offer complete coverage to the feet for maximum warmth and comfort thereof. It is mainly used on formal occasions.

#5: Crew length socks

This pair hits right below the center of the calf. Most people like it for its formal tone and character. That sees the pair extensively used for the matters of entertainment and fashion. One added advantage is that it comes in different kinds, fashions, and colors for you to select from and tap into.

These socks are designed just like loafer socks, only that they extend up to the ankle section and you can wear with casual outfits or official fits.

crew socks women

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#6: Ankle socks

Also called, the mini-crew socks, this kind of pair gets to the inch or so above the ankle level. Many times, it is put on during athletic competitions due to its ability to withstand strenuous activities like running and tennis. That is why many sports brands tend to prefer it.

#7: Calf socks

In case your intent is mainly to put on the penny loafer classic shoes, you similarly need to find the most suitable pair for the purpose. The calf socks might be great for the job here. The pair is long enough to reach the calf but at the same time styled in such a way as to complement the décor thereof.

 B. Sock designs and patterns  

#8: No-show socks

‘No-show’ socks are called thus because they are small and have almost no length at all. The pair comes in handy mostly when you do not want to reveal them out in the open for everyone to note. Nonetheless, the pair is still able to provide the warmth and the comfort expected of it.

These socks are made in neutral colors, so you can wear them with different shoes such as strapped shoes or palm shoes when going to the office. However, note that these are short socks since they are smaller than loafer socks.

no show socks for men

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#9: Polka dot socks

Polka dot socks are meant for excessive style and fashions. They comprise some spots and dots that add some style and elegance to the appearance thereof. Most of these dots also add some touch of personality to the wearers to make them stand out well in matters of elegance.

#10: Plaid styles socks

These for a large part are like the Polka dot socks. Their décor however does not come about in the forms of dots but rather as stripes. They are mainly good for shorts that tend to make them visible to an outward observer. You hence have to put them on with the shorts as you so wish.

#11: Geometric

From their name and nature, the geometric socks have a linear form and stature. They hence are good to behold with the naked eyes. This means you may put them on for those functions that demand some measure of exceptional aesthetics like parties, weddings, and anniversaries.

#12: Multi-colored

Are socks that comprise many colors per unit measure. They are mainly used on those occasions where you may have to work with many colors. Such occasions of course must also be full of pomp and color. They include such events as weddings and parties that demand excellent aesthetics.

#13: Novelty

Novelty pairs of socks are those that are cool and funny. When put on, they tend to bring about some boldness and utmost confidence for you. Given their availability in many shapes and designs, they also give you the freedom to pick the one that mirrors your circumstances uniquely.

#14: Dress socks

Dress socks are so-called because they are used to complement the dresses. In many cases, they are longer and comprise more colors than the standard pairs of socks. The challenge usually is to find the precise pair that fits as nearly as possible to the dress you have in mind.

These are men’s socks worn for official callings, maybe for a dinner date or a gala dinner. They are made with lightweight materials and are also quite breathable. The dress socks are made to reach slightly above the calf or around the calf length. You can wear dress socks with a tuxedo or official suits.

socks of lightweight and breathable materials

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#15: Compression socks

Searching for a pair mainly for the matters of fitness? You may attempt the compression socks. These pairs may be used to massage the muscles and straighten them for your utmost comfort. They are subsequently greatly employed in the matters of fitness, strength, and endurance.

If you have swelling feet, your physician will recommend you get compression socks. Also, people with varicose veins are advised to wear these socks to reduce swelling.

for people people with varicose veins

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#16: Cashmere socks

Of all the pairs of socks we have, it is the cashmere that tends to be the softest and the most comfortable. That stems from the similarly fine woolen materials that are used to adorn the same. You want it if you intend to put on the pairs for too long a duration of time.

 C. Based on activities 

#17: Ski

When skiing, you need utmost warmth and comfort. The skiing socks are designed to deliver that expectation. This pair is generally very thick, warm, and soft enough to allow you to exercise for longer without necessarily feeling pinched off or inconvenienced. This is not to mention that they are also breathable.

#18: Athletic socks

Athletics are generally strong, rigorous, intense, and enduring. They hence need you to put on a pair of socks that is similarly stronger and able to endure intense rigor without faltering a bit. You can only achieve these ends when you opt for a pair of athletic socks as they are specially meant for that.

