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Though some feet don’t seem to mind the seam across the toes of their socks, others do. Sensitive toes and certain kinds of toe seams can be pretty uncomfortable. Our Woven Toe Seam section is there to help you find styles that will cause less discomfort!
Before we go into what styles have woven toes seams, let’s look at some regular, machine-stitched toe seams. Socks are knit in a tube by a machine and in large production they’re finished off by another machine that tightly sews the toe closed. It sort of looks like a serged edge, like most seams you see in store bought clothing.
For a lot of folks, this kind of seam isn’t noticeable. On styles with a formed heel, the seam falls across the top of your toes where there is often room in your shoe for toe wiggling. That gives you some ease for things like seams.
In tube style socks, that seam runs across the end of the sock and falls across the tip of your toes, or at the edge of your toenails. Even if you’re someone regular seams don’t bother, the kind on tube socks can be an irritation, depending on where it lands (smaller and narrower feet have more problems with tube socks sometimes, due to excess fabric) and what shoes they’re paired with.
Above, you can see the seam at the end of the toes on the Signature Cotton Thigh Highs on the left, compared to the kind of seam a formed heel style has in the Althea Cashmere Crew on the right. Some Dreamers with sensitive toes choose to turn styles like the Semi-Opaque Color Tights inside-out, so they keep the look but don’t have to deal with the seam. Not all styles are reversible (the nature of patterns and knit!) but there are styles in openwork, fishnet and lace that can work just as well outsides in.
Sensitive toes can also avoid the tyranny of a machine-stitched toe seam by choosing squishier styles. The nature of bouclé, for example (as we’ve discussed previously) adds a lot of loft that cushions your toes from a seam. And terry-lined styles work in the same way. You can see how comparatively minimal the toe seam on the Top Striped OTK Tubes is, once you pack terry loops around it!
In the same vein, thicker styles like the Erin Wool & Silk Socks (or the larger footed Maniche) can cushion around a seam, making for a more comfy fit. If you’re ever curious about how thick a seam is, drop us a line before ordering, our toes run the range of sensitivity, so we’re familiar with all sorts of comfort levels!
But for the ultimate avoidance of toe seams, it’s the woven (or “hand-linked”, or “flat”) toe seam. There’s barely a bump where the edges meet, perfect for those particular feet. Some brands, like Stance (on the left, below) or Sockwell (on the right, below) never use anything other than a woven toe.
February is a tricksy time, you’re feeling just about done with winter and snow and cold and wet. In some areas, like the Pacific Northwest, there are whiffs of the spring to come as the most heedless flowers (I’m looking at you, crocus) pop up on the surprisingly “warm” days that aren’t actually that warm, in the real scheme of things.
We recently talked of the wonders of fleece, in all its variants, but what are some other ways to keep cozy and make sure you have all your toes by the time spring really comes? That’s where our Warm! Category steps in. Let’s look at the non-fleece options for snuggly socks (and more!).
Speaking of more, why don’t we start with your shoes? We recently brought in Alpaca Felt Insoles, made in the USA by Heartfelt. They’re super warm alpaca wool felted onto burlap for sturdiness, made to slip into your shoes and curl just a bit up the sides, adding an insulating layer between your feet and the cold world.
They can be a bit fiddly to get in, but oh boy are they worth it (we found that bending back the front edge as you slip them in helps)! Perfect for those boots that are always a bit loose, they’re a dream to stand on and some of us removed the insole that came with our shoes to replace it with this warm, woolly option.
And what of wool? If you can wear it, it’s the best natural insulator. That’s thanks to the halo we’ve talked about before, trapping all that air like a Thermos and keeping warm in and cold out. It also works to wick sweat and wet away, which makes it ideal if your feet might end up damp and cold!
Pairing wool fiber and fuzzy textures ups the snuggly factor. “Boucle” (or, more properly, “bouclé”) is both a yarn and the fabric made from that yarn. Strands are wound together in a way that makes that distinctive loopy appearance. Fabric knit from bouclé yarn has a squishy thickness to it that indicates its lovely insulating properties.
If you can’t wear wool, or aren’t big into bouclé, then there’s a similar option available for you! Terrycloth (called “terry” for short and “French terry” if knit, and “warp knit” if you’re nasty) is a fabric knit to be flat on one side, with lots of loops on the other. Those little loops trap air just like a bouclé fabric (though maybe not as efficiently). They also add a thickness too that ups the warmth factor. We have quite a few terry options not in the Warm! section too. But these two are probably our top toasty terry-lined options.
Of course, there’s much to explore (and lots of options to layer) in the Warm! section, but I want to leave you with one last luscious option for staying warm. They’re a home sock, really, made for snuggling into at the end of your day, but the New Zealand Bed Socks by Outer Gear are fabulously furry inside, with a gentle top that is kind to sensitive ankles, making them a great option for folks who need to put their feet up. In stripes, solids and polka dots, with treads and without, there’s a style for just about everyone!
Like a lot of our imported styles, shipments of New Zealand Bed Socks are few and far between, so if the one you want isn’t available at this moment, be sure to sign up for email notification by clicking the “be notified when new stock arrives.” link that pops up when you select an out of stock colour. Do that and you’ll know the same day we do that more have arrived and are ready to order!
Keep those toesies cozy and see if the snuggly solution to keeping warm is just waiting for you to find it! Do you have a favourite sock or combo attack that you use to defeat the cold?
