Posted on August 03 2016
by Jose Hernandez
I remember thinking of getting socks for everyday use years ago. The options were: black or white rib crew socks, or dress socks in either black, navy blue, or a neutral color. When you dressed up, the only question you made was: are these blue or black? Only to later find out you still put on the navy blue pair hours later. Honestly, the worst.
In the last couple of years, something changed. Like underwear, apparel companies started rebranding and rethinking their sock collections. Bright colors, prints, and performance features were added and a new world of styling possibilities emerged.
Let’s take a closer look at the good old crew sock and see what we can expect and then learn about some of the brands killing the game.
What should we expect from a crew sock these days?
Crew socks should fit right below the calf.
Look for combed cotton for softness (70%-95%), polyester and nylon for increased strength (5%-10%), and spandex for stretch (1%-3%) Cotton will help your socks breathe better. Polyester and spandex will provide great moisture wicking and performance. The spandex will help keep the sock in place (prevent it from sagging, or shifting in the shoe.)
Look for smooth seams in the heel and toe area, for comfort during longer walks. Ankle and arch supports help keep the sock in place. Mesh upper soles can be great for breathability.
Now, let’s meet the top three companies that are making a difference in the marketplace: Happy Socks, Stance, and Pair of Thieves.
Happy Socks are a Swedish company that’s known for it’s bright colors and fun designs. Out of the three, I think Happy Socks has the best use of bright colors and patterns. They’re also available at Brick & Mortar! Currently, from an overall crew sock standpoint, this is the top brand.
Their fiber content is well balanced, but they lack some of the performance features seen in the other two competitors.
These are our favorites in store:
Grey/Green Camo: Great seasonal color palette. These could be great with vans, denim shorts and a t-shirt, or under jeans and a button down.
Black & White Hearts: Great for a wedding or formal event. You can never go wrong with black and white!
Concentric Circles: Perfect pop of color to make a tiny statement with jeans or even a navy suit!
Stance is a California based company that focuses on the importance of the performance of their product. Their intent is to deliver socks that can perform while being active. One of their key differentiators is their ability to provide printed socks. Their designs tend to be more in line with streetwear.
While Stance has great properties in its socks, such as ankle support, ribbed leg, seamless heel/toe, its designs may not be as appealing to those with a 9-5 office job.
Pair of Thieves:
With their motto being “Sneaky Performance,” Pair of Thieves delivers both in performance and design. They offer a well balanced fiber content, mesh upper soles, seamless heel/toe, arch and heel supports.
Their only possible limitations are their limited availability (currently only sold at Target and their brand website), as well as having a slow turnaround of designs. Keep an eye out for them in the next year, as I’ve heard they’re coming strong for the top spot.