Looking for the best over-the-calf dress socks on the online market today? Well, you’ve found them.
As a follow-up to our popular no-show sock guide, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top over-the-calf dress socks we could find on the internet.
In many cases, the companies were kind enough to send us a pair or two (or, in some cases, more) for wearing, washing, and testing to help you make the best decision.
For the last few months, we’ve been doing a deep dive into this world, and are thrilled to be able to share the results with you.
Don’t have time to read the full article? Here are our top three picks for the best over-the-calf dress socks you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
Why Over-the-Calf Dress Socks?
If you’re a regular reader of the site, you know we’ve covered socks at length (pun absolutely intended) and know the appropriate places to wear each style.
Does that mean you need six types of socks in your drawer? Nah. But, if you’re going with dress socks, we’d suggest over-the-calf.
Simply put, over-the-calf dress socks are meant to completely cover your leg all the way up to around your knee. That doesn’t mean stopping at the midpoint (hence, mid-calf) or around your ankle (quarter socks or ankle socks), but complete over those parts.
Most importantly, the elastic at the top of the sock tightly hugs your calf, allowing it to stay up all day.
We wear these because they create smooth lines from the shoes, up the leg line, and streamline the lower half. As a shorter guy, that’s definitely something you’ll want.
The Problem with OTC Dress Socks
The problem, and inspiration for this guide, is that socks that claim to be “over the calf” don’t actually do that. The elastic wears out quickly, or the socks don’t come up all the way-so they catch on your trousers (especially if they’re unlined) and fall down quickly.
So, without further adieu, let’s dive in!
How We Chose
Basically, we used four methods to find over-the-calf dress socks:
- Internet search engines, or pretty much whatever comes up on your Google Search bar under “over-the-calf dress socks”. If we’re looking for it, hopefully you are too.
- Amazon: We wanted both “Amazon’s choice” and the cheapest pair we could find at Uncle Jeff’s Internet Emporium.
- A Major Department Store: We chose Nordstrom’s House Brand.
- Word of Mouth: We came across some great companies just by asking people.
Pretty simple, right?
The Best Over-The-Calf Dress Socks
|Brand||Sizes Available||My Size||Price Per Pair||Notes|
|Boardroom Socks||Standard (8-12)|
|Standard||$14.95-$17.95||Top pick for quality and value; not ultra-thin; no smaller sizes|
XL (13 +)
|Good value and overall fit/comfort; less refined than Boardroom|
|Fort Belvedere||S (6-7.5)|
|M||$40||Ultrafine, ultra-breathable luxury; slightly delicate; wide range of sizes|
|Gold Toe||One Size (6.5-12)||OS||$14.95-$19.00 for 3||A surprise hit; slightly thicker; limited sizing|
|Nordstrom Men's Shop||S (5.5-7.5)|
|M||$14.50 for Cotton |
$14.50 for Wool
|Great value when on sale; runs large so size down|
|Pierre Henry Socks||Classic (7-11)|
|Classic||$14.99 for Single|
$34.99 for 3 pack
|More casual feel (not very dressy); stays up nicely|
|Polo Ralph Lauren||US Mens 10-13||OS||$26.00 for 3||Not long enough; stretches and sags after light wear|
|Tee Hee Dress Socks||US Mens 8-11)||OS||$12 for a three pack||Great ultra-affordable pick; unrefined aesthetic|
|L||$13.89- $26.54||Huge selection of weights, colors and sizes; great prices; fabrics feel "slippery" inside shoe|
We could talk about all the brands at length, but that would result in quite a long article, So, we’ve selected a few for your consideration.
Fort Belvedere Socks
If a pair of socks could be described as “beautiful”, these would be them. The colors are subtle, but they’re wonderfully unique.
Raphael Schneider, founder of Fort Belvedere, The Gentleman’s Gazette, and friend-of-the-site, has done a fantastic job with the whole line. But, at $40 a pair, these puppies ain’t cheap.
Additionally, with 200 needles used, these are luxuriously delicate and not for everyday wear.
