When it comes to clothing, many things are one-size-fits-all. This works okay for some accessories, like hats and scarves. But socks? Come on…
Why should a man with a size 8 foot wear the same socks as a man with size 12 feet?
It doesn't add up.
Plus, even if it did make sense, it's very hard to find socks made for men who wear shoes smaller than size 8. I wear a size 7, and most socks are too big.
Sure, you can wash them and hope they shrink down to size, and this works okay sometimes, but it's not ideal.
This blog is all about helping men under 5'8″ dress well. I'm not saying shorter guys all have smaller feet (I think there's a joke here somewhere…), but there's certainly a correlation.
Note: Looking for no show socks? Read this guide.
So if you've ever been frustrated with socks that bunch up around your heels and toes, this post is for you.
I set out to find the best socks for small feet. I looked high and low, searching the vast corners of the Web for any company claiming to make smaller sized socks.
Why did I do this? Why did I spend hours obsessing over socks? Because, dammit, we svelte gents deserve socks that fit properly, and we shouldn't settle for anything less.
Here were my requirements:
- Dress socks
- Available in more than just black*
- Mid- or over-the-calf (OTC)
- Cotton, wool or silk
- Affordable (less than $20 per pair)**
- Fits below size 8 (U.S./mens)***
*Black socks are less versatile than most men think. You should really only wear them with black pants (or very dark blue or grey pants). For that reason, most men only need a couple pairs of black socks. I have about three or four pairs, and I rarely wear them.
**I should note that there are a couple of higher end clothiers that carry smaller sized socks, including Brooks Brothers and Mr. Porter. If you don't mind spending $30-40 on a pair of socks, these are great options, but that's a little rich for my blood, and most Modest Man readers are interested in affordable style. For that reason, my search was limited to socks under $20.
***The last criteria means I didn't review any sock makers that only offered one-size-fits-all socks. This rules out many boutique sock makers, most department stores, and pretty much all the big menswear brands that we know and love (J. Crew, Banana Republic, Express, etc.).
Here's What I Found
Many companies claim to make socks for small feet. But more often than not, these are empty promises. I was disappointed to find that Amazon and Zappos didn't really have any small socks.
Worse still, when I found a company that actually did make smaller sized socks, the pickings were slim. For example:
Sockbroker.com has a few different styles of small-sized socks, but they're very low quality, and the designs aren't great. Also, despite claiming that shipping is free within the U.S., there is a minimum $5.60 shipping charge that I couldn't seem to get around.
Nordstrom also has several types of men's socks for small feet, but they're very plain and kind of ugly. If you want basic black, blue or taupe socks, these might be a good option. But I wanted more options. Unfortunately, their more stylish socks aren't available in different sizes.
Some companies, however, carry a selection of socks in smaller sizes that actually look okay. I ended up ordering from the following companies: Happy Socks, Viccel and Socksfox.com. Let's see how they turned out…
First, we have some light grey over-the-calf 100% cotton socks made by Viccel, a Turkish company that sells socks through its website. Viccel actually offers custom size socks. They're selection is somewhat limited in term of designs and colors, but they have all of your basic colors available in 100% cotton, heavy cotton, winter weight cotton and merino wool.
You can pick your exact size and even choose over-the-calf or mid-calf. Plus, they're reasonably priced. The ones I bought are size 6-7 (US), and they are very comfortable. They are the only OTC socks I've tried that don't go above my knee, and they stay up just fine throughout the day.
The next pair is made by Corgi and sold by Socksfox.com, an online sock store that actually carries several types of socks in smaller sizes. It isn't the prettiest website, but they carry several brands that make socks in smaller sizes, including Falke and Corgi. Since I already have a pair of Falke socks from Sock Hop NY, I ordered a pair of CORGI socks for $17.75.
These cotton/nylon blend ribbed socks are very comfy, but they don't stay up as well as the Viccel OTC socks. That said, I really like the way they look.
The last pair are from Happy Socks, a company who sells socks in a bunch of major clothing stores, as well as through their website. Unfortunately, not all of their designs are available in smaller sizes, so the selection is somewhat limited.
I bought these pink rose socks (I swear they were in the men's section) in sock size 9-11. They are 80% combed cotton and 20% synthetic. They are definitely thicker and more casual than the Viccel and Corgi socks. But they fit great and stay up just fine for mid-calf socks.
Happy Socks' offerings are constantly changing as they sell out of current designs and add new ones. It's a good place to get funky, casual socks in smaller sizes, but you'll have to sift through some pretty tacky designs to find the good stuff.
Higher End Alternatives
Even though this post focuses on reasonably-priced socks, it's worth mentioning some higher quality options. After all, you get what you pay for, and more expensive socks will likely last longer than cheap socks. They require more care (for example, nice socks usually can't be machine dried), but it might be worth it.
For you rich and classy gents, you can always buy high quality socks in smaller sizes from Brooks Brothers, Mr. Porter, A Suitable Wardrobe and Ben Silver. Or you can check out the company that I mentioned above, Sock Hop NY. The owner, Vincent, actually sent me a couple of pairs of Falke and Bresciani, and I've been loving them. They're both available in smaller sizes.
So there you have it. Men with small feet don't have to settle for one-size-doesn't-fit socks anymore. We can find affordable, high quality socks that actually fit. It just takes a little searching. But in my opinion, it's totally worth the effort.
Do your socks fit? Leave a comment below!