Did you know that your socks are more than just a fashion accessory? Whether it’s hot or cold weather, your choice of socks can help keep your foot health in optimal condition.

The dark, damp conditions found in your shoes can promote the growth of bacteria and fungi, leading to issues like athlete’s foot, infections, and foot odor. Additionally, poorly fitted socks or those made of the wrong materials can cause problems like blisters, corns, and skin irritations. Tight socks and excessive sweat can even lead to pitted keratolysis, which is a bacterial skin infection that affects the soles of the feet. The bacteria cause the skin to turn a whitish color and form clusters of punched-out pits. The condition also results in a strong foot odor.

When you choose the right socks, not only can you prevent excess perspiration and bacterial growth, you can protect your feet from injury while ensuring their overall comfort. Here are some key characteristics to consider when choosing your socks:

Sock Use 

What do you plan to do while wearing your socks? Are you wearing them to work in an office? Are you playing sports? Are you just hanging out with friends? The type of shoe and their usage dictates the type of socks you’ll want to wear, such as dress, casual, or athletic.


Socks are made of various materials like cotton, wool, nylon, polyester, and synthetics. Often, they can be a blend of these different materials.

Cotton socks are good choice for casual wear and some athletic uses, especially in warmer weather. While cotton is highly absorbent, it doesn’t wick moisture away from the skin. Therefore, if you’re participating in an aerobic activity like running or aggressive hiking, you should choose socks with zero or minimal cotton content.

Wool is common sock fabric choice for winter. Wool is good for providing warmth during hiking, skiing, or other winter activities. Unlike cotton, wool is a breathable fabric. But, depending upon the type of wool, it may not wick moisture away from the body.

Synthetic materials like acrylic, polyester, and polyethylene are a versatile fabric. They make strong and durable socks that dry reasonably fast. However, socks made of synthetic materials are often thin and provide little cushioning.

Interior Sock Construction

When you turn your socks inside out, check the toe seams. They should be flat; otherwise, they can cause irritation and rubbing which can lead to blisters. If you want more cushioning, check for interior cushioning loops.

Types of socks

Photo credit: 123RF / Инна Лазу


The sock length you choose depends upon the clothes you’re wearing with them. Socks come in six different lengths.

  • No show – Socks that are hidden inside your shoes.
  • Liner – Socks that don’t show above your shoes.
  • Ped – Socks that touch the bottom of your ankles.
  • Quarter/anklets – Socks that cover the ankles.
  • Mid-calf/crew – Socks that cover about mid-calf.
  • Over-the-calf/executive – Socks that cover the calves but not the knees.

Most dress socks are mid-calf to over-the-calf length. Casual socks are typically mid-calf. While athletic socks can vary from liner to over-the-calf, depending upon the sport during which they’re worn.

Weight or Thickness

The thicker the sock, the greater the cushioning. Additionally, heavier socks are better during colder temperatures to keep your feet warmer. You may need to try different thicknesses to see how they work for you, depending upon your activity.

You can also adjust the fit of your shoes with your socks. If your shoes are too roomy, you might try a thicker sock. If your shoes are too tight, try wearing thinner socks.

Sock Size and Fit

Most socks are not sized like shoes. Sizes can vary by brand. In general, refer to the chart below. However, always check the packaging to determine the size.

Sock sizes

As for fit, your socks should fit snugly without cramping your toes or bunching up. The sock’s heel should fit snugly around your heel. And, the arch area should fit snugly around your foot’s arch.

The cuff or ribbing should fit snugly without sagging or cutting off circulation.

Do You Suffer from Cold Feet?

Infracare bio-material socks

Infracare Bio-material socks

If you suffer from cold feet due to colder weather, poor circulation, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud’s disease, hypothyroidism, or another medical condition, Infracare Bio-material Socks can prevent heat loss to your feet while keeping them warm.

Infracare Bio-material Socks are made of 90% cotton, 5% polyurethane and bio-materials. The bio-materials in these socks help redirect the heat from your body back to your feet. In fact, these socks can increase the temperature of your feet by 10°F to 12°F, keeping your feet toasty the whole time you wear them. However, they’re made of 100% breathable materials for maximum comfort.

Additionally, Infracare Bio-material Socks are specifically designed to fit your calf while preventing constriction. These socks stretch to twice their size at the calf to provide a non-binding fit. And, they offer a seam-free finish to prevent blisters and other foot irritations.

Infracare Bio-material Socks come in dress sock thickness, so you can even wear them to work.

You can purchase Infracare Bio-Material Socks from the WalkEZStore, the maker of ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics. Our custom orthotics support your feet to reduce stress and strain, and improve balance and stability while making your feet healthier and more functional with every step you take. For more information about ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics, visit our website. Or, you can order your custom orthotics by clicking this link.

Warm your cold feet with Infracare Bio-material Socks today.

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Cover photo: 123RF / Anastasiia Prokofyeva