In your time delving into the depths of sock obsession, you may have noticed that fun socks come in lots of different lengths, and the terminology can get a little confusing. It seems that no two brands use the same vocabulary to talk about their sock heights.
Well fear not! Use this definitive guide to help you understand all the varying lengths.
- Peds/footies/no-shows/invisible socks: Wear these shortest of socks when, for whatever reason, you don’t want your socks to be seen. No-show socks are popular for wearing in hot weather, for working out and for moments when you’d rather your cool sneakers, flats or even heels be the star of the show.
- Micro-crew socks/shorties: Made for the runner in you ... or not. The fabric on shorty socks may just barely peek out of the top of your shoes, and your precious feet will be protected from friction. Some people refer to this length as “no-shows,” too, because they are still pretty much hidden. These pair perfectly with sneakers and athletic shoes.
- Mini-crew socks/ankle socks: Standing just a couple inches above the ankle bone, this style is popular among men with trendy sneakers and women who like a cute look with flats, heels or sandals. These are also great with women’s booties because they’re about the same height.
- Crew socks: This is the most common length, but crew socks are far from average! This height falls in the middle of the calf and pairs well with any shoe. They’re very comfortable for day-to-day wear.
- Trouser socks/tall socks/mid-calf socks: Trouser socks tend to be a bit higher than your average crew sock, but they don’t completely cover the calf. They’re common in the office and for slightly more formal occasions. Both men and women wear mid-calf socks, which usually feature a thinner fabric.
- Knee highs/over the calf socks: Knee high socks are popular among women looking for a real statement accessory. Whether these funky socks are peeking out above tall boots or proudly worn with a pair of shorts or skirt, they are sure to be noticed. Both men and women commonly wear knee high sports-style socks.
- Over the knee socks: A popular look in the cooler months, over the knee socks can be boldly worn by sock lovers who want to show off their legs or who simply prefer scrunching their sock fabric around their knees for some fun flair.
- Thigh high socks: These pairs are as tall as they are fun and daring. Because they extend up the thigh, expect some tight elastic around the top to keep them in place.
- Tights: From an enclosed toe all the way up to your waist, these styles are often covered in unique patterns and textures, making them great for everything from formal looks to Halloween costumes!
- Footless tights/leggings: Leggings act as skin-tight stretchy pants, perfect for a lazy day in or a comfortable day out. Tights are typically thinner than leggings.
You may find that some of these terms are used interchangeably by different brands, but we hope this breakdown helps!
To learn about different sock sizes for men, women and kids, visit our size guide.