Best Socks for Cowboy Boots in 2021: Expert Guide

Some of the best socks for cowboy boots will help you avoid sore feet. While Western boots are very stylish; unfortunately, they’re also uncomfortable.

Bunched-up, falling socks or those with a rough seam will cause foot blisters. Instead, invest in a pair that have great cushioning, breathability and are long enough.

Here’s a list of the best socks for cowboy boots to keep your feet blister-free and dry:

Best Socks for Cowboy Boots in 2021 infographic

 

Essential Factors To Look For

A regular pair of socks won’t provide you with enough support and protection while wearing your cowboy boots.

Instead, shop for cowboy boots socks with the following features:

Material/Fabric

Each fabric offers different benefits, but combining them gives the best final product. 

Merino Wool

Merino wool has the best moisture-wicking properties. The fabric traps sweat and moisture from the feet and transports it away as vapor. This is due to its fine fibers allowing the fine vapor to pass through.

The result? Fresh and dry feet that don’t develop bacteria or bacterial infections; hence, no foot odor.

This type of wool is also a top choice for every season since its fine fibers help regulate body temperature. Your feet will keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Merino wool is also non-itchy due to having such fine, natural fibers.

With this in mind, the Carhartt Men’s Arctic Heavyweight pair contains more than 60 percent Merino wool.

Acrylic

Acrylic is inexpensive and very versatile since it can mimic other fibers, such as wool.

This means it provides a warm feeling, just like wool, as well as pretty good moisture-wicking capabilities that will keep your feet dry and free from blisters. Acrylic also dries quickly, even when touching the skin.

But this material isn’t as soft as cotton or wool and doesn’t provide much cushioning for your feet. It also doesn’t provide as much warmth when it gets wet since it isn’t as absorbent as Merino wool. 

Cotton

Cotton socks are very breathable and have impressive moisture-absorbing capabilities. 

Even so, they can retain moisture for a long time. Once cotton absorbs sweat from your feet, it doesn’t let the sweat evaporate. As such, cotton socks can cause foot irritation, blisters and odor.

100 percent cotton socks also aren’t great for insulation and won’t keep your feet warm in colder weather. But, cotton socks blended with other fabrics, such as wool or polyester, have higher moisture-wicking and heat-retaining capabilities.

Nylon and Polyester

Nylon and polyester are strong—improving sock durability—and elastic, keeping the top rim in place. This is why they’re commonly used to blend with other materials for socks.

But, synthetic materials aren’t as porous as wool is. This means that they have poor moisture-wicking capabilities compared to Merino wool since moisture can’t get through the fibers.

Despite having low moisture-wicking capabilities, nylon and polyester still have a reasonable absorbency rate.

Lycra, Spandex and Elastane

These materials enhance the stretch qualities and elasticity of other fabrics. They offer support, giving your socks a better fit.

Length

Depending on your cowboy boots’ length, you should pick a pair of socks with the same height as your boots or higher.

Shorter socks will leave a part of your leg exposed, causing discomfort if the boot rubs against the skin. Western boots are rather tall and made from stiff leather, so the rubbing is likely.

Cowboy boots come in different heights, ranging from mid-calf to calf-length. Picking a particular length of socks will determine if you will get any chaffing on your leg. Make sure you pick socks for the full boot height, keeping your whole lower leg covered:

  • Crew length: Great for shorter boots that ender under your calves.
  • Trouser length: Good for mid-calf height boots.
  • Knee-high: For tall boots that reach over your calf. Wrangler Men’s Western Boot Socks are this length and the tallest ones on our list.

If you prefer shorter socks, keep in mind that they offer less protection from friction than longer ones. The shortest ones on our list are Carhartt Men’s Arctic Heavyweight Wool Boot Socks, but even these are trouser length and long enough for mid-calf boots.

Compression

Compression socks are another alternative for relieving any pain and discomfort. They boost blood circulation in your legs and prevent them from swelling.

If swollen legs are an issue for you—or if your doctor has ordered you to use these for health purposes—you can definitely wear compression socks under your cowboy boots for extra support.

The Wrangler Men’s Ultra-Dri Compression Tall Boot Socks are the best compression socks for Western-style boots on our list.

Durability

Look for features such as reinforced toes and heels to prevent your socks from tearing.

Naturally, thinner and less-elastic socks tear easier. So, make sure your cowboy socks’ blend includes stretchy materials, such as nylon, polyester, Spandex, and Lycra. The Fox River Military Men’s Wick-Dry Military Mid-Calf Socks are a good example of this.

