How To Choose Socks By Length Like A PRO

Aug 21, 2007 (Updated May 4, 2008)

The Bottom Line Read and be informed of your choices and why pick a type of sock.


The seven main different types of socks by length are no show, below ankle, ankle, crew, calf, below the knee, and above the knee. Some important factors in choosing what kind of socks is the occasion, shoe type, weather conditions, and if you suffer from any medical conditions for example neuropathy, diabetes, and/or swelling of feet and/or legs.

Unfortunately I have been suffering from neuropathy off and on since I was five years old predominantly in my hands and sometimes in my arms, but now since the middle of June 2007 the condition has spread to my feet which was encouraged and incurred from the severe swelling in my feet that happened this year during a time frame when my blood sugar was sky high at 155 compared to my norm of 68. And the condition was thought to have been caused by diabetes. Thank God it was not diabetes; however, it is apparent now that the extremely painful swelling in my feet caused some permanent damage that was accelerated by wearing socks that where shorter than calf length socks. My reason for sharing this is that wearing improper socks can cause problems and wearing proper socks can provide relief to take the edge off of tremendous pain or allow you to wear socks without causing additional pain. I will go in greater detail when I cover examples of the different types of socks.

The degree of tightness varies by the type and brand of sock you buy, and may vary by the thickness of your leg where the sock ends at. Some are tighter than others and some are looser than others.

No Show

No Show socks is generally worn with basketball shoes (or other shoes ) when it is desirable for your socks to not be sticking out like a sore thumb. I mainly where no show socks when wearing running shoes but you can still see them to a small extent. The reason why I wear them with running shoes when I do is usually it is because it looks better and not as hot to wear since they cover less skin.

On days where my feet are swollen I avoid these type of socks like the Bubonic Plague (my attempt some humor when suffering from pain) and I tend to wear my diabetic crew socks if I can get them on. The first time my feet were starting to swell I thought nothing of and put a pair of no show socks on. And now days if I have the inkling of my feet swelling I will socks that are crew length or longer by my decision first and reinforced per doctors orders.

Below Ankle

Below Ankle is rather uncommon but typically sits right below your ankle bone which generally is about quarter to half inch taller. I saw this type while I was a kid and should not be confused with No Show sox. Normally these socks are trendy and stylish to wear with basketball shoes. These are not good to be worn when ankles or feet or swollen.


Ankle socks generally sit right above the ankle or on the ankle. Normally these socks are trendy and stylish to wear with basketball shoes. These are not good to be worn when ankles or feet or swollen.


Crew socks come up to below the beginning of the calf muscle. Most diabetic socks are crew length since swelling usually does not make it all the way up to the beginning of the calf muscle. If your feet are swollen it is good to were these.


Calf socks cover the entire calf generally. If your feet are swollen it is good to were these. Generally these are worn with boots or any other type of shoe with pants on or shorts if you will be walking in grass higher than your ankles but below your calf by three or four inches.

Below The Knee

Below The Knee usually comes to about an inch or so below the knee or right up to it. If your feet are swollen it is good to were these. Is generally worn with football or baseball or soccer or during hunting. For whether it be football (American football) or baseball or soccer (futbol) or hunting it is good to wear this type of sock to help prevent from having severe abrasions and in the case of hunting to help from getting bit by ticks or fleas.

Above The Knee

Above The Knee is easiest to identify it goes up beyond your knee and some may be as high as half way up your thigh but that type is not commonly made except as stockings or panty house for women. This type is also used for hunting it is good to wear this type of sock to help prevent from having severe abrasions and in the case of hunting to help from getting bit by ticks or fleas.

June 20, 2007 - August 20, 2007 ©Copyright

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