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We live in a complicated and expensive world, but it’s somehow reassuring that one of the pure joys in life is putting on a fresh pair of socks. There is nothing quite like it. A comfy pair of socks offers simple pleasure and might be the most underappreciated piece of your wardrobe.
Think about it. A nice pair of socks can add a little punch to the boring 9-to-5 uniform (you know, khakis and blue shirt combo). Athletic socks with strategically placed cushioning can stave off blisters and fatigue during a long run. And a new pair of comfy socks during the winter will warm the soul.
Bombas, Stance, Feetures, Kane 11 & Allbirds Socks Comparison
Bombas, Stance, Feetures, Kane 11, and Allbirds are some of the most prominent players in the game, and all are great choices if you are looking to freshen up or replenish your sock drawer. So which should you choose? See our side-by-side comparison below, read the detailed reviews, or check out our favorite sock brand highlighted at the end of the article.
What Are The Best Socks?
In the past, you might have avoided spending much money on socks, opting for worn-out mainstays instead, but there is no doubt investing in quality socks will make you look good and feel better too. Who doesn’t love a comfy pair of socks? Whether you need to replace your entire sock drawer or just need to add a few new pairs to the rotation, there is no better time than now to make a move. After hours of research and sampling, these are our favorite socks:
What Are The Most Comfortable Socks Made Of?
Merino wool socks are relatively common, but you might still be wondering whether cotton or Merino wool socks are the most comfortable. The short answer is that it depends on the situation. Cotton blend socks are incredibly soft, versatile, and durable, but there are still situations where wool, and specifically Merino wool, really outperform.
Some wool socks can be a little scratchy or itchy, but Merino wool socks are much softer and less irritating, so the first thing to know is that if you want to buy wool socks, you should look for Merino wool socks. That said, wool socks are toasty and less susceptible to retaining water and feeling soggy. This makes Merino wool socks great for running, hiking, and general winter wear.
Some wool blend socks don’t hold up well to routine washings, so some care instructions recommend wearing multiple times between throwing in the washing machine. Read the care instructions, but between the durability concerns and superior softness cotton has to offer, cotton socks still might make the most sense for your everyday socks.
While traditional cotton blends and merino wool blends may be the most common, some new blends are entering the market that may make you reconsider which sock blend is most comfortable. Namely, Allbirds has introduced a sock blend they call “Trino” made from a eucalyptus tree fiber and Merino wool blend.
Allbirds’ “Trino” socks offer many of the same benefits that come with their eucalyptus sourced shoes. They offer soft and breezy comfort, so you won’t be sacrificing when you buy these socks. Still, eucalyptus trees require substantially less water and chemicals such as pesticides to grow than their cotton alternatives. All these factors make this Tree/Merino (“Trino”) blend worth considering.
Don’t Wear Box-Store Socks: You Deserve Better
For years I bought my socks in nondescript bundle packs from the big box stores. Spending extra money on socks seemed frivolous, but boy was I wrong. I remember the first time I bought a pair of left/right-specific socks; I felt cheesy, but years later, quality socks fill my drawer, and I never go for a run or do anything athletically without right/left specific socks. Putting on a quality pair of socks each morning is the foundational way to put your best foot forward.
Bombas Socks Review
Bombas socks are incredibly comfortable, and Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair purchased. If you want to feel as good inside as your feet do in a pair of these new socks, Bombas might be for you. Socks are one of the most requested items by homeless shelters, so this whole business model is pretty awesome, especially given the high quality of their socks.
Bombas make socks in every height and for every occasion, so whether you are headed out for a run, making a quick trip to the grocery store, or going into the office, Bombas has a sock-fit for the moment. My personal favorite is the calf-length cotton socks, with stay-up technology. They are perfectly comfortable everyday socks. While I prefer cotton for everyday use, Merino wool socks are available too.
Bombas’ signature feature is the honeycomb arch support system, a common feature across all of their sock line-up. The honeycomb design reaches from the foot’s arch across the top of the foot and snuggly hugs the midfoot to provide exceptional support.
As a fun side note, Bombas has a licensing agreement for Sesame Street products. There are adult and toddler complimenting sock designs, so if you want to put a small on your kiddos’ faces, you should seriously buy a few pairs. My son’s face lights up every time I wear my Elmo socks. And let me just say that Sesame Street calf socks are much cooler than they sound.
Are Bombas Socks Worth The Money?
