Boots represent a rugged piece of footwear that protects the feet of the wearer in rough climates, against moisture, and various prickly plant life as well as dangerous animals lurking beneath the leaves on the ground.
Indeed, if you’ve ever tried to trek through a landscape where you’d normally need boots but you didn’t have a pair on at the time, chances are – you know exactly what we’re talking about. Of course, other than the protective properties of this piece of footwear, modern-day boots are also well-known as a fashion statement and come in all shapes and sizes.
Now, if you’re going to wear a pair of boots for outdoor purposes, so to speak, what you may need to take into consideration would be the type of socks you wear underneath the boots themselves. The thing is, if you use just regular socks, they may get destroyed by moisture, fail to provide you warmth and support and wrinkle inside the boot causing nasty callouses.
So, in order to be fully prepared for an outdoor expedition, what you want to do is get a pair of socks together with the boots, so you can rest assured your feet (and you’re entire body, for that matter), will have the protection and support you need in rough outdoor conditions.
In this article, we’re going to talk about boot socks. As you will see, these come in all shapes and sizes, and there is a myriad of different manufacturers out there. Also, different boot socks are made for various purposes ranging from mountaineering to outdoor manual labor, so whatever your planned activity of choice involving booths, you’re certainly able to find something that suits your needs in the entries below.
As an addition, we’ve ventured to answer some of the most frequently asked questions in this department, so even if you’re a complete newbie when it comes to boot socks, you’ll certainly be able to find something to your liking here.
Here’s the deal.
Types of Boot Socks
When it comes to the length of boot socks, there are a couple of distinctions related to how large the socks are.
The first category would be the ankle-deep or ankle-high boot socks, and as their name suggests – these only get as high as one’s ankle. As such, they may not be the best option for outdoor excursions or mountaineering.
What they can be useful for, however, would come down to wearing smaller boots for fashion-related reasons, so to speak. So, if you want to wear some pretty boots and need some footwear to go with it to prevent blisters and to support your heel, for example, getting these ankle-high socks may be the best solution.
If you need socks to support your feet while wearing cowboy boots or some sort of specialized work boots, getting a pair of mid-calf socks may be the optimal solution.
The thing is, these will give you more support than the aforementioned ankle-high socks, but won’t be too restricting as the knee-high socks. (The knee-high ones are better used for mountaineering and other tough outdoors ventures.)
So, if you need a pair of durable socks for manual labor or horse-riding during the winter, getting some mid-calf-high boot socks would be the way to go.
As we hinted at above, knee-high socks are best paired up with tough, mountaineering kind of boots, as you will get excellent warmth and support from the tip of your toes all the way up to your knees.
The idea behind such a design is to cover half of your leg and to prevent moisture from contacting your skin underneath them. Also, they ensure that your body’s warmth is not lost in the gaps between the boots and the undergarments. So, while you’re wearing these knee-high socks, you can rest assured you won’t feel cold or underprepared for working in cold and otherwise inhospitable environments.
Overall, these are recommended for mountaineers, the military, and anyone who faces rough outdoor conditions on a daily basis.
One of the most important properties of any socks would certainly be their breathability.
The thing is, the more breathable boot socks are, the more comfortable you are going to feel wearing them. Generally speaking, the level of comfort you feel when you wear any socks depends on the softness of the material they’re made of, how much support there is for your heel, as well as on the breathability of the fabric at hand.
So, when choosing boot socks, read the product description carefully and make sure to look for the breathability of the sock. The more breathable the material the sock is made out of, the more comfortable it will be to wear and the fewer odors there will be emanating from the socks and your feet after a long day of physical activity.
Another important property of socks that plays a major role in how well they can protect your feet in outdoor conditions would be their moisture-wicking properties.
The thing is, it goes without saying that your feet are going to get wet while you’re out there in the outdoors. That said, it’s important to ensure that the socks you wear will be able to successfully wick the excess moisture from your feet and boots.
This is important because having dry feet means you will be able to withstand long working hours as well as cover more terrain outdoors, which is integral for many outdoor activities from mountaineering to military actions.
