Tired of one-size-fits-all socks that are too big? Here’s where to buy socks for small feet that actually fit.
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 U.S., and most socks are just too big.
Sure, you can wash them and hope they shrink down to size, and this works okay sometimes, but it’s not ideal.
So if you’ve ever been frustrated with socks that bunch up around your heels and toes, this post is for you.
Most Socks Are Too Big
When socks are too big for your feet, it causes all sorts of problems. Some are just annoying, while others are downright dangerous.
🧦 When over-the-calf dress socks are too big, they go up past your knee and feel like stockings (at least I’m assuming that’s what stocking feel like…).
🧦 When boot socks are too big, they don’t hug your calf and slip down your leg throughout the day – a terrible feeling, especially in winter.
🧦 When no show socks are too big, they simply fall off your heel as you walk around.
🧦 And when running socks are too big, they bunch up in the toe box of your shoe and can cause all sorts of foot problems.
Bottom line: socks that are too big are a total pain in the…foot.
What to Look For
I set out to find the best socks for small feet. I looked high and low, searching the vast corners of the internet 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:
- Sold in multiple sizes*
- Multiple colors (not just black)
- High-quality fabrics
- Reputable brands
*The first criteria means I didn’t consider any sock makers that only offered one-size-fits-all socks, which rules out the vast majority of men’s fashion brands.
Sure, some one-size socks might run small, but I wanted to find socks that are actually made for men with smaller feet.
Many companies claim to make socks for small feet. But more often than not, these are empty promises. Worse still, when I found a company that actually did make smaller sized socks, the pickings were slim (i.e., they’d only have one sock length in two colors).
But, fear not! There are plenty of great options for smaller sizes socks. Here’s a full list of brands to check out, along with some info about what type of socks they offer:
Socks for Small Feet
Note: the Size column is based on men’s U.S. shoe size. It lists the smallest size each brand currently offers.
|Brand||Smallest Size||Styles||Quick Take|
|Bombas||6-9||No show, casual, dress, compression, athletic||Some of the comfiest socks you can buy; mostly known for casual socks|
|Smartwool||3-5.5||No show, casual, OTC, outdoor, athletic, winter||My personal favorite wool socks; great for boots and outdoor activities|
|Darn Tough||5.5-7.5||No show, casual, athletic, outdoor, winter, tactical||Similar to Smartwool but more heavy duty workwear options|
|Nordstrom||5.5-7.5||Dress, OTC||Nordstrom's house brand; excellent cotton and wool dress socks|
|Swiftwick||3-5.5||Casual, running, hiking, golf, cycling, winter||Lesser known brand with *tons* of options for active people and athletes|
|Stance||3-5.5||No show, casual, running, hiking, golf||Cool, premium brand; excellent no show, running and crew socks|
|Falke||5.5-7.5||No show, casual, dress, OTC, luxury||German luxury brand; my personal favorite no show socks|
|Feetures||6-8.5||No show, casual, running||High quality socks with anatomical design (left/right) and lifetime guarantee|
|Thorlos||5.5-8.5||Casual, running, outdoor, tactical, compression||Made in USA since 1953; great for workwear, outdoor, tactical, cold weather|
Let’s also take a look at some of my personal favorites (I’ve road-tested and worn all of these for a long time).
My Personal Favorites
I know the above table has a lot of options, so I wanted to run through a few of my favorite pairs of socks.
For reference, I wear a size 7 shoe (men’s U.S.), and I usually buy Small or Medium size socks.
Small No Show Socks
My favorite pair is the Falke Invisible Step. They’re super thin, they stay on my feet and last forever.
A great affordable alternative is Invisasox. These are surprisingly good for the price.
Small Running Socks
My current favorites are the Stance Run Tab sock. With a reinforced heel and plenty of arch support, these are my go-to socks for running and lifting weights.
Small Casual Crew Socks
My favorite everyday crew length socks are the Smartwool Ultra Light Hiking Socks. Don’t be fooled by the name: these are excellent everyday socks, even if you never go outside!
They’re also great for travel since the wool material is naturally moisture-wicking and odor-resistant.
Small Boot/Winter Socks
My go-to boot socks for fall and winter are the Darn Tough Boot Cushion Sock. These bad boys are built like tanks, and they keep my feet warm in any pair boots.
Small Dress Socks
My top recommendation for smaller sized dress socks is from Nordstrom. These are premium enough for almost anyone, and they’re relatively affordable for dress socks.
If you want more options, check out our round-up of the best over-the-calf dress socks.
Plenty of Options
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.
Bearded Tractor Man says
I wear a size 6 in US men’s – that is a difficult size to find socks for, never mind shoes. They are narrowish too, so I am better off getting socks in women’s (that are gender-neutral) and kids. I did find a company though called Kane who actually make socks specific to your actual size! They do however only go down to a size 7 in men’s, so I still have to buy the women’s versions, which fortunately many are same styles & colors as the men’s. This will benefit a lot of people here tho since a lot of people here reported wearing size 7 – 8!
