No Show vs. Low Cut Socks: 5 Kinds of Short Socks Explained 


As warmer weathers are quickly approaching, it’s time to ditch those thick wool socks for something more suitable for early summer weather. 

We’ll be talking about different kinds of socks today, namely, short socks. 

My husband and I had differing opinions on short socks. 

I love how short socks stay hidden and don't peep out from my shoes (especially on days where I accidentally walk out with a pair of mismatched socks).

They’re breathable, making them a great option for sports and even daily wear.

My husband (initially) disliked them and tells me it looks like I don’t have socks on. 

Short socks are great though, if I’m able to convince my short sock-hating husband to wear them, I’m sure I’m persuasive enough to sell you the benefits of short socks too! 

Let’s get started!

Different Types of Short Socks

I’m going to tell you about 5 different types of short socks.

Depending on the look you are going for, the type of shoe you’re wearing it with, and the amount of sock you want to show off, you’ll want to know about these short socks and their function.

  • No-show socks
  • Ankle socks
  • Low-cut socks
  • Flat socks
  • Micro crew socks

No-show Socks

i. The Look

no shoe socks

Are you into the no-sock look? 

Trying to achieve that no-sock look without socks can be a nightmare for your feet (and your nose). 

Socks can ease the friction caused by walking and can also help fight off odour. 

Expect blisters and chaffed feet if you’re going without socks. 

Not to mention, the next time you go put on your ankle boots or leather shoes, they’ll reek of a nasty odour and you’ll be sorry you went without socks. 

Don’t want to ruin your no-sock look? Try a pair of no-show socks.

Like the name suggests, no-show socks are low-cut socks that fit just above the heel collar. They’re also called sock liners or invisible socks. 

They act as a protective layer between your feet and the inside of your shoe. 

Their moisture-wicking property will also help pull sweat and moisture away from the skin and into the exterior of the fabric making it easier to evaporate. 

ii. The Size

Because of its discreet nature, no-show socks are small and can stretch to the size of your feet. 

I’ve got a super stretchy thin pair that is the size of half my foot, but stretches to twice its size. 

While generally small, no-show socks come in a variety of sizes. 

The size of the sock will depend on the material and stretchiness chosen.  

iii. The Length

Edge of the Shoe

There’s not much length in these socks. 

They sit right above the heel collar, so they don’t stick out of your shoes. 

Depending on what shoe and what sock you’re wearing, no-show socks generally stay hidden from sight when your shoes are on. 

Do I Look Like I’m Barefooted?

no shoe socks

Yes.

With the no-show sock, you can achieve the sock-less look without actually having to go barefoot. 

iv. When Should I Wear No-show Socks?

The Weather

As you can probably imagine, your no-show socks probably won’t make the cut on a cold winter’s day.

They’re best worn during warm and sunny weather. 

sunny weather

Degree of Formality

No-show socks are best worn when you’re wanting to show off a bit of ankle. 

They do give off a casual and laid back vibe, so do keep that in mind next time you’re getting dressed up but wondering whether you should put on those no show socks or not. 

v. Types of Shoes

No-show socks are great for any type of shoes. 

They’re perfect for any time you don’t want your socks to stick out from your shoes, but don’t want to go without a sock. 

  • Sneakers
  • Low-rise converse
  • Boat shoes
  • Oxfords
  • Loafers
  • Flats

vi. Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing No-show Socks

Unlike regular socks, no-show socks sit at your heel. 

They stay there thanks to an adhesive silicone grip at the heel of the sock. 

When you wear a pair of no-show socks, make sure you don’t apply any lotions on your heels before you put on your socks.

Lotions can be slippery, which is a key reason to sock-slippage.

Ankle Socks

i. The Look

ankle socks

Ankle socks started gaining popularity in the 1930’s with the rise of popular pastimes like sports and tennis. 

People had to switch from long socks to a short pair of ankle socks that allowed the leg to bare while looking stylish. 

To this day, ankle socks are still great for sports since they’re short enough to keep tucked hidden away in your sneakers. While at the same time, keeping your feet protected from friction and foul-smell. 

ii. The Size

Ankle socks keep your feet protected against friction but at the same time, won’t stick out from your high tops. 

They’re small enough to not need folding when you put them away in your sock drawer.

