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Best socks for women: find the right ones for different shoes and seasons

Check out our pick of the best socks for women and treat your feet to something comfy, stylish and warm.

By Kat Romero | Last updated Oct 24, 2023

Best socks for women

The humble sock has come a long way. No more sweaty, blister-inducing cotton styles for discerning Mumsnet users: today the best women's socks are made from eco-friendly bamboo or high-tech merino blends. The best socks are designed to feel comfortable and keep your feet fresh, whatever you get up to, so manufacturers now opt for smooth, skin-friendly fabrics that wick moisture and minimise friction.

Naturally, we haven’t forgotten about style though. No matter the weather forecast, having a fresh sock collection is a must throughout the year.. Whether you’re a fan of hidden trainer socks or enjoy a jaunty flash of colour at your ankle, a new pair of the best ladies' socks can put a spring in your step.

We’ve rummaged through our Talk forums to find the socks that Mumsnet users really love wearing and the brands they return to year after year. With recommendations for toasty slipper socks, performance-enhancing sports styles and fail-safe, everyday socks, there’s something for every foot in our round-up.

If you’re in need of other wardrobe essentials this summer, don’t miss our roundups of the best shapewear, best tights and best swimsuits so you have everything you need for your next trip away.

Here are the best socks for women 2023.

Best socks for women: a quick glance

1. Best overall women’s socks: Seasalt Bamboo Arty Socks

Seasalt socks

Price on writing: £7 | Buy now from Seasalt

Key specs

Material: Bamboo, polyamide and elastane | Length: Ankle | Moisture-wicking: No | Size range: One size fits 3-8

Reasons to buy

  • Great value

  • Lots of colour/pattern choice

  • Soft

Reasons to avoid

  • Not available in value packs

What Mumsnet users say

“Seasalt. They are good quality and come in a range of quirky designs, but they do plain ones too.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user foxyariel)

Our verdict

Seasalt Arty Bamboo Socks are much-loved by Mumsnet users thanks to their super-soft feel, the cooling and antibacterial effect of the bamboo fabric and the funky yet tasteful designs inspired by the beautiful Cornish landscape. These fantastic lightweight socks wash well too; there’s no bobbling, and they dry quickly.

Seasalt socks are crafted from sustainable crops of biodegradable bamboo; it’s a plant that needs only rainwater to grow, so there is no need for harmful chemicals. They are incredibly comfy, with smooth rolled edge cuffs and just the right amount of stretch from elastane. They are a great price too, so you can afford to choose the pattern and colours that suit your wardrobe the best.

2. Best budget socks for women: SockShop Bamboo Pack of Three

Sockshop socks

Price on writing: £7 for a pack of three | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Bamboo, polyester, polyamide and elastane | Length: Ankle | Moisture-wicking: No | Size range: One size fits 4-8


  • Great value

  • Colours that will match lots of outfits

  • Wash well


  • Come up large

Our verdict

The Sock Shop is an old-school 90s favourite that does an excellent line of affordable multipacks. There are tons of designs for every taste, from bright and quirky to basic black, but we loved this pack as they combine practical neutral colours with a fun pattern. They are made from a bamboo fabric blend, so they feel soft and cool and are naturally antibacterial. Reviewers report that they also wash well in a washing machine and will dry fast, but the sizing comes up large.

The honeycomb top of these socks is an innovative way of keeping them up without leaving the ugly marks that tight elastic can. This is particularly helpful on long journeys and for people with diabetes whose legs can swell.

3. Best multipack socks for women: Elle Ribbed Bamboo Socks

Elle socks

Price on writing: £10 for a pack of three | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Bamboo, polyester and elastane | Length: Ankle | Moisture-wicking: No | Size range: One size fits 4-8


  • Sustainable fabric

  • Cooling

  • Lots of colours to choose from

  • Great value


  • Non-ribbed edge can lead to drooping

What Mumsnet users say

“Bamboo socks by Elle or The Sock Shop are great.” (Brand suggested by Mumsnet user DoryisinCuba)

Our verdict

You can’t go wrong with this three-pack from Elle for basic black everyday socks. They’re made from antibacterial and cooling bamboo, have a cute scalloped top for a really comfortable fit, and there's no ribbed edge to leave annoying marks on your calves.

Elle is a Sock Shop brand; they make a vast selection of everyday socks at reasonable prices. You can never have too many plain black socks, and thanks to their high bamboo content, a material that is biodegradable and doesn’t need chemicals to grow, these are sustainable too. Reviewers loved the softness of these socks, plus the fantastic price of a tenner for three pairs.

