types of socks

9 Types of Socks and How to Wear Them

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Having good socks is just as important as having good shoes. Check out these 9 types of socks and take your performance and comfort to the next level!

There are almost as many types of socks as there are activities and seasons. Choosing the right types of socks for your favorite activities and fashion needs is surprisingly easy and can take your athletic performance and style to new heights.

Keep in mind that our feet contain around 125,000 sweat glands, meaning that all sorts of bacteria and diseases can ruin your day if left unchecked. Depending on the types of socks you hold in your dresser, you might be vulnerable to some easily avoidable health risks and performance pitfalls.

Types of Socks & How to Wear Them

Some of the most popular athletic socks have moisture-wicking technology built into their fabric, while other types of socks specialize in minimizing friction and chafing. Some socks are most appropriate for certain seasons, such as winter socks that help your toes stay warm even at low temperatures. Even if you’re lounging around your home enjoying a well-deserved rest, certain types of socks are just overall smoother on the skin and help you stay cozy and comfortable.

Our review team has put together a list of types of socks to make sure you’re choosing the right type of socks for your lifestyle and needs. Let’s begin!

The Stepzz Grip Socks

types of socks 1Source: Stepzz
The Steppz Grip socks help you improve your speed even in the toughest of conditions.

When it comes to protecting your feet, the Steppzz grip socks are an excellent choice. Similar to the LUX grip socks, these types of socks are popular amongst yoga, lifting, and martial arts enthusiasts and can be comfortably used at home as well. The Steppzz grip socks feature 70% organic cotton and come with an anti-slip technology that prevents falls even on polished surfaces, a remarkable feature considering its affordable price tag!

Mack Weldon Silver Extended Dress Socks

types of socks 2Source: Mack Weldon
Are you dressing to impress? Dress socks are must-have accessories for your tuxedo.

The Mack Weldon Silver Extended Dress Socks are the best dress socks for this year. Their quality fabric gently envelops your feet and prevents it from falling around your ankles even after many hours of use. Weddings and other formal events can last for quite a few hours, which is why we’ve chosen dress socks that will help you look sharp and comfortable throughout the evening. Fair warning: dress socks are super smooth to the touch, so you might end up using them around the house too!

The North Face Smartwool Hike Medium Crew

types of socks 3Source: The North Face
The Smartwool Hike Medium Crew are high-quality casual socks for your everyday needs.

The North Face has over 50 years of experience in extreme exploration gear manufacturing. It’s no surprise that they would offer an all-purpose type of socks such as the Smartwool Hike Medium, which are perfectly capable of working in urban treks, indoor activities, or challenging hikes. Design-wise, their arch brace provides additional support while a flat-knit toe seam keeps your feet comfortable, making them practical and reliable for any occasion.

The Trail Merino Compression Socks

types of socks 4Source: CEP Compression
The Trail Merino are mid-cut socks with anatomically padded cushioning, anti-blister, and anti-hotspot technology.

CEP Compression created the Trail Merino for sports enthusiasts or anyone with a dynamic lifestyle. The Trail Merino distributes compressed fabric zones throughout your feet’s pressure points and keeps your ankle steady (which is especially useful if you’ve sprained your ankle in the past). These features make them ideal for intense workouts, jogging, or pickup games at the court.

The Trail Merino also comes with a temperature regulating fabric that manages heat and moisture efficiently. This wonderful technology makes painful blisters and overall discomfort a thing of the past.

If you prefer the long version of these performance socks, they’re also available on Trail Merino’s Amazon store in both black and cyan colorways.

Organic Wool Socks from Maggie’s Organics

types of socks 5Source: Maggies Organics
Perfect for home use as well as casual outdoor activities.

Maggie’s Organics is an increasingly popular provider of eco-friendly home products and apparel. Their limited-edition wardrobe essentials for men include the Organic Wool Mountain Hiker Socks, and they’re, quite simply said, outstanding. These types of socks are also known for their extra cushion and smooth-to-touch fabric, making them excellent socks for intense outdoor activities.

Keep in mind that many environmentally-conscious users choose to wear these at home too! So, feel free to gift them to your friends and bring change to the world, one foot at a time!

SmartWool Saturnsphere Socks

types of socks 6Source: Smartwool
The Saturnsphere keeps your toes warm and your ankles stylish during winter.

Having icicles for toes during the winter can be painfully annoying. Thankfully, the Smartwool Saturnsphere socks are designed to keep your feet warm and cozy even through the harshest of winters!

Smartwool outdid themselves with the Saturnsphere socks: cushioned enough to absorb impacts, yet thin enough to keep you light on your feet, they’ve stuck a perfect design balance. The Saturnsphere are also incredibly stylish and feature creative patterns for all walks of life.

Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock from REI Co-op

types of socks 7Source: Rei
The Darn Tough Hiker Boot Socks are exactly that: Extremely reliable hiking socks.

These are hands down, some of the best performing hiking socks in the market. The Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Cushion socks have earned a place in the hearts of hikers thanks to their remarkable features.

Firstly, these types of socks are made with merino wool, which is an antimicrobial fabric that preserves your feet hygiene. These socks also feature a sturdy medium-density underfoot cushion, as well as an anti-slipping fit that prevents blisters from developing after many hours of use. Notice in the picture above how high they go, covering your calf up to its mid-section for added protection and warmth.

Men’s PhD® Mini Hiking Socks

types of socks 8Source: Smartwool
The Mini Hiking Socks are a handy pair of reliable hiking socks for summer.

The Mini Hiking Socks are light in weight and keep you comfortable during humid weather since they trap less heat on your lower leg. These types of socks are also knit with moisture-wicking materials that keep your ankle in place without limiting your range in motion. Whether you’re a basketball player looking for a better fit for your shoes, or a trekking enthusiast, these ankle socks will prove themselves an invaluable part of your loadout.

The Japanese Tabi

types of socks 9Source: Samurai Market
The Japanese Tabi are anything but basic. They’re equally creative as they’re powerful.

In Japan, these are considered footwear, but given their elegant design and their ease of use, we like to think of them as unusual, yet surprisingly reliable grip socks.

The stealthy looking Tabi can work as indoor and outdoor wardrobe essentials and are as easy to wear as a pair of socks. Techwear enthusiasts love them for their unique aesthetics and outstanding fabric quality. The Tabi socks are easy to wash and can be used for garage work or lounging around your home, allowing you to experience the practical comfort that Japanese culture has to offer.


Picking the right types of socks will help you improve the fit of your shoes, your foot health, and athletic performance from the moment you wear them. Blisters, chafing, and odors can be a thing of the past once you find the right types of socks for your lifestyle and needs. Socks are also, thankfully, affordable long-term investments that you won’t have to replace for quite some time.

Not only are our team’s favorite types of socks designed to maximize comfort, but they’re also incredibly fashionable and easy to combine, making them ideal gifts for birthdays and special occasions.