Best Boot Socks – A List of Products
1) Carhartt – Men’s Force Multitask Performance Work Crew Socks
If you’re looking for a tough sort of sock that you will be able to wear for work and in other situations where you require protection and support from your socks, getting a pair of these Carhartt work crew socks can be an excellent solution.
Made out of 98% Polyester and 2% Spandex, these socks come with a pull-on closure, so you can rest assured these won’t be slipping off your feet every time while you’re wearing your boots. Although they’re fairly stretchable as they are, these also come in different sizes so you can get a precise and snug fit depending on your foot size.
Also, these socks are machine washable, so you won’t have to do much to clean them up once you’ve worn them through thick and thin, so to speak. Once you’ve washed these in your washing machine, they will dry off fairly fast, too, so you won’t have to think about this too much either. Plus, it can come in handy while you’re out there in the outdoors, too.
- Made out of 98% Polyester and 2% Spandex
- Comes with a pull-on closure
- Lightweight design
- Arch support
- Reinforced heel and toe area
- Odor control
- Some users complained that the upper part of the sock that’s supposed to support calves can be tight
- Some users complained that these socks are cutting off their blood circulation
2) Dickies – Women’s Dritech Advanced Moisture-Wicking Crew Sock
Made out of 98% Polyester, 2% Spandex, and 2% Rubber, these Dickies moisture-wicking socks colorful and tough pieces of footwear that will support and protect your foot in any sort of boot. Similarly to the socks from above, these socks provide heel and toe support, so they will fit snugly on your feet and won’t wrinkle inside the boots you’re wearing.
The great thing about these is that they’re completely machine-washable, so you won’t have to worry about the maintenance. After a hard day of work, all you have to do is chuck these into the washing machine and you’ll get properly washed socks out of it every time.
As far as the experience of wearing these is concerned, the folks at Dickies made sure that these socks ‘breathe’ well, so your feet won’t be smelly after you take off your boots. Also, there’s the question of moisture-wicking, which these socks do excellently well.
- Made out of Polyester, Spandex, and Rubber
- Great moisture control
- Some users reported that these are too tight
- Can be a bit itsy for some wearers
3) Hanes – Men’s Over-The-Calf Tube Socks
For those of you looking for an inexpensive pair of socks to wear with your boots, a pair of these Hanes over-the-calf socks can be just the thing for you. Made out of a mixture of mostly Polyester and then some Spandex, these socks can truly do wonders when it comes to foot support and they also perform well in the department of durability, too.
One of the biggest problems with bulky boot socks would certainly be the unpleasant odors that tend to build up in the boots over a workday, so the folks at Hanes decided to tackle this by means of bringing in special anti-odor technology, which prevents these foul smell-causing bacteria to spread. Thanks to this innovation, you can wear these socks all day without worrying your feet will smell terrible at the end of the day.
At the top of these socks, there’s a special elastic ribbon that prevents them from falling to your ankles, so if you like a snug fit for your socks, wearing these would be a warm recommendation.
- Made out of 95% Polyester and 5% Spandex
- Made in the USA
- Additional toe and heel support
- Elastic ribbon for a snug fit
- Anti-odor technology
- Some users might find these to be too thin
- Some users reported that holes form too easily on the toe area
4) Zando – Women’s Merino Wool Socks
Boasting a beautiful appearance and made out of high-quality Merino wool, these socks be a perfect choice for women looking for socks that will both look good on their feet and support them while wearing boots.
One of the best things about these socks is their interesting color scheme, so you can get all sorts of interesting combinations if you really wish to get a pair of boot socks that can act as both a fashion accessory that can also be warm. Since these socks have different colors printed on them, you can easily combine them with a wide variety of clothing items, and you won’t have to worry about these sticking out.
Also, it’s not just boots that you can wear these with. Thanks to their design that is not either too thin or too thick, you can combine these with boots, sneakers, sports shoes, you name it.
- Made out of high-quality wool
- Comes with colorful visual details
- Fairly stretchy and easy to put on
- Perfect for the autumn-winter season
- Some users reported problems with holes in these socks
- Some users weren’t satisfied with the degree of warmth these give you
5) Carhartt – Men’s Arctic Heavyweight Wool Boot Socks
If you’re about to embark on an expedition to the North Pole or northern Russia, having a pair of these socks on your feet would be a major plus when it comes to the degree of comfort and supports you will feel in tough weather and unforgiving terrain.
