What is the Biggest Function of Socks, Apart from Keeping Warm?

What is the Biggest Function of Socks, Apart from Keeping Warm?

The most important functions of socks

Sweating absorption

How much sweat do our feet produce every day? According to Wikipedia, it's 240 ml - about half a pound every two days. That's scary, right? Therefore, the primary function of socks is not to keep warm, but to absorb sweat and help it evaporate better. That's why people prefer to wear cotton socks rather than nylon socks, especially in summer - nylon does not absorb sweat.


Cold starts from the feet. Whenever the weather gets chilly, it's the golden season for sock sales. Whether it's clothing, bedding or socks, the basic principle of warmth is to create an air layer inside the fabric to slow down the heat exchange between the skin and the outside world. Therefore, generally speaking, the thicker the socks, the warmer they are, and among the commonly used fabrics for socks, wool is the most effective at keeping warm. This is not just because wool is thick, but more importantly, because the fiber structure of wool can maintain a certain air layer even when damp. It's well known that air conducts heat much slower than water, which gives it a warming effect comparable to no other fabric.

Friction reduction

We've all experienced this before. Therefore, athletic socks are usually knitted very thick. From this, we can infer that if the socks are too thin when wearing leather shoes, they will generally not be comfortable.

Good looking

For men, it's a basic requirement to wear the right pair of socks in serious occasions, and showing off a pair of cool socks is always a plus when relaxing or exercising. As for women, the temptation of stockings goes without saying, and it's definitely great to show a little style and taste on the socks with the trend.

On the fabric, what kind of socks are the best?


For socks, cotton is the most mainstream fabric. Generally speaking, the better the cotton yarn used, the more comfortable the socks will be. Here, let's dispel a common misconception: "100% cotton" does not necessarily mean it's really good! Because natural cotton yarn has poor elasticity, it is necessary to blend a certain proportion of polyester fibers (such as spandex) to make the socks comfortable, fitting and durable.


Wool is another common material, and short wool socks have the characteristic of extremely good warmth but relatively expensive. They are not used much during work, but are a good choice for home socks without heating.

Polyester fibers

Polyester fibers such as nylon, spandex, polyester and acrylic have good elasticity but poor sweat absorption, and some of them may produce odors. Therefore, it is not recommended to wear socks made of high-proportion polyester fibers (except for stockings, because there is no better way). A certain proportion (such as 5%-10%) of polyester fiber blended with cotton or wool is necessary. Generally speaking, socks that involve spandex or lycra in blending have better quality.

Other common materials

For example, silk and bamboo fibers are smooth and shiny, but wear out quickly; modal (essentially a regenerated cellulose fiber) has good luster, but poor sweat absorption; some high-tech fiber fabrics developed specifically for sports scenes are hollow and may have better sweat conductivity; and there are a variety of fibers that some sock manufacturers advertise but are often more marketing than substance.

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