I get it. These are tough times and every dollar counts. Recently, I’ve felt like I’ve thought about every purchase and scrutinize it much more carefully. However, some purchases I’ve always thought carefully about regardless of economic conditions are my socks.
As a guy standing 6’9”, I’ve tried and bought every kind of sock marketed for my size that you can imagine. High socks, short socks, ankle socks, athletic socks, dress socks, and everything in between. These socks have run a variety of price points, from cheap multi-packs of basic white socks, to up to $30 for one pair of so-called “premium” dress socks.
So imagine my disappointment that the massively-advertised “premium” socks that purport themselves to be the most comfortable and longest lasting socks have so many flaws: they don’t stretch to fit my XL feet, they tear easily, they don’t stay up on the calf or around my ankles. I felt ripped off considering how much I spent on these supposedly “high-quality” socks. I get the same level of (dis)comfort in the cheap socks where I can get 6 pairs for what seems like pennies. With those, at least you know going in that you’re going to get what you pay for.
Today, the price of socks that are labeled as high-quality or premium ranges between $12-$20 on average. And prices seem to increase all the time. This begs the question: does paying more for a pair of expensive socks mean you’re getting a product of higher quality? In this blog, we’ll break down what can drive sock prices high, how it relates to quality, and offer some tips as to when and how you should purchase more expensive socks.
What Makes Certain Socks so Expensive?
A few factors can make sock prices higher than you might expect:
We’ve discussed before the impact of certain materials on sock construction (and their impacts on moisture control and insulation). In general, all-natural socks from fabrics such as cotton, vicuna, merino wool, and bamboo tend to cost more to produce than those socks made with or completely from synthetic fabrics. This is due to the labor involved, variance in crop yield, and other natural factors affecting quality and price. Synthetic fabrics are cheaper to produce, as manufacturers can control every step of the process.
It’s not just the material from which socks are made that can impact how expensive socks are, but also about how they are designed and constructed. The length of the sock matters - generally longer socks are more expensive than shorter socks. The presence of a seam matters - socks with seamless toes are more expensive to make than those with a seam in the toe. Additional construction design choices, such as extra cushioning, arch support, and special bands can increase the manufacturing cost of a pair of socks.
It’s a fact that plain, solid colored socks are going to be cheaper than those socks with fancy or funky patterns or prints. When it comes to patterns, the more intricate, unique, or artistic the pattern is, the higher the price it will likely cost. Whether or not the print is worth the price depends on your personal style and taste.
Companies can potentially use their socks as a branding mechanism aligned with the lifestyle the company tries to sell you. If that branding is focused on being premium or high-end, you can expect the price of the socks to be accordingly higher than those of competing brands.
A few other reasons that some socks are more expensive include:
- Specialization - designed for a very unique activity (e.g. soccer socks to go over shin guards)
- Medical-grade compression - can increase blood flow certain circulatory issues
- Charity - some brands make giving back an essential part of their mission
Does Expensive Always Mean Better?
While how good a sock feels and performs is ultimately a subjective opinion, there is an unconscious bias for consumers to think products that are priced higher are better quality. Think about a wine list at a restaurant- unless you are a dedicated oenophile, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between a $50 bottle and a $75 bottle. However, studies have shown that when presented the same product with different prices, consumers will still believe the “more expensive” product to be better.
A similar concept applies to socks, except with socks, you don’t get to try before you buy. And when you compare Tall Order Socks to its more expensive competition, you’ll find Tall Order provides quite a bang for your buck.
Tall Order Extra Cushioned Socks and Low Cut Ankle Socks include all the features you’d expect out of a premium sock, including high-quality fabrics, extra cushioning, arch support, moisture control, and seamless toes. They come in a variety of colors and prints spanning every personality and every budget. Tall Order Classic Fit Socks have many of the same features as well, including extra stretchability and a non-slip comfort band, and cost even less.
And since all Tall Order Socks are 3D-printed and not knitted, there’s no loose threads on the inside which means there’s less chance of them tearing for people with XL feet or XXL feet. Less tearing means a longer-lasting sock, which means more value for your dollar!
When Does Buying a Pair of Expensive Socks Make Sense?
Once you’ve done your research and know the expensive socks you want to buy, you still could be hesitant to take the plunge on more costly socks than you are used to. You just got a new round of economic stimulus - should you put a little aside to upgrade your sock drawer?
If you need them for a specific purpose, then you should accordingly spend a little extra to get the socks best suited for the activity. But what about your everyday casual and athletic socks? We say yes as you’ll save more in the long run by buying a higher-quality and longer-lasting sock (such as those from Tall Order). You won’t need to refresh as often as you do with cheaper socks that fray and wear down after only a few wears. Think of this as an investment in your comfort.
What to Look For in Socks Regardless of Price
If you’re looking to get the most value for your money, then you can refer to this checklist on what to look for in the socks no matter the cost:
☐ Designed for the proper time of day/activity (athletic, everyday, casual, dress, etc.)
☐ The correct fit (especially if you have XL feet or XXL feet)
☐ Made of high-quality materials that are durable and long lasting
☐ Easy to maintain
☐ Potential bundles for discounted pricing
Find Affordable, Quality Socks at Tall Order
Tall Order Socks meet all the above criteria in what to look for in the best socks no matter your price range. They are made from very high-quality fabrics and utilize 3D printing technology to keep loose threads that lead to tears out. This extends the useful life of the product, and makes them more durable and longer-lasting than most other socks on the market. Replace your socks less often, and do so at fair prices.
Some of our Solid Extra Cushioned and Low Cut Ankle Socks come in convenient bundling to give you the best value. Additionally, our single-pair Extra Cushioned and Classic Fit socks are also reasonably-priced, with socks ranging from $10-$18 per pair. And since every purchase donates back to Tuesday’s Children, which assists families dealing with traumatic loss, you don’t have to break the bank to Look Good, Feel Good, and Do Good.