Everything You Need To Know About The Best and Worst Sock Fabrics

Sock Fabric
Sock Fabric

Wondering what the best fabrics for socks are? Or the worst ones? We have compiled a list of frequently used materials for sock manufacturing and their ideal use.

Most socks are made with a blend of fabrics, each fabric serving a specific purpose. A fabric that produces excellent hiking socks may not be ideal for a formal event. 

According to Grand View Research, the global socks market was valued at $42.2 billion in 2018. With billions of socks produced annually globally, socks have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Today there are unlimited options for socks in the market based on design, dyes, and fibers used in each fabric.

Let us take a look at the twelve most popular printed socks for men based on their best uses:

The best sock fabrics for everyday wear remain 100% cotton, cotton & polyester blend, bamboo, polyester, and spandex. The worst materials for everyday wear socks are cashmere and angora.

  • Running

Polyester and bamboo are ideal sock fabrics for running. 100% Cotton, on the other hand, tends to be slippery, which is why we recommend avoiding it. Steer clear of Cashmere when choosing socks for running.

  • Sports

The best sock fabrics for sports are bamboo, nylon, spandex, and polyester. 100% cotton and cashmere tend to be the worst for athletic activities.

  • Hiking

Socks made from wool, bamboo, and polypropylene are ideal hiking socks. Keep in mind to avoid polyester and cashmere socks when going for outdoor activities.

  • Lounging

Cashmere or wool socks are an excellent choice for lounging and sleeping. 100% cotton socks may not offer as much comfort and insulation as wool socks.

  • Winter Wear

For winter wear, the best fabric choice remains the same – Wool and Polypropylene. Steer clear of spandex in cold weather to avoid blisters and discomfort.

  • Formal Wear

Formal wear primarily utilizes thin dress socks made from nylon, spandex, or bamboo. 100% cotton socks may not be suitable for formal events as they tend to slip.

It is essential to consider the activity your choice of socks is designed for. Some fabrics for lounging around or sleeping might not be suitable for hiking or other outdoor activities. Let us explore and understand the best and worst sock fabrics.

Sock Fabrics

Let us look at the three most popular fabrics used in sock manufacturing with in-depth information about how each type of fabric is used in the production of socks. The following section covers the benefits, ideal uses, and things to remember when choosing the suitable sock fabric. We also discuss various blends of fabric that work exceptionally well to make the best functioning sock. Let’s dive in!

1. Cotton

The most popular sock fabric is cotton, and its popularity is rightly earned for a variety of reasons. Cotton socks are ideal for everyday use, especially with different blends. Let us look at some of the pros and cons of cotton.


  • Cotton is an exceptionally lightweight material with the ability to absorb moisture well.
  • Cotton is a soft material that provides unparalleled comfort, durability, and breathability.
  • Cotton is an easy fabric to wash in a machine or by hand and holds color reasonably well.
  • Cotton socks are ideal for sensitive skin with the ability to dry quicker than other materials.


  • Cotton socks absorb moisture quickly, which can cause friction and irritation when worn for extended periods, especially when wet. Additionally, they get heavier when wet, causing discomfort and itching.
  • Cotton socks are more expensive, especially organic and combined cotton socks.
  • Due to their moisture-retaining properties, cotton socks keep your feet colder and aren’t ideal for colder weather.
  • Cotton socks can shrink when washed in hot water or machine dried with heat.

Looking at these pros and cons of cotton as a sock fabric, it is evident that cotton works great for certain types of socks. It is best for everyday use when paired with casual shoes or sneakers. 

If you plan on carrying out activities that cause physical exertion or make your feet wet or sweaty, it is advisable to avoid 100% cotton socks. Instead, opt for socks that utilize specific blends of cotton socks that make them more resistant to moisture, such as polyester.


Polyester, a non-absorbent material, makes one of the best combinations of sock fabrics when combined with cotton. Cotton and polyester blend socks are ideal for almost any activity as they are durable, water-resistant, and comfortable.

A mix of cotton and polyester is the best choice for aerobic activities.

2. Wool

The second most popular fabric used in the production of socks is wool. Wool is a fiber that is obtained from sheep fur. A naturally occurring material, wool feels excellent on the skin and is known as one of the best-performing fabrics.


Is wool an excellent fabric for socks? Absolutely!


Wool is a prime choice for sock fabric due to its various benefits, even with a few disadvantages. The quality of wool fabric depends on when the sheep are sheared. Some woolen fabrics are more delicate than others because of the breed of sheep they come from.


Let us look at the pros and cons of wool as a sock fabric:


  • Wool is an excellent insulator that keeps your feet warm in harsh cold weather. 
  • Its breathability, water, and wrinkle resistance make it suitable for your skin.
  • Wool socks absorb moisture better than other fabrics and prevent your feet from feeling wet.
  • Its thermal properties offer exceptional insulation and prevent your feet from cold blisters in cold weather.
  • Wool socks are exceptionally soft and retain their shape.
  • The colors and dyes of wool socks do not bleed or fade.


  • When buying lower-quality wool, keep in mind that it can be itchy. 
  • It is an animal product that can be controversial.
  • Wool socks are difficult to clean and we do not recommend machine washing or drying.
  • Due to the thermal properties of wool socks, they can’t be worn in warm weather without overheating your feet.
  • Wool is a thick and bulky fabric.
  • Wool socks are likely to develop holes when worn over carpets; friction from the carpet can cause damage to wool socks.


When buying wool socks, look for those made from premium quality wool. Higher quality wool socks are equipped with all the characteristics listed in the pros list with fewer cons. The higher the wool quality, the longer your socks will last with better performance.

3. Bamboo

Bamboo is the latest addition to the list of great fabrics used in sock production. It is natural and environmentally friendly. It is produced by pulling fiber from the pulp of bamboo grass and is currently the best organic fiber on the market. Bamboo fibers are durable and resistant, making them an excellent fabric for socks.


Let us take a look at the pros and cons of using bamboo as a sock fabric:


  • It possesses excellent moisture-absorbent properties and pulls sweat away from the skin using capillary action.
  • Bamboo socks draw moisture to the fabric’s outer surface and allow it to evaporate, keeping your feet dry and warm.
  • It is a natural thermal regulator, keeping you warm on colder days and cool on hotter days.
  • Bamboo is stretchable, breathable, elastic, and incredibly soft with a natural sheen.
  • Highly durable, bamboo is a hypoallergenic fabric.
  • Bamboo socks are lightweight, smell amazing, and contain a natural antimicrobial that helps prevent bacteria buildup.
  • It is exceptionally smooth and comfortable and offers high-quality silk or cashmere feel.


  • Needs care, or it might lead to pilling.

Bamboo is one of the best sock fabrics available today. It offers almost all benefits of wool and socks combined with minimal negative qualities. 

Check out deadsoxy’s boardroom dress socks collection made from it.


We hope this article can help you buy a sock made from the best fabrics for your specific needs. No one wants to buy a pair of socks that wear out quickly with holes. Choosing a trustworthy sock manufacturer and trustworthy supplier to buy high-performing socks is crucial.


DeadSoxy is an online store that provides a wide range of premium socks for men, women, and kids. They invented and patented game-changing TrueStay™ technology that keeps socks right where you want them. 


DeadSoxy socks possess detailed craftsmanship, crafted with the finest hand-selected yarn and knit on Italian-Made Lonati machines. 

Check out their entire collection of dress socks, no-show socks, and more. Contact us today!


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