Merino wool and synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester, are also known to be materials wIth high durability.

Thickness

Cowboy boots have flat outer soles without threads and don’t offer very supportive insoles. The feet need extra support to avoid tiredness after long hours of walking around. This makes needing supportive socks even more important.

Cowboy boot socks offer the right amount of padding to the wearer than regular socks since they’re thicker. If your socks are too thin, your feet might not get enough cushioning and start aching.

You can also use inserts for extra support. Check out our article on the best shoe inserts for standing all day to learn more.

Moisture-Wicking

The best socks for cowboy boots have moisture-wicking features to get rid of sweat. 

Moisture-wicking enhances foot breathability by eliminating sweat, and in turn, body odor. This also lessens the risk of blisters caused by friction since frictional forces are greater on moist skin.

Elasticity

Since your socks should be long to accommodate your Western boots’ height, make sure the socks have elasticity at the top so that they don’t fall often.

From our list, the Wrangler Men’s Western Boot Socks have the best elasticity.

Size

Like anything foot-related, picking the right size will determine comfort. The length and thickness of the socks determine the perfect fitting of the socks. 

To clue-up on this, check out our article on how should cowboy boots fit!

Always try your socks on with your cowboy boots so you can test the size in a realistic situation.

When you buy socks that don’t fit you, you might experience discomfort or irritation. Ill-fitting ones will bunch up around your ankles and feet or keep sliding down. Bunching causes discomfort and severe chafing, which can cause blisters on your feet.

 

Reviews of the Top 5 Best Socks for Cowboy Boots

Our Overview

These Carhartt wool boot socks have the perfect blend of moisture-wicking, warm Merino wool and elastic nylon and Spandex. Users describe wearing these in minus degrees without feeling cold and getting sweaty. They’re also super breathable and don’t ooze foot smell, even when worn for extended periods.

Length-wise, these go up to your calf and will protect your legs from soreness and irritation. The blend’s elastic materials prevent them from slipping down, and they reportedly stay on your calves.

According to customers, they’re also thick, which adds to their warmth. One person describes them as the best socks they ever bought for winter in Colorado’s high mountains.

Carhartt has made these socks with a compression arch as well as ankle stabilizers to add support to your feet. They also have heel and toe reinforcement to protect feet from impact and prevent them from tearing.

Even though they fit like a glove at first, customers complain that the elasticity around the calves goes slack after a few months. This can cause them to fall down the calves and bunch up, leading to blisters and less protection for the legs.

Also, frequent users have noted that the socks used to have 85 percent wool but now only have 68 percent, which has slightly lessened their quality.

Pros:

  • Super-warm and breathable.
  • Keep feet dry.
  • Prevent foul odor.
  • Perfect calf-length.
  • Supportive.

Cons:

  • Elasticity reduces after a few months.
  • Less Merino wool than previous.

Our Overview

Fox River offers quality performance socks made in the USA. These mid-calf socks are no different, and if they don’t live up to the expected quality, you can return them within a year if you experience any manufacturing defects.

According to buyers, the Military Mid-Calfs grip your feet well and don’t glide, so won’t rub and cause blisters.

They’re also equipped with a contoured rib top, are memory knit and have Spandex compression areas. The manufacturer advertises these as features to stop the socks from slipping down.

Except from Spandex, the blend also includes water-repelling polypropylene—a type of plastic— that will help keep the socks dry.

Despite this powerful combination, some customers report them ending up in a puddle around their ankles after a few hours of use.

Even so, users appreciate that these socks prevent bad-smelling feet and that they stay dry even in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

They also provide a lot of cushioning due to their thickness and are extra-cushioned to absorb shock and insulate your feet. In short, they’re great in hot, cold, wet and dry climates.

Note that some users have reported sizing issues. Either they get a different size from the one they ordered, or one of the socks is smaller than the other. However, this is easily solved with the one-year warranty on manufacturing defects.

Pros:

  • Fit well.
  • Stay dry and odor-free.
  • Great for any temperature.
  • A lot of cushioning.
  • Supports the leg well.

Cons:

  • Socks slip down to the ankles after some time.
  • Sizes differ from the ones ordered.

Our Overview

These Wrangler Men’s socks are long and almost go up to your knees. Users appreciate that they come in diverse measurements; the socks have a shoe size range of 9 to 15. As one reviewer states, they’re offered in a rare “large man” size.

