Editor’s note: For shopping picks that’ll sort out the rest of your summer wardrobe, head this way.
While there are certain style essentials that are a given for the warmer months — your classic sneakers, your slim polo, your stylish shorts — there are others that are trickier to sort out. For every piece that’s easy to place, there are those select few that can actually make or break an outfit in terms of fit and comfort. Yes, it’s the unseen details that come up so often that we’re talking about today — and there’s a good chance you’ve got a pair on your feet right now. Well, regular socks, that is. When you’re throwing on everything from leather loafers to crisp boat shoes (as featured here) to low-cut white sneakers, a good pair of socks are an absolute must — no bones about it. And ones that keep your look sleek and well-composed are just as much of an essential. We’re talking the crucial no-show sock, meant to sit below the top of low-cut shoes, adding an extra layer of comfort, support and protection for your shoes (against odor, dirt, you name it). So the picks below are, far and away, the best no-show socks money can buy — according to this menswear writer. Get in on the debate at The Style Guide Facebook page or hit me up on Twitter with any additions to this list.
#1. Pair of Thieves Cool Hand Luke No-Show Socks — $10
Unlike super-premium brands that upsell their socks, you’ll find no such funny business here. In fact, the team at Pair of Thieves has nailed the difficult balance of delivering affordable, approachable and high-performing socks. The Cool Hand Luke fits and sits low on your ankle, and it’s moisture-wicking and breathable. Plus, there’s performance fabric incorporated into the socks, something that standard cotton no-show socks just don’t have (although there are a few of those on this list). In short, buy them for the performance, keep them for their durability and buy a heck of a lot more pairs.
#2. Mack Weldon No-show Socks — $16.50 (Two-pack)
Mack Weldon knows what it’s doing as a brand when it comes to reliable basics that emphasize performance and fit; its No-show socks again hit smack dab in the middle of that delicate intersection. They’re not too tech-y, they’re not too fragile — they’re comfortable, well-fitting and available for a nice price for a two-pack. From personal experience, they sit solidly on your foot and ankle, and they won’t go sliding around when you slip on sneakers or loafers. Plus, the colors and design are such that they won’t look out of place if you need to slip off your kicks.
#3. American Trench Summer Footies — $13.50
American Trench definitely does more than just reliable cotton striped socks fit for fall, winter and spring. Its Summer Footies use recycled cotton yarn woven in a random plait technique, creating by far the most refined and visually interesting end result of any pair of socks on this list. They’ll run you $13.50 (or $30 for a three-pack), but the price is absolutely worth it — as with the rest of the brand’s versatile, well-crafted socks. Plus, the neat colors (including Lawn and Summer Orange) are fun to say and fun to wear — right?
#4. J. Crew No-show Socks in Grey — $16.50 (Two-pack)
As is the case with dozens upon dozens of other #menswear style essentials, J. Crew offers a reliable, easy-wearing and price-effective option with its version of the no-show sock. Available in a two-pack for the same price as the more colorful (and better-looking) Mack Weldon socks offered above, J. Crew nonetheless keeps things straightforward with these socks, which are available in three basic colors. The cotton-nylon blend should pack in a bit of stretch, and the cut should also ensure no bit of sock peeks above your new summer boat shoes.
#5. Calvin Klein 3-pack Colorblock No-show Liner Socks — $20
If you’re looking to (quite literally) save a couple bucks, best grab a pair of these Calvin Klein no-show socks. They’re available in the color block options seen above in a handy three-pack, too. They’re certainly not as high-quality as other options on this list (particularly the Pair of Thieves or Mack Weldon versions), but they’ll work suitably well if you’re on a style budget — and who isn’t, these days? Plus, the color-blocked aspect is visually interesting, and the style & performance should be on-point.
Sure, it’s fairly easy to walk into any old store and grab no-show socks out of the bargain bin, but if you want quality style that’ll last and set you up to walk in comfort, any of the above picks should have you sorted out. Keep in mind that Old Navy also offers up a pack of no-show socks for just under $6 — talk about a standout deal. And more technically focused retailers like SmartWool make socks that lean distinctly performance-heavy in looks and functionality (think trail running as opposed to city walking), but they still can get the job done in a pinch. Want to see all the ways in which no-show socks can be worn with, say, a great pair of leather loafers? Check out my most recent Effortless Gent “Five Ways to Wear One” post for all the styling tips you could ever need. And get a few pairs in your cart before they’re gone!
Until next time,