If your work requires you to wear heavy-duty boots, it’s important to wear equally resilient socks. Wearing the correct socks can change your entire working experience.
If you work outdoors, there are many socks on the market that are designed to keep you warm and cozy without causing you to sweat. If protection is what you’re looking for, many work socks come with handy added padding around vulnerable areas like the toes and upper heel. This prevents your work boots causing friction and rubbing your skin which can lead to blisters and painful foot conditions.
So whether you’re involved in outdoor construction or indoor warehouse work, we recommend giving specially designed work socks a go.
In a hurry?
We understand that you have work to do, and shopping around for the perfect work socks can be a tedious job. That’s why we’ve included a quick shortcut to our favorite pair below and summarised a few of their key features to help you get back to work in no time. We think they’ll rock your socks off.
- Perfect for steel toe boots due to their extra protection around the toes and heel
- Thick enough to keep you warm but thin enough to be worn in the summer
- Extremely soft with mesh panels to encourage airflow keeping you cool
- FastDry technology wicks away sweat keeping you dry and free from odor
- Good elasticity keeps the socks in place all day
Best Work Socks for Boots
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite socks on the market right now are the Carhartt Men’s All-season All-terrain crew socks. These stand out from the crowd due to their friction-free Nanoglide technology which reinforces the arch of your foot and the base of your toes.
This helps to reduce friction which can cause painful blisters over time. We also like the mesh cooling panels on these socks which promote airflow to keep your feet cool and smelling fresh throughout the day.
These socks are 12 inches in length, protecting your legs and ankles from painful chafing when you’re wearing both mid-rise to full-length boots. The elasticated top of the sock also prevents any annoying bunching up by gently yet firmly gripping your legs.
These socks are primarily made from polyester which has long-lasting and quick-drying properties. There is even a layer of real wool to provide extra comfort as well as traces of nylon and spandex to ensure a secure fit around your feet. However, due to the comfortable extra padding, some reviewers find that they can be a little too bulky resulting in their work boots fitting too tightly.
We recommend ensuring that you buy the correct size and giving both thicker and thinner socks a try.
- Extra arch support
- Friction-free Nanoglide technology
- Mesh panels to keep you cool
- Durable yet soft materials
- Comes in a pack of 6 pairs
- Can be a little too bulky compared to other socks
- Not as affordable as other socks on the market
Dickies is a widely loved brand renowned for its high-quality yet comfortable outdoor and workwear, so it’s no surprise that their Men’s Dritech Work Crew Socks made it onto our list. Much like our top pick, these socks are great for comfort and moisture control.
The soles are entirely covered in a spongy cushion for added comfort and the toes and heels are reinforced to relieve pressure. The socks contain some nylon and spandex making them super durable.
However, they are primarily made from cotton which isn’t the best moisture-wicking material so your feet could still feel a little damp by the time you make it home at the end of the day. To help alleviate this, these socks also have a ventilated breathing channel that helps to circulate air around your feet and keep them cool.
- Ventilated breathing channel to keep feet cool
- Soft cushioned soles
- Reinforced toes and heel
- Less bulky than wool socks
- Added arch support
- Cotton socks absorb more moisture and can leave you feeling damp
If you’re looking for a pair of socks that work as hard as you do, we recommend you consider the Men’s Heavy Duty Reinforced Crew Socks made by Fruit of the Loom. They’re designed specifically for those that stand on their feet all day thanks to their robust design.
The bottoms and toes of the socks are reinforced for protection from friction, holes and fraying. Even though these socks are made from mostly cotton, they also contain lycra and spandex making them more durable and flexible helping them to last longer.
The spandex in particular gently compresses your feet and morphs to their shape for improved comfort. The soft cuffs and anti-ravel technology also helps to keep them in place all day even when performing laborious tasks.
- Anti-ravel technology
- Spandex helps to retain form and fit comfortably
- Reinforced toes and bottoms
- Anti-microbial properties keep odor at bay
- A little bulkier than other options on the market
These heavyweight work socks made by Fox River are designed specifically for comfort and durability under steel-toe boots. These socks have added cushions over the toes and above the heel for maximum protection and warmth.
They’re designed to draw moisture away from your skin keeping your feet dry and comfortable and free from blisters. Fox River uses an intelligent URfit system that combines memory knit compression, a contoured rib top and spandex compression zones.
These socks are available in smaller packs of 2 and are more affordable than some of the other socks on this list. They’re made with acrylic which is great for providing warmth while remaining more lightweight and less bulky than cotton or wool alternatives.
