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Gold Toe’s Harrington crew socks. Tested and reviewed by GQ’s Tyler Chin

Bowen Fernie

The Best Socks for Running: Lululemon Power Stride Socks

Finding a good pair of running socks is hard, but Lululemon managed to make a pair that hit the right, ahem, stride. These feet-hugging socks offer a ton of support from practically every angle, and there’s the right amount of cushioning to keep feet blisters at a minimum. Chin loved how fitted these socks were around the foot but found that it did take a little more effort to slip into them because of their snug fit. But on runs? Let’s say those PRs were hit because of excessive training and not because he finally found running socks that actually rule.

The Best Socks for Sweaty Feet: Stance Performance Crew Socks

They’re not that attractive out of a shoe, but as long as the dogs are dry, we can’t really complain. Stance’s performance socks are some of the best for those who suffer from sweaty feet, or hyperhidrosis, an affliction that affects around 3% of the population. One way to combat this is by wearing a moisture-wicking material, like what Stance’s socks are made of, to prevent any excessive moisture from accumulating through the day. Chin found that these socks did a fairly good job at keeping their feet dry, while cushioning added extra comfort in the areas their feet needed it the most: around the heels and the balls of their feet. They also fit really well, sitting in place all day without being overly restrictive.

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Stance’s performance crew socks. Tested and reviewed by GQ’s Tyler Chin

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The Best Wool-Blend Socks: Smartwool Everyday Solid Rib Crew Socks


Everyday Solid Rib Crew Socks

Stave off cold feet by donning some wool socks. As we mentioned, there is a subsect of the population that deals with sweaty feet, but if you’re wearing the wrong pair of wool socks, you’re in for a swampy mess. Smartwool’s socks are made of a merino wool blend, and we’re chuffed at how well these can keep your feet warm without creating a sauna effect in your shoe. Merino wool is naturally odor-resistant, able to wick away moisture and regulate your body temperature, which is great for year-round wear. Our testers noted how soft these socks were and how well they stay put on their legs throughout the day. They’re not as cushiony as say the Bombas socks, but we can appreciate the brand for trying to add a bit of extra comfort under the footbed.

More Socks We Love

Paul Stuart Ribbed Socks

Paul Stuart

Linen & Cotton Blend Melange Ribbed Sock

Paul Stuart makes a fine pair of dress socks, but at $55, they’re quite the splurge. We know you probably spent your clothing stipend on that new suit, but if you have a little budget left over, these linen-cotton socks will help you round out your outfit in terms of comfort, fit, and style. They’re super soft, and a little peekaboo from the ankle will let people know you really took care of every little detail of your fit.

Jobst Compression Socks


Activewear Compression Sock

If you’re not in the business of wearing compression socks, it’s probably you don’t actually need them. “Unless you have an issue like vascularity [or highly visible veins] you don’t necessarily need a ton of compression,” Schaeffer says. However, if you are looking for compression socks, which are great for improving blood flow, Jobst makes the best pair, according to Ryan Jones, a board-certified surgeon and the founder of Arizona’s Vein Envy. These have just the right amount of compression, and they’re breathable enough to wear all day without having to worry about sweaty feet.

Feetures Max Cushion Crew Socks


Trail Max Cushion Mini Crew Sock

Schaeffer chooses Feetures as his go-to daily pair of socks. “They have a great upper support that blocks the blisters that I sometimes get in the back of the heel,” Schaeffer says. “And they also provide a nice support and cushion in my arch.” These socks also have light- and right-foot specific designs to provide the best fit possible.

What to Look for in the Best Socks for Men

Material: We wouldn’t say that one material reigns supreme when it comes to socks, but rather it depends on what you’re specifically looking for when it comes to your hosiery. Cotton is great because it’s cheap, and as Schaeffer notes, they’re easy to wash and breathable. You can also opt for wool socks for extra warmth, but we’d recommend merino wool for its thermoregulating properties. However, some brands don’t suggest that you machine wash or tumble dry their wool socks, which makes cleaning them somewhat of a hassle. And if you’re really feeling bougie, cashmere socks are an option for luxe warmth, but they’re also annoying to care for. “[Cashmere socks are] great for just comfort and wearing around the house or sitting on the couch,” Schaeffer says. “If you wear them too much, they will wear down very fast and they do not wash well.”

Height: Socks will range in height from anywhere in between no-shows to calf-length. (We’re going to neglect thigh-highs here.) There’s not really an ideal sock height, and your choice will come down to how much sock you want to show off and what shoes you’re wearing. Opt for no-shows if you want to have protection between your feet and your shoes without looking like you’re wearing socks; go for ankle-height for just a little bit of extra coverage; and choose calf-length socks for pretty much any other occasion.

Fit: Most people will find that their standard run-of-the-mill socks will be one size fits all, but is it really possible for a pair of socks to fit someone with a size 7 foot and another person with a size 15 foot? “Now, although the socks have great stretch to them, you can fit a small sock on a large foot with stretch, but in my opinion, it becomes too tight,” Schaeffer says. “And depending on the patient, it can restrict vascular flow, and affect the nerves also, which can create swelling and overall pain.” Brands have been more regularly selling socks in different sizes, just like t-shirts, so that shoppers can find something snug enough that won’t slip off their foot, but also not too tight where it feels like the dogs are wrapped up in a straightjacket.

How We Tested

In our pursuit of the best socks for men, we came across a plethora of hot hosiery. The only way for us to tell what was good or not was by putting them through the wringer—or in our case: actually having them grace our feet. We gathered a group of guys to wear a bunch of socks for weeks, evaluating how they felt on their feet wear after wear. After a while, our testers filled out an evaluation form to let us know how they felt about their socks, making special note of fit, comfort, quality, style, breathability, value, and brand reputation. (Read more about GQ’s testing process here.) We also enlisted the help of experts—actual doctors, and not people who are just obsessed with feet—to suss out what socks they personally wear.

Based on those evaluations, we ran the numbers, collated the anecdotal evidence, and emerged with a list of what we believe to be the absolute best socks right now, from the tried-and-true stalwarts to the modern disruptors, the cheap multipacks to the wildly expensive (but wildly worth-it) solo buys. Whatever your preferences, whatever your lifestyle, there’s bound to be a superlative pair of socks on this list for you.

  • Alex Wedel, senior global audience development manager
  • Avidan Grossman, GQ senior commerce editor
  • Gabe Conte, GQ senior web producer
  • Gerald Ortiz, GQ commerce writer,
  • Martin Mulkeen, GQ global commerce category director
  • Matthew Roberson, GQ Sports writer
  • Michael Nolledo, GQ associate commerce director
  • Mick Rouse, GQ global research director
  • Tyler Chin, GQ associate commerce editor

Read the full article here


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