4. Best women’s socks for walking: Bridgedale Women's HIKE Midweight Merino Comfort Boot Socks

Bridgedale socks

Price on writing: £21 | Buy now from Wiggle

Key specs

Material: Polyamide (nylon), wool, merino wool, polypropylene, lycra | Length: Boot sock (mid-calf) | Moisture-wicking: Yes | Size range: Small to large (UK 2 to 10.5)


  • Quick drying

  • Will retain shape after washing

  • Warm


  • Expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“Bridgedale. Fairly expensive but very comfortable and worth it for warm feet.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user saleorbouy)

Our verdict

Designed especially for women’s feet and featuring an adapted toe box and heel cup for maximum comfort and flexibility, some serious engineering has gone into these HIKE socks by Bridgedale. HIKE socks will feel great in both walking boots and wellies.

They won’t cause nasty blisters or fall down, no matter how long you’re on your feet and how rough the terrain is. They will wash well and dry quickly at the end of your walk, so they are soon ready for your next adventure. The fabric has moisture-wicking technology, which provides temperature regulation for your feet, leaving you free to explore to your heart’s content in both warm and cool weather.

Looking for more hiking options? Don't miss our guide to the best walking socks.

5. Best women’s socks for running: Balega Hidden Comfort Socks

Balega socks

Price on writing: From £11 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Polyester, polyamide and elastane | Length: Trainer sock | Moisture-wicking: Yes | Size range: S to XL

Reasons to buy

  • Cushioned sole

  • Seamless toe to prevent friction

  • Mesh for a cooling effect

Reasons to avoid

  • No arch support

Our verdict

Designed to be non-slip and feel comfy throughout your run, these Hidden Comfort trainer socks by Balega are a cult favourite. They have moisture-wicking mesh panels that let your feet breathe and a deep heel pocket that means they stay up no matter how fast or far you run. The seam-free toe and cushioned sole make them a delight for your feet; you’ll forget you’re wearing them. Sadly, they lack the support needed for high arches and are better in cooler weather because of their luxurious thickness.

Despite being made from a technical high-performance fabric blend called Dynamix, Balega Hidden Comfort Socks wash and dry well and quickly. Plus, you’ll benefit from a plush cushioned sole and durable reinforced yet seamless heel and toe section.

If you're a keen runner, check out our full guide to the best running socks for women.

6. Best slipper socks for women: Falke Cosyshoe

Falke socks

Price on writing: From £25 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Wool and polyamide | Length: Ankle | Moisture-wicking: No | Size range: small, medium and large

Reasons to buy

  • Warm

  • Anti-slip

  • Comfy

Reasons to avoid

  • Expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“Falke if you’re pushing the luxury boat out! They have a more substantial felt sole to them, rather than only anti-slip grips.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user ZuzuMyLittleGingersnap)

Our verdict

The love child of a women's slipper and a woolly sock, these oh-so-toasty CosyShoes by Falke are the stuff WFH dreams are made of. Built for padding across the kitchen floor to make another cup of tea, they also have little grippy dots on the soles to stop you from slipping over. While Mumsnet users stress the CosyShoe’s lack of aesthetic appeal, this is more than made up for by their ability to keep feet warm in the depths of winter.

Admittedly, they aren’t a cheap option, but as they are made from hard-wearing and naturally temperature-regulating merino wool and are expertly handcrafted by a 125-year-old iconic brand, we are convinced they are worth the investment. Slip your toes inside these sock boots, and you’ll find a soft, plush inner sole that feels gorgeous against the skin. They can be machine washed on the wool cycle and, when dried carefully, keep their shape every time.

7. Best boot socks for women: 1000 Mile Fusion Sock

1000 Fusion sock

Price on writing: From £12 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: 57% nylon, 41% tactel, 2% spandex | Length: Calf-length | Moisture-wicking: Yes | Size range: 3 to 11.5

Reasons to buy

  • Moisture-wicking

  • High level of cushioning

  • Anti-blister

Reasons to avoid

  • Need hand washing

  • Quite thick

What Mumsnet users say

“1000 mile socks. I love mine!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Shehasadiamondinthesky)

Our verdict

To keep your feet comfortable and safe inside your winter boots, check out these Fusion socks by 1000 Mile. Their double-layer design means that if your boots rub, the sock layers rub against each other rather than your skin. However, it’s worth bearing in mind the two layers do make these socks thicker than average, so they may not suit standard shoes.

