Sustainable Fashion

The 2 Sock Styles That Best Complement Sneakers (And 2 to Avoid)

Even the best sneaker can look bad if worn with the wrong socks. So what socks should you wear with sneakers?

Socks To Wear With Sneakers Featured

Sneakers are an easy, go-to shoe choice for most people. They work for everything from running errands to date night. But even the best sneaker can look bad if worn with the wrong socks. So what socks should you wear with sneakers?

Blue socks with triangle motif paired with white sneakers

The short answer? It depends on the style, color, and fit of your sneaker. Plus, you should consider the rest of your outfit, what you’re planning on doing, and what the weather is like when choosing what socks to wear with sneakers. Then, you’ll choose the most comfortable, stylish option possible. 

No matter what type, color, and style of socks you’re planning on wearing, you should always choose the best sustainable socks to reduce your impact on the planet. Read below for my style guide on the ideal socks to wear with sneakers for every situation!

The Best Socks to Wear With Sneakers

People used to wear sneakers just for comfort, even when they weren’t seen as fashionable. Now, sneakers are a stylish option for so many different occasions. But the socks you wear with sneakers can make the difference between a perfect outfit and an absolute dud. Plus, they should still be comfortable and breathable, too!

Taking all of that into consideration, here are the best socks to wear with sneakers.

Ankle Socks

Wearing an ankle sock with sneakers is a classic, middle-of-the-road option. Ankle socks are one of the most low-key and comfortable options. The low profile means your ankles and feet are protected from blisters without your socks becoming the star of the show!

However, if you’re wearing a high-top sneaker that comes above your ankle socks, try finding a longer style like a crew sock to protect your skin from rubbing. 

Crew Length Socks

If you want to wear socks that let you show off your personal style, crew socks are the perfect option. They come in so many different styles–from your classic white, half-length sock to fun, colorful crew-length socks. Plus, they’re especially great for when you’re wearing white sneakers to add some interest to your outfit.

Yellow socks with white sneakers and white trousers
The right socks will add interest to your outfit

When you’re wearing sneakers to work out, it’s really important to wear good quality athletic socks. It doesn’t matter if you wear long socks or short socks, as long as it’s comfortable for you. But the material matters a lot for workout socks. 

Bacteria thrive in damp, dark environments, so sweaty, covered feet need to be able to breathe. But most athletic clothing is made from “breathable,” synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, which are terrible for the planet

What is an environmentally-minded fitness-fiend supposed to do? Try a workout sock made out of materials like responsibly-sourced wool. It’s breathable, comfortable, and better for the planet.

What Color Socks Should You Wear With Your Sneakers?

Colorful socks are a great way to subtly show off your personality. But when does a socks color go from expressive to clashing? And what color socks work the best with which color sneakers?

Black or White Socks

Wearing socks in basic colors like black or white is great for everyday life with almost any color of sneakers. Some people prefer wearing black socks with black sneakers and white socks with white shoes but it can also create more visual interest to wear white socks with black shoes or vise versa.

Solid, black or white socks are also the safest choice for colorful or patterned shoes. A black sock is almost always going to go well with any color of shoe, but be careful with wearing a white sock with an off-white sneaker. It can make your shoe look dirty in contrast to the bright white.

White socks paired with white sneakers
White socks may make off-white sneakers look dirty

Choose different lengths of white or black socks according to where you’re going. If it’s a more casual occasion and sneaker, tall white or black socks can be cool, especially when wearing shorts. Tall, basic-colored socks also work well under more dressed-up looks like black suits. 

Colorful Socks

If you’re feeling fancy with some new sneakers, throw on a pair of patterned or bright-color socks. After all, life is too short to miss out on covering your feet in polka dots! Wear shorts to show them off even more.

Choose your socks color based on the season, your outfit, or the color of your shoes. Bright spring socks with white shoes is the perfect way to welcome in warmer weather. Fuzzy, darker socks will keep you warm and fit the cold weather!

Wearing a monochrome look is also becoming a more popular style choice. Choose the same color socks and shoes for a sleek, minimalist vibe.

However, bright socks aren’t the right socks for every pair of sneakers. If you’re wearing bright or patterned shoes, stick to more basic socks to avoid clashing.

Avoid These Sock Styles When Wearing Sneakers

Keep your feet comfortable and your outfit stylish by avoiding these socks on certain occasions!

Knee High Socks

While it may be popular for schoolchildren to wear knee-high socks with their school shoes, it’s not the best look with sneakers for adults. 

The only time a pair of super long socks with sneakers are appropriate to wear is in the winter. They could provide some extra warmth to your legs while wearing pants. Try them in a wool material to keep your lower half extra toasty!

Invisible Socks

You might think no-show socks would keep your feet cool on hot summer days, But it’s actually the opposite. If you wear no-show socks, especially with high-top sneakers, there’s nothing to wick moisture away. They also won’t keep your feet warm in the winter because they lack insulation. 

Plus, a lot of sneakers are made from more abrasive materials like leather or synthetic textiles that can cause blisters, chafing, and irritation. If you are wearing invisible socks, there’s probably space along the top and back of your foot that will not be protected with a sock buffer.

However, no-show socks could be used with super low-profile sneakers if the socks are big enough to protect the top and back of your foot from the shoe. 

The Right and Wrong Sock to Wear With Your Sneakers: Conclusion

Ankle, athletic, and crew socks are the best style of socks to wear with sneakers. They will keep your feet dry, cool, and protected, while still being able to add style to your outfit. 

As for which color of sock you wear, it depends on the look you’re going for and your shoe color. Colorful socks can be a great way to express your personality while white or black socks can be more subtle and good for your everyday routine. 

The socks you should mostly avoid with sneakers are knee highs and no-shows. However, both of these types of socks are useful in certain situations. 

At the end of the day, as long as your feet are comfortable, protected, and looking good, you’ve got the right socks. 

Megan Lemon

Megan Lemon

Megan is a sustainability writer based in Fiji, where she lives with her partner in the house they built themselves. In her free time, she free dives, spear fishes, and takes long walks on the dirt roads.