Your socks play as large a role in foot comfort as your shoes.
Work boots are hard on the feet—they’re tough, heavy, and you’re stuck in them all day. To wear thin socks that don’t add padding or thick socks that make the boots tight is as big a mistake as wearing tennis shoes on a construction site.
To ensure your feet are wrapped in multi-layer comfort, we’re going to help you find the best work socks for all-day comfort.
The best work socks are:
Tips for Choosing the Best Work Socks
Don’t go with any old garment labeled “work socks” and leave it at that. You have to be picky here; consider your work conditions, how your boots fit, and whether you’re sensitive to certain materials.
To choose the best work socks, you need to examine the following criteria:
Do you work indoors or outdoors? What season is it? It may seem irrelevant, but temperature plays a sizable role in choosing the right socks for your situation.
Nobody likes sweaty feet. Your feet slip around in your shoes, your socks stick to your feet upon removal, and the smell, frankly, is unbearable.
Cold feet aren’t great either. Have you ever panicked, realizing you can’t feel your pinky toe, worrying you might accidentally slice it off?
Think about the temperature where you work and buy your socks accordingly. Even so, it’s not a matter of choosing thick socks to keep you warm and thin to keep you cool—are those compatible with your other needs?
If temperature and boot fit are a combined concern, consider merino wool socks, as they regulate foot temperature. They’re not very thick, so they won’t pad out your boots, but are still chunky enough to provide well-needed relief when standing all day.
Work boots need to be tough. Construction workers are always at risk of dropping a hammer on their toes. Snow plowers can’t afford to let the ice seep through thinner material. There are a number of professions requiring those hard, leather beasts.
Pair the tough shoes with outdoor or concrete indoor flooring, and it’s not comfortable. It’s up to your socks to save your squished feet from a day of aching.
Consider work socks with padding in the heels or on the ball of your foot. They may come as thicker socks overall, which can also improve the fit of a roomy shoe.
However, if your boots are already tight, go for thinner but more effective padding as you don’t want to alter the fit. Consider socks with padding on just the toes and heels, as they’ll be thinner overall but provide the protection you require at work.
How high do your boots rise?
Get work socks the same height as your work boots, longer if possible. As socks naturally fall during the day, you don’t want them going too far below the boots.
Consider socks long enough to fold over the opening of your boots. This may look silly if you have to tuck your pants into your boots — in such cases, consider blousing your boots instead.
It’s the same story with everything—a different brand, a different fit.
When you get your socks, ensure they fit well across your entire foot. If it’s too tight around the ankle/calf, it’ll be itchy, uncomfortable, and potentially painful. Too tight in the toes? You get friction blisters and toe discomfort.
However, if the socks are too large, they’ll fall down, there’s an opportunity for chaffing around the heels and toes, and they may not provide adequate support around your heel and ankles. Although we may ignore proper heel/ankle placement in a rush, correctly wearing your socks can keep your feet positioned healthily and happily.
Speaking of support, socks provide plenty, but sometimes you need more.
Arch support is vital in any shoe, but not all of them have it or offer the room to place a shoe insert with the right support.
In these cases, you need to prevent arch pain using your last available resource: your socks. A reinforced material or mesh can add the support you need across the arch and the rest of the foot.
Ankles are far flimsier than most people would like. Some people may need extra ankle support, but your boots may not accommodate an actual ankle support.
Consider socks with built-in extra ankle support to keep you safe and comfortable.
For some, circulation is an issue made worse by standing all day. If you don’t have time to take a break and elevate your feet, compression socks are your best bet.
Compression socks help prevent blood clots and keep your blood flowing as it should.
Material is one of the heaviest factors to unpack here. You have two choices: natural or synthetic.
When considering the material, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have sensitive skin?
- Am I prone to sweaty feet?
- Do I have time for gentle laundering?
- How often do I plan on buying socks?
- Do I have issues with foot odor? Should I consider antimicrobial socks?
Cotton is soft, which leads to a comfortable day in your socks. Not only that, but the softness is fantastic for sensitive feet and keeping friction at bay.
