Heddels Staff Select – Socks

Socks might not matter much to most folks out there, but the Heddels community is a very particular batch of people, and we’re willing to spend a little extra time and money to find products that last. We’re incredibly picky about what jeans, tees, jackets, and accessories we commit to purchasing and wearing until they fall apart, so is it any surprise that we’re particular about our socks? Through all the changing seasons, sock rotation doesn’t change all that much, so finding a brand and model you like is important. Not all of these foot holders are particularly fancy, by the way, but they certainly aren’t throwaway socks.

A reliable, high-quality sock that holds up in our niche isn’t as easy to find as you might think. In our niche, socks aren’t usually as highly considered and scrutinized as say, a pair of raw denim. But, luckily for you, the Heddels staff have something to say about the underrated (and so functionally vital) garments that are socks. Just like you need your favorite jeans to fulfill certain criteria, you need your socks to fulfill your personal needs, and we’re sure you’ll find some options below that align with your requirements. If you don’t believe us, try them out and report back on our community Discord, and let us know what worked for you and why.

Why trust us? Well, we’ve all been in the game long enough to have field-tested a range of quality clothing, and the Heddels operation puts us onto some of the best clothing in the world week in, week out. Whilst our opinions and experiences shouldn’t be taken as definitive, this series will provide you insight into what has worked for us and why.

James -Wigwam Classic Cypress Socks


Reliable, handsome, and long-lasting products that don’t break the bank are hard to find, and I think that socks are one of those pieces that most of us are still in the process of navigating. I would say that probably 90% of people buy cheap socks that they just wear holes through, throw in the garbage, and replace with another pair that has an equally short lifespan. I look forward to the day when indestructible socks become a thing, but until then, I’ll be wearing Wigwam Classic Cypress Socks.

Almost 3 years into these cotton-based socks and I’m yet to wear a hole into them. Yep, crazy. They’re made in the USA and knitted in a way that imitates Ragg wool, providing a Ragg look with bundles of texture, without the itch of wool. These have outlasted pairs from Japanese labels that cost me double the price, and the most surprising thing is that I bought a batch of them whilst on vacation in New York, subsequently giving them a baptism of fire by wearing them for 30,000+ step days around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

A slight disclaimer — I don’t wear boots. I wear Timberland Handsewn 3-Eye Boat Shoes from time to time, but I mainly live in Converse Chuck 70s or sneakers which are obviously much kinder to socks than rugged leather footwear. Regardless, I’ve still put these through their paces and they have not let me down, so I think they could take a few slugs from a pair of Service Boots.

Available from Wigwam for $15.

David – Lady White Co. Athletic Socks


I have been very vocal about my love of Kapital socks. They amuse me to no end and there are a million different flavors to choose from. Have you ever had a sock with subtext before?? They are that friend that knows all the underground art openings, can regale you with stories of their time on a prehistoric archaeological dig and can name the best taxidermist within a hundred miles.

But like that friend, they are also far from the most reliable option on your roster. Kapital’s sizing is all over the place, they often sacrifice durability for the sake of design, and if you lose one you will never, ever, ever find a replacement. If I was in the hospital at three in the morning and needed an emergency blood transfusion or whatever, I would call theLady White Co. Athletic Sockevery day of the year.

I ranked these best overall in my 2019 sock review and I have yet to find a better one. It’s versatile enough to pair with sneakers while still slipping into some more casual dress shoes. It’s comfy, it’s smooth, it’s durable, and it looks just as good after a hundred washes and wears as it did the first. If you want a definitive answer to “the sock question”, here it is. The existential doubt of Kapital will always be there when you’re ready.

Available for $27 from Lost & Found.

Daniel – Iron Heart Work Boot Socks


The Iron Heart Work Boot Socks work. I’ve had multiple pairs over the last few years and worn each pair roughly once per week, with no damage, or excess stretch to speak of. I have both colorways (black and grey) and find myself grabbing these over all the other options in my sock drawer when I’m heading out the door.

Like a lot of people, I’m pretty particular about my socks, and these are the best I’ve ever tried. They’re comfortably snug, not too thick or thin, hold up well with repeated wearing, and tons of trips through the wash. Most importantly, they wick moisture well, so my feet are nice and dry by the end of the day.

They’re composed of 65-35 cotton-polyester yarns, which is slightly surprising. Most synthetic blend socks I’ve tried are not great at repelling moisture. I think that, like most of the things Iron Heart makes, they’re of the highest standard in terms of fabric, stitching tolerance, and construction methods. My only qualm is with the standout red Works, Inc. embroidery.

Available for $30 from Iron Heart America.

Ben – The Railroad Sock Company Socks (8-Pack)


I recently decided to overhaul my sock game. I’ve always tried to be intentional with what I was wearing on the other 98% of my body and it finally occurred to me my feet needed some attention too. In other words, yes, I have too much time on my hands.

On my hunt for an upgrade to the sock drawer, there were the 3 must-haves: made in USA, having no logos or embroidery, and possessing a timeless style. And in the end, The Railroad Sock Company delivered, with a bonus point for historical significance as they’ve been in business since 1901.

Made from 85% Cotton, 15% Nylon, their Crew Socks are my sock of choice. They are no-frills perfection and feature classic ribbing from the ankle up which compliments low-cut sneakers really well, as well as high-tops and boots. Made in the US and void of any branding or unnecessary details they are a classic foundation to any well-intentioned outfit – not a statement but an unsung hero.

