Sock Materials - How to Buy and Shop for Socks


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There’s a specific body area many of us take for granted. Yeah, you guessed correctly, the feet. Besides getting the right size shoe with a comfortable arch, insole, heel and toe area, you will also need to shop for the right kind of socks. At FootFitter, we’re here to help.

Luckily using shoe care products like shoe stretchers, shoehorns, and other shoe care products help improve shoe and foot performance. However, you can do a lot more for your feet. Choosing the right socks can prevent blisters, bacteria, foot odor, and the feeling of being uncomfortable.

Simply check the kind of socks you put on everyday and ask yourselves theses questions:

  • Are your socks too heavy or light?
  • Having a problem keeping your feet warm or cool?
  • Do you feel your socks ripping and deteriorating after every use or wash?
  • Are you sick of store-branded socks or “low-quality” bundle socks?
  • Do you use the same sock for running/sports, work, and for home?

If you said “Yes” to any of questions above, then you may have to read into the different types of sock fibers and materials.

Below are characteristics of different socks fibers you may already know. Note that most modern quality socks are combined with a variety of different fibers.

Sock Materials


Natural Sock Materials – Natural Fiber

Cotton – One of the most popular materials you will see in a lot of bulk branded socks. Soft, cushions, and inexpensive. However, they tend to lose shape and absorb large amounts of moisture.

Wool – Another common sock fiber, this material provide a durable, warm, and soft environment for feet. Wool absorbs moisture but will insulate when wet (compared to cotton). Many different types of wools are Shetland and Merino Wool.

Alpaca – This fiber is extremely soft and stronger than merino wool. Provides insulation from heat and cold, resist compression, and reduces friction. Recommended to hang dry these types.

Silk - A very soft, smooth, luxurious, and light. Does not conduct heat.


Manufactured Sock Materials – Synthetic (man-made) Fiber

Acrylic – A popular synthetic fiber popular amongst the quality-based sock brands. Combines soft, light, and quick drying properties. Will cushion and warm feet.

Polyester – A well-known fiber that combines and blend with other fibers. Quick-drying and withstands wear and tear for durability.

Cool Max – A Branded polyester that’s known for wicking* and fast drying

Nylon – This polymer is combined with other blends, adding elasticity and durability. Usually in most modern socks for the purpose of stretching or strength.

Polypropylene / Olefin – One of the strongest and lightest of the synthetic materials, this water/moisture repelling fiber is used with outer sock materials to wick moisture away from skin. Stretchy and thermal based.

Spandex / Lycra / Elastane – A synthetic fiber known to help resist socks that undergo stretching. Will hold socks in place and provides extra support.

These are just some facts about certain fibers to keep an eye out for. Feel free to check out our current Sock Brands and Sock Lengths. We’re here to help out and make sure that you get the best socks for your feet.




All information and facts were combined and summed up by our Sock brands and other third-party sock websites.

wicking*=absorbs or draws off moisture by capillary action.