All kinds of socks for adults and children

From toe socks to striped socks, there are thousands of colors and styles when it comes to dressing your feet. But can fashionable socks be as functional as their plain and ordinary counterparts? What about socks for sports and activities? For such a seemingly straightforward piece of clothing, there's a lot to consider. Before you go shopping, determine how you will wear them, the amount of support that you will need and how much you are willing to spend. Learn which socks will work best for your lifestyle, and find out what features will ensure comfort and quality.

Socks for Fashion and Function

While some brands of socks have struck a balance between style and function, most patterned pairs wear thin very quickly. However, novelty socks are great everyday socks for children, who will enjoy the fun patterns. Kids' socks often come in packages of multiple pairs and are easy to find. If you would like your money to go farther, look for socks that have reinforced toes and heels to withstand the adventures of active kids.

Although casual socks and dress socks are often made of simple cotton and elastic, some socks are designed to ease the discomfort of leg or foot conditions. For instance, issues like varicose veins or a tendency toward blot clots may demand compression stockings or socks to encourage circulation. While compression socks compress the feet, diabetic socks are intended to prevent constriction and protect sensitive feet from irritation.

Although many styles of specialized socks are unisex, some women's socks are designed to fit easily and invisibly into backless shoes or heels. Also often referred to as toe socks, they cover only the toes and the ball of the foot to keep them cushioned and protected from blisters, while leaving the heel open.

Men's socks can come in styles similar to women's socks, but they are often distinguished by a different color palette and material – dress socks for men are typically made of a sleek material such as silk or a wool blend, and generally come in neutral hues to match typical suit colors.

Athletic Socks

Specialty socks for walking, hiking or biking are usually made of wool because the material stays virtually odorless and draws sweat away from your feet instantly. However, not all wool socks are created equal – larger wool fibers tend to cause itching, and less refined wool can be bulky and may shrink in the wash. Merino wool is particularly good for summer, and extra cushioning on the soles, toes and heels of the socks helps to prevent blisters.

Other athletic socks are made from nylon-wool blends, while some especially technical designs feature reinforced Lycra arch panels for extra foot support in your shoe. The added arch support is popular with runners, who also welcome a seamless toe portion to prevent chafing. Although polar fleece is nice and warm for cold-weather activity, it can be bulky, and the synthetic material means that sweat will likely remain next to your skin; stick to wool or wool blends for the most comfort and protection.

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