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If your (or your partner's, brother's, son's, uncle's, grandad's) drawers are stuffed full of odd socks with threadbare heels, it's time to replenish and treat your feet to the socks they deserve. While a decent pair of breathable cotton socks is essential for everyday wear, it's well worth investing in a whole range of socks to suit your needs, activity levels, weather and style.
Need a little help and inspiration? We've rounded up a selection of the best pairs for all budgets and toes.
Here are the best men's socks to buy in 2021.
1. Best overall men’s socks: Organic Cotton Rich Heel and Toe Men's Socks
Price: £12 (pack of five) | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners
When it comes to everyday socks, comfort and breathability are important factors and this colourful multipack from John Lewis delivers in both areas.
Made from organic cotton, these socks are super soft and the natural fibres will keep feet feeling fresh all day long. They provide a snug fit to suit pretty much any shoe type and the colourful heel and toes make them easy to match after washing.
This bargain bundle offers great value for money as each pair comes in at under £2.50. Quality and comfort in one affordable package.
- Material: 76% organic cotton, 22% nylon, 2% elastane
- Size range: UK 6-13
2. Best budget men’s socks: FM London 12-Pack Breathable Socks
Price: £9 (pack of 12) | Buy now from Amazon
This multipack will keep your feet warm and cosy for almost a fortnight and each pair costs less than a quid. As you'd expect for the price, the fabric ratio features more polyester than others on our list but these socks are good for everyday wear and they're treated with stain-resistant properties to keep things fresh. Pick from traditional argyle and striped designs or brighten your day with a pop of colour.
- Material: 55% Cotton, 43% Polyester, 2% Elastane
- Size range: UK 6-11
3. Best men’s socks for walking: 1000 Mile Men’s Walking Socks
Price: £15 (per pair) | Buy now from Amazon
For walking or hiking long distances you’ll need a pair of socks that are not only breathable but also provide good support for your feet, and this pair from the 1000 Mile brand will do just that.
Made from natural wool, these socks will not only keep you warm, but the natural fibres allows air to circulate through the socks, keeping your feet feeling fresh throughout your day and reducing the chance of friction discomfort and blisters. Padded areas around the heel and foot arch, create extra support making these socks the perfect companion for active days out.
The quality is reflected in the price and while this pair may seem expensive, it's a small price to pay to keep your feet warm, dry, comfy and supported on walks near and far.
- Material: 100% wool
- Size range: UK 6-14
4. Best men’s socks for running: Danish Endurance Running Socks
Price: £23 (pack of three) | Buy now from Amazon
Designed in Denmark, these high-tech running socks were developed in conjunction with Olympic runner Stina Troest who, according to the company, continuously tests products during her training to ensure the highest standards of performance and endurance.
These socks are good for all kinds of long distance running with design features including technical ventilation channels and athletic arch compression to keep your feet as comfortable as possible when putting them through their paces.
They come in a range of colours and the company promises that no harmful chemicals are used in the manufacturing process. With such impressive credentials, these socks are actually quite reasonably priced at just under £20 for a pack of three. Reviews suggest that their performance does live up to the hype, so if you’re an enthusiastic runner then these are well worth trying out.
- Material: 65% polypropylene, 33% polyamide, 2% elastane
- Size range: UK 3-12
5. Best multipack men’s socks: 7-Pack Cool and Fresh, M&S
Price: £12 (pack of seven) | Buy now from M&S
If you’re looking for good quality socks, then M&S is always a good place to start. Made almost entirely of natural soft cotton, they're breathable and perfect for everyday wear with added stretch to make them super flexible. The idea of the ‘7-pack’ is to offer a fresh and vibrant pair of socks to take you right the way through the week. The patented ‘Cool & Fresh’ range boasts antibacterial and moisture-wicking technology to ensure feet stay as fresh as possible all day long.
- Material: 78% cotton, 20% polyamide and 2% elastane
- Size range: UK 6-12
6. Best novelty socks for men: Patterned Socks, H&M
Price: £3 per pair | Buy now from H&M
Looking for a fun pair of socks to buy as a gift or an affordable stocking filler? This quirky pair from H&M is just the ticket. Who doesn’t love a bit of vintage video game memorabilia!
H&M is well known for its wacky sock designs, so if you like these then it’s definitely worth taking a look at the range that features everything from Spongebob to 90s tie dye designs and Sesame Street motifs.
The socks are priced at around £3 per pair, which is pretty reasonable considering they don’t look like your average pair of socks, but do be aware that the cotton count isn't the highest compared to other products on our list.
- Material: Cotton 67%, Polyamide 32%, Elastane 1%
- Size range: 4-12.5 UK
7. Best men’s slipper socks: Falke, Amazon
Price: £26 (pack of two) | Buy now from Amazon
"If pushing the luxury boat out, these ones have a more substantial felt sole to them, rather than only anti-slip grips" - ZuzuMyLittleGingersnap
Offering all the warmth of thick socks, but with the added support of a pair of slippers, these cosy socks from iconic German knitwear brand, Falke, are great for chilly days at home.
