You know you’ve grown up when you actually love getting a new pair of socks.
There are a few things a man should never skimp out on and a solid pair of running socks is one of them. Unlike cotton socks, which absorb moisture and end up feeling like sandpaper against areas where your feet rub against your running shoes, Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite socks wick away moisture from your skin. This means that Smartwool running socks can absorb a third of their weight in sweat, puddle water, or spilled energy drinks that you clumsily try to drink while reaching for a new personal best (don’t forget to pinch the paper cup!). Plus, they dry quicker and don’t get as smelly as cotton socks. Your post-race cheering squad will thank you for that.
$17.95, Buy It Here
There’s a reason your dad’s dresser is filled with black and blue socks with gold tips—because they’re comfortable, last forever, and aren’t expensive. If you’re searching for affordable dress socks that will last forever, rather than shelling out tons of cash on an upmarket alternative, then Gold Toe’s been making exactly that since well before you were born. The Gold Toe Metropolitan three-pack are a bit more reserved in terms of style and flash, but they last much longer than some of their rivals in the same price category.
$17 for three pairs, Buy It Here
Pantherella’s mastered the subtleties of practical design and good taste. Its cashmere socks are seriously luxurious. Made of cashmere and nylon, they’re snug without being tight, and comfortable without making your feet too sweaty or hot. And yeah, they definitely come at a premium, but if you’re looking for the best dress socks to go with a special occasion like a wedding, you absolutely can’t go wrong. But don’t blame us if you never buy a non-cashmere sock again.
$130 for two pairs, Buy It Here
These athletic socks keep their shape after plenty of wears, offer impeccable arch support, and even withstand repeated washings without losing their color. What more can you ask for from the kind of sock you get seriously sweaty in? They’re the kind of great-for-everything athletic socks that when one goes missing at the laundromat, you genuinely mourn its loss (not that we know from experience)—but they’re also not so spendy that you can’t replace them, either.
$20 for six pairs, Buy It Here
Feetures makes a wide variety of durable, comfortable running socks worthy of marathons. Not only that, it also manufactures some of the best socks for everyday wear, too. The Feetures High-Performance No-Show sock is thin without feeling stingy, and doesn’t have that same compression sock feeling that you often find in an athletic sock. Plus, it’s got built-in arch support, too, which helps you stay on your feet all day long. Best of all, the no-show model is small enough to go unseen in most shoes, but also still helps prevent hotspots and blisters around the ankle.
$35.97 for three pairs, Buy It Here
For only $20, you get six pairs of that will last for years without losing their shape or elasticity. Get them as no-shows, quarter-length, or full on calf-huggers. Whatever style you need next, Gold Toe’s options will cost you less than your next take-out order.
$20 for six pairs, Buy It Here
Under Armour nails the balance between athletic and everyday wearability. This is certainly the case with the company’s low-cut socks for men, too. The UA Resistor III is priced to be an everyday sock, but also doesn’t wear out in the toe or heel as quickly as its contemporaries and has moisture-wicking and anti-odor tech.
$22 for six pairs, Buy It Here
The best no-show socks aren’t necessarily made to be flashy or fun. After all, the whole notion is function over form, right? But that doesn’t mean you need to skimp out on quality or style. Bombas’ cushioned no-show socks offer inexpensive bulk orders and stylish offerings, making shopping for decent-looking socks nearly effortless. (We also like the brand’s other products for workouts, and wearing its longer options with casual shoes and boots.)
$53.20 for four pairs, Buy It Here
If you’re getting a pair of stylish monogrammed socks, it’s worth forking over 45 bucks to make it happen. That’s where Nice Laundry comes in. This direct-to-consumer online retailer makes a range of great socks, but its monogramming options set it apart in this category. Each order is stitched with 2,000 stitches and can come in three different style options. Definitely worth spending a bit of coin for some of the freshest socks you’ll find.
$45, Buy It Here
If you’re wearing boots, try a pair of Darn Tough’s Steely Boot Cut Cushion socks, made right in Northfield, Vermont. They even come with a lifetime guarantee. But since they’re designed out of fine-grade merino wool that remains tough but comfortable (and antimicrobial to boot), you won’t be calling for an exchange any time soon.
$23, Buy It Here
We like these merino socks so much we included them in the Men’s Health Box. Take our word for it: They’re good for a long day in any of your leather boots or just hanging out at home, no matter what you have planned.
$13.95, Buy It Here