Sadly, socks don’t last forever. Eventually, your big toe may peek out, or the heel may wear down. However, if you have a favorite pair you want to keep as long as possible, there are several ways to prolong its lifespan.
Multiple factors affect how long you can keep wearing your socks. How you wash them, how you wear them and where you wear them can all cause additional wear and tear.
The bright side to losing a sock to time is you can replace it with a fun, new addition to your collection from The Sock Drawer. Whatever your style, our sock fairies have the perfect pair for you.
your washing habits
Although it may be tempting to throw your socks in the washer on hot with the rest of your clothes, they’ll last longer if you wash with cool or cold water on a low spin cycle. If you have the time, handwashing can keep them looking new for even longer.
Most socks come with washing instructions, and if you follow them carefully, you can keep your crazy socks for years. Plus, handwashing saves water and energy, meaning you save your socks, the environment and some extra cash all at the same time. It’ll also keep you from losing half a sock pair to the washing machine, never to be found again.
If you’re not sure how to hand wash socks, start by separating your socks from your machine-washable clothes. You can either keep them in a small mesh bag or a separate laundry bin. Once you’ve got enough dirty socks to clean, wash them in a sink full of warm water and a squirt of detergent. If you’ve got sensitive hands, you may want to wear protective gloves.
Let the socks soak for 15 to 30 minutes and take them out of the water and ring them out gently. Refill your sink with fresh warm water, plop the socks back in and swirl them around until all the detergent is gone.
Finally, you can line dry them on a drying rack or by laying them on a towel. If you have a dehumidifier, place it in the room where your socks are drying to speed up the process and reduce the possibility of mildew.
Even if you machine wash your socks, you may want to avoid tossing them in the dryer. Although dryers are fantastic for sheets, blankets and towels, they can be hard on more delicate clothes. Some socks remain intact on the tumble dry, low setting, but you may want to get into a habit of hanging all your socks out to dry.
For those suffering from athlete's foot or other fungal infections, you may want to consider the effect of domestic laundry processes on fungal contamination of socks. It’s recommended you wash your socks at 60°C to ensure they are thoroughly sanitized.
Your choice of detergent can also affect how long your socks last. Some detergents can be harsh on clothes, wearing down the color and material faster than others. Avoid detergents with bleach, and choose ones formulated for color, especially if you’re a fan of brightly colored funny socks like ours.
how you wear your socks
Another significant factor in how long socks last is your wearing habits. Do you wear the same seven pairs of socks every week? Or do you have a pair for each day of the year? The more you wear a pair of socks, the faster they’ll fall apart.
To avoid the devastation of losing your favorite pair of socks to a toe hole, consider buying several of the same style.
Another factor is the sizing. Choosing the right sock sizes can help lengthen the lifespan of your favorite socks. Too small and you could stretch the material, making it more likely to tear. Plus, socks that are too small might make your feet a bit uncomfortable.
Too big, and the socks could bunch up, resulting in a lot of friction, which could damage the material. The extra fabric also makes wearing your shoes less pleasant.
Just like Goldilocks, there is a perfect sock size for you. Use The Sock Drawer’s handy sizing guide to ensure you receive socks that are just right.
Personal grooming can help you keep your socks hole-free. Make sure to regularly cut your toenails to avoid any tiny tears. If you like, you can make it a home spa day, with a pedicure, foot soak and sparkly nail polish to match your favorite socks.
where you wear your socks
It’s not just about how your socks fit. Where you wear your socks can also affect their longevity. If you are on your feet a lot as a healthcare professional, retail worker or delivery person, you might wear out your socks faster than someone who sits at a desk all day.
If you’re a gym fanatic or love hitting the hiking trails, you could also wear down socks that aren’t designed for sports. Throw a pair of specialized sports socks into your gym bag to save your funky socks from the extra pounding.
If you’re working remotely or at home watching the kids, you may spend a lot of time shoeless. Although comfortable, certain house floors can wear your socks out faster than others. Socks rub against carpets and cause friction, which can result in a thinning of the fabric. Older wooden floors sometimes develop tiny splinters, which can snag on the material and cause tears.
If you’re a no-shoes-in-the-house person, consider getting some fuzzy, cozy slippers. They’ll protect your socks and keep your feet warm and dry, even in the dead of winter. There are also summer slippers for days when your feet feel overheated.
The material and its quality can impact how long your socks last. Poorly made socks from thin material will tear and abrade faster.
