You put them on every day and forget about them — if they’re good. If they’re bad, you can’t help thinking about them. There are so many ways socks can go wrong: when they don’t hug your ankle tightly enough, or when the no-shows slip off in your shoes, or when you hate the pattern that’s peeking out from under your pants. So to find the best socks for men, we talked to 14 guys — many of them men’s-fashion insiders — to get the intel. They told us about their favorite no-shows, athletic socks, crew socks, dress socks, and more. We summed up all their top picks, from the simple and affordable Uniqlo crew socks that a bunch of stylish guys swear by, to novelty socks depicting Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Best no-show socks for men
“I live and die by Uniqlo’s no-show socks,” says publicist Jon Salas. “They’re super comfortable, durable, light, and breathable.” He tries to wear them as close to year-round as possible, which can be hard in New York City, but he especially likes them in the summer with sneakers because they “show a little ankle” and the sock stays hidden. “And you just can’t beat the price,” he adds.
Menswear consultant Nick Wooster is another no-show diehard. He told us, “Unless it’s snowing outside,” he likes to wear no-shows, and his favorites are made by Mr. Gray. “Thanks to the exact fit and the quality of the yarn, they don’t slide, and really grip my foot unlike any other.”
Best athletic socks for men
For a “daily running sock,” menswear designer and founder of Corridor, Dan Snyder, likes Bombas ankle socks. Jeremy Kirkland, host of the podcast Blamo!, is also a fan of Bombas for running and working out, which he says are “reinforced” in key areas, but he prefers the crew-length version.
“I wear Puma socks every single day,” says designer Samuel Krost of Krost, who adds that he “can’t go to the gym without wearing” these cushioned athletic crew socks.
For an athletic sock that can also double as something more stylish, copywriter Jon Roth likes American Trench’s “Kennedy” athletic socks. “Like white briefs, there’s old-school perfection in a pair of red, white, and blue tube socks, and American Trench makes some of the best. I wear these pulled up high with shorts and sneakers, but they’re also a good choice for dancing around the house Risky Business style.”
Best crew socks for men
Three of the people we spoke with praised Uniqlo’s affordable and colorful cotton-blend crew socks. “They’re medium height and thickness, so they’re versatile for many different outfits and activities,” says co-founder and creative director of Hawthorne Phillip Wong. “They also come in a wide range of amazing colors, so depending on your outfit, you can have a nice tonal moment.”
As stated earlier, Salas loves his Uniqlo no-shows, but as he puts it, “I do need something longer when it’s like 32 degrees out, and I still stick with Uniqlo.” He likes their supima-cotton “dots” socks because “they’re not super bunchy or thick, but they still manage to keep you warm.”
For a truly versatile sock, writer Kevin Smith says these Calvin Kleins are his go-to’s. “These are my favorite socks because they’re long-lasting (I’ve had mine for several years), durable, and very comfortable,” he says. “They never fall down, but at the same time they don’t cinch your leg so hard that they leave an indent once you change into gym shorts after work.” And at $13 for a 3-pack they’re available at a great price.
For an upgraded take on the solid colored crew sock, men’s-fashion writer Jordan Mixson — who also runs the sock-focused site the Sockateur — loves Tabio’s made-in-Japan crew socks. “I love their take on crew socks,” he says. “They feel so smooth and silky, like a fancy dress sock. And they come in a nice wide range of colors if you want elevated basics.”
Best fun socks for men
For something a little more novel, Scott Rising, social media manager at Macy’s, likes these socks from Hot Sox. “Nothing captures my current state of mind quite like my socks depicting Edvard Munch’s The Scream,” he says. These are part of the company’s “Museum Collection,” which features sock interpretations of a variety of iconic works of art, such as the Mona Lisa, Starry Night, and more. Rising also notes: “These socks do invite conversation, so make sure you’ve at least perused the painting’s Wikipedia page in preparation for any questions you might get.”
Best patterned socks for men
For bold prints and designs, PR consultant Terence Edgerson is a fan of Happy Socks. “I first got them as a gift, and then I went out and purchased more. They’re so great because they never leave an itchy ring around my calves; they fit without being too tight, like I’ve experienced with other socks. They also have this wide range of wild patterns, from near solids to socks with polka dots and lemons on them.”
“At the moment I am obsessed with Afrisocks,” says fashion and branding consultant Ronny Oppong. According to its website, Afrisocks was “founded by Ghanian entrepreneurs who love colorful socks.” Oppong thinks that “they have the coolest designs to add a pop of character to any look.” He adds that “they’re also great quality and pretty affordable.”
Best bamboo socks for men
For daily wear, Blamo! host Kirkland swears by these bamboo socks from CDLP. “They’re thin enough to wear with dress shoes and thick enough to wear with sneakers,” he says. “I like the bamboo material because they don’t shrink, are anti-odor and anti-bacterial, and made from a natural, more sustainable fiber. Last but not least they’re just comfy af.” They’re available in black, too, but Kirkland loves them in navy. “I only buy socks in navy because it’s the most versatile color to wear with jeans, chinos, and trousers.”
Best dress socks for men
For dress socks, stylist Brian Coats prefers a longer “over the calf” model, and he likes this pair from Pantherella. “They actually become essential for your circulatory system when you have 25 showroom appointments a day,” he says.
For more subtle — but still unique — patterned dress socks, Mixson really likes Ace & Everett’s designs, which he says “are inspired by buildings around Manhattan and Soho.” He also highlights the “double barrel technique” they use to knit their patterns, which he says “creates a textured outer layering.”
Best wool socks for men
For colder temperatures, Snyder loves these “superhigh wool boot socks” from American Trench. They’re made from a wool-and-silk blend, knit in Pennsylvania, and available in four textured color options with donegal-like flecks.
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