But thick and sizeable enough to keep your feet protected during vigorous sports. 

iii. The Length

Edge of the Shoe

Ankle socks sit right at the ankles. Think of them as a pair of regular dress socks without the tubular body section.

Do I Look Like I’m Barefooted?

Depends.

It depends on the type of shoe you’re wearing them with.

Ankle socks keep the entire top area of your feet covered. 

If you’re wearing shoes that exposes the top area of your feet, like flats, loafers, or boat shoes, your socks will still poke out. 

iv. When Should I Wear Ankle Socks?

The Weather

For everyday wear, ankle socks are great options for the summer, spring, or fall, or at times where you’re wearing a pair of sneakers.

While thick ankle socks do exist, because they are missing a tubular sock body, they might not be the best option for cold winters.

Varying Degrees of Formality

Ankle socks are quite casual-looking and is almost always associated with sports.

If you’re getting dressed up for a wedding, or a formal occasion, it probably is a better idea to choose another type of socks like dress socks.

v. Types of Shoes

low rise converse

Ankle socks are best used for sports, although they pair nicely with many other types of shoes as well.

They’re perfect for any time you want to show off some leg.

  • Sneakers
  • Low-rise converse
  • Ankle boots

vi. Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Ankle Socks

Because of their small size, some people choose to fold them together by flipping out the elastic of one sock and hooking the other sock in.

While this may be a good way to keep them paired off in the sock drawer, it’s a surefire way to ruin the elastics of your ankle socks.

Try storing them this way instead:

  1. Fold the toe-part of the sock down to the heels.
  2. Fold the ankle side and put the toe part inside the opening of the sock.

Low-cut Socks

i. The Look

low rise socks

They look very similar to ankle socks but with the key difference being that it covers a lot less of the top of your foot.

Low-cut socks are perfect for when ankle socks just won’t work.

If you’re wearing a pair of shoes that allows the top of your feet to stick out, like loafers or boat shoes, low-cut socks will be a great option. Whereas, ankle socks will just stick out from all sides. 

If you’re looking for a bit more fabric between your feet and your shoes, low-cut socks are also preferred over no-show socks. 

ii. The Size

The size is similar to ankle socks. 

But because they cover less of an area than ankle socks, they have a little less fabric than ankle socks.

iii. The Length

Edge of the Shoe

Just like ankle socks, low-cut socks sit right at the ankles. 

Think of them as a pair of regular dress socks without the tubular body section.

Do I Look Like I’m Barefooted?

Depends.

It depends on what shoes you’re wearing with your low-cut socks. 

They won’t stick out from your loafers or boat shoes. 

But, with a pair of flats that cover expose a lot of the top of your feet, they’ll poke out left and right. 

iv. When Should I Wear Low-cut Socks?

The Weather

Low-cut socks are great for warm weathers since they expose a bit of skin.

You’ll find yourself reaching for them in the sock drawer more often during warmer weathers.

If you’re a frequent wearer of loafers, low-rise converses or boat shoes, you’ll definitely want a few pairs of these to add to your sock rotation.

Varying Degrees of Formality

Like with most short socks, low-rise socks are not very formal. 

In formal occasions, you might want to wear a pair of dress socks. 

But that also depends on what shoes you’re wearing them with. 

For formal occasions, dress socks pair well with dress shoes.

But, if you're wearing a pair of flats, dress socks are probably not what you’d want to wear with your shoes.

v. Types of Shoes

loafers

Low-cut socks are perfect for any time you want to show off some leg and expose a little of the top of your feet. 

  • Sneakers
  • Low-rise converse
  • Ankle boots
  • Loafers
  • Boat shoes

vi. Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Low-cut Socks

For low-cut socks, the elastic and adhesive grip is extremely important as that is what holds your sock in place. 

Don’t overstretch them. 

You’ll want to keep the elastics relaxed while you’re not using them. 

Flat Socks

flats

i. The Look

There’s no quicker way to ruin your look than with a pair of bulky socks sticking out of your flats. 

This is when flat socks come in handy. 

ii. The Size

They’re thin and compact. 

... And the first to go missing in my sock drawer. 

iii. The Length

Edge of the Shoe

They line the inside of your flats, keeping them clean and dry. 

A good pair of flat socks will have an elastic surrounding the rim of the sock to keep it in place.  

Do I Look Like I’m Barefooted?

Yes.

When worn properly with flats, your socks should not stick out. 

