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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!
Is anything quite the special kind of adorable that big socks/little socks makes? I think the snaps I took for an old Father’s day post are still probably my favourite because of that.
We don’t offer a whole lot of kid styles, because there are shops out there that specialise in those complicated little sizes. But, gosh darn it, if we encounter a new baby or kid sock that is an itty-bitty version of a grown up style, then it’s pretty hard to say no. The Tropical Trio Socks are a good example. They match the Mouthy Fish 3-D and the Mouthy Alligator 3-D socks!
And we know we’re not the only ones who feel that way. We can tell that it’s new baby season when we pull orders that have perfectly paired sets of socks for the whole family’s feet! So we’ve made a way to find what socks have options for feet both big and small! Just search “family”!
You’re going to see all sorts of socks, but any sock we’ve tagged “family” come in options for big and for little feet. If you can’t spot the matching pair right away, check the main copy, Sizing Tips or Additional Info for links (we try to fit them where is most logical for the style)! We’ve done our best to cross-link matching styles.
Luckily, several of these family-ready styles have the smaller sizes available from the size drop-down, most particularly Sock It To Me, like with their Unicorn Knee Highs.
Mostly though, the two different sizes live in separate entries to make things a little easier for the majority of folks browsing (we don’t want someone getting a kid size when they were trying for an adult size!). Some big & little styles are perfectly paired, like the Sweet Marcel styles.
Or the Owl vs. Mouse Midcalf!
Others are similar, but have some colourway differences, so you get more of a style match than a 100% perfect sock match.
And some styles just exist across a bunch of heights and shoe sizes, so you can get the whole family in on it! I think the most notable styles for this are the Sock It To Me super hero styles:
And our Harvest Rainbow styles:
There are a whole hecka lota options for matching across sizes, so play around with the Advanced Search to limit the results to what you need. For example, if you’re trying to match socks for littler feet to larger feet (say, up to a US men’s size 12), click “Larger Feet” under Category to bring up just the styles that come in those larger sizes.
In general be sure to check the Sizing Tips on each product page to make sure that a size will work for you and yours. We’ve also got a post with some tips and tricks about sizing those tricksy little toes for you too! If your searching skills are strong, you can use the tags explained in the baby & kids sizing post to augment your search within family socks. Just remember, if you’re using two tags and want both of them to count, put a big ol “AND” between them. But not all of us are that skilled, so here are some quick links. Since these searches are looking specifically for little foot socks, remember, look for the cross-link to bigger sizes in the copy:
Family socks with styles that fit infant (wee baby) feet
Family socks with styles that fit toddler feet
Family socks with styles that fit little kid (generally folks 5-8 years old) feet
Family socks with styles that fit big kid (generally folks 7-12 years old) feet
Special bonus! Family socks with a smaller style that can fit up to a US women’s 5 or 6
There are a lot of parent holidays coming up (with Mother’s day coming up May 10th!) so let’s get you and yours (or your friend’s families) marvellously matchy!!
With Daylight Savings Time this weekend, all I can think of is how I’m going to lose an hour of sleep. But at least what sleep I do get will be paired with the ideal sleeping socks!
Wearing socks to bed isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. If socks make your toes feel confined or over-warm, it’s hard to imagine how much other folks love finding the right socks to sleep in. We’ve talked about bed socks before, but that style is more specifically an in-and-out of bed cuddle sock that does just as well when you’re tucked up on the couch as snuggled under covers.
Socks to sleep in tend to fall into a couple of groups: socks you can kick off, socks that stay put, and socks with serious levels of warmth. From there, it’s a case of individual coverage and warmth levels. I personally never understood wearing socks to bed until I found a style that I could kick off when I got too warm, so let’s start there!
Sleeping socks to start the night in
Sheets can get so cold that it shakes sleep off when your toes encounter their freezing caress. Sure, later the bed is all warm, but that doesn’t do any good when you’re first settling in! So, you wear socks to bed, only to drift to awareness hours later, way too warm but also way too sleepy to break your feet free of sock jail! There is only one solution: a looser sock!
Now, I don’t necessarily mean a loose sock. It’s gotta last part of the night and not skin off right away. What works best for you is going to depend a lot on your legs and comfort levels, but here are some Dreamer favourites for socks that stay on until you want ‘em gone:
The Harajuku Scrunchy Socks on the left are my favourite. I’ve got larger feet, so they stay in place until I kick them off in my sleep. They’re tall enough to protect even my knees from the monstrosity that is a bed in an unheated room, but their loose body means even the most uncoordinated fumbling shucks them easily.
The EG Smith Original Bootsock (pictured on the right) and the GoGo Bootsocks (not pictured) are a shorter option of the same idea: a looser-bodied sock that stays put but is easily removed with little effort.
For a little more stay-put-ness, roll top styles like the Sunnie Striped Slouch Midcalf, on the left, are the way to go. A practised scrape of one foot against the other ejects them from the bed—and no cuff means more talented toes can grab hold and pull off (though that’s advanced level sock sleeping).
Another reliable, removable style are the QT Feet crews, like the Lima Lurin Crew. Especially if they’re a bit worn in, these soft cotton socks will melt off you as soon as you ask, but stay where they’re supposed to as long as you want.
Socks that sleep over
For other folks, the idea of finding themselves sockless (or half-sockless!!) in the middle of the night is a terror to be avoided. But what will stay in place without leaving ouchy dents in your soft, sleepy flesh?
Non-constrictive styles, like Sockwell’s Relaxed Fit (such as the Easy Does It, shown above left), or the Bastia Comfort Top Crew, are a good match for folks who want shorter socks that stay in place while they snooze.
Another good bet, especially for extra cold nights, are any of the B.Ella wool blend midcalves and crews. There are lots of styles and textures, and with larger footed midcalves and smaller footed crews (like the Maniche on the left and the Erin on the right, above), there are more options for more feet!
It’s tougher to find a taller option that comfortably lasts the night, since our feet can be so much pickier when asleep than awake. But our Dreamer Sock knee highs and OTKs are a good bet, with wide cuffs that distribute the stay-up. The breathable Dreamy Patterned Bamboo OTKs are a particularly good way to ride out the chills without overheating. And the smooth stylings of the Space Dyed OTK Stockings and the other EG Smith OTKs are like your favourite sleepy t-shirt for your toes.
Socks for serious sleeping
Sometimes you need a little more warmth and snuggliness. These styles from the depths of our Warm! category should be your go-to when sleeping gets tough!
If the cold is just not messing around, forget the pyjama bottoms and go for something like the Thermal Fleece Leggings. Super fuzzy-furry insides keep you cozy at night and in the bitter cold mornings. In the same vein, Polar Feet’s various fleece styles, like the Jellybean Fleece Knee Highs, are serious sleep sock business. The Ribbed Wool OTK are a taller option that can slouch down well without coming all the way off, if you need to adjust comfort levels in the middle of the night.
Do you sleep in socks? If so, share what your go-to sock is!
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.
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