They’re also manufactured with a reinforced heel that increases the socks’ durability and prevents holes. On top of this, the socks have a smooth seam at the toe that doesn’t add unnecessary pressure.

The fabric blend is 80 percent polyester, 17 percent nylon, and 3 percent Spandex, making them elastic and strong. Also contributing to its elasticity is the ribbed edge that holds the feet in place; hence, the socks can’t slip down when worn.

Wrangler states that their Western Boot Socks have moisture-wicking abilities. Buyers do acknowledge that they do keep their feet somewhat, dry but they mostly absorb moisture and don’t vaporize it.

Despite their popularity, customers say these aren’t the warmest socks out there since the material blend isn’t really insulating. They’re also rather thin and don’t provide the best cushioning for your feet.

Pros:

  • Lengthy socks that protect your calves.
  • Wide range of sizes.
  • No slipping down, thanks to the ribbed top.
  • Reinforced heel prevents holes.
  • Washing-machine friendly.

Cons:

  • Not much insulation.
  • Cushioning isn’t the greatest.
Our Overview

We love the value you get with these Dan Post socks. You get two pairs of socks made in the USA for an affordable price. 

The majority of the blend is cotton yarn spun in the USA, making up 80 percent of the fabric. Other materials are Sorbtek and Lycra. The Sorbtek fabric is great at moisture-wicking, while the nylon Lycra is elastic.

This makes the socks adaptable to different moisture management capabilities. The combination of warm cotton and managing moisture will keep your feet warm/cold depending on the prevailing temperature and weather.

In addition, the yarn has antimicrobial properties, so they prevent foot odor and bacteria growth. The socks are also machine-washable, making it even easier to keep them smelling fresh.

Note that the socks have a minimal toe seam, preventing any rubbing and irritation when walking. According to customers, the whole sock is super soft and comfortable.

However, users report that the Dan Posts aren’t the most durable, and some have ripped their thumbs right through the fabric when trying to put them on. They’re also unsuitable for people with bigger legs, and some buyers report that they feel tight on their calves.

Pros:

  • Most bang for your buck.
  • Enhanced moisture control in different temperatures.
  • Prevents foul odors.
  • Washing machine-safe.
  • Soft and comfortable.

Cons:

  • Tears rather easily.
  • Poor-fitting for wearers with big calves.

Our Overview

If you’re searching for compression socks specifically made for boots, these are worth looking at.

The manufacturer describes these supportive socks as improving blood circulation, reducing swelling, and lessening fatigue in your feet, and customers support these claims.

They reportedly stay up on your calves and keep their form well. The toe seams are also super smooth, to the point that you’ll barely feel them when worn.

Another plus for users is that these socks are tall, some say knee-high, and they protect your whole leg from potential friction from your boots. They also support your ankles.

Even though all compression socks have a tight fit, buyers feel like these are extra tight on your calves. Some describe discomfort and too much pressure on their legs after a few hours of wearing these.

Pros:

  • Lots of ankle support.
  • Reduce swelling.
  • Protects the whole leg from friction.
  • Smooth seams.

Cons:

  • Tight around the calves.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Keep Your Socks Up In Cowboy Boots?

To keep your socks up in cowboy boots, make sure they’re the right size for your calves so that they’re not too loose and slip down. Also, invest in a pair of socks with an elastic band at the top that helps keep them up. Flexible materials that help keep the shape of your socks include nylon, Spandex, and Lycra.

Is It Okay To Wear Boots Without Socks?

It’s not advisable to wear boots without socks. Socks help keep your feet dry and protect against friction. Rubbing naked skin on leather boots all day definitely increases your chance of getting blisters on your feet. Also, tall socks will keep your calves from getting irritated and red when rubbing against the upper part of the boot.

Are Cowboy Boots Good For Your Feet?

Wearers have divided opinions on whether cowboy boots are good for your feet. But, some orthopedic surgeons state that the built-in heel lift causes less stress on your Achilles tendon and the metal shank from one end of the boot to the other gives your feet a lot of support.

The Takeaway

Our favorite cowboy boots socks are the Carhartt Men’s Arctic Heavyweight Wool Boot Socks. They’re warm, thick, moisture-wicking and the perfect calf-length for Western-style boots.

The best socks for cowboy boots will keep your feet aerated, dry and fresh at all times, and these certainly live up to this criteria.

Which socks are your favorite pair?

Read The Reviews First

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