It should look like you’re sock-less.

iv. When Should I Wear Flat Socks?

The Weather

Flat socks are great for seasons where you can show off your collection of ballet flats.

They keep your feet clean and dry, but not warm. 

So, wear these during warmer weathers and switch back to a pair of wool socks for colder seasons.

Varying Degrees of Formality

Are you guilty of wearing flats without shoes? 

I’m sure most of you have done it before. I know I definitely have!

What’s better than ditching your socks before throwing on a pair of flats on before you head out the door? 

You agree with me, right? 

Your nose probably doesn’t though. 

This is the perfect chance to wear your no-show socks. 

There are some no-shoe socks that are designed for flats. 

Their wider than regular rim will stay tucked away from view. 

They’re great to keep your shoes smelling nice and fresh even while being worn by sweaty, hot feet.

v. Types of Shoes

loafer socks

Obviously, these socks are great for flats. 

But they work with any other types of shoes as well. 

  • Sneakers
  • Low-rise converse
  • Ankle boots
  • Loafers
  • Boat shoes

As a fan of ballet flats, I find I only use my flat socks for that one designated purpose - with flats.

They have great elasticity and runs along the edge of the feet, keeping the sock unexposed when you have your flats on.

However, I personally don’t find them protective enough for other shoes.

vi. Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Flat Socks

The elasticity of the sock is what holds it in place when you are wearing it. 

Many complain about sock-slippage. 

And I completely understand.

What’s more annoying than having to constantly take off your flats to fix the heel of your sock?

Here are two tips that will guarantee your sock staying in place throughout the day:

Right Size

If your sock keeps slipping, it’s most likely because they don’t fit your feet properly. Wearing a wrong-sized sock is the number one reason behind no-show sock-slippage.

Check to make sure your sock size is the correct one. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight, but it should fit snug.

Check Silicone Grips

You are certain your sock size is correct, but your no-show socks still keep slipping off? 

Check the silicone grip part for hair, lint dust, or other residue that can be preventing the grip from sticking to your heel. 

Micro Crew Socks

i. The Look

low cut socks

Crew socks are most likely one of the more popular type of socks.

Even if you don’t know what they exactly are, you probably have a few pairs lying in your sock drawer right now.

Crew socks are everyday socks. Their signature thick and ribbed feature, make them one of the most popular types of sock in the sock industry! 

ii. The Size

Both crew socks and ankle socks are your typical short socks.

However, crew socks are slightly longer than your average ankle socks as ankle socks sit right at the ankle. 

iii. The Length

Edge of the Shoe

Crew socks have a variety of different lengths. 

It depends on the maker, the brand and various other factors. 

However,  their standard size from heel to cuff is about 15-20cm. 

The smaller version of crew socks are called micro crew socks and are about a quarter of the regular standard crew sock's length.

Do I Look Like I’m Barefooted?

No.

Unless you’re wearing them with a pair of high-top shoes, your micro crew socks will peek out from your shoe.

iv. When Should I Wear Micro Crew Socks?

The Weather

While micro crew socks are perfect for hotter days, its standard length counterpart are great for everyday wear during all seasons.

This means crew socks, whether it be the micro or standard version, will probably be the most worn socks in your sock drawer.  

Varying Degrees of Formality

The thick and ribbed design of the crew sock makes it a perfect everyday sock. 

If you’re looking for a pair of socks to go with a formal occasion, you might want to switch out this pair of everyday sock for a pair of dress socks. 

v. Types of Shoes

The best pairing for micro crew socks are sneakers and high top shoes.

Unlike ankle socks, micro crew socks provide some protection to the ankles, making it an excellent choice to prevent against chafing at the ankles.

Micro crew socks also make great hiking socks for warmer climates since they’re thick enough to provide adequate protection to your feet from friction, cuts, and blisters. 

They’re also short enough so that your feet don’t feel suffocated in them during the hike.

vi. Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Micro Crew Socks

While we don’t recommend crew socks for the barefoot look, micro crew socks provide the best protection out of all the short socks we’ve looked at today. 

The next time you put on your high tops, you might consider selecting a pair of micro crew socks. 

Our Verdict

With the warm weather approaching, the ballet flats, boat shoes and loafers that we’ve stored away during the summer are calling out to us from the shoe closet. 

Depending on what types of shoes you frequently wear, you’re going to want a few pairs of different short socks in your drawer. 

 


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