Whether you’re looking for cozy socks to pull way up on lounge days or a heavy-duty wool pair for trekking in cold weather, the best knee-high socks — and over-the-knee socks, for that matter — have a snug fit that won’t fall down, and some of them are total outfit makers in their own right. While socks might seem like a bit of an afterthought on most days, you'd be surprised at how much the right pair can transform your comfort level.
While it's easy to shop for socks on their aesthetic merits alone, it pays to take a peek at their material to find the best ones for you. A good everyday sock you can wear all year is often made out of soft, breathable cotton — and combed cotton provides even more softness and durability. For more warmth, a wool sock will be thermo-regulating and even moisture-wicking. If you need a good sock for hiking, a thicker merino wool blend will be better on the trail since it has enough heft to stave off blisters and protect against serious cold. (It’s also less likely to itch.) For compression socks, a soft synthetic keeps blood flowing whether you’re on your feet all day or trapped in the middle seat on an overnight flight. (For extra oomph, look for pairs that are infused with copper to keep odors at bay.)
Here you'll find everything from cute pairs in novelty prints and cozy cable knits to performance socks for more active days. And if you really want to a versatile pair, an over-the-knee option will give you extra coverage when you need it and you can cuff them to peek over the top of a pair of riding boots too.
With all that in mind, these are the pairs you’ll keep in constant rotation — and they’re a lot harder to lose in the wash.
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1. Some Extra-Fine Cotton Socks You Can Wear With Everything
Never underestimate the power of a good all-purpose, everyday sock. These combed cotton knee-high socks layer well under everything from boots to skinny jeans to provide a bit of extra coverage without the bulk. Shoppers were thrilled to report that these actually stayed up all day (or night). The pair comes with a genuinely seamless toe that many reviewers commented on, with one reporting: "The toes are really comfy with no bunching or hard seams and the fabric is great - neither baggy nor tight - just right. Finally. The perfect pair of socks."
- Available colors: 24, as well as 4 multi-color packs
- Available sizes: 4 – 7; 8 – 11 (two size ranges)
2. This 2-Pack Of Dress Socks In A Warm Wool Blend
Dress socks are often thin, but when wool is blended with polyester and a high dose of spandex it yields a soft, warm, and stretchy pair. Available in muted solids and classic prints, you might as well pick up a few pairs because you'll probably end up reaching for them even when you're just running errands. "They were EXTREMELY warm and soft. We spent about 3-4 hours outside and my feet were dry and warm the entire time," one shopper raved, adding, "They do not shrink and maintain their softness. I was worried about the elastic at the top of the sock being to tight but they are perfect — has nice retainable stretch that does not leave marks."
- Available colors: 11
- Available sizes: One size fits 5–9
3. Some Merino Wool Hiking Socks With Extra Support
Designed in Denmark, these knee-high wool socks were developed with and tested by a Mount Everest climber so you know they'll go the distance. Made from a high-quality merino wool blend (cruelty-free and humanely sourced), they're guaranteed not to itch. Acrylic and nylon blended in add strength with just a touch of elastane for flexibility. A smooth toe seam and extra padding in the heel and toe prevent chafing, while strategic ventilation lanes work to keep toes warm and dry. "These socks are pretty awesome, guys. Not only are they great fitting, but walking around in them feels great. They made my most uncomfortable pair of shoes tolerable. Really soft and overall great product," one reviewer noted. What's more, they're OEKO-TEX certified to be completely nontoxic and free of harsh manufacturing chemicals.
- Available colors: 5
- Available sizes: 5 – 7, 8 – 10 (as well as a kids size)
4. The Coziest Pair Of Tall Cable Knit Boot Socks
Over-the-knee cable knit socks are warm and cozy tucked under a lounge dress or over leggings, but they also look super cute with the ribbed cuff peeked over the top of a pair of knee-high boots. In a 100% acrylic, they're a vegan alternative to the look and feel of wool, and go easily through a machine wash. "Muk-Luks is one of my favorite brands and these socks definitely don't disappoint! They are a nice thick cable knit and so incredibly soft and comfortable," a fan commented. "They have decent stretch don't create a bulge at all. These socks are perfect and I want to order more to keep a stock pile." If you love the knit but prefer a cotton-based sock, try these cozy over-the-knee socks instead.
- Available colors: 4
- Available sizes: One size
5. These Super-Fun Socks Available In The Best Novelty Prints
From galaxy prints to dogs and donuts, these are the super-fun socks you’ll wear at home with your favorite cozy pajamas or hidden under work boots when you need a boost. Choose from designs as varied as a pair with X-rays to ones with layer upon layer of ice cream. They're 100% polyester that's "nice and thick," according to one rave review, with vivid colors and good detail. "I might have to sport some Birkenstocks with these to properly show them off," another shopper joked.
- Available colors: 26
- Available sizes: One size fits 4–12
6. Some Over-The-Knee Socks That Won’t Feel Bulky
Although they’re indicated for cosplay, these over-the-knee socks are made from a soft combed cotton blend that nets rave reviews for everyday wear. "I've bought nearly every color this brand has to offer, because I like them so much," one shopper praised. "Stay up most of the day without pinching or shifting around. The socks themselves are slightly soft, almost tshirt knit feeling, lightweight and as colorful as the pictures." They’re sold in packs of three that are surprisingly well coordinated — choose from several muted neutral options and ones with varying degrees of color.
- Available colors: 9 multi-color packs
- Available sizes: One size
7. These Compression Socks Infused With Copper
These nylon-polyester compression socks get a boost with copper woven into their fibers. They offer graduated 15-20 mmHg, considered medium support compression, for a snug fit that's still easy to slip on and off — with a reinforced heel and toe for irritation-free wear. "Initial quality seems very good, outstanding for the price. It does state that it recommends dry cleaning, not a chance [in] Hell of that happening, but I have machined washed them 4 times now...They survived just fine," one rebel wrote, concluding, "Good, well made socks."
- Available colors: 22
- Available sizes: Small – Medium, Large – X-Large
8. Some Retro Gym Socks
With their sporty top stripes, these knee-high socks have peak throwback vibes. Woven from mostly cotton, with some synthetic poly blended in, they feel soft yet durable and not as heavy as a bulky terry cloth sock. "I bought these to wear with my roller skates so I don’t get blisters. Not only are they super cute, but they are thin enough where my feet don’t sweat. But not so thin that they aren’t comfortable," a fan reported. If you skew more classic, grab the plain black or white pairs listed alongside them. Going for the bold? The black striped pair has punchier accent shades.
- Available colors: 4
- Available sizes: One size fits 6–10