The right pair of work boots really aren’t worth much if you’re not lacing them up while wearing a set of the best boot socks on the market. It’s as simple as that. Alright, well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here to tell you all about our favorite boot socks. And yes, we know what you’re thinking — or at least, we’ll take a guess. You might be thinking that your current pair of crew socks, perhaps made out of a midweight or lightweight cotton, will suffice when it comes time to lace up your work boots. To that, we say: Not so fast.
Your favorite leather work boots, again, aren’t much of anything without the best boot socks to ensure a snug fit, comfortable performance and perhaps a few style points on the side. Just as one wrong step can doom you to a pair of waterlogged boots if you haven’t invested in the proper pair, well, the same fate will befall you all that much more quickly without boot socks that can pass muster. It’s much the same approach that you might take when lacing up your dress shoes – you’ve got socks to wear with captoe Oxfords, you’ve got socks to wear to the gym, and now, you’ve got some of the best boot socks to add to your sock drawer ASAP.
Duty calls, and you should put as much time and effort into finding your new boot socks as you’ve done when searching for a new pair of selvedge denim or a new leather jacket. Think of it this way: Anything that requires care, attention to detail and effort — like selecting a pair of jeans to wear for years on end — is worth investing a little extra time in, even if you think shopping for socks is the easiest game around. We’ve got news for you: Our guide will (hopefully) make it that way, so keep scrolling.
Boot socks are an underappreciated component of any ensemble, whether you’re dressed for an early morning day in the garage or a late night of bar-hopping. Yes indeed, boot socks shouldn’t just be worn when you’ve got a hefty to-do list of yard work to tackle. The right pair of boot socks should be worn, well, any time at all that you feel like putting on your favorite pair of boots (and if you’re anything like this writer, boots are a daily style staple, which is detrimental in the summer heat — if I’m not wearing the right boot socks, that is!).
Stepping into your rugged leather work boots without the proper boot socks is almost like leaving the house barefoot. It makes no sense, and it’s going to get you into a world of trouble. The best boot socks protect your feet from the elements, from the cold, from rainy, muddy ground and from just about any other troubles you might encounter as you roam the land (or your garage, or a job site).
Before you can get to work and tackle your grueling to-do list — or tackle a to-do list that’s mainly focused on relaxation in style with your rugged leather boots laced up — you’ve got to tackle another chore. The chore, or rather, the enjoyable pursuit, of finding your new pair of go-to boot socks. Let’s start things off with a few pointers, yes? Sure thing, amigo.
What To Look For When Shopping for Boot Socks
- Material: Boot socks are, by their very nature, more sturdy and hard-wearing than your average pair of day-to-day socks. That means they’re made with thicker, oftentimes warmer and burlier material, like wool, in a dense, thick knit. Some socks blend wool with helpful stretch and moisture-wicking material. Look for socks with a thick knit and a wool-blend fabric, unless you’re dealing with extreme cold — in that case, get the thickest pair of wool socks you can find, but keep in mind you’ll still need to be able to slip into your boots comfortably.
- Fit: Finding a well-fitting pair of boot socks is pretty darn similar to finding a pair of boots themselves. You don’t want socks that slip down from your calves, and you don’t want socks with a bunch of excess fabric at the toe or the heel. Think of it like a “Goldilocks”-style approach. Not too snug, not too baggy – just right. After all, if you’re wearing a pair of socks that don’t fit right, you’ll know it right away.
- Price: Price is the all-important final part of the equation as you shop for boot socks. The best boot socks are going to be slightly pricier than a pair of everyday socks, but likely less expensive than a pair of finely knit dress socks, which use more expensive material. We’ll feature a few options at every price point for all you discerning, style-conscious shoppers out there.
When it comes time to get the job done in hard-wearing fashion, the last thing you want to worry about is the gear you’ve brought along for the ride. Ease those worries with our favorite boot socks to help your favorite work boots perform even better than you thought possible. It can be done — trust us.
Our Favorite Boot Socks to Buy Right Now
Carhartt Men’s Cold Weather Steel Toe Arctic Boot Socks
This won’t be the last time you hear us talk about the rugged and durable appeal of Carhartt boot socks today. It’s quite helpful that Loops & Wales sells multiple pairs from the famed brand, too. In fact, we could go on and on about how essential Carhartt workwear is in general, especially in cold weather and adverse conditions (take it from this Michigan-born writer: Carhartt gear is everything). And these boot socks are about as beastly as they come, specifically designed to be worn with steel toe boots, thanks to the “abrasion-resistant stretch Cordura® yarn” fabric, according to the legendary Michigan brand. You can’t get much better or tougher than that as far as boot socks are concerned, right? No doubt.
Darn Tough William Jarvis Midweight Work Socks
With a name like Darn Tough, this brand has to stock some of the best boot socks around, right? You are indeed correct there, sir, and that’s great news for all of us who love to wear dependable work boots – with even more dependable boot socks, of course. Made with full cushioning and featuring merino wool construction for moisture-wicking performance and a soft feel on your feet, these socks are designed to last and last through multiple wears. It helps that merino wool is also anti-microbial, and as a cool finishing touch, know that these were named for the man who brought merino wool to Vermont. Thanks, William, and thank you to Darn Tough for making some stellar boot socks.
L.L. Bean Merino Wool Ragg Socks
You’ve got your perfectly crafted pair of Bean Boots, that iconic set of stompers for winter weather. Or perhaps, you’ve got another pair of dependable boots you turn towards when the going gets tough and the weather really picks up. But what socks to wear? L.L. Bean has the answer to that age-old question, and they’ve answered it pretty handily, at that. These thick-knit merino wool ragg socks are made the old-school way, with a thick and durable construction that stands up to the harshest winter weather. We can’t think of a better pairing than L.L. Bean socks and boots. If you find one, be sure to let us know.
Carhartt Men’s Force Extremes Over the Calf Work Boot Socks-Made in the USA
For an outstanding price, head back to Loops & Wales to pick up some of the most dependable, hardest-working boot socks around. These are the kind of boot socks that work as hard as you do, and that’s not an exaggeration. These rugged socks are tough as can be, made with a cotton-nylon blend in a classic charcoal color. They’re also cut to fit over your calf, so they won’t slide down, no matter how tough conditions get out there. Heck, the classic charcal color is really all the better to add a touch of style if you decide to wear these durable socks with leather boots and dark denim for a night on the town (and by night on the town, we mean a couple rounds at your local dive bar). Cheers to that.
Bombas Men’s Performance Boot Calf Socks
Bombas has plenty going for it as far as the best socks for men are concerned. They make all types of socks, from no-shows to ankle socks to these reliable and stylish boot socks. The best part is, you can get them in a handy three-pack to upgrade your boot socks rotation in a hurry. And of course, it helps that they’re made with all the proper bells and whistles you might expect when you set out on your quest to find the best boot socks. What we mean by that is this: Bombas says these socks are crafted with “performance Hex Tec engineering,” which is another way of saying they’ve built in temperature-regulating technology to keep you comfortable and moving on your feet for hours on end.