#19: Invisible socks

It may not always be that your pairs of socks have to be visible to an external observer. In some instances, you may need to let the same stay hidden from the view of others. At such times, you only have to leverage the bare minimum benefits. The invisible socks help with that.

#20: Long socks

Perhaps no other pair of socks go hand in hand with the dress shoes than the long socks. These blend this kind of shoe well and also let you accrue maximum warmth. Moreover, this pair also serves some decorative ends for you. That stems from the many decorations and adornments it possesses.

 

20 Types of Socks For Women

We now get to belabor the 20 types of socks for women in vogue at the moment:

 A. Sock-length  

#1: Slip-on padding socks

These bear many similarities with the ankle socks. It only differs in that it is slightly shorter than the real ankle-length socks. Adding to this is the fact that this pair is made of materials that are lighter and hence easier to trudge on. You want them to easily embark and disembark on.

#2: Thigh-high socks

The thigh-high socks get to the thigh levels. They are hence able to confer plenty of maximum warmth from the legs through to the thigh regions of the lower limbs. If planning to take on the harsh winter months, this is the kind of pair we would recommend for your usage.

These socks are great for young girls or if you want to wear a short skirt with platform shoes. They are quite fashionable when paired with the right outfits.

plus size thigh high socks

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#3: Knee-length socks

Want to cover your feet, lower legs, up to the knee areas? We would recommend that you pick and make use of the knee-length socks. They are long enough to stretch to the knee regions of the lower limbs. While at this, they also provide sufficient insulation to these parts of your body.

Over the knee socks or knee-length socks are common for people who wear boots occasionally or short skirts since they reach slightly above the knees. So, these are safe socks that you can rock with knee-high boots. Note that some above-knee socks may go closer to the mid-thighs.

over the knee sock boots

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#4: Calf-length muscles

From the designation of this pair, it is clear that it gets to the calf region of the feet. This arrangement makes it appropriately suitable for the covering of the legs and preventing the same from getting into any direct exposure with the external elements. Go for it in the cold winter.

Women prefer these socks since they can be paired with multiple outfits and styles. As long they offer good snuggle and do not slip off, the socks are great to wear with boots, short skirts, and dresses.

Over the calf socks

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#5: Mid-calf length socks

Very similar to the calf-length muscle socks described above. However, this one reaches half the distance between the feet and the calf region. It is mainly great for no-show wearing which entails the putting on of the pants and other long dresses. Of course, you can never put it on during the colder months.

These socks are ideal for wearing with mid-calf boots and are also familiar to students.

white mid calf socks

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#6: Crew length

Hiking and other outdoor engagements require the putting on of tougher pairs of socks that are resilient to the common agents of damages that may often come along. The crew-length socks are generally designed, prepared, and intended for the attainment of this very end.

The majority of mid-length crew socks are made with bulky materials and are ribbed as well. Depending on the prints, these socks can be paired with both casual and official outfits.

quarter length socks

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#7: Quarter-length socks

If you plan to put on a moderately long skirt, you may wish to attempt the quarterly-length pair of socks. The pair reaches the quarter distance from the feet to the knees. It hence remains largely visible to the outward observer who may want to gaze at the beauty of the wearer.

These socks are recommendable for people with Achilles tendons or sportspeople since they provide cushioning to the Achilles area when touched by shoes.

mens quarter socks

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#8: Ankle-length socks

You may have already guessed it right that this pair gets to the ankle only. It is as such shorter, smaller, and direct to the point. This might be a great pair to set your eyes on if you just want the bare minimum benefits that these socks have to offer. It also works wonders in hot and humid areas.

These are pretty much the most fashionable socks that you can rock with any streetwear out there and come in different prints and patterns.

womens anklet socks

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 B. Sock designs and patterns 

#9: Split-toe socks

Sometimes, you may want to cover your feet when it is too cold while at the same time putting on a pair of slippers. The split-toe socks will have the work done for your pretty fine. The pair allows you to insert your toes the way you would do normally without putting any item in between.

#10: Fence net socks

Planning to take on the hot and humid times of the year? Your solution rests in the fence net socks. These socks have perforations that come in the form of nets. It is these perforations that allow the external breezes to bombard your feet and maintain them in the utmost comfort.

#11: Fishnet socks

Fishnet socks possess nets that are pretty similar to those of the fisherman’s nets. They, unlike the ordinary socks, come in white and black colors alone. Their dimensions vary considerably from one manufacturer to another one. They are mainly useful for the matters of festivals and elegant events.

