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Spring will be here before you know it and ankle sock season will be upon us. Whether you’re looking to refresh your sock drawers or you’re just figuring out how to style the ones you have, we’ve got you covered. 


Ankle socks fall right at your ankle bone, so often they’re visible when wearing low top shoes. They’re preferred over crew length and longer socks during summer months because they trap less heat on your lower leg. When you think of them, boring black or white options probably come to mind. However, they can actually be as colorful and playfully designed as their longer counterparts.

Different Features

Of course, we think stylish socks are always the way to go, but the important thing is that they keep your feet comfortable and dry. A combination of material and how your socks are knit will determine this. 

Later in this article, we talk about the properties of different materials and how they impact the feel of your socks. Not all ankle socks are created equal. Some offer more cushioning, while others are light and breathable. Matching the right sock to the right activity will change how comfortable they feel. Moisture wicking socks are the best option for athletic use, but many people wear them everyday as well. 

Additional features such as arch support and blister tabs can be knit into the sock to improve comfort as well. Blister tabs provide a barrier between the back of the ankle and the shoe, to prevent irritation from rubbing. 

Anatomy of an Ankle Sock

Most socks are knit as a tube, then closed at one end with a toe seam. When this seam is positioned on top of the toe nail rather then at the very end of the sock, it can help prevent irritation.

Styling Dos and Don’ts 

Since ankle socks are visible with many pairs of shoes, we have to make sure you’re not making any fashion mistakes when you’re wearing them. Here are Hippy Feet’s dos and don’t of styling ankle socks:

Do add a splash of color to your outfit

There’s no reason your socks need to be boring, even if they’re a bit shorter than usual.

Do Coordinate with the color of your shoe. 

You can match the color of your socks to your shoes to let them blend in, or choose a contrasting color for a little pop of personality. 

Don’t wear them with sandals.

Seriously. We’re usually big fans of the socks and sandals look, but we suggest going with a colorful pair of crews if you need something to wear with your Chacos or Birkenstocks. 

Socks and Sandals

If you're going to wear socks and sandals, stick to crew length


Material Options

Ankle socks are usually knit with some combination of multiple materials. The goal is to provide a sock that is soft, wicks moisture, and is elastic so it stays on your foot. 

There are naturally existing fibers like cotton and wool, as well as synthetic options like nylon, polypropylene, and acrylic. Each material has it’s own purpose and changes how your socks feel and perform. 

Cotton plant - sock material


Cotton is a naturally occurring fiber that is grown from - you guessed it - a cotton plant. It’s lightweight, breathable, and durable. It’s popular in both athletic and dress socks and is blended with other materials to give your socks elasticity. Growing new cotton can be a vary water intensive process, so we prefer to use recycled cotton. That way, no water or pesiticides need to be used to grow the material for your socks. 


Sheep - source of wool sock material


Wool comes from the coats of animals that are sheared, and then the material is spun into a yarn. Different wools such as cashmere, alpaca, and sheep’s wool all have slightly varying properties. In general, wool is warm but breathable. It doesn’t retain much moisture, which makes it an excellent option for hiking and skiing, particularly in cold weather activities. 100% wool socks can be a bit scratchy, so it’s usually blended with other materials to make it softer. Wool is not used as frequently in ankle socks as crew and over-the-calf lengths, but many retailers still carry some wool ankle socks.  


Synthetic yarns go by many different names including polyester, polypropylene, rayon, acrylic, and more. They’re included in socks to give them certain properties like elasticity and moisture-wicking. The feel of synthetic materials can vary greatly, and most are created from a chemical process. Most socks include some synthetic material, but we suggest avoiding 100% synthetic socks. They aren’t as breathable as ones including natural materials and they typically have a greater negative impact on the environment. 

Custom Ankle Socks

When you create custom ankle socks, you have a lot of choice over the way your socks end up looking and feeling. We’re able to knit logos and phrases into the sock to make it a unique gift for organizations and events. The materials and features can vary to create a custom product that is great for running, golf, casual wear, or any other activity. If you’re interested in creating custom socks with Hippy Feet, please fill out the form here: 

Hippy Feet makes both men's and women's ankle socks. As always, we make these in the USA using eco-friendly materials. Every purchase also helps create jobs for young people affected by homelessness.

If you have any questions in general, or about Hippy Feet specifically, let us know in the comments below!


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