/24 Best Socks for Men in 2020: Crew, Dress, No-Show, and More

24 Best Socks for Men in 2020: Crew, Dress, No-Show, and More

What are the best socks for men? That really all depends. Are you looking to keep your feet dry in swampy heat, or make your feet warm in cold weather? Do you need extra arch support, or a reinforced heel and toe? Athletic socks or dress socks? Crew socks or no-shows? Supima cotton or wool?

Maybe you’ve got specific answers to those questions, or maybe you need all of the above. Either way, we’ve rounded up the eight essential types of socks every man needs in his wardrobe. From weighty boot numbers to cushion-happy runners, here are the 24 best socks for men for every situation, style, and budget.

The All-Purpose Half-Calf

If you’re looking to overhaul your sock drawer from the ground up with the most useful, versatile pairs around, these are the ones to stock up on first.

Nike Dri-Fit classic cushioned crew socks (6 pairs)

The Swoosh’s signature crew has ribbing to mimic a dress sock, but enough cushioning to keep you comfortable through four hours of open-bar-fueled bad dance moves. And though it’s thin enough to slide into sleeker shoes—your loafers or oxfords—it’s thick enough to keep your toes warm should your fancy footwear carry you to freezing locales.

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Gold Toe cotton crew 656s athletic socks (6 pairs)

Those white tube socks your dad used to wear with sandals while operating the grill every weekend? They’re now the hottest accessory on the runway
at Paris fashion Week and onstage at every music festival. Thankfully, that sudden jump in status hasn’t affected its affordability whatsoever.

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Bombas solids calf sock

A thousand podcasters can’t be wrong: Bombas socks really are as good as advertised. They’re comfortable, cushion-y, and come in every color, pattern, length, and weight known to man. Start with these crayon-hued half-calfs.

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The C-Suite Essential

Ribbed, solid-hued dress socks are still the very best way to fill in the gap between the cuff of your suit trousers and the tops of your oxfords.

Uniqlo color socks

Want to experiment a little with your socks? Start with Uniqlo. Their ribbed dress socks are shockingly well made (tightly woven, comfortably padded, super-saturated in color) for a low, low price. Plus, they come in nearly every hue you can imagine. Get teal! And eggplant! Neon pink? They’ll look good against gray or navy pants! If a color isn’t working, you’re only out a few bucks.

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Pantherella “Danvers” ribbed dress socks

Pantherella’s ribbed socks sit in our #1 spot because they’re knit from Egyptian-cotton yarn with a bit of nylon (it’s a 70/30 blend, if you want to get specific). The cotton’s soft but strong, while the nylon delivers stretch and grip. Fabric weights and finishes are something the company is obsessed with at their Leicester, England, factory (the site of the brand’s sock production for the past 80 years). Beyond that, they’ve got a not-too-thin, not-too-wide rib, which keep the socks from drooping down around your ankle; come in a lineup of rich, saturated shades that would make Crayola jealous; and currently clock in a perfectly respectable $16 a pop.

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Paul Stuart cashmere blend ribbed sock

Surviving a long winter is all about finding novel ways to trick your brain into believing that leaving home is a good idea. And pulling on a pair of cashmere socks—encircling your toes in all that impossibly cozy, soothingly soft luxury—is one of the most reliable methods we’ve found for keeping positive in the face of blistering cold weather. But pure cashmere comes with a serious cost—both in terms of your wallet (you’ll be hard-pressed to find a pair for less than $100) and your time (hand-washing tube socks is nobody’s idea of a good time). That’s why we love these Paul Stuart jams: they’ve got all that cashmere goodness you need to get your butt out the door, only blended with some viscose and nylon for extra structure and machine washability. The fact that they clock in at a relatively reasonable $55 and come in a dozen fly colors is just icing on the cake.

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The Heavy Hitters

Big winter boots require big winter socks.

American Trench merino activity sock with silver

Got the kind of feet where people start leaving the room before you’ve even finished untying your laces? American Trench’s signature socks will help. There’s anti-microbial silver knit directly into heel and toe to ward off odors at the source, and the breathable merino wool that comprises the rest will keep your dogs toasty and moisture-free.

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RoToTo comfy Nordic room socks

These cozy, chunky Nordic “room socks” are meant to be worn indoors like slippers—but they’ll also brighten up your dreary winter fits if you squeeze ’em into your boots.