#12: Slip-toe socks

If you operate under a squeezed timeline or regime, you want a pair of socks that is similarly easier to get into and out of. The slip-toe socks are they. This pair is wider and hassle-free to embark on and disembark. As such, it comes in handy when you want to squeeze yourself in when rushing.

#13: Transparent socks

Could it be that you want to expose your legs for all to see? The transparent socks are the ones that might come in handy for you. This pair is easier to see through as it is made of translucent materials. It may also be necessary for those circumstances when the external temperatures are hot and humid.

#14: Legwarmer socks

Prepping for the upcoming winter? The legwarmer socks are the ones you have to incorporate in your preparation regime. As their designation implies, the pair has the ability to trap lots of heat and maintain the feet in an absolute state of warmth for you.

These are socks worn during the winter or cold seasons. They are also ideal for people who do morning activities like hunting or fishing for warmth purposes. What sets the leg warmers socks aside is the design. Unlike other socks that start from the toes, the leg warmers socks start from the ankle section up to the knee section. The majority of these socks are made with warm and soft material to keep the legs warm and secure. Leg warmer socks should be worn on other socks for additional warmth.

Leg warmer socks used during the winter or cold seasons

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#15: Knitted socks

Obviously, the knitted socks are derived from wool materials. Given the excellent capability of wool to trap and retain heat, such a pair also goes a long way in maintaining the feet warmer. You will find such a pair great to tap into during the extremely cold winter months.

 C. According to occasions 

#16: Ballet grip socks

Love dancing and other allied shows? The ballet grip socks are the ones we might recommend for the job. They do offer some tight grip and exceptional style that go a long way in facilitating your dances. That they have some elegant exterior appearances make them better placed for the job!

#17: Stirrup socks

Fancy the past events? Try your luck on the stirrup socks. These are pairs that remind you of the long-gone days in the 1900s when the baseball game ruled the world of sports. The pair also comprises some exceptional styles that never fade away easily even when used in the long run.

#18: Winter socks

Just by reading the name, you can straight away deduce that the pair is intended for the harsh winter months. Thus, you know where to train your guns if planning to make your winters warmer and better.

The winter socks are made with extra-thick knitted materials, plus insulation that secures the feet from the cold. The winter socks are made with warm and soft materials like wool and polyester, plus they have wicking properties to ensure the feet are dry throughout. These are socks you can wear with boots, outdoors, or pajamas while indoors.

winter socks with extra thick knitted materials

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#19: Pain reliever socks

It is not uncommon for the pains to arise when playing games and taking on the rougher terrains. For this role, you need to put on the pain reliever socks. They are equipped with the parts and the specifications-mix that are meant to relieve all the pains to keep your muscles appropriately tuned.

#20: Invisible socks

Lastly, you have the invisible socks to attempt. These are like transparent socks save for the fact that they stay hidden from the view of the external person. They are mainly used to serve the bare minimum tasks of making your feet comfortable and warm when walking around.

 

 

Multiple Materials of Socks For Choosing

Below are the multiple materials of socks for choosing:

– Cotton

Cotton is largely known to be warm and long-lasting. Thus, it is a material you want to look up to if you intend to put on the pair for similarly longer durations.

– Wool

Wool has the best capability of trapping heat to keep you very warm. If preparing for the upcoming winters, you need to make use of it as it is capable of trapping the maximum warmth you need.

– Cashmere

Cashmere is a special kind of wool that is derived from goats rather than sheep. It is softer than the alternative materials that be and is thus prized for the utmost comfort it brings along.

– Silk

Silk is also soft yet very warm and highly breathable. If you want to put on a pair of socks for too long a duration of time, we recommend that you tap into it for your prolonged engagements.

– Synthetic

Synthetic stuff is prized for its relatively cheap nature coupled with its ability to offer the selfsame degree of reliability that ordinary materials are able to provide.

 

Special Tips on Deciding Which Types of Socks Are Suitable to Choose

The special tips below will help you to decide which kinds of socks may be suitable for your choice:

Sock Height

First and foremost, you have to consider the height of the pairs of socks you want. A good pair has to come at just the right height for you. This is only achievable if the pair is long enough to cover your legs and other essential parts of your lower limbs.

Sock Weight/Thickness

There is a direct correlation between the thickness and the weight of the pair on the one hand and the ability of the same to trap excess heat on the other hand. Thus, you ought to pay keener attention to this metric especially when making plans for the upcoming winter months.

