10 best men’s socks that add a subtle statement to any outfit

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You can get all fixed up in your Sunday best, but if what’s on your feet isn’t up to scratch, can you really claim to be well dressed? After all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, meaning a mismatched, moth bitten pair of socks has the power to ruin a good outfit.

While that probably sounds a touch melodramatic, we’d be lying if we said socks aren’t important.

They’re the foundation for your footwear, your warmth when the weather begins to bite and a subtle way to display a bit of flair and personality, even when the dress code is less than liberal. In other words, they’re worth putting a bit of thought into.

If your usual sock selection routine consists of little more than making sure you pull a vaguely matching pair out of the drawer in the morning, this one’s for you.

Below is our carefully curated selection of the best men’s socks – each pair we looked at was worn for a full day and assessed in terms of comfort, durability and style. Only the best ones made the cut.

From the classic and subtle to the bold and eye catching, these are the best pairs to buy right now.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Stance icon 200 socks It’s difficult to improve on a plain white crew sock but Stance has managed it here. The icon 200 uses the brand’s signature fibre technology to reinforce key areas and increase durability. The result is a sock that’s lightweight and highly breathable, yet stronger than a lot of thicker options on the market. Plus, in the highly unlikely event that they let you down, Stance will replace them with a brand new pair, no questions asked, for life. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Norse Store projects bjarki sport socks Uber hip Danish label Norse Projects is known for putting a contemporary take on the classics – it’s a theme that extends to the brand’s socks too. Take this tastefully striped pair for example. Simple, stylish and reassuringly thick, they’re just right for adding a little bit of character to an outfit without going OTT. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Smartwool phd outdoor light socks Of all the walking socks we tested, this cleverly designed merino blend pair from Smartwool stood out the most. The brand has done away with the overly bulky look and feel that traditional hiking socks often have without sacrificing on comfort or functionality. In fact, Smartwool has even brought a few new features to the table, like it’s signature “indestructawool” fabric, which provides maximum durability and a virtually seamless toe for increased comfort. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Hikerdelic smoothie socks Manchester-based brand Hikerdelic is a frequent go-to for people who want gear that’s just as adept in the hills as it is down the pub on a Friday night. In short, the collections are outdoor inspired garb with a focus on style, but these rather fetching purple hiking socks explain it all better than we ever could. They’re thick and warm enough to keep you sure-footed on the UK’s tallest peaks, but they’d also look the part peering out from beneath the cuff of your jeans while nestled inside your favourite trainers. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Santa Cruz tie dye dot socks If you’re less about subtlety and more about tie-dye banana thunderstorms from the Nineties, then Santa Cruz has got you covered. These eye-catching socks from this skate label probably aren’t going to be much good for pairing with a suit at your next formal event, but if you want to turn some heads around town then you could do a lot worse. Who said socks were boring? {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Pantherella pembrey socks English heritage brand Pantherella has been making some of the finest socks in the country since the Thirties – simply try a pair on and it’s instantly apparent that you’re slipping your foot into something that has been perfected over generations. These formal socks are a perfect example, with a luxurious cotton blend and knee-grazing cut, they are so good you’ll want to walk around with your trousers rolled up just to show them off. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Wood Wood Gail two-pack socks These soft and stretchy cotton and elastane blend socks from Danish label Wood Wood take the classic white tube sock and give it an update. These feature the brand’s W.W branding on the back of the ankle and a “love will keep us together” print to the sole, which, admittedly, is all well and good until you lose one of them in the wash. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Burlington Socks king, navy and pink You can’t talk about socks and not mention Burlington. The German brand has been making its traditional argyle socks since 1923, becoming a menswear mainstay in the process. These king-like socks are true classics, featuring that instantly recognisable pattern and Burlington clip branding. This particular pair feature pink and blue to add a splash of colour, but there are also plenty of other options to choose from if that’s not your style. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Uniqlo heattech cable line socks With a tactile knit and sporty stripe detailing these winter ready socks from Uniqlo can go toe-to-toe with options four times the price. They’re packed with heat retention features, which are designed to keep your feet warm whatever the weather. The perfect accompaniment to your winter boots and great for adding a touch of texture to your cold weather wardrobe. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Old Bones Society panther crew socks If you didn’t think socks could have attitude, then clearly you haven’t been acquainted with New York-based brand Old Bones Society. All of the label’s designs are hand-drawn by top tattoo artist Matt Adamson and these snarling panther print socks are no exception. If you’ve ever fancied a few leg tats but you don’t have the stomach to go under the needle, then these could be the answer you’re looking for. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}}

The verdict: Men’s socks With a lifetime guarantee, reasonable price tag and superior comfort, we’ve selected Stance’s icon 200 socks as our Best Buy. If you’re looking to spend a little less, it’s hard to fault Uniqlo’s heattech cable line socks for the price, while at the other end of the spectrum, the Norse Projects bjarki socks would be our first choice as a premium option. Update your denim collection with our review of the best men’s jeans for every style and budget

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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