We offer FREE USPS shipping on all US orders!
Knee highs are pretty straight forward. Our Measurements & Sizes page shows how they come to just below the knee, that’s pretty much the total of their definition. But you may have encountered the phrase “knee sock” when browsing our styles and wondered how it differed from plain ol’ knee highs.
There isn’t a whole lot of difference and sometimes we do use the phrase “knee sock” when we’re talking about knee highs. But, more often than not, when we call something a “knee sock” we’re talking about a sock that ends somewhere around the knee—sometimes below, sometimes above, sometimes right there in the middle of your knee cap—depending on your leg shape. The Bess Cashmere Slouch Rib Knee Socks are a perfect example of this, you can see how they end at different spots on different models’ legs:
Since we try on all the styles we sell and almost all of the models you see in our pictures are Sock Dreams employees, we get to see how socks act on different leg types. Long legs and fuller calves mean some shorter over the knee styles don’t fairly deserve the name “OTK”. But those same socks can’t properly be called knee highs either because just as many other folks had them go over their knees. So, we started using the phrase “knee sock” to highlight that ambiguity.
It was Sourpuss’ styles that made us first start using the phrase more actively, they’re shorter for over the knee styles and even though Sourpuss called them OTKs, we couldn’t after testing them, even though we love them.
The DreaM Stockings “knees” styles are another great example of a knee sock. Available in seven variations (with lots of varieties for each!), they can be worn as over the knee socks or knee highs, depending on your legs (or on your personal taste, I prefer them as knee highs, even though I’ve got short legs).
A way to find these in-betweeners is also to choose both “knee high” and “OTK” in Advanced Search then click the word “ALL” next to the header for Coverage. This shows you styles we’ve found fall both above or below the knee, depending on your leg. If you’ve got longer legs or fuller calves, you may already know the trick of wearing OTKs as knee highs, cuffing or double-cuffing to take care of any extra length.
A knee sock isn’t a style that couldn’t cut it as an OTK, nor is it just an over-achieving knee high. They straddle both coverage worlds, offering their stylish services to more leg types.
I will admit that I’m a little partial to April’s symbols, but for good reason—it’s my birth month! Sparkling diamonds, pretty little sweet peas, daisies, and Aries, April has got a pretty good batch.
Diamonds are, according to popular song, a girl’s best friend, but they’re also clear so they’re not easily represented via sock. If only there was a pattern or something that was diamond-y . . .
Right! “Diamond” is a pattern/texture you can check off in our Advanced Search. It’s a gorgeous, simple pattern that goes with everything, kind of like the gemstone, even.
Sweet peas are pretty little pastel flowers. They have a distinct shape and don’t seem to be a popular choice to decorate socks with. Daisies too! Other than the flowers the Sock It To Me Elephants are holding, there isn’t single daisy on the socks we currently carry. I suppose I’ll just have to make my own. Let’s see, we need some solid white styles for the outside and some solid yellow for the middle:
Did you know the daisy is a compound flower? Each petal and each cluster of yellow in the middle is an individual flower. Nature! So crazy and awesome.
The constellation that makes up most of April is Aries, the ram. I know the ram is kind of like, this noble symbol, but even the most dignified ram is still as fluffy as the sheep on the Sleepy Sheep bedsocks (though I’m sure the facial expression would be more stern). Sheep provide a lot of wonderful wool, with merino being a popular choice when luxurious softness is sought. We have a nice selection of merino styles to pamper your toes, but here are a couple that I consider the fluffiest, thanks to the amazing combo of soft wool and boucle yarn:
April! Fluffy flowers, sparkling sheep! Spring all of its wackiness in full force.
Ever popular, Gumball Poodle’s made in the USA “word socks” are a fun way to label and proclaim. We’ve totally done a style spotlight on them before, but with the introduction of their crew style, they’ve now got three great ways to say it with socks. Wait, three?! That’s right, all the Gumball Poodle knee highs aren’t created equal and there are two distinctly different ways you can wear a word.
One style Gumball Poodle calls “dress socks.” You can spot ‘em by their contrast heel and toe. Smooth textured and thin enough for snugger shoes, they’re perfect at hiding under office slacks, looking like a plain dress sock at the ankle while secretly being like, a ninja.
