We’ve all been there -- opening our closet doors, looking over our clothes, and sighing. What do I wear? Well, while your choice of outfit may weigh heavily on your mind, there is another question I’d encourage you to ask yourself: What kind of socks should I wear?
Choosing the right socks goes beyond matching your suit pants or oxford shoe color. It has to do with the type of activity you’ll be doing, the kind of shoe you’ll be wearing, your age, any medical history you may have, and other facets of your lifestyle. And, of course, you should always wear socks that you like and that match your personal style.
If you’re opening your sock drawer and feel at a loss, akin to the “what do I wear” anxiety, here are some of the best types of socks to wear in a variety of different occasions and circumstances.
Socks for Getting Active
Getting out there and getting active is a healthy way to take care of your body and to have some fun and relieve stress. Make sure that when you’re heading outside to do your favorite activities, you wear the right socks for each type of exercise.
If you’re an avid hiker and are looking forward to hitting more difficult trails, make sure you opt for socks that are thick and tough while offering plenty of plush cushioning for your feet. A pair of cushioned socks in the best hiking shoes or walking shoes you have makes for a great hike.
If running is more your speed, you may want a slimmer sock with more moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool on your run. It’s easy to obsess over having the best custom inserts for your running shoes or finding the ideal fit and then gloss over sock choice. But make no mistake. A proper running sock that keeps your feet cool and dry is well worth the extra thought and investment.
Cycling is another occasion wherein you may be best suited to have a longer sock that not only keeps your feet cool and dry on a long ride, but also offer a slight compressive property. Longer socks can also close the gap between foot and pant leg to protect your ankles and lower shin and calf from any potential scrapes while you’re out cycling.
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Socks for Relaxing and Lounging
Few feelings in this world are greater than returning home after work or a hard exercise session at the gym and slipping into some nice, comfy socks. Fuzzy socks and slipper socks are some of the best accessories for coziness, and they come in a variety of colors to suit your style. However, spending a cozy night at home is also a great opportunity to invest a bit of time into your foot wellness. That may mean spending a little longer in the shower giving your feet a nice wash and following up with a gentle moisturizer. Your feel will definitely be thankful for the extra TLC.
Socks for Special Occasions
Special occasion socks are often a matter of personal preference, though it’s important to remember some standard etiquette when it comes to foot wardrobe at a fancy gathering.
First, skip the novelty socks if you’re headed somewhere like a wedding or awards dinner. While cute, this is not their time, nor their place.
The second pillar to keep in mind is primarily for suit-wearers: make sure your socks match your suit pants, as opposed to matching your dress shoes. You’ll also want to make sure your socks are of an appropriate length. Typically, calf length socks are the best suited for suits. For those wearing skirts and dresses who want to wear a foot covering of some kind, tights are usually appropriate and can be pretty comfortable and flattering. Make sure to go with a pair of tights that match your skin tone, and are not too dark or too thick, and the results will be seamless.
Socks for Extreme Seasons
Living in an area that experiences both a sweltering summer and a blistering winter can be tough, but if you have the right socks in your arsenal, you’ll be sure to be comfortable all season long.
For freezing cold winters, opt for wool socks over cotton socks. Cotton socks may make your feet feel damp in your winter boots, as they hold onto moisture. Wool socks, however, insulate your feet from the cold while also wicking away moisture, which means your toes will be warm and dry.
In a hot summer, go for those 100% cotton socks you ditch in the winter. However, if it gets extra toasty where you live, it may be best to skip out on the socks all together and opt for a pair of sandals. Many find walking in sandals to be rather uncomfortable, but with the right pair of custom sandals, your feet can stay comfy and rub-free even on the longest summer strolls.
Socks for Seniors and Those With Medical Conditions
If you or a loved one are entering elderhood and are experiencing more difficulty with mobility and balance, you may be able to alleviate some stress with socks—really. Invest in some non-slip socks with rubberized soles. These non-slip, non-skid socks will keep feet comfortable while also providing traction on slippery surfaces like hardwood floors, so that life-changing falls can be avoided.
Some medical conditions may call for a different type of sock, too. Those with diabetes, for example, should choose socks made specifically for diabetics. At high blood sugar levels, diabetics can sometimes experience foot pain or other problems. Diabetes socks are typically looser fitting, comfortable, and non-binding for this reason.
Compression socks, on the other hand, may be a better choice if you or someone you love struggles with blood clots and circulation problems that can cause swelling in the legs. Compression socks are tighter and provide support in the legs and promote adequate blood circulation.
No matter your age, your hobbies, or where you live, having appropriate socks is important. Getting the right socks, coupled with taking good care of your feet with insoles and properly fitted custom shoes, can make your life easier and your feet happier.