Socks come in a wide range of materials, including cotton, polyester, bamboo, acrylic, cashmere and nylon. Most are a blend of these materials, combining a softer fabric like cotton with stretchy material like nylon and spandex to give the sock elasticity, making it less likely to tear and more comfortable.
Bamboo is a very durable material and one of the more environmentally-friendly options available. It’s also hypoallergenic and breathable, making it fantastic for those with sensitive skin. If you’re on your feet for hours every day, look into getting some bamboo socks blended with nylon and spandex for the best comfort.
Cotton is one of the most common materials for socks. However, our socks aren’t made from 100 percent cotton because they require elasticity to remain in place and retain their shape. Many cotton socks use between 50 and 70 percent cotton, with the rest of the sock material coming from nylon, polyester or spandex. You’ll want to be careful with cotton socks that aren’t “preshrunk” since they could shrink if you wash them in a hot washing machine.
Cotton-blend socks are quite durable and can also absorb moisture. These features make them great for athletic socks and for people on their feet for a long time. However, your socks might get a little damp, so if your feet get quickly overheated, you might want to choose something with moisture-wicking properties.
Another great way of increasing your socks’ lifespan is by rotating your footwear. If you live in an area with substantially different seasons, you may find that you do this already. Many people have summer clothes and winter clothes. If you have lighter socks perfect for your ballet flats, consider storing them away for the winter and bringing out your thick knee high or crew socks instead.
You can also get fun seasonal socks to help you remember to rotate them out. The Sock Drawer has socks in every theme imaginable. From holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, St. Patrick’s Day) to celebrations (weddings, graduation), you’ll find the perfect sock for your event. Themed socks are also easier to recognize than plain black socks, so you’ll know if you’ve been wearing your music note socks too regularly this month.
how long do socks last?
There is no single answer to this question. It depends on so many variables that it’s impossible to give a concrete answer. However, if you take excellent care of your socks, choose high-quality materials and only wear well-fitting socks, you can keep wearing your favorite socks for years.
If you notice a hole appearing in your sock, you can also try darning it by using a sewing needle, thread and a ball. However, sometimes socks are too far gone. If you notice any of these signs in your socks, it’s time to treat yourself with a new pair.
- The heel or ball is threadbare.
- Your socks keep falling down (this means the elastic is stretched out).
- You can see your big toe.
- They’re stretched out.
So, your socks have seen their final days. Although it’s sad to lose a beloved clothing item, now you get to choose a brand-new, fun pair of socks to replace it!
Choosing the right socks can also help you increase their longevity. You’ll want to consider their material, style and fit when selecting your next pair. Of course, the most important factor in your decision will probably be whether you like the design.
First, decide what you want these socks for. Are they for running? Do you need a new pair of work socks? Or are these for lounging at home? Thick socks, tucked into slippers, would make a better choice for your Netflix binge day.
Next, you’ll need to think about style. If you have a different pair of tall boots for every day of the week, you might want to get some knee high socks. However, if you prefer wearing little booties, a crew sock might be better for you.
For those with a wider calf, the sock fairies at The Sock Drawer have options for you, too, meaning you can enjoy knee high socks for longer.
The last step is the most fun. Choose your design. Do you want funny socks covered in jokes and cartoons? Maybe you prefer astronomy-themed socks covered in galaxies and planets. Animal lovers will enjoy searching for the perfect sock featuring dogs, cats, horses or fish. People with attitude will love our sassy ‘n’ snarky and swear words collections.
Regardless of your style, size and needs, the sock fairies at The Sock Drawer can help you find your new favorite socks. Call us at (800) 930-0955 to ask about finding your size, how to care for your socks or for help choosing the perfect pair.
The Sock Drawer’s goal is to ensure you have joy in your life. Our sock fairies believe a fun, whimsical sock can add joy to anyone’s day. Whether you’re replacing your favorite pair of socks or buying a holiday gift for loved ones, we can help you find the perfect pair.
We ship all over the world, so our international friends can join in the joy of crazy socks. If you receive your socks and aren’t happy with them, return them using our free return shipping. Let us know the problem, and our sock fairies will help find you a better option.
We’re also always happy to chat with you. Our sock fairies genuinely want to connect with our customers, and we love learning more about who you are and what brings you joy.
Losing a pair of socks to wear and tear doesn’t need to be a sad experience. Find a new pair of socks that brings you joy. While you’re ordering, why not send a friend a surprise pair of socks? After all, you can never have too many!
Sereja.Filippov / Shutterstock.com
Vershinin89 / Shutterstock.com