When to Wear Ankle Socks vs When to Avoid Wearing Them

Ankle socks are commonly called ankle-length socks. 

It is one of the more popular types of short socks, so it has many different designs. 

Many people love wearing ankle socks because they are so easy to use!

Wear them casually, or wear them to the gym - there are so many opportunities to take them out of your sock drawer.

Today, let’s look at when ankle socks should be worn and when we should avoid wearing them.

When to Wear Ankle Socks?

Practical Reasons

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. 

Ankle socks are great for when you are expecting to sweat a lot.

The Gym

Ankle socks are thin and light. 

Grab any pair of ankle socks from your sock drawer and look at them. 

Most likely, they are probably thick with a towel-like feel.

These thick towel-like ankle socks are made this way to absorb sweat during sports. 

Thus, making them the perfect go-to selection for sportswear, sneakers and athletic shoes.

Other Physical Activities

Athletic ankle socks should be worn with sneakers as they provide adequate support for physical activity and sweat absorption.

Ankle socks made for sports can be used for an array of athletic activities, like jogging, basketball, or hiking.

They are usually made of strong natural fibres, or a blend of fibres such as cotton or wool.

A pair of good ankle socks will have strong moisture-wicking properties to keep your feet dry while you hike or train.

What Are 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. 

Ankle Socks vs No Show 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. 

Unlike ankle socks, there is not much length to no show 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. 

Types of Ankle Socks

There are many different types of short socks that resemble ankle socks.

Let’s take a look at a few:

Micro Crew Socks

Micro crew socks are the smaller version of crew socks.

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

Like ankle socks, micro crew socks are your typical short socks.

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

Quarter Socks

Quarter socks are actually another name for micro crew socks. 

You guessed it, their length is about a quarter of the regular standard crew sock, hence the name. 

They are very similar to ankle socks. 

However, the key difference is it has more length over the ankle sock. 

Pros of Ankle Socks


Ankle socks are comfortable and provide sufficient protection against friction without being too suffocating on the feet. 

Dries Quickly

Depending on the material, ankle socks can be very absorbent which means it will not hold onto moisture. 

Hence, water and any moisture content, like sweat, will all dry quickly.


Socks are inexpensive and won’t break the bank. 

Sock prices vary depending on the material, length, design, or brand. 

But generally, they are still quite affordable.  

Socks are functional everyday pieces that cost less than a tall latte. 

Cons of Ankle Socks

Does Not Go Well With Formal Situations

Ankle socks are perfect for casual situations, but not necessarily for more formal events.

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.

Ankle socks are associated with sportswear. 

Wearing them in a professional setting can bring down the overall formality of your business attire.

Not surprisingly, short ankle socks are not going to sit well in your dress shoes. 

Not to mention, they will look like you are not wearing socks inside your dress shoes. 

Cold in the Winter

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.

Easy to Lose Because It Is Small

Is it just me or do socks seem to always sneak its way around unlikely parts of the house?

The back of the sock drawer, or beneath the washing machine seem to be common places to uncover single lost socks.

But, what about behind the kitchen oven, or under the TV stand? 

Believe me, I’ve found them in even more unlikely places before.

My only guess is that they were dropped on its way to the wash and kicked around and stayed hidden until next year’s spring cleaning. 

Especially when the socks are so small, they’re so much more easy to get lost.

What Shoes Should I Wear With My Ankle Socks?

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
  • Loafers

Dos and Don’ts of 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.


There are many different types of yarns available to make socks.

But we will be discussing the most common 4 types as they make up 90% of the socks manufactured around the world.  


Cotton is a lightweight and breathable material, making it one of the most commonly-used fibres for manufacturing socks. 


Wool is a great insulator. Socks made from wool are extremely warm, which makes it the perfect option for colder climates.   


Polyester is a synthetic material that is warm and soft. It is arguably more durable than natural fibres, which makes this material another excellent choice. 


Wool is a great insulator. Socks made from wool are extremely warm, which makes it the perfect option for colder climates.   


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 ankle short socks in your drawer. 

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