The other style is called an “athletic sock.” True to its name, this style is rugged and ready for anything. A terry lined foot cushions and absorbs—in the copy for the athletic styles we even say “Keep in mind that they are SO cushy they bring your shoe size up by half a size, so they’re best for roomier sneaks and boots.” Their lightly ribbed body is a pro at staying up, they’re no sissies.
Beyond just style, the differences between the dress and athletic socks affect the fit. The dress socks don’t stay up as well on some legs as the athletic socks and there is no way the athletic socks are fitting into snug dress shoes. But with over forty words and phrases to choose from we know you’ll find a fit that strikes your fancy and says exactly what you mean.
This might be one of the easiest sock DIYs and I can’t believe that we haven’t shown you how to do this yet! You’ve probably encountered those little bean bag sort of packs that you can chill in the freezer or heat in the microwave. They’re fab because they drape so comfortably over whatever sore spot needs comfort. And they’re also a perfect sock craft, sewing optional! You really just need two things: socks and filler.
Sock-wise, all you need is a Crafty Bundle or a (clean!) old sock that lost its mate or got holey in the toes. We like styles that are little longer, especially if you want to make this a sewing-free project. If your sock is open on both ends, make a knot in one end, so you have a closed tube. If you want, you could also sew that end shut.
For filler, there are a lot of great options: uncooked rice, feed corn, buckwheat hulls, barley, oatmeal, beans! Rice and barley are the most common options. Keep in mind that their grainy smell increases when you heat up the pack, so if you prefer a less hot-cereal scent you might like to add dried herbs and flowers like lavender and rose petals or mint and rosemary. If you decide to add a scent, mix it in with the filler and let them hang out together in a closed container for a while, so the smell gets nicely infused and distributed.
Now, all you’ve got to do is fill the sock with the filler! You want to aim for half to three-quarters full, this leaves enough room for the filler to scootch around and drape comfortably. Sticking the sock in a large glass and cuffing it over the top makes the filling process easier. A funnel is useful too, but so is a heavy piece of paper folded in half to make a sort of slide. Whee!
The second and last (!) thing to do is close it up! Again, a knot works just fine, but you can sew it if you want. Cut off any excess sock.
To heat your pack up, microwave for a minute or two and keep an eye on it for safety’s sake. You might also want to stick a small glass of water in the microwave with the pack while you heat it, the moisture helps heat sink into your muscles and helps ensure nothing catches on fire.
All ready to relax! But, what do you do if you don’t have the leisure to sit still and let the pack do its work? Here’s where a long sock comes in handy. Slip your pack into a long sock and let it fall to about the middle. Then use that long fabric to tie the pack in place! This works particularly well for lower back stuff (tie it like a belt) and shoulders (tie like a sash).
Now you can relax on the go, all thanks to this quickie craft (and socks!).
We took our time bringing in compression socks, because we wanted to offer styles that worked well and were safe. Graduated compression styles have a scientifically designed snugger fit, tighter at the ankles and less as they go up the leg. The way these socks compress muscles, veins and arteries at the feet and ankles increases arterial pressure, encouraging more blood to return to the heart and not pool in the feet. That’s some straight up science!
Even though we love science, none of us are professional scientists (yet!), but luckily the compression brands we carry have plenty of them. Therafirm, Sockwell and CEP are all amazingly designed graduated compression brands, each of them designed for different lifestyle needs. Therafirm’s Preggers styles are graduated compression tights designed to energise and support the tired legs and feet associated with pregnancy. CEP is designed for sports, maximising performance and recovery after competition or working out. Sockwell has socks that maximise fun and health, with gorgeous designs and smartly built socks. Even Dahlgren and Injinji have compression styles with the same smart sports and lifestyle designing that defines their brands.
There’s a trick to putting compression socks on correctly, though. As you might have noticed, compression socks are tight and can be hard to put on. There’s a reason for that. Just yanking them on won’t distribute that smartly designed sock correctly and will prevent the sock from giving you the benefit of proper graduated compression. Plus, for styles with higher compression, it can be unhealthy, since they are designed to be worn with the fabric evenly distributed up the leg. CEP has a fun little video on YouTube showing the basics of putting on compression socks and Therafirm’s Preggers has some great tips on their website for donning compression styles.
This simple little trick just takes a minute or so extra but is worth every second. For folks who prefer a photo reference, we got you covered after the jump!