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I love summer, but I think part of that love is because it makes lakes, rivers and the ocean so much more enjoyable. We have a couple water themed socks that give you a sip of those refreshing aquatic hues.
Yet, there are so many more watery wonders and cooling colours to dive into! We’ve looked at what blues you find in socks, gawked at greens and lamented trouble-making teal and turquoise, but let’s put aside all those definitions, versions and perfect-matching worry to just bathe in their cool tones. . .
There is nothing like a river on a hot day! Playing in the shallows, rafting or fishing—shoot, finding a lazy river and just hopping in an innertube to float the day away is one of life’s joys. The rush of the river keeps that water cold while trees hug the banks, shading your eyes and offering mossy beds to stretch out on.
As great as rivers are, sometimes you want to just get in and swim with less worry of currents. There’s nothing like the clear chop of a big ol’ lake, or the green glass stillness of a swimming hole. The rich mud on the bottom squishes like nothing else between your toes and if you get tired there’s always an anchored dock or raft to sun on.
Depending where you are, they can be harder to find, but a waterfall—with its crashing gouts that send sparkles of cool moisture into the air—is like a dream come true on a summer day. Whether they’re little falls that tumble a river downhill, or deafening beasts with caves behind them, they offer a refreshing oasis with fresh greens drinking in the generous bounty.
With depths so great they demand thundering awe and shallows so sweet they invite playful splashing, oceans can be as refreshing for the heart as they are for the body. With picturesque, sandy beaches, rocky tidepools full of bustling life, or salt-weathered docks to hang your feet off of, every place you meet the ocean offers a new experience and a unique moment to contemplate the wonder and joy of the world.
I hope these little sock slices helped cool you off and that, if you’re partial to taking a dip, you have the perfect spot to visit to take the edge off the harsh start of summer. If you’re feeling it’s too hot for socks, try a liner or no-show to handle the sweat while dialling back the coverage. And always, remember your water safety and respect the stuff that makes up so much of the earth and ourselves!
Sure, if warm weather and summer’s official presence means you turn to footies, no-shows and liners without a thought, then you’ve got socks for hot weather down. But if you like a little more coverage, it can be a little trickier. That’s what our Lightweight category is for!
Though you’ll find some anklets in there, the bulk of the category are options with a little more coverage. Lightweight and less coverage is more of Summer category’s game. There’s also overlap with both the Lace and Openwork categories, but overall we try to keep the Lightweight category living up to its description: “Lightweight styles for when you’ve got to cover up but don’t need to warm up.”
I think the best way to browse this category is through our Advanced Search. Once you have “Lightweight” picked, you can restrict the search by coverage and better pinpoint what you’re looking for. Let’s use this search technique to look at some fave lightweight options!
The majority of lightweight tights are more sheer and the higher coverage styles (more opaque, or visually busier) still show dark tattoos, but otherwise offer a great compromise of modesty and seasonal comfort.
Dense openwork styles act almost like dazzle camouflage on your legs, sometimes creating a more “opaque” effect than solid coloured semi-sheers.
Not as many options as their footed sisters, but there are still some gorgeous styles to choose from.
And we’ve got some basics too, for when even the t-shirt thin and soft, but high waisted, M. Rena are too much.
OTKs and Thigh Highs
Some of the lightweight over the knee and thigh high styles are just leg-only versions of similar tights and leggings, which is kind of rad.
But for folks who find nylon blends and warm weather an unfriendly pairing, there are lovely cottony options too!
The lower we go, coverage-wise, the more fun lightweight options there are! There are some lovely lightweight trouser and dress sock options:
Along with OTK styles that also work as knee highs are some short versions of taller and tights styles, like the Doris Crochet Trouser Sock, plus a couple casual cotton options too!
Midcalves and Anklets
There’s a nice selection of shorter styles in lovely light weights. The Sockling styles, in particular, are a great basic for warm weather socks.
Unfortunately, there’s a sadly small amount of truly lightweight midcalf options for larger feet. Luckily, I do think the three styles that qualify are utterly fabulous to wear.
Arm and Leg Warmers
We have a LOT of lightweight arm warmer options, thanks to the dream fabric that Una makes their arm warmers out of. But we’re also fans of a good long, lightweight arm warmer and have several styles that you may love.
And thanks to the simplicity of some sleeve styles, there are lovely leg warmers that are breathable enough to deny their name when it heats up.
So, if you want to keep covered but don’t want to overheat, check out our Lightweight category for some summer-ready styles! And of course, if you ever have any questions, drop us a line and we’ll do our best to help you get a handle on what will work for you.
Clearly set to coincide with end of the year field trips and the start of vacations, June is National Zoo and Aquarium month! Now, what you might not have known is that we have quite the menagerie of critters in the aptly named Critter Socks section! Let’s take a tour through land, sea and air. . . have your cameras ready, because the animals are shy and we may only get peeks at them!