Available for $21.99 from The Rail Road Sock.

Nick – Rhythmic Tones Regular Crew Socks (3 Pack)


Having been through a couple dozen or so socks from some of our favorite makers, sadly my experience is usually the opposite of most other things in my closet. Sliding into socks has been more and more of a white-knuckling task over time (looking at you, CHUP!), and almost all resemble an elbow brace after ~12 months. Despite their relatively low price point compared to one of my pairs of raw denim or Goodyear-welted boots, the CPWof my socks has started to rival my kid’s shoes or wedding gear.

That was until I stumbled across Organic Threads. I was turned on to them after a friend startedcarrying themin her shop,Rhythmic Tones. It all seemed too good to be true: ethically made-in-USA since 1982, naturally dyed, lightly blended with synthetic fibers for stretch, and designed to fade with wear (!). And comes in a three-pack for ~$20?!

Sold, and happy to report I have not been disappointed. I haven’t noticed much patina but they have held up perfectly fine after continuous wears & washes. And as much as I appreciate knit socks with zany patterns, I’ve also come to appreciate lighter monotone types and how they pair with my darker-toned bottoms and footwear.

Available at Rhythmic Tonesfor $28 CAD (~$20 USD)

Will – Anonymous Ism Patchwork Crew Socks


I’m going to be totally honest with you. I preach about how bad socks can throw off a fit all the time, but I only own one pair of good socks. Like, socks you actually want people to see. And they’re by Anonymous Ism.

Anonymous Ism is a brand I’ve written about before at Heddels, so I’ll spare you a deep dive into the brand’s history. In fact, I covered its patchwork socksrelease just a couple of months ago. As far as socks go, they’ve held up brilliantly. Over the years, I’ve worn them to parties, I’ve worn them shopping, heck, I’ve even worn them to weddings.

Now, one could argue that perhaps I’m pushing it a bit, and socks worn to parties shouldn’t be worn to weddings. But I honestly feel like my fair isle pair is versatile enough to do the rounds just about anywhere. The green, red and white tones look so good against dark navy blues, hence why I think they pair well with raw denim and/or a navy suit. Chuck on a pair of brown Alden loafers or Paraboots and you’re set for any occasion.

They’re also robust. You know when you hold something and it just feels quality? That’s the feeling I get when I hold my Anonymous Ism socks. You wouldn’t necessarily think that, given how loose the weave is, but I struggled to find any loose threads when I looked them over in preparation for this article. Am I going to replace all of my socks with Anonymous Ism? No. I mean, I wish, but that’s just not really a feasible option. Do I think it’s worth having one or two pairs that you bust out on special occasions? Absolutely.

Oh, and, by the way, I’m going to echo Ben, here, while we’re on the topic of excellent socks. If you’re in the market for some everyday beaters and you’re based in the US, check out The Railroad Sock. I managed to pick some up in the UK and they’re honestly unbelievable. Super thick, super durable, super comfy. Made in the U.S.A. since 1896. If you’ve been making socks, and nothing but socks, for that long, you oughta know a thing or two.

Available for $28 from Clutch Cafe.

Zach – Harvest & Mill 3 Pack Organic Cotton Socks


When I first started in construction, one of the older foremen told me to, “Get a good pair of cotton socks—white or undyed.” Why not any colors? “I don’t know, the dyed ones made my feet hurt faster. I can’t explain why.” Unsure of this claim’s validity, I took the advice anyway and discovered Harvest & Mill. Three years later, they remain my favorite sock brand. Organic tan-green cotton crew socks lend themselves well to work and casual wear.

Harvest & Mill prides itself on no-frills sustainable manufacturing which offers a select few products: the crew sock color options only include natural white, tan-green, and brown. Even for the latter two choices, no dyes are used. Whatever the supposed effect that dyes may have, I can’t argue with the fact that my feet feel just fine!

I’ve worn these socks with several pairs of shoes and boots without any of the “pinching” that thicker socks inflict. Harvest & Mill socks are thin like dress socks but surprisingly durable. Even after three years of construction and regular hiking, my toes remain unseen while wearing them. My newer boots have imparted a bit of brown dye on two pairs, giving them a graphite-gray-and-brown patina.

Available for $30 from Harvest & Mill.

Jack – Anonymous Ism Line Slub Crew Sock


Socks seem to come in every possible style and colorway these days, but my guff with the majority of them is the same reason my Anonymous Ism socks are the opus of my undergarment drawer. While ninety percent of the time you will catch me in Gold Toe or Uniqlo tube socks, my issue is how tight they are around the ankle and lower leg. Especially in the winter, my leg hair is gnarled and suctioned to my leg by the end of the day, so I cherish the couple times a month I spoil myself with the heavy-knit Anonymous Ism socks.

Beyond the beauty of their slubby fabric and the inherent repairability of a heavy knit sock, they don’t suffocate my legs! Perhaps it’s an odd priority for me, but comfort, alongside quality, is a key factor in the likelihood of a garment staying in my wardrobe.

I was fortunate to receive the socks as a gift from our own David Shuck afterThe Great White Sock Reviewin spring 2021. And while they weren’t a top performer in the review, they are a nearly ideal sock for me in terms of comfort, aesthetic, and repairability. Admittedly, they’re a little tougher to pop on than a typical stretch sock, but that moment of difficulty equates to a full day of comfort and style. As they wear, I hope to hand darn them and keep them running for years to come.

Available for $29 from END.