- Lined with thick insulation to keep you warm
- Perfectly designed for steel-toe boots
- Comfortable and flexible
- Memory knit compression molds to your foot shape
- Made with non-bulky acrylic
- Limited size options available
If you work outdoors and have to endure the unpredictable weather as you work, these Multi Performance Sports Trekking Crew Socks from Mirmaru may just be perfect for you. These socks are specifically designed to be worn in extreme weather conditions and are primarily used by trekkers, hikers and backpacking enthusiasts alike.
This makes them perfect for undertaking strenuous physical work outdoors as they are extremely well ventilated so your feet won’t get sweaty or smells after hours of work. The Mirmaru socks have an added cushion area around the toes making them suitable to wear with steel toe boots, this padded area is designed with protection against moisture in mind so the extra warmth won’t make you too hot.
These socks are made from a cotton-polyester blend. The polyester makes these socks super soft and the added traces of spandex increases elasticity and helps them to keep their shape even after hundreds of washes. Mirmaru socks come with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee to ensure you’re satisfied with your purchase.
- Added cushion for comfort
- Suitable for outdoor work in all weather
- Cotton-polyester blend with added spandex
- Well-ventilated keeping your feet cool and dry
- Thick padding can make work boots feel a little tight
Best Work Socks for Boots Buying Guide
If you’re ready to buy some new work socks, there are a few important things to consider such as fit, comfort and affordability.
To help you make the right decision, we’ve highlighted a couple of key features that you should consider before you make a purchase.
It’s important not to compromise on the fitting of any workwear. Ill-fitted socks can cause deep impressions on your legs if they’re too tight, and be a slip hazard if they’re too loose. Ensuring the socks fit snugly around your toes and heel is essential. Knowing your sock size can help with this, and handy size charts can be found online to assist you.
Sock height is another important factor to consider, as the top of your shoe could irritate your skin over time. We recommend buying socks just high enough to poke out at the top of your shoe.
Extra padding on socks prevents the discomfort that can be caused by wearing steel-toe caps. Look for padding on the arch and ball of the foot as this will help to relieve pressure when standing or walking for long periods of time.
Ensure that the extra padding on your socks doesn’t make your shoes feel too tight or uncomfortable though, as this can cause an array of new problems. Some work socks even come with special ribbing along the arch of the foot for extra support.
Making sure that your socks are made from a suitable material is key. It’s best to avoid materials such as cotton when you’re looking for comfort. This is because cotton absorbs moisture and dries slowly meaning you’d stay damp for the whole day if your feet got wet or a little sweaty.
Instead, we recommend a high-quality moisture-wicking material such as nylon, spandex, lycra or polyester. These breathable materials are great for keeping your feet dry and comfortable.
Toe and heel protection
Due to the nature of work boots, a lot of rubbing and general wear and tear are inevitable especially against steel toe one. To combat this, socks with a reinforced toe area can help to prevent any holes and uncomfortable chafing.
The heel is just as important as the toes when it comes to comfort so buying socks with a reinforced heel can help to prevent your socks from bunching up or continuously slipping down which can negatively affect your performance at work.
Arch support and ankle bracing are further key aspects to consider when buying work socks. Without either, you’re at risk of foot and joint pain as well as overall fatigue which can lead to more serious problems later in life.
Fortunately, there is an array of weather-proof socks available on the market. The type that you choose depends on the sort of environment you’re going to be working in. There are ultra water-resistant socks which are great for working outdoors and even thermal socks to keep your toes cozy all year round.
If you’re working in warmer climates or even just during the summer months, we recommend purchasing socks made from breathable fabric or that at least have breathable components such as mesh. Without this, your feet will sweat which promotes bacteria growth which ultimately leads to foot odor, and nobody wants to be the person at work with the smelly feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to wear work socks when I wear work boots?
If you’ve ever worn a pair of shoes or boots without socks in the past, you’ll know all about how sweaty and uncomfortable it can get. Socks generally help to prevent sweating if they’re made from a good, moisture-wicking fabric.
If you try to wear your work boots without socks, they’ll be emitting a foul odor in no time. Doing this can even result in a toe fungus or athlete’s foot. Socks also help to prevent slipping around inside your boots, making your working day that little bit easier.
What is the perfect material for work socks?
The straight answer is that there is no perfect material, this is subjective to you. Just try to avoid sweat-absorbing fabrics such as cotton and instead opt for something more breathable such as lycra or nylon.
We recommend trying out a couple of materials until you find what’s most comfortable for you and to base your decision on your specific foot needs.
How long will my work socks last?
The lifespan of your work socks will depend on two factors, quality and usage. If your socks are made from high-quality fabric, come from a reputable manufacturer and cost a little more than a typical cotton sock then it’s likely that they’ll survive a lot of wear.
Work socks are designed to withstand a high level of pressure and friction, so general day-to-day use shouldn’t damage your socks. We recommend investing in multiple pairs of good quality work socks to ensure you have comfy feet every day, even on laundry day.