Socks: all women need them for day-to-day wear. Socks provide a layer of comfort and sweat protection when you wear shoes, making them an essential component of many outfits. Additionally, certain types of socks can be worn like slippers around the house to keep your feet cozy.
Socks are often made from a combination of different fabrics. These fabric blends may include cotton, nylon, acrylic, spandex, lycra, elastane, and more. Fabrics are also often combined because different materials offer different benefits for sock wearers. For example, cotton provides softness and breathability, while spandex offers the stretchiness needed to provide a comfortable fit for many individuals.
Socks are a staple in any women’s wardrobe and come in many different styles. Depending on your needs and style preferences, you may want to own an assortment of types of socks. Different shoes and outfits require different socks; it helps to be prepared by stocking up on all of the socks that you could possibly need.
Below, we’ve compiled the main types of socks for women, along with the main features of each. From socks for everyday wear to socks for formal get-togethers, we’ve got you covered. Use the information for reference as you stock up on socks for a variety of occasions.
Different Types of Socks for Women
Ankle socks, predictably, don’t rise above the height of the ankle. Ankle socks are one of the shortest types of socks and are worn on a day-to-day basis by many women all over the world.
Ankle socks are unique because they can be worn with all different types of attire. Since most types of shoes (save for sandals and strappy high heels) cover up ankle socks completely, ankle socks usually don’t have to coordinate with the outfit that they’re paired with. So, wear ankle socks with athletic wear, casual wear, formal wear, work attire, etc. The options are limitless!
Ankle socks for women come in an assortment of colors and designs. While neutral toned ankle socks are the most popular, including white, black, and gray, you can also find this type of sock in bright jewel tones, pastels, neons, and more. Ankle socks also come in a variety of fun prints that you can use to add a spark of fun to your day-to-day outfits.
Ankle socks are particularly popular in current times. This may be due to their versatility and the fact that they pair well with many varieties of shoe. Ankle socks are also currently “in style” because they look great with jeans and athletic apparel, both of which make up a large portion of women’s day-to-day wear. Ankle socks are simply a great staple item to keep in your wardrobe and wear on a daily basis.
Main Features of Ankle Socks
- Ankle socks are often sold in multi-packs of three or six. Due to the fact that ankle socks are typically worn for everyday wear, women will want to have multiple pairs to last them throughout the week.
- Ankle socks are a low-rise sock and can be hidden easily by long pants, skirts, or dresses. Many shoe types, including sneakers and boots, will also effectively conceal a pair of ankle socks.
- Neutral colored ankle socks are ideal for office and professional wear, while brightly colored and printed ankle socks are a great choice for wear during casual get-togethers or even while you’re working out.
- Ankle socks are the shortest variety of sock and are, therefore, the type of sock that can be worn with the widest variety of shoes and clothing.
- Many women prefer to wear ankle socks when they’re wearing short skirts or shorts. Ankle socks won’t be visually prominent when your legs are exposed, so they’re a great choice if you don’t like your socks to stand out.
Crew socks are a classic type of sock that can be worn with all different types of shoes. Crew socks measure up between the length of calf-length socks and ankle socks. They’re relatively short, although crew socks will still be visible when worn with sneakers or other ankle-length shoes.
If you’re wondering where crew socks got their name from, you’re not alone! Many people are puzzled by the name of this common type of sock. In fact, the origin of the crew sock name comes from its history of use by rowers. Rowers often still wear crew socks to this day, often in wool or synthetic materials in order to keep their feet warm when wet.
Crew socks are considered to be the standard sock length, and also the most popular. This type of women’s sock is generally used for everyday wear, rather than for formal occasions. This is because crew socks are visible when you wear pants or dresses that don’t fall below the height of the ankle.
While the exact height of a pair of crew socks varies depending on the manufacturer and size, most measure about six to eight inches from heel to cuff. This length provides an excellent balance between ankle socks and calf-length socks so that you can have foot coverage with virtually any type of shoe.
Main Features of Crew Socks
- Crew socks are an especially comfortable variety of women’s sock. The length above the ankle means that this type of sock won’t slip off of your heel, which can often happen when you’re wearing boots, sneakers, etc.
- Crew socks are sometimes called boot socks. This is because they are a great length to wear with all types of boots, from snow boots to rain boots to lace-up boots.
- Classic crew socks have a ribbed design that makes them ideal for wearing with somewhat bulky shoes. Ribbing makes for extra material in a pair of socks, so ribbed crew socks will also be warmer than those without ribbing.
- Crew socks may be cuffed or folded for a cute, casual look. Cuffing your crew socks also enables you to adjust the length according to your outfit.
Mid-calf length socks provide a middle ground between crew socks and knee-high socks. Also called trouser socks, this type of women’s sock doesn’t cover the calf entirely, but rise higher than the length of a crew sock.
Trouser socks are a popular choice for professional wear. Women often wear this type of sock in a traditional office setting with knee-length skirts or, unsurprisingly, trousers. Mid-length socks can also be worn for formal occasions, such as a gala or a dressy dinner event.
Similarly to thigh-high socks, which will be discussed later in this article, mid-calf length socks are often made from hosiery material, which is most often a stretch mesh fabric. Formal socks can also be made from polyester, nylon, and spandex. This thin, stretchy material allows you to layer mid-calf length socks with pants or long skirts without overheating or feeling uncomfortable.
