24 best men’s socks in 2021: crew, dress, no-show and more

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What are the best socks for men? It really all depends. Are you looking to keep your feet dry in swampy weather or keep your feet warm in cold weather? Do you need extra arch support or a reinforced heel and toe? Sports socks or dress socks? Crew-neck socks or ankle socks? Supima cotton or merino wool?

Maybe you have specific answers to these questions, or maybe you need all of the above. Either way, we’ve rounded up the eight essential types of men’s socks that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with once you start wearing non-slipper shoes. (Which, to be clear, should be by now.) From heavy hiking socks to performance socks that wick away moisture, here are the 24 best men’s socks for every situation, style and budget.

The all-purpose half-calf

If you’re looking to renovate your sock drawer from the ground up with the most useful and versatile pairs, these are the ones to buy first.

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Nike Dri-Fit Cotton Crew Socks (6 Pairs)

The Swoosh’s signature crew has rib to mimic a dressy sock, but enough cushioning to keep you comfortable through four hours of bad dance moves fueled by an open bar with no blisters in sight. And while it’s thin enough to slip into more stylish shoes (your loafers or brogues), it’s thick enough to keep your toes warm if your fancy shoes are transporting you to freezing places.

Bombas space dye socks

A thousand podcasters can’t be wrong: Bombas socks really are as good as advertised. They are comfortable, cushiony, and available in all colors, patterns, lengths and weights known to man. Start with these pencil-colored half calves.

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Gold Toe Crew 656s Cotton Sports Socks (6 pairs)

Those white tubular socks your dad wore with sandals when he ran the grill every weekend? They are now the most fashionable accessory on the catwalks at Paris Fashion Week and on stage at every music festival. Fortunately, this sudden jump in status didn’t affect its affordability at all.

The essentials of the C-Suite

Solid ribbed dress socks are still the best way to bridge the gap between the cuff of your dress pants and the top of your brogues.

Uniqlo colored socks

Want to experiment a bit with your socks? Start with Uniqlo. Their ribbed dress socks are shockingly good quality (tightly woven, comfortably padded, super saturated color) for a low, low price. Plus, they come in almost any shade you can imagine. Get some teal! And the eggplant! Neon pink? They will go well with gray or navy blue pants! If one color doesn’t work, you only lose a few dollars.

Pantherella “Danvers” ribbed socks

Pantherella’s cotton socks made this list because they’re knitted from Egyptian yarn with a bit of nylon (it’s a 70/30 blend, if you want to be specific). Cotton is soft yet strong, while nylon provides elasticity and grip. The weight and finish of the fabrics is something that haunts the company at its factory in Leicester, England (the brand’s sock production site for 80 years). Beyond that, they have a rib that is neither too thin nor too wide, which prevents the socks from sagging around your ankle; come in a range of rich, saturated shades that would make Crayola jealous; and is currently recording a perfectly respectable price of $ 13 per pop.

Paul Stuart ribbed cashmere-blend socks

The heavy weights

Chunky winter boots require chunky winter socks.

Double-sided RoToTo Crew Socks

Wool outside + cotton inside = the all-weather suit as pleasant to the touch as it looks.

Smartwool thick trekking socks

Wear them now, while you blow up the air conditioning in your apartment with impunity, then take them out again to keep your feet warm all winter long.

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American Trench Merino Activity Sock with Silver

Got the kind of feet where people start to leave the room before you’ve even finished untying your laces? Iconic American Trench socks will help. There’s an antimicrobial silver knit right in the heel and toe to keep odors away at the source, and the breathable merino wool that includes the rest will keep your dogs warm and moisture-free.

Special summer camp offers

Overnight Camp: Great for making lifelong friends, learning practical survival skills, and developing a great taste in thick and layered socks.

Hikerdelic smoothie socks

Hikerdelic from Manchester makes his lightweight rags in weird colors worthy of his trippy ’60s brand: tangy lemon yellows, deep purples and wild combinations like this.

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Thunders Love “Charlie” Cotton Blend Socks (was $ 28, now at 30% off)

Knitted on vintage machines from recycled materials, Thunders Love socks are the kind you’ll want to wear with sandals to show as many of them as possible to the world.

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LLBean Merino Wool Socks, 2 Pack

Retro athletic hits

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Adidas mid socks

If you, like Jonah Hill, Kerwin Frost, and Prada, have chosen to ride hard for the Three Stripes in recent years, you’ll need the right socks to pair with all of your new Sambas, Gazelles, and Superstars.
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Entireworld Recycled Cotton Blend Double Stripe Socks

An ideal marriage between old school beauty and more environmentally friendly new school production methods. These guys are breathable, comfy, and ready to pull on with all kinds of short shorts this summer.

Tabio ribbed stripe odor control socks

Tabio has only been in the US for a little over a year, but he’s been a staple wizard in Japan for half a decade. We recruited them to design a pair of exclusive socks for our Best Stuff Box last summer. This pair has been sold out for a long time, but these perfectly retro guys are just what the doctor ordered.

Hippy-Dippy hosiery

Even if you’re not a full-fledged flower kid and wearing hemp, you still need at least a pair of tie-dye vibey socks in the spin.

Mr P.

Your most stuffy striped socks, if your most stuffy striped socks drank a lot of ayahuasca, ran off to Joshua Tree, and came back sick and tired from the drudgery of the business.

Hobo socks in tie-dye cotton

Swirling cumulus clouds, the ocean at low tide: whatever you see, it will be even better at your feet.

The Elder Statesman Hot Dye Yosemite Socks

Like flying first class or eating dry-aged wagyu, wearing cashmere socks is one of those completely unnecessary luxuries that you must experience at least once in your life.

Total deviations

We don’t respect fancy socks much anymore – sorry, Justin Trudeau – but these weird patterns will itch your itch. Frasier regular socks.

Anonymous Ism Zebra Crew Sock

All the rejuvenating power of a childhood trip to the zoo, courtesy of Japan’s most renowned sock scholars.

Missoni logo-print crochet knit socks

No discussion of trippy knits is complete without a mention of Missoni.

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Solmate socks

If you have fond memories of frequenting the J.Crew liquor store, you might even have a pair of those mismatched glasses still lying around somewhere.

No-shows

The heyday of the #menswear era of sockless is behind us, but as our guy John Cho once proved at the Oscars, there’s still a time and place to show off an ankle. Here’s how to do it without overwhelming your brogues.

Bombas Quilted Invisible Socks (4-Pack)

Bombas has mastered the invisible low sock, adding a honeycomb compression ring in the middle of the foot, a Y-stitched heel and insole padding, all in Peruvian cotton. The results are spectacular.

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Set of six cool towels

The Nice Laundry Assemble Six Pack Box is a great way to piece together your summer sock options in one go. Plus, they’re made from three-way stretch fabric and have heel grip, so no matter how badly your feet sweat, they’ll still hold on for life.

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Pack of two pairs of Mack Weldon socks

Mack Weldon, a new label known for its mastery of menswear basics, has created a well-cut, no-fuss version of the invisible moccasin lining. Each comes with two versions, and there are plenty of colors and patterns to choose from on their website.

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