Ronnie Rogers says
I’m so glad I found this site. My husband wears a size 7 and his feet are very wide and thick. Now if you could only find me pants for him. 38 x 28. LOL! Thanks.
Rob I says
i’ve been annoyed by bulk sock sizing for 3 decades – size 6-12?!? WTF?!?
i figured out my size 9 feet fit into youth large socks perfect but now my store stopped selling them.
i’m back on the hunt, so thanks for the helpful site!
L arry says
London Sock Company has some great choices for smaller feet. They are not just plain black and brown.
They often have sales and have a first order discount.
I have always had a problem with the heel being on my calf as I have a size 7 foot.
I’m a 5 foot tall woman, and can’t find women’s socks large enough for my calves. Smartwool men’s fit my feet but way too tight. I also resent paying $2 more than similar men’s socks. I don’t wear flimsy thin nylon socks, either.
Ditto. Sock makers need to open their eyes! The most uncomfortable thing is socks too big or small, scrunched up under your arch, choking your knee or ankle or sliding down to your ankle because they barely go up to your calf. Study anatomy and be more sustainable! How many crappy fitting socks end up in landfills?
Steve Merrick says
I wish my feet were smaller. I am 5’5″ and wear a size 10 shoe, so my feet are disproportionately large.
An here I am 6’2″ and size 9EEEEE (I). I am tired of the heel being behing my ankles.
With a 7.5 foot, I’ve had plenty of disappointment when a sock that looked great in the store fit poorly. Who looks good with a dress sock, heel colored differently, riding a few inches above the back of the shoe? The pickin’s are slim for us, unless you go the route I did. Noticing my wife had plenty of athletic and thermal socks, I tried wearing them and found they were indistinguishable from the mens variety other than for their smaller size. I hit the local stores (C21, JCP, etc) and snapped up a number of women’s socks that seemed gender neutral in colors. Eliminating florals, cutesy patterns and pinks still left a good variety of stripes, leaves, etc. It didi initially feel a bit odd knowing I’m wearing clothing designed for a woman, but hey, who cares? My wife, for her part, crosses over to some mens athletic and hiking footwear to fit her wide width feet. In the end, it’s nothing but marketing, and so far, I get no protest from my now happy feet.
YES! I have been saying this for years, with regard to socks. It’s nice to see someone finally calling attention to the size disparity. If a sock is listed as “size 7-13” what they are really saying is it’s size 13, and everybody else has to deal with too much fabric, either shoved into the shoe or sticking out of the shoe. (I have the same issue buying kid’s clothes for my son. Sizes are usually listed as 6-8 or 10-12. At least kids grow and will eventually fit into the clothes.) I will certainly explore some of the brands listed above. Thanks again.
A God says
If anybody can please comment on quality/durabiity & fit of these brands that make smaller socks: Bresciani , Falke, Nordstrom for size 7 feet.
Falke have been pretty durable and high quality. Bought some light grey Nordstrom which seem to have been discontinued which were very light and hence not durable.
Dapper Classics has a line of socks sized 5-9.
Ron Helpman says
On the positive side, the quality of the cotton, and the elasticity of the Viccel socks I’ve ordered has been impressive. On the other hand, I find the mid calf a bit too short: when I cross my legs I can see the virtually the whole sock, including the very wide top band. Also, the images of the grey colors are misleading: the charcoal is virtually black, the grey is a very dark grey. Have also found some color variations between pairs of the grey socks. I contacted Viccel after I received the charcoal pair and sent them a picture of the sock. They sent me a replacement that was the same dark color.
As for durability, the summer weight socks developed holes at the upper heels in a few weeks. The winter weight socks are holding up well. In any case 100% cotton socks tend not to be as durable.
Update: recently ordered some more socks to discover that they’ve extended the the sock by about an inch, which remedies the foot crossing issue. Also the colors are now the same as on the web site.
I am so glad to have found this site. I thought I was the only person with small feet. It’s so tough, esp since I’m really a 7-8 depending on the shoes, mostly 7.5 but my feet are wide and thick so it’s tough. Socks too are tough.
Can we just say “normal sized” socks? I’d bet if you did some stats on average men’s feet you’d find 8 is closer to the mean. Considering we have 7.5 billion people on the planet and half are men and half of those are size 8 or less that’s a bit less than 2 BILLION sets of feet that require “smaller” men’s socks.
Anyway, thanks for this.
I totally agree – and asked this question on on Answer me This: https://soundcloud.com/answermethis/amt305 – fast forward to 9min 44sec.
If I had the energy, I’d go to China and set up a factory making socks for each shoe size.
Rossalind Horne says
My 7 year old wears a size 5½ shoe (that’s big kids sizes) and XL socks for kids are way too small already… There is a serious market for this ‘in between’ situation. This article is very helpful in that I have been looking online at men’s S socks, but now I’m seeing per customer experience, that most of them really fit a size 7½. So the struggle continues… I would be in the market for mostly wool socks. Who’d of thought, socks!
