gifting

Yes, Socks Are a Great Gift

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

Sure, when we were kids the last thing we wanted to do was open a present and see socks inside. But today, we’d honestly be thrilled to be given a good pair. As we’ve said before, the best gifts are ones that you wouldn’t buy for yourself, but would love to have. Nice socks are the perfect example: We’d feel guilty shelling out for, say, a cashmere or designer set, but we’d love to wear them. And even the not-fancy pairs are a treat if you’re the type of person who doesn’t replace yours often.

We polled the Cut Styles team, including market editor Roberto Johnson; features writer Matthew Schneier; managing editor Rachel Bashein; shopping editor Bianca Nieves; and shopping writer Chinea Rodriguez, on their favorites. The criteria: comfort above all; durability (some socks look great but rip or tear after a couple wears); and function (will they slip below your heel, or will they provide cushion and support?).

Best for Everyday

Shopping writer Harling Ross swears by these. We ordered a six-pack for $18 and wear them daily. The over 8,000 glowing reviews on Amazon are correct: The soft cotton blend hits right above the ankle, making them a really great everyday sock.

Best Value

It’s no secret that we love Skims. And the socks are just as great as the shapewear.

Most Functional

These Bombas ankle socks feature ankle support and extra heel protection against blisters. These are ideal for anyone who likes to go for daily runs or walks, or even those of us whose feet get absolutely destroyed during Fashion Week.

Best Budget Option

Uniqlo can truly do no wrong as far as we’re concerned, and for just $3.90 a pair these socks will make any person in your life happy. They have the finest rib and hit around mid-calf, making them great to pair with any type of pants.

Best Overall

These are a cotton blend that is breathable but will also keep you warm in the cooler months. They have the just right amount of stretch, don’t slip down, and are really comfortable. They are also the perfect height, hitting right at mid-ankle (with a little scrunch.)

Best Upgrade

Yes, $28 is a lot for a pair of socks. But that’s what makes these a solid gift. The Comme Si socks are made in Italy from Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic cotton. They are medium weight and hit right above the ankle.

Best for a Night Out

Sheer knee-high stockings were all over the spring runways. For your fashion-forward friend, gift these from Wolford, that are just the right amount of sheer. Paired with a dress and loafers, they’ll will impress at holiday parties.

Trendiest

You can feel good about gifting these ribbed, Egyptian cotton-blend socks — a portion of the proceeds go to an NGO that builds primary schools in Egypt. They have an ever-so subtle stretch and hit the leg at the mid-calf, looking great with shorts or pants. Plus over 200 people have reviewed them and given them a 5/5 rating.

Perfect for Holiday Parties

These silk- and cotton-blend socks from Banana Republic are a great gift for the friend or relative who goes to a ton of work events. They look great peeking out from a tailored suit or even a white skirt à la Mrs. Prada. (Yes, you can wear white after Labor Day.)

Best Non-Slip, No-Show

Our market editor Roberto swears that these actually don’t slip. We believe him.

Coziest

Anonymous ism’s made-in-Japan socks are a menswear holy-grail item, for the obvious reason that they look like the love child of a sock your grandma knit and a Dead & Company tour bus. At $30 a pair, they’re both a luxury and a not-too-ridiculous splurge. For a cheaper option, we’ve had good luck with similar styles at Muji.

Best for Wide Calves

The biggest annoyance with socks, after them sliding off in one’s shoes, is them feeling too tight around the ankle and calf. These are super stretchy and soft so they can be worn pulled all the way up or bunched around the ankle without discomfort.

Best Socks That Come in a Pack

These ankle socks hit just right. They look good with loafers, Mary Janes, you name it. Contributing Cut Shop writer Brooke LaMantia swears by them and has a whole drawer full.

Fanciest

These socks are a great way to show your loved ones you care. Nothing says “I love you” like cashmere.

Best for Cold Weather

L.L. Bean’s merino wool-blend socks are super soft and functional. They are perfect for wearing inside boots in the winter. Managing editor Rachel Bashein vouches for them.

Best for Lewks

If you want to achieve the perfect “Princess Diana in biker shorts” look, these chunky socks are for you. Market editor Roberto Johnson loves these for their cloudlike feeling.

Comfiest

The cushion on these makes you feel like you’re walking on clouds.

Best for Lounging

These Baserange socks are the coziest for days when you just want to stay in.

Most Fashion-y

For your friend who loves the school girl/boy aesthetic, these Miu Miu over-the-knee wool socks will surely please. They are the priciest pair on our list, but they’ll make an outfit.

Best Preppy Option

“Tell me you’re from the Upper East Side, without telling me that you’re from the Upper East Side.” Plus, with Alessandro Michele of Gucci having just stepped down as creative director, you’d also be giving a piece of fashion history.

Best Statement Socks

Simone Rocha does romance like no one else, and these are no exception.

Ethically Made

After we saw Pete Davidson sporting a pair of these, we had to try them out for ourselves, and we also approve. The high-rise socks from doublsoul come in an array of flattering colors, all dyed ethically, and are made from recycled materials.

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Yes, Socks Are a Great Gift