Do Your Socks Match Your Shoes? The Best Types of Socks to Wear With Every Shoe Type

Socks were first created by the cavemen who used to wrap animal skins around their feet and tie them off at the ankle for warmth. But it wasn’t until ancient Egyptian times that they knitted socks in various colors in the name of fashion. Over the centuries, both socks and shoes have come a long way.

With so many shoe choices and types of socks out there, we know it can be near impossible to find the winning combination. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to be the origin of the dad in sandals meme.

We’ve taken the guesswork out of it. Never make a fashion mistake again because, in this article, we’re breaking down the best types of socks for every type of shoe.

Time to rummage through your sock drawer, we’re getting started.

The Best Types of Socks to Wear With Every Shoe Type

A woman will buy 469 pairs of shoes in her lifetime, and that doesn’t even count the number of running shoes she may have! With that many shoe options, you’ll no doubt need as many socks to match. No matter what shoes live in your closet, we’ve got the right socks to wear with them. Keep reading to find out!

Heels and Flats

You’ve spent years of your life ditching your socks when it came to putting on your heels or flats for work or a night out. You’ve also cursed yourself many times for wearing these shoes in the first place. Now you’re left with redness, soreness, and blisters. If you suffer from flat feet, then these shoes will definitely help!

What your mother never told you is that there are no-show socks designed for heel-wearing, ballet flat-prancing gals like you. Oh, and they’re padded and absorbent so you can forgo the pain and forget sweating out of your shoes.

Peep Toe Heels and Flats

Were you happy to learn that there are socks for your heels and flats only to realize your favorite pair are peep toes? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Imagine the pair above, but with an open toe to air your little piggies. Now you can show off your fresh pedicure without going sockless. It’s a win-win.

Casual Sneakers

The classic style is to show an ankle and either a glimpse of a low cut sock or none at all. Low cut ankle socks are perfect with your everyday sneakers (think Converse and Nikes). They work well at absorbing sweat for everyday use and providing protection so you don’t get any nasty blisters.

For lower cut sneakers (think Vans and Keds) you’ll need more of a no-show pair of socks that won’t show as high for shoes that expose the top of your foot. These offer a little less protection but are worth it in the name of fashion.

Workout Sneakers and Running Shoes

Like workout sneakers, you might want to opt for a no-show sock for that chic look. If you do, make sure you choose an absorbent, athletic design that can wick away moisture and pad your foot.

Athletic crew and ankle socks are also a good choice to avoid rubbing and blisters. Look for a thicker fabric that will keep your foot dry and cool; blends of polyester, spandex, and nylon are all great choices. Major points if you can find a pair with mesh fabric ventilation. Asics manufactures some amazing running shoes that are worth checking out.


For booties, we suggest a thinker ankle sock or even something a little higher if your shoe tends to rub against you the wrong way. While you’re breaking them in choose an extra thick pair and tough it out!

If you’re trying to be bold and show off your socks, we have some fun suggestions for that too. We love when women pair a patterned wool sock (we like the ones with the lace tops) with their booties. You can even fold them over the shoe for an additional look.

Oxfords and Loafers

These shoes can be stylishly worn in two ways depending on what you want to show off: the shoe or the sock.

If you want to show off the shoe, use no show socks to avoid stealing the show. These socks cling to your feet without moving up the ankle so the only person knowing you’re wearing socks is you. Alternatively, you can opt for knee-high opaque pantyhose.

If you’re trying to make a fashion statement then, by all means, show off those socks. We love when women wear frilly ankle socks with lace. If you find the right complimentary pair of socks, you can showcase your shoe and your new socks.

You could even try wearing knee-high fishnets or lace stockings under your pants. This will give everyone a quick and sassy glimpse of your textured ankles.

Mules and Slides

Fashion is usually interpretable and for every rule, there’s a trend that goes against it. When it comes to mules, clogs, and slides, we all seem to agree…go no-show.

As we learned above, opting for the barely there look doesn’t mean we have to go sockless.

The sock industry has produced brilliantly designed ‘half socks’ and ‘slide liners’ for us ladies who want to wear our slides without slipping out of them.

Flip Flops or Thong Sandals

Heading to the beach? Rarely do your beach shoes need socks. Feel free to leave your socks at home for this trip unless of course, you are a dad trying to live up to his name.

If you are adamant about wearing a sock with your thong sandals, there are options, but they aren’t pretty. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Strappy Sandals and Pumps

If you’re feeling bold and want to take a dive into a crazy fashion statement, pair a mid-length sock with your favorite pair of sandals or pumps.

Yes, it’s everything we’re trained against doing, but it seems like this trend is not going away and to be honest, it’s growing on us.

If you want a trend that’s even crazier you can wear a sock over your shoe, cutting out a little hole for the heel (because we’re bold but not unsafe). You can thank the Kardashians for starting this trend.

Men’s Dress Shoes

If you’re stuck in a suit all day long, it can be easy to get caught up in taking yourself too seriously. While funky ties are often overdone and cheesy, funky socks are a subtle fashion statement that allows you to show off your personality.

They also make great conversation starters when you hit the bar for happy hour. Choose from cool design and prints like tacos or elephants. Whatever you can dream up, they have a sock for it.

Work Boots

When it comes to wearing work boots, you need socks that work as hard as you do.

You’ll no doubt wear these socks often, so grab yourself a pack that is anti-microbial, supportive, and breathable. We suggest socks made of merino wool or other synthetic fibers. These will keep your feet odor-free as well as dry and comfortable.

When looking for work boot socks, choose quality over price. You’ll want something that can hold up to the wear and tear of the work day. Choose a pair that can hold their form and not become stretched out after a long day’s work.

High Knee Boots

High knee boots often need high knee socks. Our favorites are the ones with textured tops, think crocheted designs or lace frills that peak out above the top of your boot. There are some hiking boots which actually fit this profile as well, but they are more mid knee rather than being high knee boots.

If your feet get too hot and sweaty in leather boots, choose an athletic ankle sock with enough padding to protect your foot as well as absorb moisture.

If you still want the look of a high knee sock, grab a pair of bootleg cuffs. They come in adorable colors, patterns, and fabrics, some even adorned with buttons, bows, and lace.

Rubber Boots

When it comes to putting on our wellies, we want a few things for our feet. For them to stay warm, comfortable and, most of all, dry. Rubber boots aren’t always known for their comfort or insulation, so choose a padded pair of socks that dry quick and keep your feet warm.

Get a pair that is as long as your boots are tall for added protection and warmth.

Choose the Right Shoe for You

If you’re on your feet a lot, especially for work, it’s not only important to find the right types of socks to wear but also the right shoe to wear. You have to consider things like safety and comfort. Check out this buying guide for more information.

At Shoe Finale, we have dedicated and professional product specialists and reviewers that provide you with the best information available online. Check out our site for all things shoes.