11 Ways to Make Socks Last Longer

It’s unfortunate when you need to get rid of a good pair of socks.  While it’s inevitable that all socks need to be replaced at some point, there are a few ways to make them last just a little bit longer. 

Today, we’ll share with you eleven helpful tips to extend the life of your socks.

1. The Right Sock for the Right Job

When it comes to socks, it’s all about wearing the right pair for the job. For example, if you are going for a run, don’t wear your everyday casual socks; instead, reach for running socks.  Running socks often feature artificial fabrics that are much more durable while also wicking away moisture.

By slimming down your sock drawer and getting good, yet role-specific socks, you enjoy socks that perform better while also lasting significantly longer.

Related: How Many Socks Should You Own

2. Wear House Socks or Slippers 

If you wear socks around the house, invest in a pair of house socks or slippers rather than the casual or formal socks you wear outside.  House socks often feature a comfortable fabric paired with a cushioned sole.  Some house socks also have a non-slip grip for a safer step.

If you don’t want to change your socks every time your home, then consider wearing slippers as they will reduce the wear and tear of your socks.

3. Resist Ironing Your Socks

Socks often contain a blend of several different fibers including polyester, nylon, or spandex.  While synthetic fibers are durable, they are susceptible to melting and breaking. If you must iron your socks, make sure you set the heat on the iron to very low.  

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Get Lint Off Socks

4. Don’t Wring Out Excess Moisture

Any article of clothing, including socks, shouldn’t be wrung out to remove excess water.  Wringing out your clothes can stretch the fabric resulting in a poor or loose fit.  

Instead, let your socks air dry on a flat surface or drying rack.  

5. Toe Holes

If your socks get holes in the toe pocket, it is one of two reasons: your shoes are too tight, or your toenails are too long/sharp.  

When shopping for shoes online, don’t be afraid to return them if they are too tight. It’s estimated that 20% of all online purchases are returned (source).  Consider visiting a local shoe retailer and use their Brannock device to get the correct measurement of your feet so you can purchase an appropriately sized shoe.  

For your toenails, be sure to cut them once a week after bathing or showering.  This will help soften the nail making for a cleaner cut that reduces the risk of sharp edges.  If any sharp edges remain, use a nail file to soften.

6. Size Appropriately

A sock too tight or too loose can quickly wear down.  Therefore, make sure you’re wearing the correct sock sizes.  It’s important to know that sock sizes aren’t always the same as shoe sizes.  

For example, on the Hanes website, they have this table that recommends sock sizes based on your shoe size:

hanes size chart for socks
Shoe size doesn’t always equal sock size

Specialty sock brands such as Bombas, Feetures, Darn Tough, Smartwool, and more have more sizes to choose from.  A wider range of sizes should result in a better fitting sock.

7. Air Dry if Possible

When examining the care instructions on a fresh pair of socks, nearly all companies recommend either air dry or tumble dry low.  Follow the care instructions set by the manufacturer as it will help prevent the fibers from being ruined, prolonging the sock’s life.

8. Clean Inside Out

If you buy new socks simply because your old ones smell, you may just need to wash them properly.  

Before washing, flip the socks inside out. Researchers found that when you do this and set the washing temperature to 60℃, all the fungi and bacteria in the sock will be killed (source).

9. Wash With Detergent, Not Bleach

Bleach is incredibly effective at brightening dirty and discolored white socks.  However, using too much bleach may ruin your socks for good.  When cleaning, use only a small amount and sparingly.  

10. Use a Laundry Bag

Laundry bags are a lifesaver.  Not only do they ensure that none of your socks get lost while washing them, but they also protect your socks from getting caught on a zipper and having threads pulled out while cleaning.

You can find laundry bags online or at your favorite department store for less than $5.

11.  Donate or Recycle

Once the socks finally meet their end of life, donate or recycle them instead of throwing them away.  Donating helps to lessen environmental impact while also allowing you to help a fellow neighbor out.

We covered several ways to put your old socks to a good cause here.

Theo Lawson

With a five-year background in men's fashion, Theo Lawson has shifted his focus to the world of socks. To him, socks are more than just a piece of clothing - they're a way to express yourself and make a statement.

To improve his knowledge, Theo consults with manufacturers and interviews industry leaders to stay up-to-date on the latest sock trends. His dedication to the field has earned him the trust of companies, celebrities, and sock enthusiasts, making him a true testament to the impact that one person can have when passionately pursuing their expertise.

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