These come with a pull-on closure, so once you put these on, you can rest assured they won’t fall down to your ankles as you progress through the area you’re scouting. Also, another important aspect of these socks is their excellent sweat-wicking technology, which will keep your feet dry even if you’re exerting yourself physically more than usual.
Another interesting addition to these socks would be the use of special anti-odor technology, so you won’t have to worry about your feet smelling horribly after a hard day of work while wearing these socks inside boots.
- These come with a special pull-on closure
- Anti-odor technology
- Made out of 68% Wool, 23% Nylon, 1% Spandex, and 8% other fibers
- Sweat-wicking technology
- Some users complained that these socks don’t provide enough warmth
- Some users reported that these socks don’t wick moisture that well
6) Darn Tough – Merino Wool Boot Socks
Representing a tough ‘breed’ of boot-friendly footwear, as its name suggests, these Darn Tough Merino wool socks can be a great solution for a person looking for a reliable brand of socks they can wear on any occasion. (This is especially true so when it comes to for mountaineering, hunting, and other outdoor ventures.)
As far as the materials are concerned that were used for making of these socks, you can count in Lycra, the aforementioned Merino wool, nylon, and Spandex. While the wool gives these socks their warmth and comfortable wear, nylon and Spandex are there to strengthen the overall build of the sock as well as prevent the accumulation of moisture.
In order to ensure that these socks will feel comfortable on your feet, the manufacturers connected to these socks have made sure these are made to be seamless. So, you can forget about discomfort, bunching, or painful blister while wearing these.
- Aesthetically-pleasing design
- Made out of high-quality Merino wool
- Made in the USA
- Seamless design for comfort and support
- A tad expensive
- Some folks may not appreciate the color pattern
7) Wrangler – Women’s Ladies Western Boot Socks
Made out of 70% Polyester and the rest out of nylon and spandex, these socks represent the best of the best when it comes to women’s boot socks. These socks come in an arrangement 2 + 1, where the third sock is there as a replacement in case you lose one or it gets damaged on an outdoor excursion, for example.
If you don’t have time to wash all of your socks by hand, getting these Wrangler boot socks can be a good idea because these are completely machine-washable. All you need to do after a long day of mountaineering, camping, or some other activity would be to chuck them into your washing machine and then get them out clean and ready to go, so to speak.
As far as these socks’ relationship with moisture is concerned, you can rest assured that your feet won’t become too wet too soon if you’re somewhere outdoors where it’s damp, because the folks at Wrangler made sure to use special moisture-wicking technology in putting these together.
- Made out of 80%, 17% nylon, and 3% Spandex
- Smooth toe seam for comfort and support
- Excellent moisture-wicking properties
- Made in the USA
- Can be a bit too short for tall people
- Some users may not appreciate the fact that these are 80% Polyester
8) Carhartt – Men’s 2-Pack Full Cushion Steel-Toe Cotton Work Boot Socks
In order to ensure these socks are both comfortable and sufficiently tough to support you through the toughest and most challenging outdoor adventures, the folks at Carharrt made these socks out of a number of different materials – each playing an important role to ensure its toughness.
70% of this ‘mixture’ is cotton, which is there for the warmth and the comfort of the wearer. The other 30% consists of a range of materials including nylon, polyester, Spandex, and even acrylic. A part of the reason why these materials have been used would be the pull-on closure, which is there to ensure these socks fall down when you put them on.
These also come with arch support, are completely machine-washable, and possess certain odor-resistant properties, for good measure. (While out there in the wild, it’s fairly important the degree to which your socks can resist odors, because chances are – if you’re tenting, for example, at the end of the day you’ll have to take them off.)
- Cushioned for extra support
- Holds nasty odors largely at bay
- Comes with a pull-on closure
- Made mostly out of cotton
- Made in the USA
- Users with bigger calves might have difficulties putting these on
- Some customers complained about the toe seam on these socks
9) FoxRiver – Wick Dry Maximum Mid-Calf Boot Socks
If you’re looking for a tough kind of sock that can cover most of your leg up to your knees and that will provide warmth and support to your feet and shins in a variety of challenging outdoor conditions, these FoxRiver boot socks might be the thing for you.
