How to wear socks in winter

During winter months, you may feel the cold while you’re out and about, and since your feet can dictate your overall temperature, getting this part of your body cold can also mean experiencing an unpleasant chill from head to toe.

You may often think that socks are a fairly unimportant part of your outfit, both from a practical standpoint and in terms of your visual appearance. However, if you could increase your overall body heat and general feeling of comfort by changing the socks you wear, it’s surely something  worth taking into consideration.

In this blog, we look at the importance of socks, why certain materials may be more effective than others and whether you should take a risk in wearing shoes without socks during colder months if it means making an outfit work.

What are the best socks for warmth?

Over the course of autumn and winter, you’re likely to experience the unpleasant feeling of the cold, with your feet, toes and ankles suffering as a result. As such, changing to thicker, warmer, longer socks can mean that less effect from the cold is impacting your feet and more of your body is covered.

When it comes to changing your socks to better suit the climate, you have a lot of options to choose from, and while there are many different styles, patterns and colours, the main decision will be based on the material.

An older couple wearing warm socks during the winter.


What material makes the warmest socks?

Although you may be prone to wearing cotton socks all year round, cotton is actually the worst material in the winter as they’re thin, offer little insulation and absorb moisture. Instead, you need to consider socks made from a material that is better suited to protect your feet from the cold.

Synthetic materials and nylon are often used to create comfortable socks, but as these materials can be expensive and not tick all the right boxes for someone who wants complete protection from the cold, neither option is ideal. Instead, you should consider a proven and trusted material for comfort and warmth, such as wool.

Wool is a popular material for winter socks as it offers thermal protection, effective insulation, moisture absorption without directly making feet feel wet, antibacterial properties and it is quick drying. They’re also ideal for any situation where you may not be able to change your socks frequently, such as on a hike, a day trip or holiday, as they are odour resistant and fight away unpleasant smells. This means they don’t necessarily need to be washed after every use and can stand the test of time.

Another benefit to wool socks is that they’re usually combined with another material such as nylon so the section at the top of the sock can be elasticated around your shin. Through this combination of materials, you can experience extra insulation and retain heat better than you would from loose wool socks.

Can you wear shoes without socks in winter?

Wearing socks during any time of the year is a given, but if you’ve chosen to go sockless in warmer temperatures as part of an outfit, it can be something of a conundrum when cooler days set in and you’re still donning shoes without socks.

Dressing smart casual and wearing a suave pair of loafers without socks is a modern way of appearing stylish while looking effortlessly natural. Many people with an eye for style choose to utilise this move, but you may be wondering if it’s feasible to make this look work during colder months.

It’s easy to admit that going sockless during winter months isn’t practical, but the decision over whether or not to wear socks is completely up to you and your own personal preferences. If you often overheat even in the cold, going sockless may be perfect for you whatever the weather. But if you, like many other people, feel the cold and will be negatively affected by it, it might be best  to stick to socks and change your look during colder months. That said, you could always consider keeping your look but wear socks by simply choosing thick sports socks that stay hidden below the ankle.

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