However, cotton socks are a nightmare to take off when moist, and their moisture-wicking abilities aren’t the best. Plus, cotton falls apart faster than synthetic materials and can become rough and loose with frequent laundering. Cotton socks are also prone to holes.
Wool is another one that can be gentle on the skin when made right, so never cheap out on wool.
This one is a moisture-wicking material most of the time, especially merino wool, which also controls temperature. Lastly, wool socks have natural antimicrobial abilities that keep foul odors at bay.
Again, laundering can rough up and miss-shape wool, but if you’re gentle, you should be fine.
Synthetic materials may not be as adequate for sensitive skin, but it has its advantages. For example, it wicks moisture, often better than wool does as someone has gone in and made it wick moisture effectively.
On top of that, the man-made nature of synthetic materials helps ensure the socks retain their shape and feel, despite frequent laundering. As a result, you buy socks less frequently and are never at risk of blisters from out-of-shape socks.
They can also have odor-reducing antimicrobial properties of wool.
But like wool, never cheap out on synthetic blends. Cheaply made synthetics can be scratchy, not breathable, and will fall apart easily. Consider synthetic socks an investment rather than a cheap add-on to your boots.
Reviews of the Best Work Socks for All Day Comfort
Our top pick today is a synthetic blend of mainly cotton with added polyester, nylon, and spandex. Despite the thin materials forming their construction, they’re thick and heavily cushioned to ensure you stay comfortable all day.
If you’re worried about the durability of cotton, Enerwear is one step ahead of you. Arguably the toes and heels are the parts that see the most action, which is why Enerwear reinforced them for enhanced durability.
The additional material in these spots also serves as extra comfort in these sensitive areas requiring support—it’d be nice if there were extra ankle support, too.
Regardless, the socks extend well above the ankle, closer to the knee, to accommodate taller work boots. They’ll wick moisture all the way up and will fit close to your leg as customers say they’re true to size.
They fit shoe sizes 4–12 and come in the following colors:
- Cowboy blue.
- Dark jeans.
- Mix color.
- Navy blue.
There are ten in a pack.
- Reinforced toe and heels.
- Cushioned for your comfort.
- Synthetic blend with primarily natural cotton.
- Lots of socks in the package.
- High rise for tall boots.
- The title is misleading; these are more knee-high than crew length socks.
- A little thick for cotton—some customers disliked this.
If you want something all synthetic, these are acrylic and polyester fibers, with a small amount of other mixed fibers. The blend combines to make a sock that helps eliminate odors while wicking sweat to keep your feet dry and fresh all day.
As well as being dry and fresh, they’re comfortable due to the cushioned nature of the socks from toe to mid-calf. No matter how tall your work boots or how harshly they hug you, the socks add a layer of protection, particularly for steel toe boots.
They provide this cushioning while remaining visibly thin but not so thin as to let in the cold or render ineffective.
Carhartt’s socks should stay working for you for the long haul, thanks to their abrasion-resistant construction. The stitching pattern also makes holes popping up an unlikely occurrence, but wearers had some issues with runs after about three months.
You should have no problem washing and maintaining the socks or while wearing them. The compression arch adds a level of support your shoes may lack, helping keep pain away throughout the day. This also influences a contoured fit.
There are two size options that fit from size 6–15 between them, with black, heather grey, and white color options. They fit true to size, and you get two per pack.
- Contoured fit.
- Arch support.
- Thin, but will keep you warm and padded.
- Abrasion-resistant, mostly in the toes and heels.
- For any height work boots.
- A little pricey for two pairs compared to our top pick’s 10 pack price.
- Users found the socks don’t last as long as they should.
We’re back to natural and synthetic blends with these cotton, polyester, and spandex socks. They’re not quite as cotton-heavy as our top pick, but it still makes up more than half of their construction.
The cotton keeps them feeling soft, as well as padded in the heel, toe, and pad. The extra material in these areas is to add durability; the padding is a secondary benefit.
One area where comfort is not secondary is the arch and ankles. There, the compression is deliberate to help add support that may be missing in your shoes. This should alleviate any pain you’d be feeling by the end of the day.
