Gone are the dark days of winter with their heavy boots and chunky socks. It’s time to change your outlook and with it, your socks, as the summertime looms. How does the modern man transition from one season to the next? In short, with color and fabric. Now’s the time to switch your thick socks for thinner, brighter options in fabrics that help keep your feet dry and comfy.
There a solid reason to invest in solid socks. And it’s called sweat. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), seriously sweaty feet are more common in men than women. To keep sweat in check, wash your feet every day with an antibacterial soap. Then, the APMA recommends that you dry your feet, and apply cornstarch, a foot powder, or an antifungal powder to your feet. As for socks, the APMA suggests wearing moisture-wicking socks made of natural or acrylic fiber blends to draw the moisture away from your feet instead of trapping it. If you opt for cotton socks, note that they will absorb moisture, but won’t wick it away.
Whether you’re at the office, going for a hike, or at the ball game, we’ve got options for every man. Chief among your concerns: to stop sweat in its tracks. Look for thin options of synthetic or wool fibers and, if cotton must be used, always blend it with something else. Check out our favorites and make the switch before the temps really start to climb.
Like domestic beers and well liquor, the Saucony Men's Multi-Pack Performance Comfort Fit No-Show Socks is a good all-around performer during the warmer months. Whether or not you ultimately decide on them, they illustrate some basic principles anyone should consider when selecting a sock for the summer.
Pros: Made from a synthetic fiber blend (polyester and spandex), these breathe better than your thick cotton tube socks. They also feature a multiple thicknesses based on zone: thicker on the bottom for more cushioning and a sheer upper that, while reducing friction, provides ultimate breathability during exercise or on a hot day. Finally, their ankle height allows you to wear them to the gym or with your favorite casual shoes for exceptional versatility.
Cons: There’s no getting around the fact that these are an athletic sock, and unless you’re working at a standing desk with generous inseam, there’s no hiding these at the office. As such, take their principles and keep looking for the summer sock that (no pun intended) suits your workplace needs best.
While you were sleeping, Amazon launched multiple menswear brands for its Prime customers. Its Goodthreads label makes no-frills staples that skew toward the stylish, and its patterned socks epitomize this ethos.
Pros: Thinner is better when it comes to summer fabrics, and the Patterned Socks are made from a fine cotton-nylon blend. But don’t think that an errant toenail will rip right through these; their gaussian fabric is reinforced in all the right spots for added durability to get you through the season. Finally, we like the range of patterns available at a super affordable price—to match the heat, brighter patterns are always appropriate.
Cons: Premium materials come with a premium price tag, and ditching the cotton for a more appropriate material would have been nice. Still, cotton is the original summer fabric, and for the cost, you’d be hard-pressed to find another pair of socks, let along a five-pack, as affordable as these.
For the man who appreciates traditions, he’ll respect the iconic photo of JFK and his iconic socks. This vintage menswear staple is faithfully reproduced by American Trench with its Kennedy Athletic Socks—but with a modern twist.
Pros: For the same reason the black tux never goes out of style, the Kennedy Athletic Socks have signified refined relaxing for generations. Kennedy wore them with a weekend lace-up; you can easily rock them with your favorite New Balance trainers. Bringing the silhouette into the 21st century, their blend of buttery-soft supima cotton, nylon, and spandex combine for a comfy, breathable sock that channels classic New England cool.
Cons: Number 35 was hardly a man from humble beginnings, and purchasing multiple pairs of these vintage-inspired socks will cost a pretty penny. Also note that these are made from cotton, so if you have really sweaty feet, they’re not for you.
Yes, believe it or not, wool can be an awesome summertime fabric, provided its fine enough. The Smartwool Marl no-show socks combine this natural, moisture-wicking material in a no-show length appropriate for most occasions.
Pros: While wool dominates in the winter, we especially love it in the summer because of its ability to move moisture at the vapor level (read: less sogginess at the ballpark) while intrinsically fighting odor. It’s a perfect fabric that works for its lifetime, and modern processing methods ensure it’s not itchy.
Cons: High quality merino wool isn’t cheap, making these cost-prohibitive if you’re looking to stock your closet. Still, they’re a great no-show option with their own unique performance benefits. Adding a pair to your wardrobe is a worthwhile investment.
Yes, another wool pair of socks that's ideal for summer. These socks are breathable and have targeted ventilation mesh lanes and zones.
Pros: Summer hikes are the best hikes. And these merino wool socks are what you need in your sock drawer. They have cushioning and padding from heel to toe reduce rubbing and prevent your feet from getting blisters. Plus, they keep foot sweat under control thanks to their ventilation mesh lanes, and the fabric wicks away moisture.
Cons: You can’t dry these socks in a dryer, so that’s sort of an issue.
These breathable socks feature the brand's Drymax technology. This means they're made from a fabric that wicks moisture from an inner layer that's close your foot, to an outer layer where it evaporates.
Pros: These tried-and-true running socks go the distance all day, every day. That’s thanks to the socks’ dual-layer design, meaning moisture gets wicked from the inner layer close to your foot, to an outer layer where it evaporates. The socks have no cotton in them, so they keep your feet even dryer, and blister-free.
Cons: Some say they fall apart fairly easily.
These Japanese-made socks blend style with total comfort. This particular pair is made from a heavy cotton blend fabric, to keep your feet nice and dry.
Pros: What Ferrari is to cars, Anonymous Ism is to socks. These socks are durable, they keep your digits dry, and they don’t shape-shift or scrunch up when you wear them. Plus, the design is crazy-nice.
Cons: The price. But given that you’re on your feet all day, they’re worth the investment.
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