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What Are the Best Socks for Women?

A sock for every occasion. Photo-Illustration: Retailers

Insignificant as they may be, socks can have an outsize effect on the course of your day. Too loose around the ankle, and you’ll be pulling them up every few blocks. Too rough — blister city. Then there’s the matter of picking a sock that’s actually stylish — choosing between, say, a pair of actually attractive tube socks and some glittery mesh going-out socks. We reached out to 24 stylish women to hear about their favorites for all occasions — for slipping on under heels (Darners, Tabios), and avoiding slip-sliding on the pilates mat (Sticky Bes and Pointes). Consider your sock drawer revived.

Best no-show socks for sneakers and ankle boots

Even the biggest snobs among us have grabbed a mismatched pair on laundry day. When she’s having one of those days, Diana Lee, the CEO and co-founder of marketing firm Constellation Agency, grabs these socks from her son’s drawer. “I can always count on my son’s Nike Everyday Plus Cushioned No-Show in black or red,” she says. When it comes to socks, she’s mainly looking for something lightweight and breathable, and these aren’t only supportive, but they’re made with sweat-wicking Dri-Fit technology, perfect for managing the sweat that comes on a hectic morning when you might have to throw these on.

We’ve heard high praise for Bombas socks from everyone from Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson) to chef Jonathan Waxman. People are especially fond of the brand’s no-show socks. “For me, it’s all about comfort and functionality,” says stylist Jasmine Caccamo, who loves the brand’s no-show style. “When I’m wearing everything from my YSL Court Classic sneakers to my Nike Air Pegasus, Bombas socks are my go-to. These socks have a ‘blister heel’ (meaning gel grips on the heel that keep the socks in place) and the high quality of the cotton makes them super cozy, comfortable, and breathable.” Allison Tray, founder of Tres Belle Spa in Boerum Hill, told us that she is “totally obsessed” with how comfortable Bombas socks are, and compares the feeling of wearing them to “a little hug on your feet.” She wears them to the gym, and also pairs them with ankle boots.

Best no-show socks for flats

From $16 for 4

If you want to wear socks with flats, you’re going to need something with a deep cut in the front, and, crucially, something that won’t slip off. Dolley Frearson, co-founder and creative director of High Fashion Home, found a pair that does the trick: Hue’s No-Show Socks. “They’re the best no-show socks ever,” she says. “I had to go through so many brands before I found ones that didn’t slip off.” These socks feature an elastic topline and a silicone back so they stay in place, and according to Frearson, they work with just about every type of shoe: “They’re perfect for flats, booties, sneakers, everything.”

We’d be remiss to leave off the pair of no-show socks that come recommended by investigative journalist Marian Wang, who applied her expert research skills to the hunt for the perfect no-show sock. Her answer: Jarseen Women’s No-Show Low-Cut Non-Slip Liner Socks. “This sock was the clear winner,” she wrote. “Unlike many no-show socks that have just a tiny dab of silicone gel at the heel for grip, these socks have a ring of gel all the way around the edge, which is much more effective.” There’s also silicone at the ball of the foot, which helps your sock stay in place in flats. “If I were only buying one pair, I’d get these,” says Wang.