Designed for the military, these socks are made out of 70% Polypropylene, as well as Spandex and nylon. This gives them the necessary strength to come out in one piece after being worn in tough conditions. Also, the cushioning that comes with these is there to provide you with the support and padding so you don’t get injured too easily while jumping or running.
Washing these socks would also be a breeze thanks to the quick-drying fibers they are made out of. The smooth fit helps prevent blisters and crumpling or bunching in the boots if there’s room for it. Because of this, you can rest assured that these socks will feel comfortable on your feet at all times.
- Made out of high-quality Polypropylene, Spandex, and nylon
- Excellent fit (prevents blisters and bunching in the boots)
- These come in four sizes and four different colors
- Comfortable and durable
- Moisture-wicking and comes with cushioning
- Some folks might find these are too tight on their feet
- Some customers complained that these keep falling down around the ankles
10) Carharrt – Men’s 6-Pack All-Terrain Boot Socks
Made from beginning to the end in the USA, these Carharrt boot socks are all about durability, foot support, and ease of maintenance. As far as the materials are concerned that these are made out of, you can count in Polyester, acrylic, wool, nylon, and Spandex.
Thanks to this mixture of different materials, the folks at Carharrt have made it possible for these socks to both be comfortable and stay firmly on your feet no matter what sort of outdoor situation you’re dealing with when you’re outdoors working or having fun.
In the department of maintenance, so to speak, these socks also score highly because they’re machine-washable. So, if you’ve been in these for an entire day, or a couple of days in a row, for good measure, all it takes to make these clean again comes down to simply chucking these in your washing machine and giving them a thorough cleaning.
- Made out of Polyester, Nylon, Spandex, acrylic, and wool
- These can be worn on all terrains and during all seasons
- These come with special arch support
- This package of 6 may be too big for some customers’ needs
- Some customers reported that these socks fall down to their ankles easily
Benefits of Wearing Boot Socks
First things first, socks, in general, serve to cushion the contact your foot makes with the shoe, sneaker, or boot you’re wearing, so comfort is an important parameter when it comes to judging how good a pair of socks is.
Generally speaking, materials such as wool and cotton are good choices for socks when comfort is in question, although certain synthetic materials such as polyester can be just as comfortable. That said, wool is typically the material of choice for many sock manufacturers as it’s comfortable, lets the foot ‘breathe’, and it’s easy to clean.
Now, for boot socks, comfort is even more important than with regular footwear, because boots tend to be rougher than shoes, for example. This is why it’s a good idea to buy high-quality boot socks that you will feel comfortable in with your boots on.
Other than feeling comfortable in your boot socks, another important parameter would be the level of protection you get from them.
To ensure the socks you’re wearing are as tough as they are comfortable, many manufacturers of boot socks combine wool and polyester with other materials such as Spandex or nylon to make them more durable.
On the other side, cushioning would be another important thing to take into consideration, as it provides both comforts and increases the protection you will get from a sock. This cushioning can be a lifesaver as it provides padding when you’re jumping or running in your boots.
Socks are worn both with footwear such as shoes and boots and on their own indoors, for example, because they provide warmth.
As far as boot socks are concerned, the material they’re made out of as well as the addition of cushioning plays an important role in how much warmth the socks will provide. Of course, the general parameter you may want to look for here would certainly be the thickness of the sock. The thicker the sock, the more warmth it will exert, so to speak.
Although most socks aren’t waterproof, many manufacturers of boot socks go out of their way to make their socks as resilient to moisture as possible.
The thing is, out there in the wild, you’ll likely experience all sorts of moisture-related issues such as profuse sweating or damp environments with puddles or rainfall. If you’re going hiking or mountaineering, chances are – no matter how well your feet are protected against moisture, some of it is going to make it past your boots and socks.
Therefore, it is the goal of these footwear manufacturers to improve the moisture-wicking properties of their boots as strong as possible.
After all, moisture protection is mostly the job of the boots themselves, but it’s always useful to have an additional layer of protection in terms of moisture-wicking socks.
Last but not least, hygiene plays an important role in the design of boot socks.
One of the things socks, in general, are notorious for is their smell after a long day of wearing them. This happens because the bacteria on your feet grow well and let out their foul smell in a damp and hot environment – which is in your shoes and boots.