The Woods and Field
Though not unfamiliar animals to those of you who’ve lived in rural areas, they’re often cunning, curious and associated with myth and fairy tales—none more so than the crafty fox!
In contrast to the fox’s trademark swiftness and smarts, brother bruin appears less agile and wise. But bear in mind all that fur and big paws hide a muscular wall of an animal who will surprise you in what they can do.
If we’re quiet, we might spy a majestic buck (larger male deer are called “stags”), a creature connected to forests but actually a habitant of the transitional area between forest and field.
Jungle and Savannah
Ah, now here are the beasts you’ve been waiting for! These beautiful creatures are what you traditionally think of when you think of going to the zoo, like the majestic elephant. We’re lucky enough to have one of the rare pink varieties, we used to have a white elephant, but we finally traded it out for something that suited us more.
And here’s that other fun favourite, the playful monkey!
Less forward are the shy skyscrapers that are giraffes. Their distinctive patchy spots help them blend in the best they can amongst the foliage they delicately nibble.
Speaking of camouflage, can you “spot” this master of stealth? For bonus points, what cousin to this creature often gets credit for their distinctive design?
Ocean and Lakes
Dramatic and dangerous beasts of the sea, I have to say this is where most of my favourite animals live! Our aquarium center is quite large, as we pride ourselves on sharing all the fabulous fish and curious cephalopods as we can. Speaking of which, here is our star species, the octopus!
The jellyfish and tidepool room is a family favourite. The hypnotic and calming movements of jellies is always a wonder.
And the tidepool lets you see denizens of the sea up close and, if you’re gentle and respectful, give them a touch.
This popular fellow can be a bit reluctant to come near, but you can always spot them by their distinctive fin.
Oh goodness! Well, I’m glad it wasn’t an adult shark. Well, if you’ll follow me, we’ll exit the aquarium and move on to the aviary . . .
What? No, that’s not a locness monster, you must be mistaken. We pride ourselves on being a learning facility, with animals solidly set in scientific seriousness.
Birds of Land and Air
Our collection includes majestic flyers, perfect hunters and birds you might not consider important members of the avian world, because of their regular integration into daily life, like the crow. A valuable member of the animal society, crows are a protected species as a migratory bird.
From a bird you may see every day to a bird that is a bit more rare, the curious kiwi bird, layer of large eggs and national symbol of New Zealand.
Another land bird is the ostrich, which is a much better runner (and fighter!) than the adorable kiwi. Beautiful and terrifying, ostriches are birds that definitely remind you of their dinosaur history.
Speaking of beautiful, efficient birds, there is nothing like the owl. Silent fliers and smart hunters, in some places they are around us as much as the crow, but they’re less forward about it.
We’ll end our tour on a tropical note, with a particularly curious species of macaw, known for being even more big-mouthed than than the rest of these talkative birds.
We hope you enjoyed your tour of our Critter Socks collection, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on your way home!
I haven’t been in school in a long time, but I can still feel the edge of the school year drawing ever closer. Sure, we’re not in summer yet, but you can taste the promise of what summer might be (and I have to admit, almost-summer is one of my favourite seasons, more full of possibility than true spring). Schedules start to shift after US Memorial day, there’s more half days, summer plans get cemented, there are more perfect days to have cookouts.
And, of course, we have a sock (well, several) for that.
Camping isn’t for everyone, but it’s a big part of a lot of folks’ summers. Whether your camping means tent, RV, car or going off to a structured sleep-away camp, having socks that are sturdy and more forgiving about how often they’re washed lets you focus on other things. Like having fun, making memories, battling werewolves…
Wool blends and bamboo are not only a little better than other fibers at not getting ultra-foot-gross after a day, wool can air dry quickly so you can give them a wash or rinse and they’ll be dry and often ready to go the next day. Using our Advanced Search to limit Sports Socks to those that have wool brings up some favourite sturdy options. The separated toes of the Wool Lightweight Running No Show Toe Socks helps keep your feet happy and healthy on long treks, and the Extraordinary Wool Socks are nice and tall to protect your legs from mean bushes and brambles.
Combining wool and bamboo makes for what are my personal favourite camping socks: Sockwell’s crews and midcalves. Any time I pack for camping, they go in my bag and on my feet! For all their cuteness, they’re sturdy as heck, comfortable to wear for a long time and wash up easy.
Late spring and early summer also brings the start of backyard barbecue, picnics and other ways of celebrating that the weather is being sunny enough to be outside, but not so hot the idea of eating outside is gross.
Fun, novelty, crews are like the perfect condiment complement to outdoor eats.
