This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which crew socks are best?

It’s time to buy new socks, and for many people, that means grabbing the first pair they see that looks half decent. Most people don’t really know the difference between socks unless they use them for specific activities like hiking, running or other athletics. However, even if someone cannot tell one sock from another, there is a high chance they own at least one pair of crew socks, which are durable socks that range from the ankle to the bottom of the calf muscle. 

For people who want a high-quality pair of socks made of merino wool that can withstand a hike or run and keep your feet warm, look no further than the Darn Tough Merino Wool Micro Crew Socks Cushion men’s/women’s

What to know before you buy crew socks

What is a crew cut sock? 

Crew socks are socks that generally end somewhere between the ankle and the bottom of the calf muscle. They are longer than no-show socks but shorter than ankle socks that certain athletes like soccer players use. Crew socks are also a little bit thick and ribbed. This makes them very elastic and great for both recreational and intensive use. 

Know your size 

Sock sizes can be confusing since they are not aligned with any of your other clothing. Many of them come in small, medium or large sizes, while some crew socks are one-size-fits-all. It’s best to try on a pair of crew socks before buying them, but manufacturers generally put a sizing guide on their website or on the packaging.

Crew cut socks can be used for any purpose 

Despite crew socks originating in the Navy in the 1940s and garnering a reputation for being durable, they can be used for anything. Different companies make different crew socks for different purposes, and there are mens crew socks, womens crew socks and even unisex crew socks. 

If you want crew socks for recreation and relaxation, try to find a package deal where you can get multiple socks in one pack. However, people needing a crew sock for a specific exercise like running or hiking might want to spend a bit more on premium socks that will keep their feet comfortable and injury-free. 

What to look for in quality crew socks

Good heel cushioning 

One reason to go with crew socks is that they are thicker and more comfortable than a regular no-show sock. They generally include a little extra cushioning on the heel. If this is important to you, or if you are using your crew socks to exercise, try to find a pair with ample cushioning on the heels. Sometimes this extra cushioning lines the entire bottom of the sock. 

The right material for your needs 

Merino wool is in right now because of its wicking properties and ability to cool you down in summer or keep you warm in winter. A lot of hikers and trekkers swear by merino wool socks. 

However, many socks are made of cotton, polyester and even spandex. Cotton is also great for keeping warm, and many cotton socks have wicking properties, much like merino wool. So, if you want to save money, stick to cotton, but those looking to hit trails should at least consider Merino Wool. 


Crew socks don’t need to be expensive, and in many cases, you can find multiple pairs of socks for one great price. If you really want a pair of socks that will last and keep your feet protected when exercising, it might be better to invest in two or three good pairs of expensive socks. For casual use, there are many high-quality socks that come bundled. 

How much you can expect to spend on crew socks

Crew socks can be as cheap as a few dollars for one pair, while premium brands like Darn Tough and Rockay charge $20-$35 for a single pair of socks. You can often get 6-12 socks for somewhere between $15-$25. 

Crew socks FAQ

Why would someone want to wear crew socks? 

A. They are not only comfortable and durable, but they are also exposed. A lot of dress socks are crew-cut as well. For people who want their socks to be visible, crew socks are a great option. Other people who exercise or work on their feet can also benefit from the extra comfort they provide. 

Are crew-cut and ankle socks the same? 

A. Ankle socks are longer than crew-cut socks. This is because ankle socks ride higher up the leg, while crew socks typically usually stop around the area where the calf muscle begins. Alternatively, no-show socks are shorter and aren’t high enough to be seen outside of taller shoes. 

What are the best crew socks to buy?

Top crew socks

Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Micro Crew Socks Cushion

Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Micro Crew Socks Cushion Men’s/Women’s 

What you need to know: This is a mid-weight crew cut sock made with mostly merino wool that can withstand even the toughest of hikes. 

What you’ll love: Merino wool wicks away sweat and keeps your foot both warm and cool. They are fit for hiking and trail running or just relaxing at home. In addition, there are many colors, including highly-sought after white crew socks, and come with a lifetime warranty. 

What you should consider: They are pricier than a lot of the competition, so those on a budget might want more than one pair of socks for this price range. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon men’s/women’s 

Top crew socks for the money

Dickies Men's Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks Multipack

Dickies Men’s Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks Multipack Men’s/Women’s 

What you need to know: Dickies are classic socks with staying power, durability and an amazing price point. 

What you’ll love: They have wicking technology. These socks are soft but durable, and they last a long time. The heel is reinforced and cozy. There are tons of color options, and you get six pairs. 

What you should consider: These are better suited for daily use than intense exercise. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon men’s/women’s 

Worth checking out

Nike Everyday Cushion Crew Socks

Nike Everyday Cushion Crew Socks

What you need to know: These Nike unisex socks are comfortable and suitable for any kind of exercise or workout. 

What you’ll love: These socks are made with mostly cotton and wick away moisture and sweat. These socks feature a terry sole for maximum comfort, and you get six pairs.

What you should consider: Some people found the socks to fit tightly around the ankle. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Stephen Morin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.