Socks by Sport

It’s game time. What socks should I wear?

Each sport has its own unique techniques, conditions, and requirements, all of which affect your sport socks. Check out this list of socks by sport to determine what socks you should be wearing.

Baseball Socks

Baseball socks are known for their length. However, they also need to deal with sweat and the summer heat. For this, an acrylic blend, possibly with wool or cotton, is recommended. A blend like this will be soft to the touch and also sweat-absorbing due to its synthetic fibers.

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Basketball Socks

A current trend for basketball players is to layer two socks on top of each other. This may be unnecessary, depending on the fit of your shoe and the thickness of your socks. Of course, if there’s room for movement within the shoe, doubling up will prevent excess rubbing and blisters. However, first try a single synthetic blended sock that will wick away moisture.

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Biking Socks

Though your feet aren’t touching the ground, cycling still generates a lot of heat and pressure in your shoes. Because cycling shoes lack the breathability of running shoes, you need to rely on your socks to deal with the moisture of your feet. Many bikers like to wear double-layered socks — the outer layer is thick and retains water, while the thin inner layer wicks the moisture away from your foot.

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Automobile Racing Socks

Drivers should wear socks made out of the same material as the rest of their suit. Nomex, a synthetic similar to Kevlar, is flame-resistant and forms the main ingredient for racing gear, including the socks. Additionally, drivers should look for calf-high socks with spandex or lycra at the cuff, in order to prevent the socks from sagging beneath their boots.

Cheerleading Socks

Cheerleaders need footwear that not only looks great, but is also flexible for tumbling and ready for the impact of dancing and jumps. Cheerleading socks should be made of a cotton or synthetic blend in your team’s colors.

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Dance Socks

If you’re looking for equipment for jazz or ballet, you should wear tights or thin socks under your jazz or ballet shoes. Most modern dancers dance barefoot, but some do wear half-socks that only cover the areas around their toes, leaving their heels exposed. These half socks feature sticky pads on the bottoms because regular socks are too slippery.

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Fencing Socks

Fencing socks are very similar to soccer socks. Both are thick and intended to protect the wearer’s shin. Many amateur fencers simply use soccer socks, which are usually a blend of acrylic, polyester, and nylon. However, socks designed especially for fencing often feature a padded front. Additionally, the sole and heel of fencing socks take a beating from the rocking motion of fencing. Because of this, we recommend avoiding soft gel cups, which will eat through the socks. Fencers should be prepared to replace their socks periodically.

Football Socks

Like many other sports, football requires socks that will minimize moisture and friction. This is best accomplished through a synthetic blend or materials like olefin and nylon.

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Golf Socks

Traditionally, dress socks have been worn with golf pants. However, with the emergence of synthetic blends and the increase in golfers wearing shorts, the question is no longer, “black or white socks?” If you’re wearing lighter shorts and golf shoes, lighter dress socks are appropriate. For a darker outfit, opt for dark-colored socks. Synthetic blends give your socks a much lower profile, but they keep you comfortable on your feet all day. If you prefer to showboat with bright patterns on your socks, absolutely go for it.

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Hockey Socks

The biggest challenge hockey players face when it comes to footwear is avoiding sliced tendons and injury to their ankles from the blades and sticks of other players. Many players solve this problem by wearing thick, cut-resistant Kevlar socks that cover the lower leg.

Horseback Riding Socks

Riding boots are either ankle or knee height and are usually made leather or synthetic pleather. Usually, they are worn over the pants, so they can become quite warm, especially during the summer. The best option for socks is a thin, hydrophobic pair that will wick sweat away from the skin. Make sure the socks are long enough to travel the length of your boot.

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Ice skating Socks

Ice skates are tight-fitting shoes, and an ice skater’s feet undergo a lot of pressure from all sides. To deal with friction, double socks are recommended. Wear a thin, synthetic or nylon sock on the inside and a wool, cotton, or acrylic blend on the outside.

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Rock Climbing Socks

Some rock climbers wear socks, while others prefer to wear no socks. This is a personal choice. Rock climbing shoes are designed to be incredibly tight so that the wearer can use the tip of his or her toe while climbing. If you’re worried about odor, perspiration, a blister, or don’t want to put your foot in a rented climbing shoe, wear a very thin, synthetic sock.

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Skateboarding Socks

Skateboarding shoes provide the wearer  with a lot of padding, so a moisture-wicking sock isn’t useful because the moisture can’t evaporate through the thick shoes. A simple cotton sock works just fine for a skateboarder.

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Snowboarding and Skiing Socks

Socks for these winter sports face the difficult task of wicking sweat away and insulating, but without adding to heat inside your boots. Because there’s no chance of moisture evaporating through ski or snowboarding boots, your best bet is a double-layer sock that will keep moisture away from your skin. Double-layering is an option as long as it doesn’t increase movement inside the boot.

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Soccer Socks

Soccer socks play an important role. They keep a player’s shinguards in place, protect the ankles, and keep the feet from becoming too hot or sweaty. A thick sock that’s a blend of spandex and acrylic, cotton, or polyester is best suited for soccer.

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Tennis Socks

Tennis shoes and socks work together to prevent blisters,which are common among tennis players due to quick, lateral movement. The two most important factors for tennis socks are breathability and padding. The weather can get very hot during tennis season, and matches can last for hours. Socks must be a synthetic blend that can wick sweat away to evaporate through the shoes. Furthermore, there must be ample padding around the toes because they are subject to much force during a match. Socks should be worn comfortably above the ankles because a sunk sock will allow the shoe to rub the ankle.

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Track Socks

Thin socks are best for short-distance running, in both competitions and practice. However, the socks should still be a synthetic blend with the goal of reducing friction and moisture.

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Volleyball Socks

The type of sock needed for volleyball depends on the player’s position. Players who dive are better off with knee-length socks, as opposed to crew or ankle socks. It’s typical to see an entire team in knee-length socks. Some players opt to use soccer socks, which is fine as long as the socks are a synthetic blend of less than 60 percent cotton, which will wick away moisture.

For beach volleyball, companies manufacture rugged socks to be worn in the sand, in lieu of shoes.

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Weightlifting Socks

Weightlifting doesn’t require special socks, as long as the socks do a good job at wicking sweat and provide a normal amount of padding.When it comes to footwear for weightlifting, balance and stability are important. The support of crew-length socks could help your ankles.

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If you’re wondering how socks work their magic, head to the Sport Sock Material Types page to learn about the science behind the sock!