This is why the sort of sock that reduces this phenomenon to a minimum would be the kind of sock that has excellent moisture-wicking properties. Material breathability also plays a role here, as the more ventilation the socks have, the less of these foul odor-causing bacteria can grow inside your boots.
Best Boot Sucks – A Buyer’s Guide
The first thing you should look into when buying socks would be what material they’re made out of.
Generally speaking, wool and especially Merino wool represent two of the most sought after materials when it comes to socks and wool socks, particularly. The reason behind this is that wool offers excellent breathability, durability, and can be washed relatively easily.
Other common materials include nylon, spandex, polyester, and acrylic. Also, you can often see combinations of these materials where wool is the dominant one and the others serve to strengthen the sock or make it more flexible.
Optimally, you should wash your socks every day in order to prevent mold accumulation and foul smells emanating from them.
Now, there are two ways of achieving this – either washing your socks by hand or using a washing machine to do the job. The better option here would be the latter one if you don’t have the time or the willingness to wash the socks yourself.
So, make sure to read the description of the socks you’re buying to check if they’re machine-washable. Buying machine-washable socks can be a great solution in case you’re bored of washing them by hand all the time.
As we stated above, socks can be made in such a way that the odor coming from them after a long day of work is minimalized. That said, this doesn’t mean that these socks will be 100% free of odors, but even a moderate decrease in odors would be noteworthy in this case.
Socks that sport excellent breathability properties and that are ‘good at’ moisture-wicking typically perform better when odors are in question, compared to their non-moisture wicking counterparts.
Although the visual design of the boot socks does not necessarily represent the most important parameter to judge the socks on if you’re interested in fashion or you care about the camouflage aspect of your socks, paying attention to the looks of your socks should be on your checklist when boot socks are in question.
Luckily for the folks who like to browse these socks based on their appearance, there is a multitude of different models, brands, and designs out there on the market. So, if you’re looking for something special in socks such as colorful patterns or unicolor sort of arrangement, chances are – you won’t have that much trouble finding it online.
Socks need to be stitched together to form the shape of the foot.
This is achieved in several different ways. One thing is sure – stitches have to exist in one shape or another, it’s just the question of how well they’re hidden.
If you’re looking for a smooth feel that doesn’t bunch in your boots, the so-called ‘seamless design’ where you can’t see the stitches on the socks can be a great idea. On the other hand, those sock models that do have visible stitches can be just as good, but then you have to know exactly the size you’re buying to ensure a perfect fit every time.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) What kind of socks do you wear with boots?
To ensure warmth, protection, and support, you should wear special boot socks with your boots.
These socks are tougher than the regular socks, they’re typically larger and more robust, so you can rest assured that they won’t tear easily or otherwise leave your feet and legs exposed to cold conditions outside.
2) Should you wear socks with boots?
Yes, you should.
Although there are certain fashion trends where it looks cool or interesting to wear boots on your bare feet, if you mean to go outside and do any sort of work with your boots or engage in strenuous physical activity, the word of advice is to always wear boots with socks.
3) Can I wear boots without socks?
You can, but it’s not recommended.
Generally speaking, wearing boots is often a better solution than just going barefoot, especially in the wild. That said, if you have access to socks, it is a better solution to wear socks and then boots, because you will preserve the inner layer of the boots and you will certainly feel more comfortable.
4) Can I wear ankle boots without socks?
Again – you can but it’s not a very good idea.
The thing is, after a while, the inside of your socks will start to smell pretty bad from the accumulated sweat and bacteria that rub off your feet. So, if you have some sort of socks, wearing those and then boots on top of them is always a better choice.
5) Do you wear socks with high-heel boots?
Wearing socks with any sort of boot is a good idea.
Regardless of the boots in question are high-heel or just regular plain sole boots, socks are going to protect both your foot and the inside of the boot you’re wearing. So, yes, it is smart to wear socks with high-heel boots.
All in all, if you like wearing boots or if you need them for work or a mountaineering expedition, finding durable boot socks might be the best course of action. As long as the socks you picked are durable, warm, and support your feet, you can rest assured that your stay in nature or at work will be much easier to handle.