Have you ever tried to wear a pair of dress or athletic socks with your boots?
If so, you likely noticed very quickly that choosing the wrong type of socks with your boots can be incredibly uncomfortable — and leave holes in your heels in no time.
Finding the right socks for your boots isn’t entirely simple and straightforward, though. That’s why we’ve taken the time to consult with footwear experts, combining their opinions with our own testing to bring you this guide to the best boot socks for men.
No matter what type of boot you’ll be wearing, these reviews will help you discover the perfect sock to match.
Table of Contents
Here are our top two recommendations from the list:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
How to Choose the Best Boot Socks for Your Wardrobe
Choosing the best socks to wear with boots comes down to knowing exactly what you’re looking for.
Read through the following three topics to get acquainted with the features you should be looking for, different types of boot socks and how to fine-tune your fit based on the shape of your foot.
What to Look for in Your Boot Socks
Whether for work, hiking or everyday wear, we always look for three qualities in our boot socks:
Durability is a necessary first requirement; if your boot sock doesn’t have it, then it’s not worth the price. The longest-lasting boots socks combine high-quality materials with a design that relieves stress on the seams.
Breathability is the biggest factor in making your boot socks comfortable. Natural fiber materials with a moderately tight weave perform best, though we’ve also been impressed by a few synthetic socks.
Quick-drying socks will keep your feet healthy and odor-free. Enough said.
Types of Boot Socks
Looking at a boot sock’s material and length is the quickest and easiest way to hone in on which type of sock is right for you.
As far as material goes, we’re always amazed by the long-lasting good looks of wool, and rarely choose boot socks from any other material.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that socks with a higher wool content are necessarily better, though — the quality of the wool matters much more than the quantity.
Merino wool, while almost always more expensive, offers a superior combination of durability and comfort.
Choose the height of your socks to match the height of your boots, or come just above the boot top; if in doubt, just stick with a crew sock.
You can commonly find boot socks in the following four lengths, listed from shortest to tallest:
- Micro Crew socks come part way up the ankle, but stop well before the calf
- Crew socks cover up to the bottom of the calf for most men
- Over the Calf socks fit exactly as their name indicates
- Knee socks cover the entire lower leg, stopping below the knee
We recommend sticking with crew or over-the-calf socks when wearing boots.
How to Get the Best Fit From Your Boot Socks
Finding the proper fit from your boot socks is always going to be a matter of trial and error, since each guy’s foot and leg size and shape can differ so much.
Look for the following qualities in your socks to know that you’re getting a great fit:
- Snug, but not tight enough to limit circulation
- No bunching inside of your boot
- Seams don’t rub against your toes
- Cuff holds tightly enough to keep the sock from falling down over time
- Top of the sock comes above the boot you’ll be wearing
Stick to those tips and you'll be sure to find the best boot sock that works for you.
The Best Boot Socks For Men
Here are our favorites…
#1 Carhartt Men’s Force Multipack Performance Work Crew Socks — Best Work Boot Socks
A polyester and spandex blend gives these crew-height work socks from Carhartt an excellent blend of comfort and quick drying.
Mesh cooling channels will keep your feet dry through a whole work day, and the added padding in the heels is great for guys who struggle with foot pain.
While synthetic materials tend to wear out faster than wool, they’re also available at a much lower price. You won’t feel bad about losing an occasional pair of these socks, as they come in six packs that cost about the same as a single pair of merino wool hiking socks.
#2 Smartwool Men’s Light Performance Crew Hiking Socks — Best Hiking Boot Socks
Smartwool’s merino crew socks are highly lauded by hikers everywhere; your author has been using them on the trail for over a decade now. They’re ultra-soft, and made of nearly 70% high-quality merino wool and a virtually seamless toe box.
Body-mapped mesh zones and a light cushion combine with double-reinforced stitching to round out these awesome hiking boot socks. Plus, every piece of gear from SmartWool — including their socks — comes with a 2-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee.
If they’re not the perfect socks for you, send them back for a full refund.
#3 Bonangel Men's Merino Wool Dress Socks — Best Dress Boot Socks
Lightweight, affordable and decked out in colors to match any outfit, these men’s dress boot socks really surprised us with their quality. Coming from a relatively unknown company called Bonangel, they’re a soft and breathable option that looks great with freshly shined dress boots.
A merino wool/acrylic blend gives these socks an edge in durability and breathability that many other dress socks lack. Choose from solid black, grey or wine red, or mix it up with argyle patterns to further complement your look.
The only downside? They’re only available in one-size-fits-most sizing. Guys with smaller or larger feet may find them less suitable as a result.
#4 Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Socks — Best Lightweight Boot Socks
One of the only socks in our review that’s still made in the U.S.A., Darn Tough has earned a reputation for producing amazingly comfortable socks.
They’re all guaranteed with a lifetime warranty, too — making the higher price tag on these lightweight boot socks worth it in the long run.
We love the seam construction on these Darn Tough micro crew socks, and barely noticed that they were on our feet while we wore them. Perfectly sized for low-rise boots, they’re available in four unobtrusive colors: Black, gray, denim and taupe.
In short, we can honestly recommend any of the socks that Darn Tough makes, but their lightweight micro crews really stand out as an ideal partner for short boots.
#5 Carhartt Men's Arctic Heavyweight Wool Boot Socks — Best Winter Boot Socks
One last option from Carhartt, America’s favorite work clothing company, rounds out our list. Their Arctic Heavyweight wool boot socks are ridiculously warm, but somehow manage to avoid the bunching and sliding of so many other heavyweight winter socks.
If you’re only going to get one pair of socks to prepare for a snowstorm, these are your best choice.
Double-insulated, sweat-wicking and odor-fighting, the Arctic Heavyweight socks are definitely not year-round options. But if you live in a colder climate and are looking for well-built, reliable socks, Carhartt’s pricy (but not overpriced) boot socks will do the trick.
Final Verdict: The Best Boot Socks for the Money
Is there really any way to pick just one perfect boot sock? We’d like to think that the Smartwool Men’s Light Performance Crew Hiking Socks come pretty close, but they’re also one of the priciest socks we tested.
In the end, the best boot sock for the money will come down to what, exactly, you intend to use it for.
Thank you for reading this buyer’s guide to the best men’s boot socks. We hope that the tips, tricks and information you’ve gathered along the way have prepared you to choose the perfect socks for your needs. Good luck!