Socks Types & Names Explained

Socks Explained - Extra Wide Socks, Bariatric Socks, Knee High Socks, Knee High Socks with Extra Stretch, Crew Socks, Ankle Socks, No Show Socks, King Size Socks, Diabetic and Loose Top Socks

Sock lingo explained – what is a crew sock, tube sock, extra stretch sock… and more.

The world of socks is a wide and varied one. So how do you know what you are looking for in a sock. We take the mystery out of sock types for you.


No Show socks

No Show socks reach part way up the foot. They are meant to be invisible or just slightly visible with shoes on. The purpose of a No Show Sock is mostly for aesthetics – for a clean, seamless shoe look.

Ankle socks

Ankle socks, like their name, reach the ankles. Originally popular for athletics as they provide breathing room to the legs and feet but increasingly they are a fashion choice as well. 

Ankle Socks for Women

Crew socks

Crew Socks are probably the most common style of sock, they end between the ankle and calf. Crew socks can be casual socks, novelty socks, business socks and athletic socks and worn with any boot or shoe.

Quarter Length/Short crew socks

Quarter Length/Short Crew are shorter than a crew and sit just a bit higher than the ankle bone.  Perfect for mid or high shoes to prevent rubbing and chafing.


Knee High socks

Knee High Socks run up the calf and leg to sit just below the knees. Ideal for keeping legs warm, pairing with boots, dress shoes and even running shoes. Great for wearing with a skirt for a fashion statement, even great for sport!!

Good quality Knee Highs feature stay-up technology and are knitted in a way to prevent them from slipping or rolling down. They come in styles suitable for Men and Women.

Knee High Extra Stretch socks

Knee High Extra Stretch Socks are a knee high sock that has extra stretch knitted into the calf providing a 21 inch circumference. Perfect for those that like a bit more room in the calf or have sporty or larger calves as the extra stretch means the design on the sock will not stretch and distort.


Over the Knee socks

Over the Knee Socks can also be known as Thigh High Socks, great for pairing with skirts, short shorts or longer tops. Great for the colder months when you want to show a bit of leg but still stay warm. The cuff of these socks generally has more elastic in the cuff, in good quality socks, so that it has a harder job of staying put way up high.

Large / Wide socks

Large or Wide Socks are, as the name suggest, wider in the foot and leg of the sock. This allows for those with larger feet or swollen feet to still be able to get a sock on their foot. They are also easy to put on and are therefore great for people struggling to bend to wriggle a sock on!

Loose Top socks

Loose Top Socks or Health Socks have a non-tight cuff. Technology ensures that, despite a non-tight cuff, these socks still stay up! They are perfect for those sensitive to a sock cuff digging into their leg or for people with circulatory issues or diabetes as a tight cuff on a sock can restrict blood flow.

King Size/Extra Large socks

King Size/Extra Large Socks suit those with a larger foot. Different brands have different ranges of size but generally these socks suit a men’s shoe size of over 11.

Bariatric socks

Bariatric Socks are the widest and largest socks that are made for people with lymphoedema or other conditions where the feet, ankles or legs are wide and swollen and therefore other socks are not suitable. Bariatric Socks can stretch up to 76cm in the calf but that doesn’t compromise on shape or the ability to stay up.


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