They are the daily companion of your feet and shoes: Socks are always in action and must withstand a lot depending on the purpose. What you need to pay special attention to when buying the best socks, we show you here.

 

1. What is the best sock material?

Decision criterion number one for sock quality is the sock material used. The processed yarns significantly influence your wearing comfort. Which material is suitable for you depends on your intentions.

There are different types of socks for everyday life, sports and outdoor activities. In everyday life, design, style, wearing comfort, and delicate material are particularly important.

For sports and outdoor activities, special properties should also be taken into account, e.g., high tear resistance, active moisture transport and light, supple sock material.

Here we present you the most common sock yarns:

 

Wool

Well-tried and good? Wool fibers provide warm feet and feel pleasant on the feet, especially in everyday life and winter.

Did you know? A certain amount of lint, when worn several times, is a sign of high quality. It indicates a high percentage of natural fibers.

Alpaca socks

Merino wool: 

Merino wool is mainly used for hiking socks. The reason: it absorbs a lot of moisture and transports it to the outside. At the same time, it has a warming function. This reduces wet, cold feet.

Alpaca

Alpaca wool is considered one of the most noble and expensive types of wool. This is mainly due to its light sheen, silky soft texture and pleasant wearing comfort. As the name suggests, it comes from the alpacas, which originally come from Peru.

 

Virgin wool: 

Warm and soft; these are essential properties of virgin wool. It is therefore very suitable as a thermal sock for the winter. It also binds odors and is very elastic and breathable. This makes it very versatile.

 

Cotton: 

A prevalent fiber for your everyday socks is cotton. This is very skin-friendly, durable and can absorb a lot of moisture. It also keeps your feet nice and warm. However, cotton doesn’t wick moisture well, which makes it less suitable for sports or hiking.


 

Synthetic fibers

In addition to natural fibers, which are gentle on the skin, functional and well-fitting yarns are especially in demand. This is where synthetic fibers come into play. They are today’s primary component in sports socks.

 

Polyester: 

The synthetic yarn is known for its durability. The fiber is also very light, tear-resistant and dries quickly in the air.

Spandex:

The material is very stretchy on the one hand but also hugs the foot tightly. The fiber provides a soft and smooth surface, is very easy to clean and keeps its shape for a very long time.

Polyamide: 

Polyamide is above all abrasion-resistant, resistant and dimensionally stable. This ensures long durability.

 

Functional fibers

A mix of synthetic fibers and natural fibers is usually used for functional sports and outdoor clothing. In this way, both fabrics’ favorable properties are perfectly combined, resulting in breathable socks that are also robust. On the one hand, it can absorb and wick away moisture, but at the same time, feels comfortable to wear and fits snugly.

functional socks

2. Which sock size do I need?

The fit is crucial for friction and a comfortable feeling on the feet. Good socks must not slip or twist in the shoe. Otherwise, there is a risk of unpleasant blisters and pressure points.

Finding the right size of his socks seems easy at first glance. Look for the shoe size, and you’re done.

But many people have intermediate sizes. Here we have the following tip for you: Do not buy socks made of synthetic fibers too big, but stick to the given sizes and, if in doubt, choose half a size smaller.

On the other hand, Cotton socks may be chosen larger, as they are less elastic than synthetic fibers. Those with wider feet should also choose one size larger. As a durable sock material, spandex is very suitable for different sizes. Ribs in the socks are also recommended, as they are stretchy and at the same time also fit exactly.

3. How much does good quality socks cost?

The price-performance ratio again depends on the area of use of the socks. Cotton socks for everyday use are comparatively inexpensive. For special socks, e.g., for sports, winter or hiking, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

Depending on the manufacturer and the materials used, the average price is between 10 and 50 US dollars. In return, of course, you benefit from more functionality such as warm, dry feet with fewer pressure points.

Whether expensive socks are really good, you can often tell by the workmanship. 

Here you have to pay attention to the stress points of the foot. This is the heel and toe area, where stronger yarns should be used or knitted in several layers. This will help prevent premature wear and reduce the risk of holes.

Therefore, when trying on socks, pay attention to the toe seam and the waistband’s workmanship. The seam should not interfere, and the waistband should not cut in. A high-quality finish speaks for good socks quality but also costs more.

Breathable socks for sports: Compression Socks

Specially developed for sports, there are unique compression socks. Compression works by applying gentle pressure to the foot and leg.

The different lengths of socks and stockings with compression perform different functions:

Sneakers and short socks: Thanks to their anatomical fit, they lie close to the skin and reduce the risk of blisters and pressure sores. The built-in cushioning zones further dampen your foot movements.

Calf-high socks: These socks work around the ankle area. They stimulate the self-stabilization of your ankles through gentle pressure and promote essential muscle tension. This allows you to perceive your movements more intensively

Knee socks: Here, the full compression effect can unfold. The pressure promotes the blood circulation of your legs in the calf area. This means that your muscles can be better supplied with nutrients. Especially during sports, this helps you to perform better. After the training, they support you in fast regeneration by the removal of metabolic products from your muscles.

The sock material is very light and consists of a synthetic fiber mix. Besides, silver nitrate is incorporated into the socks to reduce unpleasant odor development during sports. Some products also contain breathable merino wool, e.g., for winter sports or hiking. With the large selection of compression socks, you are well equipped for the next hiking tour or training session in the gym.

Watch out when buying socks!

As you can see, choosing the right socks is crucial for optimal wearing comfort and a pleasant foot climate.

So the next time you buy socks, pay particular attention to:

  • Material
  • Size
  • Price

Of course, in addition to these criteria, the perfect sock’s appearance also plays a significant role. Meanwhile, there are socks in countless colors and designs, such as the stylish retro look of the 80s, matching the outfit and shoes. After all, good socks should be not only high quality but also stylish.

Whether business socks, sports socks, fashion socks, everyday socks, hiking socks – Let’s not kid ourselves, the quality of a good sock can only develop fully if you wear it according to the occasion.

Finally, a little tip: the best socks are of no use if your shoes are not functional and comfortable. So if you choose breathable socks for running, you should also choose a running shoe with similar properties.

Categories: MerinoWool

Marco Heitner

Marco is the author and creator of the World’s-Finest-Wool.com and holds the "Wool Fibre Science" certification. He founded this website because of his love for nature, tradition and exquisite all-natural fibers like merino wool, cashmere, and alpaca. The way local communities interact with their environment and produce valuable, irreplaceable natural resources such as wool is inspiring.

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