Fort Belvedere over-the-calf socks are noticeably thinner than all of my other dress socks, and the thinnest on this list. While that is something they tell you, it’s created a gapping problem around the mouth of my lace-up dress shoes-even ones I know fit in the length.
Perhaps this problem is compounded by my flat feet, So, I’ve stuck to my loafers and Belgian slippers when wearing them. Maybe that’s for the best, as I get to show them off.
So, while I’d recommend them-if you can stomach the price tag- because they’re luxurious and comfortable, do make sure you’ve got the proper footwear to go with them.
Boardroom Socks are my best-in-show pick for style, price, and comfort. Look at how nice and even those dots are!
Proudly made in North Carolina. At $15, they’re not cheap, but I think it’s worth the $1.00 premium over Pierre Henry, and just as good as the Bombas.
168 needle construction, which, as founder Nathan James says, is fine enough to be luxurious but not so fine they wear out after a few miles.
Their over-the-calf dress socks come in merino wool and cotton, and I vastly prefer the wool. I’d highly recommend these for any day of the week.
Bombas Dress Socks
“The Internet’s Favorite Sock” indeed. These guys have their marketing and SEO down. Seriously, if you Google a lot of the sock brands on this list, Bombas is still the first one coming up.
Anyway, slick marketing is one thing, the product is another. Overall, I do like the socks.
The over-the-calf dress socks are *fine* and will do the job well. They have good thickness and a great range of colors. For dress sock comfort, I do prefer the Boardroom to the Bombas.
But, Bombas also sent some of their merino wool casual over-the-calf socks and, frankly, they’re phenomenal. Perfect thickness for some
If you’re going to go with Bombas, I’d do their more casual options. They’re more than worth the money.
Gold Toe Dress Socks
Amazon made an excellent choice here. Gold Toe are surprisingly good quality, great thickness, and excellent length. At just under $20.00 for a three-pack, they’re also a great deal.
You’re not going to get unique designs or patterns (and the “Gold Toe” uncomfortably reminds me of foot fungus), but if you don’t need dress socks often or don’t feel comfortable coughing up $15.00+ for a couple of footsies, these are a smart option for you.
The thicker cotton makes them a touch more ‘plush’ than some of the super-thin options on this over-the-calf dress sock roundup, which I’ve found helps with some of the gapping issue.
I do notice, however, that the elastic d to grip my calves quite tightly- which, after 8-10 hours of wear, kind of makes you feel like you’re wearing compression socks. Even so, if you’re a slimmer guy, you should be just fine.
Polo Dress Socks
I first bought some of Ralph’s over-the-calf dress socks in late 2018. They stayed up for about four hours into the first wear.
Since then, wearing these socks has been a chore. I was actually bending down to pull up my socks after only 45 minutes of wear when my nearly-new phone slipped out of my jacket pocket and fell (thankfully, screen side up) onto pavement.
After that, I contacted Brock about doing this breakdown.
Thanks for your patience on this review. As with anything, we want to field test for as long we can to help you make the best selection.
Socks are essential part of any man’s wardrobe, and a good pair can really make a different in dressing well. Socks can stand out with your chinos, or they can make business casual a little more interesting.
We’re pleased to say that, with the exception of the Polo socks that inspired this review, all of the socks stood up (literally) to the test, including some days of 12-14 hours of standing up, sitting down, and generally moving around. Not one of them fell down.
Overall, though, Boardroom Socks are our top pick. They’ve got the blend of form, function, style, construction, and price to last for years if you take care of them. On the high end, and if you’ve got the budget for it, Fort Belvedere socks are extremely luxurious and make your feet happy. Our budget pick, and a good deal for the guy who rarely needs dress socks, is the three-pack from Gold Toe.
As a final note, you’ll notice we didn’t include any “funky” socks on this list. No squiggle lines, hot-pink numbers, or socks with tacos or flying elephants on them. We believe in a versatile wardrobe here at TMM, and style is best when it doesn’t shout.
Thanks for reading, and we do hope this helps you make a great selection.