There’s more deliberate padding around the Achilles tendon, too, to further enhance your comfort. Plus, the entire sock is said to be “extra-thick,” which would add natural padding—if customers hadn’t debunked this claim. They’re medium thickness with decent padding at best.
If you’re worried about the sock slipping or bunching, don’t; the spandex helps the sock stay in place without being too tight or binding. So, as long as you acquire the correct size, you should have no issues there.
The socks come in packs of three with black, white, and grey color options. They’ll fit shoe sizes 6–12 and fit true to size.
- Compression around the ankles and arch.
- Extra padding on the Achilles tendon.
- Contoured fit thanks to spandex.
- Synthetic blend made softer by its high cotton content.
- Taller than crew socks, which some customers disliked.
- Labeled as extra thick, but customers found this to be false.
Hiking is a tough activity, especially on your feet. You need robust, cozy socks to get you through.
Being on your feet all day, in big hard boots, can feel similar to an hour or two of hiking. This makes these hiking socks applicable for your work boots.
They eliminate odor and wick moisture to ensure your feet stay dry and free of the repercussions of perspiration’s bacteria. They’re also supposed to be anti-blister, although they’re not particularly soft.
It’s a synthetic blend of almost half polyester, with added nylon, elastane, and Coolmax technology. The Coolmax fabric is a blend of cotton and more polyester.
Perhaps the anti-blister aspect comes from the ergonomic construction, made to perfectly hug your feet and fit well.
The fit and fabric combination is supposed to increase blood flow to your feet and let your feet breathe, although GermaPro doesn’t make the cause behind this obvious. Essentially, if you feel less fatigue in these socks than others, you know the “functional fiber” works.
Whether it works or not, it’s a thin fabric, so don’t expect too much padding to help reduce that fatigue. There’s some cushioning, but it’s nothing extreme, and these definitely aren’t socks thick enough to keep you warm in winter or fill out a loose boot.
These socks are available in packs of one or two, with nine available color options across three sizes:
Customers state they tend to run small, especially in the calf, so order a size up. One customer, who weighs 190 pounds, struggled to get the largest size over their calf. This is unfortunate—these socks clearly aren’t made for anyone slightly above average weight.
- Odor reduction.
- Moisture wicking.
- Reduce fatigue—allegedly.
- They run small.
- Not great for people even slightly larger than average.
If you work in colder conditions, these are the socks to consider. Merino wool has temperature control properties as well as being naturally moisture-wicking, so even if you end up sweating, you have nothing to worry about.
As they control and regulate foot temperature, these are socks for any season and any conditions.
However, you should note these socks are not pure merino wool, so they won’t be as soft as a fully natural sock. They will, on the other hand, be stronger and more likely to hold their shape despite heavy laundering. They contain polyester, nylon, and spandex, stretchy materials that bounce back well after a wash.
One element that laundering won’t ruin is the extra-padding the socks contain to provide comfort when standing all day. Despite this extra padding, all materials in the socks remain breathable to ensure your feet get proper ventilation when you’re hard at work.
The harshness of your work won’t destroy the socks either, as they’re reinforced in the toe and heel. They also have some security in the leg, so they won’t slip down but won’t cut off circulation.
All in all, it’s a decent pair of socks, although pricey compared to our top pick as you only get four in a packet. They fit shoe sizes 6–12, and the packs come in the following colors:
- Mix color.
- Navy blue.
- Naturally soft.
- Odor control.
- Temperature control.
- A little pricey compared to other socks.
- For this price, some arch/ankle support would be nice.
Another pair of hiking socks; another synthetic blend. These are 80 percent combined cotton for comfort, softness, and skin sensitivity. The blend also contains polyamide and spandex for a better fit.
Yuedge claims the socks have “perfect elasticity,” proving the additional materials play their part well—but the elasticity is for holding their shape, as they don’t stretch well to accommodate larger calves.
While holding their shape, they also hold your shape with the ribbed arch support to keep your feet in the healthiest position possible. There’s also some padding in the heel and toe, adding comfort to the areas that experience the most pressure when you walk.