Sock Fit

The fit of the pair has to come in handy. You have to pick a pair that is really thick and capable of trapping excess heat for you. That is the only surety that you will stay warm and appropriately taken good care of. You want to tap into one that is stretchable for maximum comfort as you move along.

Interior Sock Construction

How the pair is structured also counts here. A great pair has to comprise cushioning, breathable components, and stretchable fabrics. The sum total of all these add to the longevity of use while also upholding your total comfort as you move along the way.

 

Other Types of Socks Available For Unisex

How well do you know socks, and how do you pair them with different outfits? Well, there are countless types of socks on the market that create varying fashion statements.

One critical thing you need to note is that socks have variable functions and match different styles and outfits. If you don’t know how to wear your socks or what kinds of socks available in the market, this is the right article to read. We will provide information about the top 40 types of socks on the market and how to wear them.

1. Casual socks

Just as the name states, these are socks worn casually. They are some of the most versatile socks worn with different casual outfits ranging from jeans, khaki, or shorts. They come in varying sizes to match with different types of outfits. Also, casual socks are made in brighter colors with contrasting prints and patterns.

socks worn casually

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2. Work socks

These are socks crafted for work only. The work socks are formal, just like the dress socks, which are more durable and comfortable. Since the socks are meant to be worn for long hours, they have lightweight and cushioned footbed for support when walking around. These socks are also quite durable.

socks crafted for work only

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3. Yoga socks

Basically, the yoga socks offer feet grip when performing various yoga moves. So, they have anti-skid details at the soles to the toes area. The majority of yoga socks are stretchy to reach around the ankle area.

anti-skid yoga socks

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4. Running socks

These types of socks are recommendable for people who love running sports. They are designed to reach slightly above the running shoes’ edges to offer enough support to your feet. You can pair them with all running shoe models.

running socks offer enough support to your feet

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5. Diabetic socks

These are medically advised socks for people who have diabetes. The diabetes socks are ideal for improving blood flow around the feet and secure the feet from fungal infections by keeping the feet dry all the time. These socks are made with soft and warm materials, plush cushioning for ample support to the feet. You can wear diabetes socks with different outfits, including official and casual.

Benefits of Diabetic socks

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6. Boot socks

You should wear socks that reach at least where the shoes reach or slightly above the shoes. So, the boot socks are designed to be worn with different sizes of boots. Some boot socks may go above or below the knees and are super thick and breathable for comfort when worn with boots.

super thick and breathable for comfort

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7. Support socks

These socks are similar to the compression socks, only that they are recommendable for all people, even those without leg problems. The support socks are made with strong spandex materials that provide firm fitting to support the muscles and reduce fatigue. These types of socks are common for athletes and gym enthusiasts since they offer excellent foot support. Also, they come in varying sizes to wear with running and sports shoes.

support the muscles and reduce fatigue

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8. Slipper socks

If you need socks to wear while indoors instead of house slippers, get slipper socks. Slipper socks are crafted with an anti-skid button that secures the feet from slipping even when you walk on slippery surfaces. These socks are super comfortable and breathable in case you want to wear them for an entire day. Also, they are made in lengthy sizes.

slipper socks with an anti skid button secure the feet from slipping

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9. Loafer socks

Some shoes or low cut shoes need low cut socks to give the wearer that edgy look. So, the loafer socks are meant to be paired with loafer shoes or flat shoes for women. They come in varying prints, colors, and patterns to fit different wears, both office and casual.

the loafer socks for loafer shoes or flat shoes

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10. Waterproof socks

If you are involved in work that requires you to keep your legs in cold areas, these are the best socks to get to secure your feet. These socks are made with a waterproof rubber-like material that secures the feet from contact with wetness. Considering these socks are not too breathable, they are mainly worn on their own.

keep your legs in cold areas

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11. Liner socks

The liner socks are much lighter and thinner and should be worn inside other pairs of socks. They are quite common for hikers or camper since they help to wick away moisture on the feet to keep the feet dry throughout. The liner socks are also worn with thicker socks, whereby they secure the feet from blisters in case of excessive heat.

