Steel toe boots are a beneficial, and sometimes essential, part of certain types of work. They are durable, tough, heavy-duty, and keep your feet warm and dry. But by themselves, their heavy-duty qualities can cause damage and pain to your feet. That’s why you need a proper pair of work socks to pair them with. Here’s your guide to what you should look for in a pair of work socks, plus the six best options for you to consider.
What to Look for in Work Socks for Steel Toe Boots
Steel toe boots are meant to protect your feet from impacts and rough conditions. They also keep your feet warm and dry. These qualities can cause damage to feet, especially after extended periods of working in them. Work socks should be thick enough to protect your feet from the harshness of the boots. Look for socks that have plenty of insulation. This will also keep your feet extra warm and dry.
Without socks, steel toe boots can also cause damage to ankles or legs where they meet the skin. Many work socks meant for steel toe boots extend to the knee or just below. This protects your ankles and calves. Make sure the socks don’t fall down throughout the day, though, as this will cause them to bunch up around the top of your boot, which will become very uncomfortable. Not to mention, you will become very annoyed when you have to constantly pull up your socks. Go for socks that stay at your knee all day.
Work socks should also be made of quality material. You want socks that will last a long time, so you don’t have to keep replacing them. Anything that includes nylon will have an element of durability.
Whoever is responsible for doing your household’s laundry can attest that socks get smelly after just one day of wear. The odor increases with more strenuous activity. Look for work socks that can help to eliminate or at least minimize odor.
Work socks should be water-resistant. Steel toe boots are supposed to keep you dry, but that won’t matter if water gets inside the boot. In this case, you’ll want socks that have waterproof qualities so they can keep your feet dry.
One of the most qualities to look for is comfort. If the socks aren’t comfortable, you’ll dread putting them on. Plus, they will chafe throughout the day. Look for soft socks that are still insulated and water-resistant.
Work socks should also be absorbent. During a long work day, you’re likely to sweat inside those heavy-duty boots. The best work socks will be able to absorb this sweat, thus reducing odor and keeping your feet dry and non-slippery.
The 6 Best Work Socks for Steel Toe Boots 2019
The Fox River Steel Toe Mid-Calf Boot Work Socks are comfortable, warm, and protective. They are made primarily of acrylic, a soft man-made fiber that is lightweight, durable, and provides warmth and comfort. The acrylic is blended with tough nylon and stretchy spandex. Extra heavy-duty cushioning is included over the toe and above the heel. Wick Dry technology draws moisture away from skin and removes moisture buildup that could cause friction and blisters. The URfit system combines memory knit compression, a contoured rib top, and spandex compression zones for the ultimate personalized fit.
- The acrylic fibers are soft, lightweight, durable, warm, and comfortable. They can also be dyed various colors more easily than natural fibers.
- Nylon provides durability.
- Spandex provides flexibility.
- Heavy cushioning over the toe and above the heel protects your feet from the boots and provides comfort and warmth.
- The Wick Dry technology keeps your feet dry and reduces the chance of blisters.
- The specialized URfit system guarantees a personalized fit for every individual.
- The socks are machine washable and can be tossed in a dryer, so no special care or line drying is required.
- The socks don’t absorb sweat very well. You may need to change into a second pair after about half a day of wear.
- The socks start at mid-calf, but slowly slip down over time as they lose their elastic.
- The socks can start to wear down and develop holes after only a few weeks of use.
- The socks are often too thick to fit into snug shoes or boots.
The Full Cushion Steel Toe Synthetic Work Boot Socks from Carhartt are versatile socks – they wick away sweat, fight odors, and keep your feet comfortable with full cushioning. They are made from a blend of acrylic fibers, polyester, and spandex. The acrylic fibers are soft and durable, and the spandex gives the sock stretch. Abrasion-resistant Coralast fibers are present throughout the heel and toe, which reduce friction even when breaking in new steel toe boots. A compression arch prevents bunching and provides a contoured fit. The FastDry feature keeps your feet from becoming sweaty, and proprietary odor-resistant technology keeps them fresh.
- Acrylic fibers in the foot and top are resilient and durable.
- Full cushioning throughout the sock makes it very comfortable.
- Coralast fibers reduce friction which may cause blisters.
- The compression arch keeps the sock from bunching up inside work boots.
- The socks dry quickly, keeping away moisture and sweat.
- Odor-resistant technology fights odors and keeps your feet fresh.
- These socks are not meant for summertime wear. They can become too hot for warmer temperatures.
- The heels wear out fast and develop holes.
- The socks fit a little tight and could leave marks on your legs.
The Steel Toe Moisture Control Crew Socks from Dickies are comfortable, durable, and include moisture control, air circulation, and compression abilities. They are made of a blend of cotton, polypropylene, nylon, polyester, and spandex. The heel and toe are reinforced by heavyweight nylon for durability and comfort. Moisture control fibers keep your feet dry by wicking moisture away. There are ventilation channels that circulate air for breathability and further assist moisture control. Arch compression aids support and stability. Spandex makes the sock more flexible, giving it better fit. The socks are designed to stay up without feeling restrictive.
