Why Do Socks Slide Down in Shoes? 7 Tips to Keep Them in Place 

I get dressed in the morning and put on some socks before heading off to work. 

An hour after arriving to the office, I feel a bit of a discord in my feet. 

Similar to the feeling of an itch. 

I take off my shoes and realize it’s almost half off my foot. 

I give it a quick fix, but guess what?

A few hours later, the exact same thing will happen again. 

Is it a problem with my shoes? 

My socks? 

You’re probably reading this article because, like me, you’ve probably experienced the dreaded sock slippage.

You take 10 steps down the block and you find your socks have fallen down to your ankles.

It’s annoying, but you can live with it...

Unless it falls even lower, snaps off your heel and the end of your sock coils back to the front of your toes.

Every time you take a few steps, you raise your socks back up a little. 

It’s troublesome and you decide to just leave your sock on in a half-on-half-off state. 

I totally get it. I have struggled with this for many years. 

Good news. There’s finally an answer!

Why Do My Socks Slip Down Inside My Shoes?

There are so many reasons why your socks can slip off.

While most people think the problem is attributed to your shoes and socks, which can be the case, the shape of your foot and the way you walk can also have an effect on sock slippage.

Let’s explore some of these reasons. 

Your Sock

Sock Elastic is Loose

sock elastic

When the elastic in your sock is loose, it can slip off easily. 

This is especially true for old socks.

If your newly bought socks don’t slip off as much as your other old socks, the reason is probably the declining functionality of the elastics in your old socks. 

Incorrect Sock Sizing

correct sock sizing

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 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.

Sock Material

sock material

Opt for a pair of socks with quality yarns, such as cotton and wool blends, as they provide tremendous stretch and shape retention. 

This will prevent the sock from retracting to its original size.

Your Shoe

Incorrect Shoe Sizing

shoe sizing

A shoe that is too large will give the sock a lot of room to move around each time you walk, until it eventually comes off.

Also make sure that shoelaces are tied and properly tightened each time when worn.

Failure to wear your shoes how they were initially intended, is another key reason to sock slippage.

Check to make sure your shoe size is correct and that your shoe is not too loose.

Incorrect Way of Wearing Socks

Your Heel Doesn’t Match the Heel of the Sock

When your heel and your sock’s heel aren’t aligned, the sock will want to retract to its original position and size. 

Hence, while you’re walking, it will keep slipping off until it comes off.

Your Foot

The Way You Walk


If your walking posture is not correct, the centre of gravity tilts to the left or right instead of staying centralized.

Your weight will be shifted to one side and not evenly distributed onto the soles of your feet. 

If your weight is applied unevenly to one side, your socks will slip off. 

Weakened Foot Muscle


Weakening sole muscles, awkward foot placement, irregular surfaces and loose ligaments, can all be causes to the slipping of your socks. 

Thick Calf and Thin Ankle

If you have thin ankles and thick calves, it can cause socks to slip off easily.

I have a rather thick calf, so my sock slippage is probably a result of this reason.

Because the socks don’t stop at the thin ankles, they come off at your heels. 

How Do I Prevent Socks From Slipping?

Purchase the Correct Shoe Size

By continuing to wear shoes that are too large or shoes that just don’t fit properly, you’ll create a gap between the socks and shoes.

This gap causes friction between the inside of your shoes and your feet. 

Therefore, if the shoes do not fit properly on your feet, the socks will slip off little by little. 

It’s important to select the correct shoe size. They should not be too large or too small, but should fit snug with a pair of socks on.

Purchase the Correct Sock Size

measuring tape

Socks that don’t correspond to your foot size can also be another reason why they slip off.

Because they don’t fit your feet properly, even a little friction or movement can cause them to slip.

Like shoes, it’s important to select the correct size in order to combat sock slippage. 

When choosing shoes and sock sizes, measure the distance from your toes to your heels and choose the closest size.

Buy New Socks Regularly

new socks

Bacteria, misplaced odd socks, and fun new designs, are just some of the reasons why you should replace your socks occasionally. 

With slipping socks, a new pair of socks with a new and functioning elastic will be certain to hold your socks in place. 

Correct Your Walking Posture

walking posture

If your socks are easily shifted due to an uneven center of gravity in your walk, you may need to improve your walking posture. 

Try to keep your center of gravity centralized and legs steady as you walk.

Opt for Socks That Don’t Slip off Easily

Here are a few types of socks that I have tried to combat sock slippage.

Knee High Socks

knee high socks

Knee high socks fit either below or slightly above the knee, depending on the brand and maker of the sock.

Knee high socks are often worn with girls’ school uniforms, therefore knee highs are associated with a preppy look.

Knee high socks are difficult to slip off because well, they’ll high. 


Stockings or pantyhose are just like thigh high socks but with a gusset and waistband. 

These will definitely not slip off. 

Crew Socks

crew socks

Crew socks are arguably, the most popular type of causal socks. They are thick socks that are ribbed. 

Common materials used to make crew socks are made of cotton or a blend of natural and synthetic fibres. 

In terms of design, they can be plain or adorned with simple designs like red or navy stripes at the opening of the sock. 

They are a great option for both sports and everyday casual wear among young people. 

I find they don’t slip off as easily as other non-ribbed socks.

Perhaps, it’s the ribbing that provides an additional stretch. 

Toe Socks

5 toe

Toe socks look like a mitten for your toes. 

They’re also called 5-toe socks or digital socks. Just like a mitten, this specially designed sock features a special encasing for each toe. 

Toe socks, because it encases each toe separately, provides full support and little room for the sock to move around.

Use Other Products to Help Your Socks Stay Up


You might want to try using an adhesive on an existing sock. 

The liquid adhesive prevents the slipping of the socks and should be applied to the heel of the sock. 

It dries and becomes like a silicone grip at the heel of your sock.

Double Sided Tape

double sided tape

Not a permanent solution, but double-sided tape provides an easy and quick fix to sock slippage. 

This is a great option for people who are afraid of adding a liquid adhesive solution to their socks.

Our Verdict

We understand the dread of slipping socks and the annoyance to keep lifting them back up with every step. 

Now that you know the causes of sock slippage and the ways to prevent it from happening, we hope you’ll never have to experience it again!

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