Bombas socks are comfortable and durable. I frequently wear calf-length socks with jeans and run in their athletic socks from time to time too. It will also make you feel good to know that when you purchase Bombas socks, someone in need will get a pair of socks. There is something very dignifying about a fresh pair of socks, so you will love that you can wear these comfy socks while doing good too.SUMMARY PROS
- Incredibly soft and comfortable socks
- Athletic options are a bit limited
- Nice variety of colors
- Sesame Street licensing agreement
Stance Socks Review
If you like to live loud, then Stance socks might be for you. Stance has over ten design categories, such as floral, geometric, and stripes categories. If you are tired of the standard black, blue, and white socks, Stance provides a vast selection of socks allowing you to wear your personality.
Not to be outdone by Bombas’ Sesame Street collection, Stance has an ongoing licensing agreement with Disney, which includes arrangements for Marvel and Star Wars. After you add Cookie Monster socks to your sock drawer, you can then add Captain America and Mickey socks.
If you need some neutral-toned socks in your wardrobe, Stance makes comfortable socks that will meet your needs; however, Stance’s mantra is all about embracing “the uncommon thread,” so add a little fun into your shopping cart too. Stance is targeting that inner spirit of freedom common among entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and rockstars. Of course, all of us have a little of that spirit, and Stance helps their customers uncover it.
Stance socks are innovative in more ways than one. The company’s Infiknit technology prevents rips and tears, and the company is so confident, their Infiknit socks are guaranteed for life. As if that is not impressive enough, many of the same Infiknit socks are made with what Stance refers to as Feel360 technology.
The Feel360 technology is a proprietary fiber treatment that helps regulate the temperature inside your socks. As added benefits, Feel360 socks wick sweat 20% faster than leading competitors, as it eliminates 99% of odor-causing bacteria.
Stance socks are eclectic, innovative, and available on a subscription basis. Hard to beat.
Are Stance Socks Worth The Money?
Stance sock designs are bold and unique, so if you want to stand out from the crowd, or simply express your personality, Stance socks are worth the investment. We are particularly fond of Stance’s subscription option, which is now available for underwear too.
If you are looking for tough hiking socks, Stance might not be your brand. Darn Tough socks are very popular for hiking, but personally, we use Feetures for hiking. If you decide to go with Feetures for hiking, just choose a taller pair of socks. Quarter-length socks aren’t tall enough to wear with hiking boots. Still, you might consider Darn Tough Hiking socks if you need a thicker sock that is a little more rugged.
Still, if you are looking for socks like Bombas, but with a little more personality, Stance is a good place to start. In deciding between Bombas vs Stance, we think Bombas socks are a little softer and more comfortable, but Stance styling can’t be beaten.
Your sock drawer might get a little dingy at times because no one wants to worry about socks when there is so much else going on in the world. Stance solves this problem by providing a convenient subscription option to keep your sock drawer fresh and as eclectic or neutral as you desire. It does so with industry-leading technologies.SUMMARY PROS
- Audaciously bold sock designs
- The prominent logo is a little annoying
- Disney licensing agreement
- Subscriptions available
Feetures Socks Review
If your main priority is finding a tremendous athletic sock, we recommend you start with Feetures. Feetures are tailor-designed to provide each athlete precisely with what they are looking for. Feetures are available in a range of heights and on a cushion spectrum ranging from “ultralight” to “max cushion.” I am a little heavy on the feet while running, so the max cushion socks are clutch.
Feetures prides itself on quality and innovation, which is especially crucial since they focus on athletic socks that take the worst beating. Fortunately, Feetures offers a lifetime guarantee on their socks. If you ever have a problem with your socks, you can use the convenient form on their website to request a refund or replacement.
While performance socks are their bread and butter, Feetures does offer a line of everyday socks as well. And to be quite honest, I wear my Feetures athletic socks all day every day except to the office, and now they sell professional socks too, so there isn’t much reason for me to wear any other socks.
Feetures socks are designed with a support system they call targeted compression. The targeted compression system provides heightened comfort and bracing in the areas you need it the most. Aside from targeted compression, Feetures offers several other, well, features that help them stand above the rest.
Their socks are anatomically designed so that their right/left specific socks fit better than generic socks, which tend to bunch up around the toes. This is important for you athletes out there. While several of the competitors primarily use cotton or wool, Feetures utilizes a blend of natural and synthetic fibers that wick well to keep your feet cool and dry. If you prefer Merino, they offer a line of premium Merino wool socks too.
Are Feetures Socks Worth the Money?