- The cotton material makes the sock very soft and comfortable.
- Nylon reinforces the heel and toe for extra durability and comfort.
- Spandex gives the sock more stretch.
- Specialized moisture control fibers and ventilation channels keep your feet dry. The ventilation channels also circulate air to keep the socks breathable.
- Tired and aching feet are given support with arch compression.
- The socks extend to the knees and are designed to stay there.
- The socks are sometimes still wet at the end of the day, despite the work put into the moisture control features.
- They stretch out a few sizes when they are wet.
- They can feel tight and uncomfortable.
- They can feel too warm in some climates. They are only recommended for winter usage.
- The seams in the toes can rub and chafe.
- Sometimes, even light use results in excessive wear and holes.
Darn Tough John Henry Boot Cushion Socks are soft, durable, and smooth wool socks. They are made of merino wool, nylon, and lycra spandex. The wool makes them very soft and comfortable. Merino wool is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, so the socks will not make you sick when they encounter moisture. The wool also makes them great all-season socks – they keep you cool during the summer and warm during the winter. The nylon makes them durable, and the spandex makes them flexible. True Seamless construction makes the sock easy to put on, wear, and take off. There are no problems with bunching when putting them on, no slipping during the day, and no friction that leads to blisters.
- The merino wool makes these socks comfortable, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and perfect for any season or climate.
- The nylon is durable.
- The spandex makes them flexible, giving them great fit.
- True Seamless construction eliminates bunching, slipping, and friction.
- The socks are not water-resistant at all.
- The socks can start to wear down very quickly.
- They can be tight and cut into legs.
- The socks are meant to eliminate slipping, but they can sometimes twist and shift during activity.
These Work Boot Over Calf Socks from Drymax are comfortable, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and odor-fighting. They are made from a blend of olefin, polyester, elastane, and nylon. Padding on the toes keeps your feet warm and extra comfortable. The padding is dense, rather than just thick, giving the socks superior comfort without making them bulky. They include a Dual Layer Moisture Removal system, which instantly removes moisture, moving it from the skin to the inner layer to the outer layer, which is absorbent. This keeps your feet dry in any condition. By removing moisture, the system also helps to keep feet odor-free throughout the day. The socks are designed to keep you comfortable in both cold and hot conditions.
- Elastane makes the socks flexible and nylon makes them durable.
- Many winter work socks use thick padding that affects the fit of the sock, making it bulky and difficult to wear. The Work Boot Over Calf Socks use dense padding, which provides comfort without making the sock bulky. This makes it easier for you to put on, wear, and take off the socks.
- The Dual Layer Moisture Removal System is an improvement on most winter socks’ moisture-wicking features. It moves the moisture away from your skin and into the outer layer which absorbs it. This keeps you dry and odor-free throughout the day.
- They are recommended for both warm and cold weather conditions.
- The socks are stretchy enough to pull on over the foot, but the top is not elastic enough to pull them on over the calf.
- Some experiences found them very thin and tight on the calves.
- They sometimes fall down inside the boot.
The Wolverine Steel Toe Cotton Mid-Calf Sock is comfortable and secure. It is made of comfortable cotton, durable nylon, and stretchy spandex. It’s secured with a pull-on closure and ribbed stay-up top. The heel and toe are reinforced for extra protection. Full cushioning and smooth toe seams provides comfort and support. Tired, achy feet can find support with the embedded arch.
- The cotton provides soft comfort, the nylon provides tough durability, and the spandex provides flexibility.
- A pull-on closure keeps the sock secure and tight, providing ultimate warmth and comfort.
- The ribbed top is meant to extend the sock to the mid-calf and keep it there.
- The heel and toe are reinforced for protection from the harshness of steel toe boots.
- The socks feature full cushioning and smooth toe seams. This eliminates chafing and discomfort.
- The embedded arch fights and soothes fatigue and aches.
- The sock can be too thick for some steel toe boots.
- The sock slips down during the day.
- The hems have a tendency to fall apart over time.
- The toe area wears thin quickly.
- Friction with boots can wear down the fabric.
Which Work Socks for Steel Toe Boots are Right for You?
Steel toe boots are often mandatory and essential for workers who are on their feet all day long. They can also cause blisters, discomfort, and pain if not paired with the right work socks. This list has presented a lot of options, but which one is right for you? All six options will keep your feet warm. Maximum comfort can be found with the Fox River and Wolverine socks. The Drymax are very durable. The Dickies socks provide water-resistance, while the Carhartt and Drymax versions provide protection against both moisture and odors. Each of these products have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s up to you to decide which qualities to focus on. In any case, you’re likely to find the perfect pair of work socks for steel toe boots on this list!