6 Types of Socks And When to Wear Them

6 Types of Socks And When to Wear Them

As men, we often have that one go-to type of sock that we wear until it tears. But there are many types of socks that are available for us to wear depending on the occasion or season.

Let's talk about the different kinds of socks and when to wear them. You'll soon realize (like we learned) that there are plenty of socks you may not be familiar with, and each one has different purposes.

Before we begin, we would like to make it clear that there is no official standardization of sock sizes in the market. Thus, depending on the length of the size you can have dozens of different types and names. This article will focus on six common types of socks that will be most suitable for your wardrobe.


These are technically not socks, but they are sock-like insoles. Basically, it’s a soft cloth insert that you put in the shoe to act as a layer between your foot and your shoe. For people who like to wear shoes without socks or dislike your socks showing above your shoe, these insoles can be a great option. They are also a much better option for the summer months because they cover less of the foot, which leads to less sweating. Moisture in your socks is a huge cause of foot odor and other ailments regarding your feet, so these insoles can be a great option to combat those issues.

However, the downside to these insole socks is slippage! Some people might find them very inconvenient, which brings us to the next sock.


As you might have guessed, no-show socks are designed to not show when worn with low cut shoes like loafers and sneakers. They are cut very low, leaving the ankle and a good portion of the top of your foot bare, leaving you with that ‘ankle cleavage’. If you want to go for a sock-less appearance with your outfit, these no-show socks are perfect for you. Ideally you’d wear no-show socks with summer outfits. They pair very well with most shorts, cropped trousers, and chinos.

Of course, once it gets a bit chilly, it might be time to retire the no-show socks, and they don’t work very well with formal outfits. Having said that, the sock-less look is a timeless style, so every guy should have some no-show socks in their wardrobe.


Ankle socks are socks that are low-cut just at the ankle bone, so that they reach right up to the edge of most low-top shoes. Compared to no-show socks, they cover all of the feet, but are much shorter than other socks that go over the ankle and beyond.

Due to the fact that they actually show when you wear low top shoes, most people use ankle socks for more utilitarian purposes like exercise or outdoor activities in which style is less of a priority. But they can be an acceptable alternative to no-show socks, particularly if you have tried them but haven’t found them to be very practical.

Depending on how you walk, no-show socks may slip down past your heel and cause chaffing, so ankle socks are an alternative that have just an extra bit of material for protection


Crew socks are the most common and most popular type of sock on the market. A crew length sock measures between 6 to 8 inches, and it hits right at the calf muscle. Therefore, they can provide adequate protection and coverage for the ankle and lower leg.

These can be very versatile socks and people use them for literally everything from casual outings, office wear, to sports. But crew socks’ true strength is for comfort. Thus, they are best for any physical activities and casual occasions.


The mid-calf sock is probably the next most common type of socks that a typical man would have after crew socks. Mid-calf socks are an absolute must for any working professional who wishes to look sharp at all times. These socks go all the way up to your calf and end right around the middle, thus covering more of your legs than crew socks. Because of this, mid-calf socks are more likely to stay up, which is why they’re more suited for business-attire than crew socks. Crew socks can roll down during the day and expose your bare leg, which is a big faux-pas. For those who want to look good in a suit and stay that way throughout the day, these are the socks you want to go with.


Knee high socks, also known as over the calf socks, are socks that completely cover your calf muscles and go right up to your knee. These socks are designed to not slip or roll down as you walk, meaning that they are very good for wearing with suits because you will never be showing bare legs with these socks. They are also great during the winter season for adding extra warmth and comfort.

Plus, these knee high socks are great for physical activity. Many people use knee high socks for exercise, sports, and other outdoor activities. They are also great to wear with winter boots.

Material really matters when it comes to knee high socks because they cover the most skin. Look for thinner material such as modal during the warmer months and thicker material like wool for the colder months.

Mix & Match

As we’ve mentioned, there are many different types of socks available for men, and it is up to you to decide which is right for you for different occasions. Keep some insoles and no-shows for the summer months. Have some crew and ankle socks for exercise and outdoor activities. Bring out the mid-calf or knee-highs for formal wear and work attire. In fact, keep a bit of everything in your sock drawer, including your Manmade socks for the ultimate combination of style and comfort!

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