Lynn McKee says
I ordered a bunch of Viccel OTC regular cotton (thin) socks. After 6 months of wearing the black one wore holes in the heels. Ive know thrown away four pairs. I emailed Viccel but never heard back from them. Let’s see if they answer this post. Seems to be a reoccurring problem with these socks. Love the fit, collar and look – just disappointed in the quality.
Bruce Jacobs says
I ordered Viccel over the calf socks and the back just above the heel my shoes wore a hole in just 3 wearings. Very disappointed.
I’d also recommend checking out H&M. They routinely carry men’s socks in the 7.5 – 9 (sock size) which fit my feet perfectly and are typically prices less than $4 a pair! The designs are great as well.
I have found this blog post very useful for me because I have very small feet almost 6.9. I am fond of wearing branded colorful socks but these are not available in local market in small size. So I have to buy simple cheap socks of my size. But now I don’t need to buy these uncomfortable socks because I get my choices’ socks through your website. The best thing is that you provide discount. Love your website! superb!
I stumbled upon this blog/blog post while searching for smaller sock options. Anyhow, I really like Smartwool socks. I wear a size 7.5-8.5 shoe depending on brand/style/etc. and the Smartwool Medium fits me perfectly without any excess fabric around my heels, which happens often with fits 8-12 one size fits all socks. Smartwool’s medium still spans a range but at least it’s limited to fits 6-8.5. I have most of their casual/dress styles so now I’m looking for another company to expand my collection.
very information. I have no idea why a socks designer is not thinking for smaller feet. Its ridiculous. I hate if I see the heel of the socks is above my heel.
I ordered a pair of over-the-calf dress socks from Viccel. They arrived two weeks later and were obviously high quality. BUT (you knew that was coming, didn’t you) although labeled correctly, they were Humongous! The sock was 28 inches total length (my inseam is 29), 22 inches from heel to end (reaching my thigh), and the foot portion was literally a foot–12 inches from toe to heel.
If these are their “shorter” dress socks, I’ve got to see their larger ones, which would probably reach my armpits.
Perhaps most annoyingly, I found no options for returning the product. But since they only cost me $14, it was a moderately-priced lesson learned.
I would certainly not recommend this company.
I just had the exact same experience – humongous socks! I wish I saw this comment before I ordered. Now, I’m waiting to get an address for a return. Cross my fingers they honor their return policy.
Good luck, Isa. When I finally did get a reply, they suggested I send this socks back but provided no further information. I was not about to pay for shipping to Turkey.
They got me once.
I agree. Same situation here! If anyone is reading this, pls save your $ and don’t order from viccel. $70 worth of socks returned bc they were huge! And it’s been 2 months and no word back about refund!
Have you tried Sock Dreams? While they cater mostly to women they have some options.
Robert York says
This is great information except that there are more than a few of us with even smaller feet. I am size 5-5.5 US or 38 EU, and I have yet to find any sort of selection anywhere. The best in Los Angeles so far is Nordstrom kids department but the style isn’t really what I want. For black and navy I just buy boys socks at Target and toss them after a few months. It would be nice to find great socks. Any ideas?
Amber Steindl says
I ordered socks from viccel oct. 27th. Now its Nov. 13th and i havent received an email saying its mailed, just a paypal payment on the 28th of Oct. Im very upset when someone has my money and I dont have the product. Doesnt work the other way around.
Sorry to hear that! Have you heard from them yet?
Kemal Onyurt says
have you received the socks ? please send an e-mail please be sure that we will do our best to solve your issue.
Really, Kemal? I presume you work for Viccel! I would be happy for you to respond to the many emails I have been sending you regarding my order. It was returned two months ago and no refund yet.
Our shipping is free, our shopping cart has a problem with the district of Columbia is that where you had your socks shipped to? we have been trying to fix that its a post office issue
Yes, I was trying to ship to DC. Bummer!
Jesse A says
You may also check out FoxRiver socks. They have pretty good selection specially for Everyday socks (pinstripe, jersey, diamond, trouser) and they are made in USA:
You can buy Stance socks in several different sizes, I wear a size 7 mens and the medium size on stance socks fits great. They are meant for size 6 to 8 and the majority of them are under 20 dollars cad
Brilliant post! I think socks are always neglected even here in the UK- they are just one of those parts of a wardrobe we never niggle over but your right, a lot of men are expected to make do when that really shouldn’t be the case. Fantastic advice, I will be sure to pass this on! – Richard
Great article, it already helped me find no-show fitness socks that fit. In addition to all this valuable information, sometime ago I found out that Boss men’s socks run small and are also a great, fashionable alternative for us.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll check out Boss next time I need socks.
Socks have been a bugaboo since I grew out of boy’s socks in high school. That’s right, I only broke past the 5′ mark in 10th grade.
I currently wear size 7.5 (US sizing) in shoes and began buying women’s all purpose socks back in college after borrowing a pair of socks from my girlfriend.
Since I began sartorially upgrading, I have found that there are quite a few socks being produced with appropriate quality, materials, colors and patterns in women’s socks that work well for me.
Thank you, this post has opened my tool chest a bit more, because I have focused my attention looking for quality women’s socks and over the years I have all but ignored men’s socks.