With impressive arch support and generous padding up to the Achilles tendon, a feature exclusive to 1000 mile socks, these fantastic socks will take excellent care of your feet.

8. Best bamboo socks for women: BAM Sidmouth Bamboo Socks

Sidmouth socks

Price on writing: £16 for pack of four | Buy now from BAM

Key specs

Material: Bamboo, polyamide and elastane | Length: Just below the calf | Moisture-wicking: No | Size range: One size fits 4 - 7

Reasons to buy

  • Funky yet elegant patterns

  • Cooling

  • Sustainable fabric

Reasons to avoid

  • Can be slightly too high for some people

What Mumsnet users say

“BAM – so soft and comfy and keep their shape.” (Suggested by Mumsnet user PaddingtonsHat)

Our verdict

Mumsnet users love BAM’s bamboo socks, and not just because of the company’s penchant for giving away freebies. BAM pride themselves on the quality of their socks as well as their environmental credentials – bamboo is one of the most sustainable fabrics around as it is biodegradable and doesn’t need chemicals to grow.

Available in every colour combination you could dream of and in great value packs, these socks are soft and silky. We love the reinforced toe and heel that adds cushioning and makes them last longer than your average sock. The bamboo fabric is good for those afflicted by sweaty feet too, as it is cooling and has natural antibacterial properties, so they feel as fresh at the end of the day as when you put them on.

9. Best cashmere socks: The White Company Cashmere Bed Socks

White Company socks

Price on writing: £36 | Buy now from The White Company

Key specs

Material: 100% cashmere | Length: Calf length | Moisture-wicking: No | Size range: 4-7

Reasons to buy

  • Super warm

  • Soft

  • Make a lovely gift

Reasons to avoid

  • Expensive

  • Hand wash only

What Mumsnet users say

“I have White Company Cashmere Bed Socks, they get put on as I am getting into bed at night and taken off in the morning as I get out of bed. I love that they don't make my feet overheat (even if I am having a hot flush) and warm feet means I sleep much better.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user MrsPnut)

The White Company’s Cashmere Bed Socks are made from gorgeous soft wool and will keep your toes toasty warm. They come in four colours; two pastels and two neutrals and would make the ideal gift for someone who loves luxury.

The cashmere wool these beautiful socks are made from is certified by The Good Cashmere Standard as a sustainable fabric using animal-friendly processes. As with all high-quality cashmere, these socks are pricey and can only be gently hand-washed. However, they provide unparalleled comfort, and you’ll feel both cosy and sophisticated while wearing them.

10. Best thermal socks: Heat Holders 2.3 Tog Original Thermal Socks

Heat Holders socks

Price on writing: From £8 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: 91% acrylic, 5% polyamide, 3% polyester, 1% elastane | Length: Calf length | Moisture-wicking: No | Size range: 4 - 14

Reasons to buy

  • Super warm

  • Great for wearing with wellies

  • Lots of colours available

Reasons to avoid

  • Too thick for standard shoes

What Mumsnet users say

“If you want super thick socks, buy Heat Holders from Amazon. I have peripheral neuropathy and Raynaud's and wear Heat Holders 24/7.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Nat6999)

Our verdict

Heat Holders Thermal Socks are super warm – like duvets for your feet! They are the perfect solution if you have chilly feet due to medical conditions or simply always feel cold. They also reach the mid-calf, so your lower legs will be toasty too. Despite holding heat efficiently and having a tog rating of 2.3, these socks are remarkably breathable, so your feet will never feel sweaty. Heat Holders are great for people with outside jobs too, and are just the right thickness for heavy winter boots and wellies.

These fantastic socks are too chunky for standard shoes and women's trainers unless you have very narrow feet. However, they come in a wide range of unisex sizes that suit UK sizes 4 - 14 and many different colour options.

How to choose the right socks for you

It’s best to have a good range of socks in your sock drawer to suit different shoes, outfits and activities. Aim for plenty of dependable everyday socks, extra cosy ones for winter and specialist socks if you’re into hiking, running or sports. Go for a trusted brand, as socks need strong seams and good-quality fabrics to withstand being worn all day.

  • Padding: Look for cushioning that supports and protects the problematic parts of your feet, such as the heel, ball and side of the little toes.

