Aug 18, 2021 /
What are Crew Socks and How to Wear Them
You may find yourself wondering, what are socks for and what’s the use for so many different styles? In this article, we will talk about one of the most popular sock styles and all the ways you can use it! Presenting, the crew sock! The versatility of a crew sock ensures that you can be comfortable, stylish, and sure-footed regardless of the situation or activity.
A good crew sock has a foot shape which can help the fit, or at least not hinder the fit of the shoe, is more comfortable stays in place and due to this will last longer than a tube sock or a less quality crew that is weak on materials, design and shape making it one of the best socks for work boots.
Crew socks come in different styles, from plain white to fun designs with fantastic patterns. Wearing socks is a great way to add a little personal flair to a stylish outfit or daily attire and can be a great conversation starter.
Let’s dive right into what a crew sock is and how to wear one!
A crew sock is defined as a short, bulky sock that is commonly ribbed. While that is certainly a fine definition, it doesn’t cover all the bases. There are many crew socks that aren’t ribbed, and there are plenty of crew socks that are thin rather than bulky.
Ultimately what really defines a crew sock is the cut of the sock itself.
The cut, aka the sock length, is at the very core of what defines a crew sock. A standard crew sock is any calf sock that extends from the toe to the mid-calf. The cut (i.e., the length) of a standard crew sock is slightly longer than its shorter quarter length and other ankle crew length sock counterparts.
There are multiple varieties of crew sock cut, which include the standard crew, the quarter length crew, and the ankle crew. While the ankle cut crew sock or mini crew sock isn’t a traditional style of crew sock, it has a tendency to fall in with the crew sock cut family.
Effectively, cut and length are the same thing, and each term is acceptable to be used interchangeably. While the term “cut” is more specific and slightly more industry-appropriate, length is a layman’s term that most people use and understand.
What are the materials used
A crew sock is usually made with pure cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester. Cotton is great for casual wear, however for hard activities cotton is not your friend as it absorbs and holds the moisture in the shoe and on the foot (did you know your foot can sweat up to a half a cup a day?!).
A good synthetic, not only will feel great but has high abrasion, feels great and will keep the foot and interior of the shoe drier by venting the moisture through the synthetic linings of the shoe through the upper (hopefully a breathable leather) and venting out of the top of the sock. For these reasons, using different types of synthetic fabrics like a spandex blend is also becoming popular. However, merino wool or silk are best used for dressier types of socks like loafer socks.
Crew socks, especially those made for work boots, are typically cotton - though certain brands like Thorlos use an acrylic blend for additional support and pressure relief. Wolverine’s cotton crew socks are a more traditional material for a classic crew sock made for work boots that are simply reinforced with more material for extra padding.
For daily use, a classic cotton crew sock like the Wolverine Full Cushion Sock is your best bet. Alternately, for harsh conditions (like those found hiking or on a muddy job site) something like the Thorlos Lite Hiker Socks are best for keeping your feet dry and comfortable.
When To Wear A Crew Sock
Whether it’s jeans, chinos, overalls, or something else, crew socks are a fabulous choice under any casual pant leg. Perfect for keeping your feet dry, comfortable, and supported, a classic crew sock is the staple of any sock drawer and a perfect choice for anything tennis shoe-related!
The crew sock is the ultimate work sock. Perfect for keeping your foot comfortable and protected, the crew sock provides an additional layer of protection between the elements and your foot. The traditional high upper of a crew sock not only prevents debris from getting into the sock itself, it also helps prevent debris from entering the shoe itself. Finally, crew socks are breathable meaning that whatever work conditions you find yourself in, your feet will stay as dry as possible during your shift.
The crew sock design can also help reduce scratches and abrasions above the shoe line. Extending the sock over the top of the shoe will help vent the preparation, especially if it is a wick dry material.
From Spin Class to a pickup game of hoops, crew socks are excellent for breaking a sweat. In fact, there is a whole subset of crew socks known as sweat socks made specifically for getting a little sweaty! Crew socks come on and off easily, so if you prefer a workout that requires bare feet like kickboxing or yoga, you can wear your crew length athletic socks to and from the gym.
Now that you know what a crew sock is and how to wear it, you’re going to need a pair of shoes to go with it. Check out Boot World’s selection of crew sock-worthy wedges, sneakers, and boots for your next great pair of shoes that you can flawlessly pair with your favorite set of crew socks.
Ed Stone brings over 45 years of footwear knowledge and passion to his role as President of Boot World, a family-owned company and an industry leader in safety and occupational footwear. A second generation "shoe dog” Ed's footwear knowledge is unparalleled, serving as an informal advisor for some of the worlds largest footwear brands including Wolverine, Timberland PRO, and Reebok Works.
A lifelong Southern California resident, and ardent conservationist, Ed enjoys hiking and open water swimming.