And this may just be something specific to where I’ve always lived, but what starts as a sunny cookout often grows surprisingly cold as the sun sets and the yard lights go on. It isn’t really summer yet, after all! Arm warmers and knee socks that play equally well scrunched down or pulled up will keep you warm enough to keep on chilling (without being chilly) outside.
Now, if your travel plans are a bit more involved and take you far from home, styles that are comfortable and useful in lots of occasions are key. Packing for the plane is an art! Plus, if you’re going to be doing a lot of sitting, either during a car trip or in an airplane, you want to keep your toes in best health.
A style that fulfils all those requirements are the Sockwell compression knee highs. They look good while keeping you comfortable as you stand and sit for long periods at a go. Graduated compression helps keep blood from pooling in your poor feet while cute and classic patterns go with a lot of different looks.
What are your favourite travel socks? My go-tos are always Sockwell (as mentioned earlier) and a couple Dreamer Socks like the Dreamer Jacquard Ripple OTK and the Acrylic Slouches. If I’m camping or travelling, all other socks go by the wayside! As we inch into true summer, I hope your plans live up to your dreams and that this is the best summer ever!
Though we started off, long ago, with a smaller array of coverage styles (knee highs, long socks, etc), we’ve added so many more coverage levels and styles in the past few years—this past year especially!
Most notably, more and more suppliers are offering true no-shows, little bits of nothing that cover your toes and your heels, but not the top of your foot. And we’ve also started offering shoe liners, a most un-sock-like sock option, but one that does the same job of keeping your shoes and feet from dirtying each other.
Because of this, we’ve refined some of our coverage categories (those thumbnails at the top of the Socks page) to make things easier to find and understand!
Let’s talk Liners
Liners, or insoles, are the closest to not wearing socks, because well, you’re not wearing socks at all! Shaped like the bottom of your shoe and made of materials to cushion or insulate, liners exist to give your feet some distance from your shoes. They can be tricky to first use, since it can take a little wiggling to get them into place. We’ve found holding them at the sides and bending the front edge back a little as you slide them in helps.
Right now we only offer two kinds of liners (we are sock folks, after all). The Alpaca Felt Insoles from Heartfelt are your winter option, adding warmth and coziness meant to work together with your favourite socks to keep your toesies cozy in the cold! SummerSox’s shoe liners are the summer option, for when you seriously could not imagine wearing socks, but don’t want your feet sweating and slipping on your shoes.
Though we were a little sceptical of liners at first, in our testing of them we fell in love! Having that extra layer between our feet and the cold ground that the Alpaca Felt Insoles offered made winter far more bearable. And the bonus to the SummerSox we loved was their soft combed cotton stopped that annoying “slap-slap” you get when walking barefoot in strappy summer sandals!
Colloquially called “peds” although “Peds®” is a registered trademark of the The Peds Company and only Peds® brand peds can be called peds, no-shows (or no shows, up to your personal hyphenation preferences) cover your toes and your heels, but leave the top of your foot bare. When paired with the right shoes, they’re practically invisible! Some brands also call them “liners” and we roll with that in their names, but if it’s covering your toes and heels and nothing else, then it’s a no-show—unless it’s a KeySock, in which case it is the happy child of a no-show and a knee high.
A great option for when you want the no-sock look or feel, but need more between you and your shoes than a liner can provide, the main drawback to no-shows is that the bit at the heel can sneak down into your shoe. Finding a style that fits you fab helps, but some styles know what is up and have grips at the back of the heel to keep things in place and we make sure to note that in Sizing Tips!
There are some no-shows that walk the line of not showing, like ToeSox’s Bella styles. That mary jane strap across the foot (that helps keep them in place) almost makes them . . .
Also called “sneaker socks” and sometimes even “anklets” (which are a whole ‘nother beast that is sort of similar/different to “ankle socks” in the same way crews and midcalves are just the barest difference of length). Footies dance right around the anklebone, landing either just below or just above, it seems like one of the key defining features of a footie is that it’s just the foot of a sock. See, the leg part of a sock is called the shaft (can ya dig it?) and a footie doesn’t have that. It covers the toes, heels, top of the foot and pretty much ends there. At most it has a bit of a cuff that covers the ankle bone.
Because a lot of the folks who make socks aren’t as persnickety as I am, footies also get called “no-shows” even though they show in most shoes (except sneakers, which would explain the “sneaker sock” term). And, as we tend to, we keep that supplier naming, and just sort them accordingly by coverage level.
A perfect summer or spring sock, often the height running styles are made in, footies are fun and fabulous when you just need a touch of sock but don’t want to be up past your ankles in warmth!
As the weather warms up, we hope these refreshed coverage categories make it easier to find just the right sock (or lack thereof) for summer!
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