I Refreshed
My Sock Drawer

Best men's socks in 2021 Best men's socks in 2021

I Refreshed My Sock Drawer

It might be time for you to do the same

The past year and a half has been tough on everyone, but especially tough on socks. I don't know about you, but I've never walked around in socks more. Sometimes I pad around in my trusty Birkenstocks, but typically socks are my WFH footwear of choice.

While spacing out on a recent video call, I felt the peculiar sensation of my big toe breaking from its cottony home. As embarrassment washed over me, I wondered what that rogue toe would've looked like if it had escaped when I was taking off my shoes at a friend's house. And I'm ashamed to admit, this wasn't the first time. For someone who invests in their wardrobe, it's practically criminal that I let my socks wear down to threadbare ghosts of their former selves. It was clearly time to refresh my sock drawer.

First things first: I opened the top drawer of my dresser and pulled out every last sock. This act alone will help you purge at least a quarter of your collection as you'll find dusty pairs you didn't even realize you still own. Then you'll pitch the worn-out pairs, the ones that are faded or no longer suit your style (goodbye graphic novelty socks). Then you'll have an idea of what you need. For me, that was some new pairs for the gym and few casual and heavy-duty pairs to wear with everything from sneakers to boots to my old favorite Birks. Herewith, the five categories every sock drawer should be stocked with and some smart suggests to suit any style and budget.

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Best Men’s Socks
in 2021

Athletic Socks

Athletic Socks

Can you workout in any socks? Sure. But do you notice a marked improvement in comfort when exercising in true performance socks? Yes. These will stay in place, compress all the right places and wick away moisture.

Nike Cushioned Training Socks

Cushioned training socks,
$18 (for 3-pack) by Nike

Strideline Mid Socks

Mid socks,
$16 by Strideline

Arvin Goods Athletic Short Socks

Athletic short socks,
$12 by Arvin Goods

Retro Striped Socks

Retro
Striped Socks

Lean into the throwback appeal of some classic striped tube socks. You can tuck in sweatpants (trust me, it's a look) or flash the stripe with a generous cuff on your jeans or wide-leg chinos.

Beams Plus Schoolboy Striped Socks

Schoolboy striped socks,
$20 by Beams Plus

American Trench Kennedy Luxe Socks

Kennedy luxe socks,
$20 by American Trench

adidas Recycled Roller Crew Socks

Recycled roller crew socks,
$8 by adidas

Casual Cool Socks

Casual
Cool Socks

These are your daily drivers. The ones you can wear with your sneakers, your slides and even your dressier leather shoes. The better the quality, the longer they'll last. And if you want some personality, try a bold animal print or a vibey tie-dye.

RoToTo Cotton Waffle Socks

Cotton waffle socks,
$25 by RoToTo

Madewell Tie-Dye Cotton Socks

Tie-dye cotton socks,
$14.50 by Madewell

Anonymous Ism Leopard Print Crew Socks

Leopard print crew socks,
$24 by Anonymous Ism

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Heavy Duty Socks

Heavy Duty Socks

Your winter boots, suede chukkas and Birkenstocks all but require some hardy woolen socks. Look for pairs that are knit from heavy, textured yarns.

Flint and Tinder Wool Camp Socks

Wool camp socks,
$18 by Flint and Tinder

L.L. Bean Merino Wool Ragg Socks

Merino wool ragg socks,
$34.95 (for 2-pack) by L.L. Bean

GLENMEARL Wool Hiking Socks

Wool hiking socks,
$17.99 (for 2-pack) by GLENMEARL

Dress Socks

Dress Socks

Keep your dress socks minimal. You want your suit or your shoes to do the talking here, not your socks. But some slight patterns or textures can keep it from feeling too sedated.

Ralph Lauren Birdseye Trouser Socks

Birdseye trouser socks,
$23 (for 3-pack) by Ralph Lauren

Bombas Shorter Dress Socks

Shorter dress socks,
$57 (for 4-pack) by Bombas

J.Crew Ribbed Dress Socks

Ribbed dress socks,
$19.50 by J.Crew

Sockless Socks

We don’t wear them the way we did in the #menswear-era heyday. But sometimes you want a sockless look. And Vans makes the most comfortable and secure pair for your money.

$12.95 (for 3-pack) by Vans

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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