They feature practical rubbery grips on the soles to ensure you don’t slip (a great option if you have hard floors). They're made almost entirely of soft merino wool, so they're guaranteed to keep you toasty warm. And fold-over cuffs around the ankle ensure they don’t slip off.
They offer a great range of sizes, but Falke recommends sizing up as the socks are designed to fit snugly. You can also buy them in a variety of colours.
Do be careful when washing them - the natural wool fibres are fragile, so don't wash on a high temperature setting or put them in the tumble dryer as they might bobble up or shrink. If you’re the type of person that can’t be bothered with the faff of a ‘delicates wash’ then these might not be the socks for you.
- Material: 90% Virgin wool, 10% Polyamide
- Size range: UK 4-11
8. Best no-show socks for men: Cool and Fresh Invisible Socks
Price: £8 | Buy now from M&S
"They are fab! They don't slip off the back of your feet either" - Dazedandc0nfused
If you're looking for snug no-show socks that don't roll up into a ball at the bottom of your shoes, these Invisible Socks from M&S fit the bill. Part of the Cool & Fresh range, these socks feature built-in Freshfee technology, designed to encourage air to circulate around your feet, keeping them fresh throughout the day.
Made from 77% cotton, these are not only breathable socks but they’re very soft too. You can buy them in either white or black and reviewers rate the shape for discreteness as they remain perfectly hidden, giving the appearance of bare feet.
At £8 for four pairs, this a decent price and the M&S quality should guarantee these socks last you for quite some time.
- Material: 77% cotton, 21% polyamide and 2% elastane
- Size range: UK 6-14.5
9. Best warm men’s socks: Heat Holders, Amazon
Price: £13 (per pair) | Buy now from Amazon
"HeatHolders are my favourite by far. They are thick, but lush" - CMOTDibbler
Heat Holders have a great reputation for warmth - as is suggested in the name! But they really do live up to the claim. They are almost three times' more insulating than the average pair of thermal socks, and the soft rubbery grips on the soles make them anti-slip too.
These socks are durable and easy to look after - simply bundle them into the washing machine with the rest of your load and they come out looking fresh.
Due to the combination of manmade fibres and heat-retaining properties, they're not for everyday wear but if you’re looking for a comfy pair to use at home to keep you cosy in front of the TV, then these will do the job nicely.
Priced at around £10, they’re a very affordable option for cosy slipper socks and you shouldn't really need to buy more than one pair.
- Material: 91% Polyacrylic, 5% Polyamide, 3% Polyester, 1% Elastane
- Size range: UK 6-11
10. Best luxury men’s socks: The Cambridge Sock Company Alpaca Socks
Price: £40 | Buy now from Amazon
"The Cambridge Sock Company have lovely colours, and different styles and types of wool" - thedevilinablackdress
These Cambridge Sock Company socks are made from super soft alpaca wool making them extremely luxurious against your skin. The natural fibres mean they're breathable so they can be worn for a range of activities including long walks and sports.
This knee-high pair has a turnover cuff at the top to hold them up. They can be worn as a comfortable liner for wellies, or simply under trousers for extra warmth.
This luxury pair would make a lovely gift.
- Material: 75% alpaca, 25% polyamide
- Size range: Small, medium and large
How to buy the best socks for men
As with all apparel, you’ll want to take into account your needs, budget and style. Are you in the market for an everyday pair of socks to wear at work? If so, look at natural fibres for breathability, freshness and comfort. For slipper socks consider anti-slip support on the soles and warm fabrics. Sports socks benefit from supportive elements and moisture-wicking material.
What’s the best material for socks?
It really depends on what you want from them. If you need something breathable and supportive for high impact sports or hiking, then socks with a high ratio of natural material, such as cotton will be a sensible option.
Another factor to consider is warmth. Natural fibres like cashmere, can be gorgeously soft against your skin, but usually come with an expensive price tag. Manmade materials like polyester, also offer serious warmth for cold toes, but are a lot more affordable - although the downside to these fabrics is that they can make feet sweat.
What are the best men’s socks to buy?
We opted for the John Lewis & Partners’ Organic Cotton Rich Heel and Toe multipack as our best overall buy. Made from organic cotton, they're super soft and the natural fibres keep fresh air circulating throughout the day. A smart-but-stylish pair to wear at work or at the weekend.
How we chose our recommendations
We spent time sifting through Mumsnet's forums for recommendations from our users on the men’s socks they rated most highly. We were also on the lookout for poor reviews of products to avoid.
We also consulted recommendations from experts, consumer websites and print media and made sure we included brands that regularly appeared in top 10 lists.
We then looked at reviews for each of our longlisted mops to check that previous customers were satisfied with their purchases.
By doing this, we whittled our longlist down and chose a top list that we think offers something for everybody.
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