  • Arch support: If you have high arches, look for reinforced fabric in that part of the sock. This will help prevent pain and conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

  • Height: The general but breakable rules are: ankle socks for pumps and smart shoes; trainer socks for running; shoe liners for if you want your hosiery to be invisible; calf length for boots (smart, casual and hiking) and knee length for wellies.

  • Fit: If possible, try before you buy, especially with hiking socks. Most socks will come in a one size fits all design; for women, this is usually 4-7, and if you’re at either end of that range, it can be problematic. If your socks are too long, they will bunch up and feel uncomfortable. If they are too small, your feet will feel squeezed and they will slide down constantly.

  • Fabric: Choose the most suitable material for your intended activity. Merino wool with features such as Coolmax or Smart Wool is excellent for hiking and wearing wellies, whereas cooling and soft bamboo are fantastic for everyday wear with casual shoes and boots. Look for small amounts of stretch fabrics such as lycra or elastane in the composition, especially if your feet are at the top of the size range.

What’s the best material for socks?

Bamboo is a fabulous sock fabric for everyday wear. It’s eco-friendly, breathable and soft. Socks made from a bamboo blend will also keep your feet warm in winter and cool in summer and will have natural antibacterial properties.

Synthetic materials such as Coolmax are also an excellent choice when hard-working socks are needed for day-long wear. They are designed to fix the weaknesses of traditional materials like wool and cotton.

Is it better to wear thin or thick socks?

The correct thickness of socks depends on the shoes or boots you’re wearing and the shape of your feet. For example, if you have narrow feet and want to stomp into town in winter boots, a thicker pair will keep your feet warm and stop them from sliding around and potentially getting blisters. Conversely, a thinner bamboo pair is much more practical if you’re popping on a pair of slim pumps.

Some swear by wearing two pairs of lightweight socks rather than one thick pair. According to outdoor apparel experts REI, this isn’t necessary, but trying socks with your chosen footwear IS essential, especially when you’re planning to wear them all day or on long hikes.

What are fun ways to style socks?

  • Add a brightly coloured or cheerfully patterned pair of socks to a plain outfit. It can add a touch of drama, fun and personality to an outfit in an understated way.

  • Matching your socks with your shoes or boots will look elegant on days when it is too warm to wear your best tights.

  • If you're wearing black boots and tights, add a pair of lightweight socks as a small band of colour that will match another part of your outfit.

  • We love matching socks with accessories such as a statement necklace or handbag.

  • Scalloped edge socks look cute with a pretty dress and a pair of pumps.

How long should socks last?

 A pair of high-quality bamboo or cotton socks should last for at least a year of consistent washing and wearing. However, your new socks' longevity depends on the fabric and the intended use. For example, a pair of cashmere bed socks need to be looked after carefully and can react badly to being machine washed, so they may need frequent replacement. Whereas tough hiking socks you only wear a couple of times a month can last for many years.

Socks will need replacing when they lose elasticity, fall down, feel saggy, develop holes and the fabric thins. With technical socks for walking or running, you may suddenly feel that much-loved old favourites begin to give you blisters.

What are the best women’s socks to buy?

Seasalt’s Bamboo Arty Socks are our pick for the best women’s socks – we chose them for their soft seams and gorgeous patterns and because they are made from high-quality, temperature-regulating and sustainable bamboo fabric.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

Mumsnetters have certainly put a range of socks through their paces with every outfit and pair of shoes, with many Mumsnet users sharing experiences (both good and bad) of the socks they’ve personally tried and tested.

First up, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users to get their feedback on their favourite socks, as well as the brands that they have tried, rated, and would recommend to their friends.

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, ineffective, don’t fit correctly or are uncomfortable.

Expert opinions

We then cross-checked our recommendations with the socks for women praised by fashion experts to ensure we were bringing you the best products that are rated across the board.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best women's socks, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as John Lewis, M&S, Ann Summers, and independent sites to get broader consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist.

Why you should trust us

Transparency is crucial to us, and that's why we're always honest about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

About the author

Kat Romero is a writer and journalist with over a decade’s experience in the industry. Hailing from London, she has become experienced in scouring the market to find the latest and best products that are worth your purchase.

As a working mum of a toddler, she knows all too well the struggle to balance everything and the emotional and financial strain parenthood can have on families. That’s why her guides are always written with every budget in mind.

Away from her desk, Kat can be found consuming far too much coffee and spending her weekends with her toddler and partner - soaking up the sights of London and sampling anything new and exciting that has opened up within walking distance. Her favourite activity to do with her son is to visit London’s incredible museums and immerse themselves in new exhibits or installations.