The liner socks are much lighter and thinner

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12. Anti-slip socks

These socks are made just like yoga socks at the base sections, only that they can be worn for casual duties. These socks are designed like ankle boots with anti-slip rubber or plastic soles to prevent your feet from slipping off the floor. You can wear the grip socks while indoors to keep you warm, or if you don’t want to keep on wearing slippers to access areas in the house.

with anti slip rubber or plastic soles

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13. Tab socks

These socks are equipped with extra tab materials at the back of the heels to secure them from blisters by ensuring the shoes do not rub the heels. You can wear these sock types with new shoes or shoes that are a bit tighter on your feet.

stance tab socks

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14. Trouser socks/ stockings

These are standard socks worn by women when rocking skirts, dresses, or trousers. The trouser socks are meant to be worn under the trousers and skirts, plus they extend way up to the thigh region. The trouser socks are mainly worn for formal occasions or during the cold times like at night.

women's trouser socks

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15. Thumb socks

These are unique socks designed with a gap between the large toe. These socks are comfortable wearing the Y-shaped slippers since they are more comfortable paired with such slippers. They are also common in Chinese culture, and they are worn with kimonos.

bowling thumb sock

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16. Toe socks/ toe gloves

These are the type of socks with contoured toes spaces like hand gloves such that; you have to slip your toes on the available gaps. The socks are comfortable to wear while in the house.

slip your toes on the available gaps

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17. Open toe socks

These socks are made with open-toe sections. The socks are made in different styles, including compressor socks. They are also made with warm materials like wool and are more comfortable wearing open shoes like sandals or flip flops.

open toe compression socks

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18. Crotchet socks

These are handmade socks using sweater threads. The crotchet socks are standard for babies and are made in different styles with varying patterns as well.

crochet socks

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19. Silicon feet protector socks

They are versatile socks worn under or over the socks depending on one’s needs. These protective socks are made with silicone material that forms a cushioned surface to protect the feet from blisters or burns. These types of socks are common for people with sensitive feet and are mainly worn under other socks.

protective socks are made with silicone material

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20. Novelty socks

These are cold season socks mainly made with warm materials like wool, polyester, and cotton. These socks are made in varying sizes to match with different shoes like ankle boots or knee-length boots. Also, note that there are some novelty socks for kids.

funny socks

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21. Bobbysocks

These socks dated way back to the 80s and were common among women. The bobby socks mainly reach around the ankle section and have a cuff all around. The socks come in different sizes and prints for kids and adults. You can wear these socks with platform shoes, ankle boots, or flat shoes for school going girls.

white bobby socks

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22. Tube socks

The tube socks are designed to reach above the ankle area and below the calf section. The tube socks are famous among sports and athletes since they go well with running and sports shoes. However, there are still some styles that can be rocked with casual shoes like boyfriend shoes.

striped tube socks

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23. Toe topper socks

Many people confuse toe topper socks with toe socks, but they hugely differ in the design. The toe topper socks are tiny socks that cover the toes section and extend to the feet’ arch. These socks are ideal for people who need cushioning without the socks showing.

no show toe topper socks

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24. Spat socks

These socks are mainly made with beautiful pattern prints and colors and are worn above shoes. Also, some spat socks are meant to be worn over other sock types for additional warmth and protection. These socks may reach around the shin or above the shin.

beautiful pattern prints and colors

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Common Sock Faux Pas You Should Avoid

Below are a few of the leading common sock mistakes you should stay away from:

  • Putting on white socks with dress shoes

Never put on white socks along with dress shoes. Perhaps no occasion other than the school sessions will demand them. Moreover, such socks get dirty too easily and may hence spoil the theme and the mood of the occasion in which you use them all together.

  • Putting on socks with sandals

Seriously, what is the point, or lack of it, of putting on the socks with sandals? The sandals do expose the pairs to make the same easily dirty and spoiled. Also, the socks are never really designed and or meant for wearing with the sandals. You might have to insist on the closed shoes.

  • Putting on the wrong socks with the wrong trousers

For the best fit and matching, you have to put on the right pair of socks with the right kinds of trousers. For this to happen, you have to factor in the make, design, and colors of both the pair of socks and that of the trousers.

  • Making use of socks of uneven lengths along with your footwear

As a last consideration, you have to make use of pairs of socks that have uniform lengths along with the footwear you have in mind. For instance, you may put on the invisible socks with the loafers, the ankle-length socks with the sneakers and the long socks with the dress shoes, and so on!

 

Conclusion

Socks serve many purposes, as we have already explained. Because of that, you cannot afford to make a random pick. You really have to scour the many types of socks we have belabored above to narrow to the most suitable one for your course. Go ahead and make a pick with the utmost confidence.