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Smartwool trekking heavy crew socks

When things are extra horrible outside—like, polar-vortex-level bad—these are the ones you want. Think of ’em as a full-on parka for your feet: thick enough you’ll be worried about them actually fitting in your boots (they will); performance-minded enough that your feet won’t completely overheat on the go. A certain GQ staffer once wore these exact socks while spending multiple nights in a
quinzhee hut in the backwoods of northern Ontario, and he still has all his toes. So, yeah, they’re the real deal.

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The Summer Camp Specials

Sleepaway camp: good for making lifelong friends, learning practical survival skills, and developing excellent taste in thick, nappy socks.

L.L.Bean merino wool ragg socks, 2-pack

Nothing beats classic American style, and nobody does classic and American better than L.L.Bean. Their ragg socks are every bit as soft, nubby, and altogether perfect as you remember, and will look incredible peeking out from the top of
those duck boots you hopefully remembered to buy early this year.

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Hikerdelic High Summer sock

Manchester’s Hikerdelic makes their lightweight raggs in weirdo colors befitting their trippy ’60s branding: acidic lemon yellows, deep purples, and wild orangey blends like this one.

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Thunders Love “Charlie” color-block melange cotton-blend socks

Slubbily knit on vintage machines from recycled materials, Thunders Love’s socks are the kind you’ll want to wear with sandals to expose as much of them to the world as possible.

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The Retro Athletic Tubes

🤙🤙 🤙

Adidas mid cut socks (3 pack)

If you—like
Jonah Hill, Kerwin Frost, and Prada—have chosen to ride hard for the Three Stripes this year, you’ll need the appropriate socks to pair with all your new Sambas, Gazelles, and Superstars.

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Entireworld recycled cotton blend varsity socks

An ideal pairing of old school good looks and new school eco-friendlier production methods. These guys are breathable, comfortable, and ready to be pulled up with all manner of short-shorts this summer.

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Tabio high-standard pile crew socks

Tabio has only been in the U.S. for a little over a year, but they’ve been a go-to socksmith in Japan for over 50 years. These ultra-plush athletic socks were originally designed for
GQ’s Best Stuff Box—be sure to subscribe to get more exclusive gear delivered straight to your door.

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The Hippy-Dippy Hosiery

Even if you aren’t a full-blown, hemp-wearing flower child, you still need at least one pair of vibey tie-dye socks in the rotation.

N/A tie dye traditional socks

These lemonade half-calfs are practically begging to peek out from under a pair of sharp navy trousers.

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Anonymous Ism stripe crew socks

Meticulously dip-dyed by hand, these fuzzed-out beauts from Japan’s most renowned sock savants look the way a (good!) mushroom trip feels.

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The Elder Statesman Hot Dye Yosemite socks

Like flying first class or eating dry-aged wagyu, wearing cashmere socks is one of those completely unnecessary luxuries you need to experience at least once in your life.

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The Total Swerves

We don’t much abide by novelty socks anymore—sorry, Justin Trudeau—but these freaky patterns will scratch the itch your Frasier socks used to.

Solmate socks

If you have fond memories of frequenting the
J.Crew Liquor Store, you might still even have a pair of these mismatched eyefuls lying around somewhere.

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Kapital 144 Yarns Nepal Tiger foldover socks

The denim masters at
Kapital turn their artful eye toward menswear’s ongoing animal print obsession.

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Missoni geometric pattern socks

No discussion of trippy knits is complete without a mention of Missoni.

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The No-Shows

The #menswear-era heyday of going sockless is long behind us, but as our guy John Cho recently proved at the Oscars, there’s still a time and place for flashing some ankle. Here’s how to do it without swamping up your brogues.

Bombas men’s no show and cushioned no show 6-pack

Bombas has mastered the no-show sock, adding to it a honeycomb compression ring over the center of the foot, a Y-stitched heel, and footbed padding, all in Peruvian cotton. The results are spectacular.

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Nice Laundry six-pack

The build-your-own six pack box from Nice Laundry is a great way to replenish your summer sock options all at once. Plus, they’re made from three-way stretch fabric and have a heel grip so no matter how sweaty your feet get, they’ll still hang on for dear life.

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Mack Weldon two-pack socks

Mack Weldon, a newish brand known for its mastery of menswear basics, has made a well-cut, no-fuss version of the no-show loafer liner. Each comes with two versions, and there are numerous colors and patterns to choose from on their website.

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