To combat any wear-down in those well-used areas, the manufacturers placed reinforcements by thickening the fabric. The socks are thick enough overall, too, ensuring durability from toe to mid-calf.
Despite the thick construction, wearers found them thinner than expected and stated the socks don’t keep you particularly warm. But if you do end up sweating in them, you’ll experience odor reduction and moisture-wicking abilities throughout.
The socks are available in large (sizes 6–9) and extra-large (9–12) sizes, coming in a pack of five. There are 10 color variances to choose from; three of those are mixed color packs.
- Wick moisture.
- Reduce odor.
- Arch support.
- Extra durable material.
- Padding on the toes and heel.
- Thinner than expected.
- Won’t keep you warm.
- Not particularly stretchy.
If you want an enhanced yet natural pair of socks, these are made of arrowool. Arrowool is an improved version of merino wool, which wicks moisture and controls temperature even better than the natural wool on its own.
That’s just basic stuff for merino wool-based socks, though the real standout of this sock is the support it provides. You get support all around the arch, including on top.
As well as that, the heels and toes are reinforced for padding and comfort purposes. They’re designed to absorb shock in those key areas that take the brunt of your walking and working.
One downside is that they’re a little high, close to the knee, so they will rise above basic work boots. If you don’t like high socks, these aren’t the ones to go for.
Though, on the other hand, if you don’t mind the height but worry they’ll snag, don’t. Customers state these don’t snag much, so they’re safe to wear under and over your pant legs.
As far as fashion, when wearing them over your pant legs goes, they come in nine eye-catching colors. They’re sold in packs of three and four, as well as single pairs.
Size-wise, you have small–extra-large options, but Worn doesn’t provide accompanying shoe sizes for these options—it’s all guesswork, unfortunately.
Another downside is the price. A four-pack in large will cost you close to 50 dollars, which is a tad pricey for socks.
Then again, customers left almost no negative feedback on the product, which fares well for them if you’re up for the investment. The investment may be worth more if you wear them for non-work activities like hiking, jogging, or biking.
- Enhanced moisture wicking.
- Superior temperature control to regular merino wool.
- Fantastic arch support.
- High comfort.
- Pricey for socks, especially compared to packs with more socks and equal quality.
- No specifics with the sizing.
- Too long for some people’s taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Best Socks To Wear With Work Boots?
The best socks to wear with work boots should wick moisture, eliminate odor, and remain breathable. Consider merino wool socks or a similar material.
What Are the Best Socks To Wear With Steel Toe Boots?
As steel toe boots are harsh and heavy, consider wool socks. They’re naturally soft and thick; they will shield you from the brutal steel nature of the boots.
What Kind of Socks Keep Your Feet Dry?
Merino wool socks are the best type of socks for keeping your feet dry. They’re natural, wick away moisture, and control the temperature of your feet. They do all this while remaining breathable. They also contain some microbial properties that reduce odor in the sweat they wick away.
Are Boot Socks Thick?
Since boots are chunky, hard shoes, boot socks should be decently thick to add a buffer between your foot and the sturdy insole. Consider crew socks to wear with your boots as they’re usually reasonably thick and they’re tall enough to rise with or above the top of your boots.
What Are the Best Socks for Standing All Day?
The best socks for standing all day are any socks that provide appropriate padding while keeping your feet clean and dry. Consider merino wool or similar proprietary blends, as its moisture-wicking properties are often unbeatable, and the wool is thick enough to keep your feet comfortable through all-day use.
The Softest Sock
The best work socks are the Enerwear Men’s Cotton Moisture Wicking Heavy Cushion Crew Socks. They’re tall, medium thickness, and a perfect blend of softness and synthetics. They should be enough to carry the average worker through the day but aren’t for extreme weather or temperature control if that’s what you’re looking for,
Unfortunately, there are fewer work socks for women on the market. The most applicable socks are short, ankle socks for athletic use. However, women can easily wear men’s socks without issue, particularly the socks above, as they come in a wide range of sizes.
Ensure you acquire a size that fits comfortably, and there’s no difference between men’s and women’s socks.