The Best Men’s Socks for Virtually Every Situation

From no-shows to knee-highs and everything in between, these are the best socks money can buy

Updated March 22, 2023 12:54 pm
a collage of the best socks for men on a purple and blue gradient background
They may be a necessity, but the best socks for men can be so much more.
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News flash: Unless you’re rocking a sandal, espadrille or a very expensive pair of loafers, you should probably be wearing socks. We’re not saying that you have to wear them all the time (although it seems to help…uh, performance), but any time footwear is in the picture, we’d highly suggest donning a pair of socks. Not that that’s so bad — after all the best men’s socks aren’t just a necessity; they’re a bona fide luxury.

Yet, it’s the case that for most men, socks are the last thing on their minds. Grab a pair of black tube socks, add to the Amazon cart, boom. We’ll do the same thing a few years. Wrong! Socks are good, man. They’re cozy, functional and in some cases, a genuinely stylish addition to your OOTD. Plus, with the variety of pursuits, the modern man attempts on the daily – the office, the gym, the trail, the track — intentional sockage can be the difference between a good day, and a great one. Take the time to invest in the right pair (which doesn’t have to be as expensive as it sounds) and you’ll be rewarded dividend over with happy, comfortable feet, and maybe a few compliments, too.

Seeing as how we’re something a sock expert, we’ve rounded up well over two dozen pairs that’ll make your corner store sock purchases look like…well, like a corner store sock purchase. From lightweight running socks, to hefty L.L. Bean joints, from Nike to Uniqlo, these are the best men’s socks for virtually every situation.

The Best Men’s Socks In 2023:

Height: Mid-Calf | Material: 65% cotton/33% polyester/2% spandex/1% nylon | Colors: 8

Nike’s Dri-FIT Socks aren’t the most comfortable, nor the sleekest, but they are far and away the most versatile sock we’ve tested, with the capacity to be paired with virtually any footwear in your arsenal (we’re actually pretty partial to the swoosh-loafer combo) and take your from work to the gym, no questions asked. Opt for the “Plus Cushioned” model — you’ll be glad for the extra plushness after a couple of hours on your feet.

Height: Mid-Calf | Material: 100% Supima Cotton | Colors: 7

Uniqlo’s socks are an open secret in the fashion world — ask virtually any designer, buyer or model what their sock of choice is, and chances are, you’ll hear about these Supima joints more often than not. The wide ribbed construction is charmingly on trend, and at just $5 a pop when you buy three, it’s easy enough to buy a ton in a variety of colors.

Height: Knee | Material: 85% Combed Cotton/10% Ionic+ Silver/4% Nylon/1% Elastic | Colors: 6

Mack Weldon’s dress sock is nothing special to look at, and that’s exactly what makes it a perfect sock for the odd black-tie occasion. After all, we’re of the firm belief that you should let your tux/suit/tie do the talking for you at the function, not a pair of alarmingly colorful socks. Instead, Mack packs these Pima cotton bad boys with anti-stink, sweat-wicking microbial silver tech that’ll keep the tootsie high and dry for the wedding…and subsequent open bar.

Height: Mid-Calf | Material: 73% Merino Wool/26% Polyamide/1% Elastane | Colors: 4

Tube socks have been everyday man’s bread-and-butter style, since the ’50s, and we see no reason that should stop now. After all, the ribbed style looks good with everything from sneakers to oxfords, and, when treated in wicking merino, they become a viable option for toasty days and cool evenings alike.

Height: Mid-Calf | Material: 89% Bamboo/9% Polyamide/2% Elastane | Colors: 4

If you’re put off by the exorbitant $85 for a pack of 5 unbranded white socks, know that you’re not alone. That was our gut reaction, too, and we won’t be hurt if you scroll on by. But for those who can get over the initial gut punch, we promise these Italian-made bamboo socks are worth every silver-infused cent, with a cool-to-the-touch and perfected ergonomic fit. They’re a splurge, but a worthy one — try them for yourself and see what your toes are missing.

Height: Mid-Calf | Material: Cotton/Polyamide/Elastane | Colors: 4

Patterned socks can be hit or miss — lean too hard into the bit and you’re giving substitute teacher energy. Instead, we recommend you choose one vertical of wild — color, pattern, or material, and go from there. Case and point — British desginer Paul Smith’s eye-catching Aldgate Dress Socks are totally palatable, if not pleasant.

Height: Quater | Material: 37% Nylon/34% Coolmax Polyester/26% Acrylic/3% Lycra Spandex | Colors: 1

Excited for some spring trails? Serious about your outdoor time? You’re probably already wearing Darn Tough — for the unaware or uninitiated, the Vermont-based sock company makes a cushioned, lightweight hiking sock that’ll…well, do whatever the opposite of “blow your socks off” is.

Height: No-Show | Material: 75% cotton/25% nylon | Colors: 1

We’d like to caveat this choice by suggesting that, unless you’re incredibly put off by the thought of your bare feet touching the insole of a shoe, there’s really no need to wear no-shows. That being said, if you do feel compelled to operate with a sock layer, Corgi’s Cable Socks are really the only way to go. One of the few styles that actually lived up to both the “no-show” and “anti-slip” mantles, they’ll provide the desired protection without any extra bunching.

Height: Mid-Calf | Material: 77% Merino Wool/21% Stretch Nylon/2% Lycra Elastane | Colors: 3

If by socks, you really mean blankets for your feet, you’ve come to the right place. L.L. Bean’s extra-high, extra-thick Ragg Socks made frigid tootsies a distant memory, delivering itch-free comfort and warmth to every wearer.

Height: Mid-Calf | Material: 88% Cotton/11% Polyamide/1% Elastane | Colors: 1

We’re normally proponents of a neutral sock, with some very notable expectations — when it comes to sandals (or, say, the Birkenstock Boston) a little flair or hint of color can upgrade your ‘fit from hardly trying to trying hard. Universal Works Slub Socks have the prerequisite marled red color, with a touch of heft to keep the dogs cozy.

Height: Mid-Calf | Material: 80% Cotton/17% Polyester/2% Nylon/1% Spandex | Colors: 15

Let’s do some ultra-quick math here: 6 pairs of socks, divided by 17, comes out to…yup, $2.83 a pair. They’re not the nicest, but if you’re simply looking for a pair of socks to get the job done, Gold Toe’s Cotton Crew socks should treat you just fine.

More Socks That We Dig:

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