When we focused on red last year I stuck with that true, mid-century lipstick hue. Unlike some colours (purple is a good example) that have a strong and steady gradient of types, things that are red tend to be either RED or a fancily named dark red like “Bordeaux”, “Merlot” or “Burgundy”.
These delicious dark hues sometimes dip their toe into purple, but they’re always red in the shadows. Dark reds can be particularly picky about how they look, depending on who they’re by, as you can see in this shot of the O Chevrons in Dark Red/Black (left) and Dark Red/White (right).
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define red. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of red, both Wikipedia and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t. That said, let’s get down to it!
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
We say “Dark Red” for our house brand styles, ‘cause that’s what it is! The nylon yarn’s “Maroon”, however, has plummy undertones that make it deliciously deep.
A long time ago, B.Ella’s “Burgundy” used to be very berry, but since then, their dye batches have deepened and desaturated into this very sedate shade that is more Merlot.
They do love their “Burgundy”, making it a standard with Black, a brown and a grey for a lot of their styles. In cotton, the burgundy has a yellow base, while polyester and nylon-heavy blends make it more blue. The Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers are an outlier, with their fuzzy off-white marl.
Real talk: when does Tabbisocks ever not do a colour beautifully? Their Merlot is deep and delightful, with just the right amount of berry tones even in the comparatively darker versions.
“Port” is a dark red word used pretty much only by Sockwell and Stance, who (at least on the dark end) interpret it pretty similarly. EG Smith and Una go brighter in their dark reds, with a more vibrant burgundy than most folks turn out.
How a dark red shakes out is pretty straightforward: darker shades with tones of purple, lightening up to some pure berry!
You may be familiar with folks using flowers to secretly say what their heart truly means. If you’re thinking of getting yourself or someone else a bouquet of socks, we have quite the garden of floral styles for you to pick from.
When it comes to simply depicting flowers, there is a lot of artistic interpretation that happens, which means the majority of our styles are more of a “floral motif”, with lots of indeterminate blooms and flower-like patterns that evoke a garden without being specific.
But! If you’re looking for a little something more, we’ve also made sure you can search for common flower types to better convey your feelings.
These are loose interpretations of pretty petals, so if you see a bloom we’ve overlooked or mis-identified, let us know! We did our best, but are not botanists (though the folks who design floral patterns aren’t often, either) and many of these flower designs could be representing one kind or another. That said, let’s have some floral fun!
The Anemone is a simple, multi-petal flower with a burst of colour in the center. It can mean a lot of things, but it particularly represents anticipation.
A Carnation is a deeply layered bloom and its distinctly saw-tooth profile is often used as a complement to traditional rose patterns. Meaning everything from deep love to good luck, depending on colour, in general a carnation expresses love, fascination and distinction.
An emblem of good fortune, the Cherry Blossom signals love and affection, while their short span before falling also hints at the fleeting nature of feeling and time.
What defines the Chrysanthemum has often been contentious. A flower of variables, the one constant is many little florets working together to make a spectacular flower that stands for optimism and joy.
Though a bold flower, the Hibiscus means “delicate beauty”. It’s one of those designs that, when rendered in sock form, could be a geranium or even a lily, if you’re just looking at shapes. It’s the tropical colours that help them stand out from the crowd.
The Lily is another classic bouquet flower that holds a different meaning for each colour it blooms in. From “modesty” to “passion”, or “gaiety” to “refined beauty”, the lily can represent practically as many things as the individual breeds of both true and named lilies (though the BlueQ socks below are pretty clear in their meaning)!
Even more bedecked with meaning, the Rose could say “hey, you’re a rad friend” (yellow) to “love at first sight” (purple).
There’re lots more meanings to flowers and colours. And with a search through our Floral styles you can wear your heart on your toes, if not on your sleeve!
When you search “fleece” on our site, mostly you see variations of polar fleece and fleece-lined, but there are two outliers that are actually informative.
The fiber content for the Nuova Ribbed Wool Midcalf explains that they’re made from “one of the rarest and finest grades of Alpaca fleece.” And the New Zealand Sleepy Sheep Bedsock mentions the fleece-y coats of sheep. See, polar fleece was designed to mimic the insulating properties of natural fleece (the wooly coat of sheep and other fiber animals), which it does—right down to retaining its insulating (read: warm-making) powers when wet.
Similar to Dupont’s choice to not trademark the word “nylons”, the inventor of polar fleece declined to patent it, an action that encouraged the proliferation and acceptance of this new fabric. I’m sure the totally snuggly aspects of polar fleece helped too.
I mean, just look at how snuggly the Jellybean Fleece Slipper Socks are!
Lately, we’ve been seeing more and more “fleece” styles pop up. Most are polar fleece (or have the same qualities), but some aren’t quite. One of the definitive aspects of fleece (animal, polar or colloquial), is a woolly nap or pile. And both those words are just fancy fabric terms for a raised surface. Corduroy, velvet terry, all those touchable textures involve a distinctive fuzzy finish. Which, all of our “fleece” styles have.
Now, if that fuzzy finish is actually fleece-y or something else is another thing. Like a lot of accessory and clothing descriptors, like “crochet”, “fleece” can be used a little willy-nilly but is internally consistent in definition. So let’s look at what we mean when we say “fleece.”
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