Help me love socks!
November 13, 2010 4:06 PM   Subscribe

Please help me love socks! What are the best socks you've ever worn? As winter approaches, I'm having trouble warming to the idea of wearing socks again.

I love being barefoot, and hate constrictive clothing. This means I really dislike socks. Living in Arizona helps, but there are days when I can't wear sandals. I'm looking for some really nice women's socks that go just over the ankle and are minimalist enough to wear with a pair of oxfords to work. These J.Crew socks are pretty close to what I'm looking for, but they seem a little slinky. This might sound ridiculous, but my hope is that finding great socks will make this transition much more pleasurable! Does anyone out there have a favorite brand of socks to wear like we all have a favorite pen to write with?
posted by belau to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My answer to this question is "handknit socks." You can knit them in a variety of fibers and also knit them to your exact specifications (color, height, type of heel, etc). However, unless you are willing to learn to knit, or have generous knitter friends, they are expensive. (rightly so, in my opinion, for how long they take to make)
posted by cabingirl at 4:17 PM on November 13, 2010

i have never been disappointed with sock dreams. i own over $1k worth of them probably (where many women love and covet shoes, i have socks).

here are their anklets which i actually find a little high for an ankle sock. and here are their footies which i find closer to a true anklet.

they have quite a few silly designs, but also quite a few more serious ones. the only brand from them i've gotten and not loved has been the EG Ecos, but that might be the particular sock i got.
posted by nadawi at 4:21 PM on November 13, 2010 [5 favorites]

Best answer: The best socks I have ever worn are Smartwool socks. They are super-comfortable and special in a way I have a hard time putting my finger on. I have a few pairs, but my most favorite are the Margaritas, which are not too thick, not too thin, and stretchy/non-constricting (but I realize are taller than you want.)

As someone who also lives in Arizona and orders from Sock Dreams, my experience tells me to be careful about ordering anything from them that contains cashmere, angora, alpaca or other fuzzy fibers as they can be 1) too warm for Arizona, and 2) non-stretchy and constricting.

At the end of last winter, I got rid of most of my fuzzy Sock Dreams socks. I find thinner and smoother works much better for me personally (which is why I also don't wear any of the socks I have knit myself).
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:41 PM on November 13, 2010 [6 favorites]

I have this trouble too. I call it Agador* Syndrome. I like Target's bamboo socks, they are super soft and thin without feeling flimsy.

*Character from the movie The Birdcage
posted by cestmoi15 at 4:48 PM on November 13, 2010

Smartwool. It's all I wear and they last forever. Sierra trading post usually has them on sale.
posted by fshgrl at 4:59 PM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

My best, most comfortable socks are two pair I bought off Amazon a couple of years ago. They're simple white anklets, but the thing that's special about them is that they fit my feet perfectly. When I ordered them, I specified my exact shoe size, rather than just "one size" or "S".

I just did a quick scan of Amazon and can't find similar socks, but I'd say, if you can find socks with that degree of fit, they will be much better than usual.
posted by amtho at 5:19 PM on November 13, 2010

Smartwool. I will never go back. So comfy, so breathable, so long-lasting.
posted by Malla at 5:34 PM on November 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Nthing Smartwool. So, so comfy and warm and aaaahhh. We had our first big snow storm this winter before I managed to get boots, and Smartwool socks kept my feet warm and dry in mesh-heavy sneakers. And I wear them in the summer, and they keep my feet cool and dry. Magic, I say!

The running socks are the right length. The men's medium is the same as the women's medium, and tend to come in more conservative colors that would be work appropriate.
posted by charmcityblues at 5:46 PM on November 13, 2010

I like smartwool socks too. But recently I just bought a bunch of Goodhew socks and they are also nice. I generally find wool socks much much more comfortable than cotton.
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:07 PM on November 13, 2010

I have to put in a word about Sockdreams. Unfortunately, I've have pretty awful experiences with everything I've bought from them. I've had socks and tights last me many, many years, but nothing I buy from them lasts more than a couple wears. It's really a shame, too, because their selection is usually pretty wide. I've ordered from them again and again, too, thinking that it was just me. I don't think it was.

I've had pretty good luck, believe it or not, with tights and socks from Urban Outfitters and Target.
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:51 PM on November 13, 2010

Every sock I own at this point is Smartwool. They're a bit pricey but as others have said they last forever (years, even with frequent wear) and are extremely comfortable. My feet are seriously picky about socks, but Smartwools keep them warm and dry all day long. Seriously revolutionized my relationship with my feet.
posted by Scientist at 7:10 PM on November 13, 2010

I love my Injinjis! Toe socks are the way to go! I have their "mini-crew" height ones which are a bit higher than what you are looking for but they also have anklets, which I think they call "micros"
posted by astapasta24 at 7:21 PM on November 13, 2010

I love Balega socks. I don't know if they're what you want for work... they're definitely "sporty", not dressy. They're not loose, really, but they're very stretchy & it always seems like they're forming to my foot. I tend to forget I'm wearing them.
posted by eleyna at 7:26 PM on November 13, 2010

I love Smartwool, but my Dahlgrens and Rohners have held up longer. YMMV, natch.
posted by box at 7:30 PM on November 13, 2010

The best socks I've ever worn?

I had a friend bring me back a pair of cardinal-red dress socks from the Pope's tailor, Gemmerilli. They're pretty nice.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:49 PM on November 13, 2010

I like SmartWool too.

For a more athletic feel - Patagonia socks are thinner but still nice.
posted by k8t at 9:32 PM on November 13, 2010

Count me in on Smartwool. Comfy, soft, and long-lasting. I just darned a few pair yesterday. Yes, it's worth a needle and thread so I can keep my socks in good working order! ;-)
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:10 AM on November 14, 2010

Y'all. She lives in Arizona and she doesn't wanna wear socks. I love Smartwool but I don't think it's the answer in this case.

I'm still wearing my flip flops everywhere because I can't bear the thought of wearing socks all day. I especially can't imagine wearing wool socks all day.

Bamboo crew socks

Cashmere crew socks

Pima cotton socks
posted by elsietheeel at 7:36 AM on November 14, 2010

I've had nothing but positive experiences with SockDreams, and find that they're pretty knowledgeable about how the socks will wear and whether you can just throw 'em in with the laundry or if they need special love. (I don't buy the ones requiring special love.)

Nthing Smartwool, too.

What do you want in regards to texture, belau? Is there some aspect of wearing socks that peeves you, like...slippy feet in shoes, toe lint, sweaty feet, ankles constricted, what?
posted by desuetude at 11:28 AM on November 14, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the answers. I'll have to give several of these a try! I'm not sure what will work best, but I'm definitely well on my way to an upgrade from the cotton/polyester cheap-o socks I've been hating.
posted by belau at 3:20 PM on November 14, 2010

I find wool socks cooler than cotton socks even in the summer when it's hot. The cotton socks get all damp and clumpy but wool doesn't.
posted by interplanetjanet at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2010

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