What Kind of Socks Should I Wear?

When picking out a pair of shoes, it's easy to differentiate the good from the bad. With socks, however, the options available to you may all seem so alike that you think it doesn't matter. You pick the most economical pack, the ones with the cutest patterns, or the brand you've been wearing for years. That said, all socks are not created equal. How do you know if you've picked the right pair of socks?

To pick the best socks, you should pay attention to the fit, the thickness of the material, and the fabric they are made from. Different health conditions like diabetes and neuropathy can open you up to more options, like compression stockings or socks without toe seams. Athletes should pick socks made for those who lead active lifestyles and optimize recovery. 

Keep reading to learn more about the qualities of a high-quality pair of socks. 

a bunch of colorful socks against a yellow backgroundPick Socks in the Correct Size

Socks come in varying sizes, just like shoes do! Wearing socks that are too snug can lead to rubbing, blisters, and other abrasions. On the other hand, socks that are too loose are downright uncomfortable and might bunch up when you wear them.

 

Here's a handy chart to help you figure out your correct sock size:

Sock Size Women's Shoe Size Men's Shoe Size
9-11 5-10 4-7.5
10-13 10.5-13 8-12.5
14+ 14+ 13+

 

Additionally, people with diabetes should pay special attention to the fit of their socks. A pair of ill-fitting socks can seem innocent enough, but the rubbing can lead to ulcers and slow-healing wounds. 

Pay Attention to the Thickness of Your Socks

Just like your closet transitions between the seasons, so should your socks. Wear thicker, cozier socks in the winter to keep your feet protected from the cold. In the warmer months, find thin socks to help keep your feet from sweating too much. 

What Are the Best Socks for Sweaty Feet?

If you tend to have sweaty feet, excess moisture can lead to itchiness and even athlete's foot. The best socks for sweaty feet or athlete's foot are made from synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and acrylic. Socks made from copper-woven fibers are also available to keep bacteria and excess moisture at bay. Overall, socks that help to wick away moisture are the best option for those with sweaty feet. 

Toe Seams or No Toe Seams?socks

If you're not the type to notice toe seams in your socks, the decision is really up to you. For some, the feeling of that rough seam rubbing against the tips of the toes is enough to drive a sane person mad. Many runners also report irritation caused by toe seams in socks. Luckily, seamless socks are accessible to everyone. 

If you have diabetes or neuropathy, seamless socks are a must. Because you may have decreased feeling in your feet, you could be oblivious to the rubbing of the seam on your skin. By the time you notice, there may already be an abrasion, blister, or full-blown ulcer forming. To avoid painful and delayed healing of wounds, wear socks with no toe seams. 

What Are the Best Socks for Runners, Cyclists, and Other Athletes?

Some socks are made especially for certain sports. Running socks are manufactured to be seamless and possess anti-slipping properties so you never have to pause your run to fix a sock that's gotten bunched up in your shoes. For any sport, avoiding cotton or wool is a must. Athlete's foot is called athlete's foot for a reason: those who lead active lifestyles are more prone to sweaty feet. Wearing socks made from synthetic materials will help you avoid stinky feet, foot fungus, and general itchiness or discomfort. 

What Are Compression Socks, and Should You Be Wearing Them?guy wearing white compression socks

Compression socks are named appropriately. They offer a tighter fit which aids in blood flow to your legs and feet. Compression socks, when used correctly, can be beneficial for everyone, but especially:

  • Those with diabetes. Compression socks improve nerve sensitivity if you suffer from nerve damage or neuropathy caused by diabetes. Because compression socks help to hinder excess swelling and inflammation, utilizing them can decrease swelling and lessen the risk of infection.
  • Patients with other vascular conditions. Diseases of the veins and arteries can also be aided by the use of compression socks, and have been shown to reduce the risk of blood clots. 
  • People who work at a desk or sit for long periods of time. If you lead a more sedentary lifestyle, consider trying out a pair of compression socks. Doing so will reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and avoid swelling that can become common if you spend most of your day sitting.
  • Athletes and runners. Compression socks have been shown to help runners and other athletes reduce swelling and muscle fatigue and improve recovery. 
  • Post-Surgical patients. If you've recently had surgery, you're probably in for a few weeks of taking it easy. Rest is important after surgery, and a pair of well-fitted compression socks can help you ensure adequate blood flow to your lower limbs as you recover.

Socks: The Gift Everyone Wants, But No One Asks For

With the holidays in full swing, you've undoubtedly been thinking about the gifts you'll get for your loved ones. With hundreds of styles and (probably) millions of patterns available, you can find a pair of socks that are perfect for that person on your list who seems impossible to shop for. Here are a few of my favorite, most giftable socks:

custom pet socks ugly christmas sweater patternCustom Pet Socks from Chewy.com

These TRIBE socks from chewy.com are the perfect gift for your favorite pet owner (even if that just happens to be, well... yourself). Simply upload a photo of your furry friend, and Chewy does the rest. 

Bombas Socksgrey and pink bombas socks

Bombas are possibly the most well-known sock brand on the market today. With socks that don't skimp on comfort or style, how could you go wrong? The best part is their One Purchased - One Donated initiative. For every item purchased from Bombas, an item is donated to an organization that will distribute them to those in need. 

 

Foot Care Goes Beyond Socks

If you're struggling with foot pain, complications from diabetes, or other foot problems, a good pair of socks won't be enough to fix it. At Freeland Foot and Ankle, we strive to provide the best conservative foot care in Mid-Michigan. Our 5-star rated team will have you back on your feet in no time! Give us a call today or fill out our contact form, and a member of our staff will reach out to you the next business day!

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