Main Features of Mid-Calf Socks
- Mid-calf length socks are most commonly worn underneath pants or trousers. As such, the material of mid-length socks is often thinner than that of other types of socks.
- Mid-calf socks are sometimes made from extra-soft and warm materials. This type of material, which often consists of a blend of fabrics, is very comfortable and makes the socks feel like slippers. Mid-calf slipper socks are excellent for wearing around the house, especially during the winter months.
- Mid-length socks can be folded down from the top for a playful look. Additionally, folding your pair of mid-calf socks allows you to adjust the sock length depending on the type of shoes that you’re wearing.
- Mid-calf socks are rise just a few inches longer than crew socks, making them a great option for those who need extra coverage or warmth.
Knee-high socks are a long variety of women’s sock. Often worn as a fashion statement, instead of for practical purposes, knee-length socks completely cover the ankles and calves.
Knee-length socks are part of the traditional schoolgirl uniform. Paired with a plaid skirt and classic black Mary Jane shoes, white knee-length socks can create a cute, nostalgic look. You can also pair knee-length socks with formal skirts and dresses to add another element of interest to your outfit.
Knee-length socks are often worn for formal purposes, rather than for everyday wear, and are made from a thin, hosiery-like material. You could even pair thin knee-length socks with high heels for a unique dressy look in the fall or winter.
Main Features of Knee-Length Socks
- Knee-length socks can provide extra warmth underneath long pants during the cold winter months. Skiers, snowboarders, snowshoes, and other winter sports players may choose to wear knee-length socks while participating in their winter activity in order to keep their legs warm.
- Knee-length socks are a great type of sock to wear with many types of boots. Rain boots, heeled boots, and even military-style boots pair well with knee-high socks.
- Knee-high socks look great with denim. Pair this type of sock with denim shorts or a skirt during the summer, or with classic jeans in cooler weather.
Thigh-high socks are the longest variety of sock out there. Reaching as far as the mid or upper thigh, thigh-high socks cover most of your legs. For this reason, thigh-highs are a common choice of sock for women in cold weather, when additional layers are needed for warmth.
Thigh-high socks may also be called stockings and are sometimes made from a similar material to hosiery. As mentioned previously, hosiery material is thin and breathable, like tights. Unlike traditional sock materials, like cotton or even wool, hosiery material can be comfortably worn in hot temperatures without sweating or discomfort.
Thigh-high socks are worn not only for practical reasons but also for style purposes. Thigh-highs are fashionable when paired with short to mid-length skirts and are commonly used to achieve a seductive look. This type of sock also helps to create a shapely silhouette by making the legs look as long as possible.
Thigh-high socks stand apart from other types of socks because they cover the legs. Most other sock varieties don’t provide as much leg coverage, making thigh-highs more closely related to tights than many types of socks.
Main Features of Thigh-High Socks
- Thigh-high socks can be made visible for a fashionable look when paired with apparel that shows of the legs. This includes skirts and dresses that are just long enough to cover the band that rises to the middle of the thigh.
- Thigh-high socks are related to pantyhose. The main difference between these two hosiery types is that thigh-high socks cut off in the middle of the thigh, while pantyhose includes two connected leg sections that rise to a waistband.
- Thigh-high socks can be worn to work and professional occasions underneath trousers and ankle length skirts.
- Many varieties of thigh-high socks available today are worn as lingerie. This type of thigh-high is made from thin material, similar to that of a pair of tights, and has a garter strap.
- Due to the fact that thigh-high socks cover most of the leg, this type of sock may be used in place of compressive shapewear to create an ideal leg line.
Compression socks are a beneficial type of sock for athletic women. Unlike most other types of socks, which either serve to make shoes more comfortable or to contribute to the aesthetic of an outfit, compression socks work to improve body function.
Compression socks mainly function to improve blood flow in the legs or to reduce inflammation. Additionally, compression socks can help reduce discomfort in the case of injury to the foot, leg, or ankle.
Beyond everyday pain relief, compression socks can reduce your risk for DVT, or deep vein thrombosis. DVT is a type of blood clot that can result from poor circulation. Older women especially may consider compression socks to protect themselves against DVT, as well as other circulation-related conditions that become more prominent with age.
Compression socks aren’t made out of cotton or wool-like other sock varieties. In order to effectively compress the feet, ankles, and calves, compression socks must be made from elastic fabrics such as spandex and Lycra®. When you put on a compression sock, it should feel tight and stretchy. You’ll have a squeezing sensation around your calves and ankles; this feeling should be significant, but not so intense that it’s uncomfortable.
One big reason why athletes love compression socks is that the socks can be worn while participating in a sport. Having compression around the legs and ankles while working out can improve performance by minimizing pain. In other words, compression socks provide the support and pain relief that athletes need to power through pain.
Check out best compression socks for nurses.
Main Features of Compression Socks
- Compression socks may also be called compression hosiery or compression stockings.
- Compression is an effective treatment and prevention method for different types of injuries. Also, it can speed up recovery from injuries and reduce day-to-day aches and pains.
- Compression socks are often recommended to reduce overuse pain in athletes, such as runners, soccer players, tennis players, basketball players, and more.
- Shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and calf strains are some of the most common injuries that lead people, not just athletes, to wear compression socks.
- Compression helps muscles feel less achy and fatigued. So, not just athletes can benefit from compression socks, but also women with jobs that keep them on their feet all day.