With so many types of socks in the world, it can be hard to choose which ones to bring on your travels.

With the vast arrays of styles and fashion changing constantly, it is hard to pin down what the best socks to wear are. While some types of socks are tried and true, others can give you a fashion-forward edge to impress while you’re abroad. But, others will work better for the hike you have planned, while a final kind will be best for keeping you moving after a long day doing a walking tour of a city. So, we’ll walk you through all the different types of socks every world traveler should own to keep you looking sharp and feeling great.

1. No Show Socks

types of socks - No Show Socks

The sneakiest of all the different types of socks on our list is the No Show Sock. These socks are very low cut and can be worn with loafers, ballet slippers, and other types of shoes which show off your ankle or the top of your foot. While many choose to go sockless with these shoes, choosing to throw on a pair of no shows will keep for feet cleaner and less smelly when it comes time to take them off.

Note that these socks are not good for vigorous activities, as it leaves your ankle unprotected from rubbing and blisters. This being said, the naked ankle look is quite fashionable and has been making waves lately. However, keep in mind that many cultures believe you need to keep the ankle covered, so wear these with discretion when traveling. But, if you’re a fashion-forward traveler, make sure to have a pair of these no show socks at the ready.

2. Ankle Socks

types of socks - Ankle Socks

Ankle Socks land just below the ankle and are a popular workout sock. These are usually made out of cotton. Keep in mind that this is best, as natural and one-material socks will both last longer and treat your feet better. Ankle socks are incredibly popular when it comes to exercise, and they should be kept in that category. These socks are not for fashion. Runners, triathletes, and every-day sneaker wearers use this as a staple in their sock wardrobe. Keep in mind that this type of sock does leave your ankle exposed, so make sure your shoes are broken in before throwing on a pair of these. It is best to buy these socks in black as they will keep you away from the overused white athletic sock and are less conspicuous. Also, they will look cleaner much longer, which is handy when traveling.

3. Quarter Length Socks

types of socks - Quarter Length Socks

Quarter Length socks are the beefier and classier version of Ankle Socks. Hitting just above your ankle, these socks provide that extra bit of protection that is often needed. If you are trail running or have an ankle high hiking boot, these will offer just a bit more coverage from blisters and other nuisances while you’re out and about. Especially while you’re traveling, it is essential to keep your feet protected so you’re adventures are not interrupted by injury. You can also pair quarter length socks with women’s booties or some types of heels for a sophisticated look. 

4. Crew Socks

types of socks - Crew Socks

Crew Socks, also known as Mid-Calf socks, our one of our favorite types of socks. They can make any traveler look sophisticated at any time, even in the summer. They allow you to add spunk, classiness, or comfort to just about any outfit. If you’re traveling abroad to business or pleasure, these will keep your blood circulating on the long flights with their light compression. They pair well with just about any shoe, making it an essential sock to pack if you’re trying to minimize weight and bulk. Because they are so versatile, make sure to have crew socks in a variety of colors, designs, materials, and patterns. These can easily change add character to your minimalist traveling outfits without being bulky. Just another reason why they are one of the most essential types of socks on our list for every traveler!

5. Knee High Socks

types of socks - Knee High Socks

Fashion, skiing, warmth, football. Knee-high socks might be about the most diverse category we have in our types of socks list. For the stylish traveler, knee high socks pair well with a tall pair of boots. If you’re feeling daring, you can wear them with shorts or a skirt for a bold outfit. This fashion is quite popular if you’re visiting places like Japan. But, knee high socks are not just for fashion. These tall socks can be worn with tall winter boots for added warmth without having to invest in boot liners. Men and women will also wear them when skiing, as well as while playing football or soccer. They help keep gear in place as well as provide added protection from your gear chafing against you. So, if you’re a cold-weather traveler, these are essential to keep your feet and calves warm and happy. 

6. Slipper Socks

types of socks - Slipper Socks

So, you’ve made it to your romantic getaway with your beloved and you cozy up by the fire. But, your pesky little toes just can’t seem to get warm. Often elevation and climate changes make it hard on our bodies to circulate blood as well as they used to. So, it is essential to bring a great pair of slipper socks to wear around your hotel room to keep you content. These can be incredibly plush socks or even be leather-lined on the bottom for traction. Either way, any traveler who is hoping to spend a day or two relaxing inside should bring along their favorite pair of slipper socks.

7. Wool Socks

types of socks - Wool Socks

We mentioned earlier that socks will perform best when they are made of one natural material. While cotton is cheaper and an easier go-to, wool socks have a special place in the world. This is the least smelly of all of our types of socks, which can go very far when traveling. Wool socks keep you warm even when wet, which makes them a great hiking and adventure sock. In addition, it takes multiple wears for them to get dirty and smelly. This will keep your laundry pile low while traveling, as well as let you back less. There are so many spectacular sock brands out there making these types of socks, you should definitely invest in a few.

Picking which types of socks to bring on your next getaway can be difficult, but hopefully, we’ve opened your eyes to all the possibilities today. 

If you’re heading somewhere cold and snowy, the types of socks you bring will look much different than if you’re heading to the beach. In addition, knowing the company you’ll be around can change what you bring for your wardrobe. If you need to be conservative, stay away from the no shows and ankle socks. If you want some sophistication and class, your quarter length and crew socks will be your staple for your travels. But, always have a comfy pair of those warm wool socks on hand to keep those little piggies warm and happy. Plan the types of socks you bring on your next trip well and your feet will thank you.

Related Article: 9 Best Winter Boots for Men: Stylish, Functional Finds