I have Feetures socks that are older than my two children, so Feetures socks are worth your investment. If you do any type of athletic activity, you will particularly appreciate the brand. The anatomically designed socks are just more comfortable than generic socks, personally, I like the socks with max cushioning. They are the perfect running socks, but I wear my Feetures ankle socks nearly all of the time.SUMMARY PROS
- Anatomically designed socks
- Not as much color variety
- Targeted Compression
- Seamless toe
- Moisture wicking fibers
- Lifetime Guarantee
Pro tip: Sock height matters, and while many people prefer a no-show sock, I prefer ankle-length socks for running, because the blister tab on the no-show socks often is insufficient. The ankle-length socks stay above the top of your shoe, protecting you from unfortunate blisters.
Kane 11 Socks Review: Fits Like A Glove
Kane 11 socks are designed to solve a simple problem. They know how annoying a poorly-fitting pair of socks can be, and they have foundationally built their brand on resolving this issue. Kane 11 socks are sold in exact sizes, so if you wear a size 9.5 as I do, you won’t have to order socks that fit a size 11 foot. It’s amazing how simple ideas can be so revolutionary.
Their socks fall into three collections: running, hiking, and dress. Regardless of where you go or what obstacles you plan to overcome, Kane 11 has the perfect sock for you. It’s a good thing they have socks for any occasion, because after you try exact fit socks, you may not want to turn back to ill-fitting socks. The socks come in various materials, including cotton, merino, and their proprietary “K-Sport” blend (a nylon and polyester mix).
Are Kane 11 Socks Worth The Money?
In unheard-of fashion, Kane 11 offers eleven sizes for men, and seven sizes for women, so you are sure to find the perfect pair of socks for your foot. If this isn’t enough to entice you, you will be happy to know the socks are proudly made in the United States for our American readers. Why would you ever wear a sock designed to fit someone else’s foot again? Kane 11 socks solve an everyday problem you didn’t even realize you had.SUMMARY PROS
- Designed to fit your foot perfectly
- Limited Selections
Allbirds Socks Review: Sustainably Functional
Allbirds are less known for socks than our other brands; after all, shoes are their thing. Allbirds made our list of Top 5 Most Comfortable socks because of their unique blending of wool and eucalyptus. Naturally, many of the same benefits found in Allbirds shoes are also prevalent in their socks made from similar materials.
The socks are highly renewable and earth-friendly. Eucalyptus trees require substantially less water and chemicals to source than cotton, and the combined “Trino” blend is considered extremely breathable. The proprietary “Trino” blend also minimizes odors and is excellent at wicking moisture.
We also like that Allbirds keeps their sock inventory game simplistic. The socks come in four cuts (sprinters, hiders, quarters, and tubers) and various neutral tones and everyday colors in each cut. The color profiles are similar to those of the shoes in that there is enough variety to be intriguing, yet understated.
Are Allbirds Socks Worth The Money?
The Allbirds “Trino” socks are the responsibly sourced, functionally exceptional, and aesthetically beautiful socks you have been looking for. If sustainability matters to you, then Allbirds socks are the best you can buy. If you are looking for a clean, white sock, Allbirds is a nice option. Of course, they have colorful socks, too, but nothing outlandish like Stance socks.SUMMARY PROS
- Sustainably made
- Limited Selections
- Natually minimizes odor
- Moisture Wicking
Bonus - If you are a fan of eucalyptus socks, check out our review of Allbirds shoes too!
Which Socks Are Best? Feetures, Bombas or Stance?
When choosing socks, Feetures, Bombas, and Stance stand above any other competitors. I prefer Bombas for casual attire such as jeans, but Stance socks are nice if you need to add a little pop to a business casual wardrobe. That said, Feetures socks have been my favorite socks forYEARS.
While I originally purchased Feetures socks for running, they quickly became my go-to sock any time of the day. The anatomical design conforms perfectly to the shape of your foot, with no annoying bunching around and under your smaller toes. And the targeted compression provides a little extra support exactly where you need it. The socks are extremely comfortable.
Now they have a full line-up of everyday socks, beyond their athletic roots. All of their socks are designed with the same performance technology, so while you may need some socks for the office, they will have the same comfortable, perfectly fitting design.
And like the athletic socks, the everyday socks come in a variety of cushioning levels. I prefer as much cushion as possible, but I completely understand why someone might prefer lightweight socks, especially in warm seasons.
Regardless of your preferred cushioning, Feetures make the most comfortable socks on the planet, and we highly recommend picking up a few pairs ASAP! You’ll thank us later.
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