How Should Socks Fit?

Have you ever been in this situation? You pick up a new pair of socks at the store, and read somewhere on the label, “ONE SIZE FITS ALL.” You think to yourself, “Now, how can that be?” As someone who wears XXL big & tall clothing, and size 15 and 16 shoes, I know for a fact that when companies say “one size fits all”, it isn’t accurate.

It is very important to wear socks that fit properly. If they’re too big, they can leave too much fabric at the toes, causing discomfort, and they can potentially sag and fall down off the calf or ankle (depending on the length of the sock). On the contrary, if they are too small, they can constrict the calf or ankle, cutting off circulation, and can be more prone to tearing.

Yet, there are still challenges that await you when finding the right pair of socks to fit your feet. Traditional sock sizing can be confusing, and going by shoe size doesn’t always tell the whole story - what if your feet are extra wide? Combine this with the fact that many stores don’t let you try on socks due to sanitary concerns, and you can feel like you’re taking a risk when buying a new pair of socks. In this blog, we’ll discuss what’s wrong with sock sizes that are currently available, as well as give you some helpful tips to ensure your sock has the proper fit.

The Traditional Sock Sizing Chart

Traditionally, when socks weren’t of the “one size fits all” mold, and socks only came in a few sizes, many old-fashioned sock companies adhered to a rigid sizing system with a corresponding chart:

Traditional Sock Size Chart

Sock Size

Men's Shoe Size (USA)

Women's Shoe Size (USA)














There are several glaring issues with this chart and system:

  1. If you wear a shoe size bigger than a men’s 13, there are no options to be found
  2. While there is no official data, estimates of the average male shoe size in America is 10.5, which lies in between two sizes

Recent research has shown that the population’s feet are generally getting bigger, while limited shoe and sock options are still a problem for those with bigger feet.

How Should Socks FIt?

how should socks fit

In all areas of the sock and the foot, the sock should feel snug, but also comfortable. You don’t want to restrict your feet too much from their function to help you walk, run, hike, or live your life. But you also don’t want the socks to feel too loose, as then they become prone to falling, sagging, and bunching inside your shoes. Follow these tips for ensuring your socks have the proper fit:

Align the Heel

First, you should check to ensure that the heel of your sock aligns with the heel of your foot. On many socks, including those from Tall Order, the heel will be colored differently from the rest of the sock so it’s easy to tell if it aligns perfectly with the heel of your foot. If the heel doesn’t reach your ankle, consider sizing up. Likewise, if the heel hangs out on your calf, you should probably size down.

Check Your Toes

Next, see how well your toes fit inside the ends of your socks. In a similar fashion to the heel, many socks have a defined toe area; it can sometimes be colored differently, separated by a seam, or both. You can use this area as a guide for your toes- if the toe area goes past where the toes meet the foot, then size down. If there isn’t enough toe area, then size up. Also, when you put your sock-covered feet in your shoes, you shouldn’t feel the toe area fabric at all. If you do, your sock is probably too big. On the other hand, if you feel the fabric digging at your toenails making your toes curl, you probably need a smaller sock.

How Tight Do They Feel?

At the top of the foot, you want the socks to feel tight enough to stay in place, but not so tight that they can’t expand a little while you are walking. If you’re wearing a crew-length sock, this feel should extend all the way from the ankle up the calf to the elastic band on top. If you have athletic or ankle socks on, then you’ll feel the fit right around your ankles. If your socks start sagging and falling down, that’s a sign you need smaller or tighter-fitting socks. If you can’t comfortably walk with the socks constricting your calves or ankles, then up your sock size.

Any Bothersome Seams?

Seams at the toe, on the heel insert, or at the top elastic band, can prove bothersome for some, especially those people who sit in between sock sizes and aren’t sure which one to pick. If seams are troublesome for you, seek out socks that are seamless, such as Tall Order Extra Cushioned socks.

Choosing a Sock That Fits

It takes some experimentation to find the perfect socks for your feet, because everyone has uniquely shaped feet. No two feet are alike, so the best fitting socks for one person may not be the best for another. With that in mind, we created Tall Order socks to alleviate a lot of the issues with poor-fitting standard socks. At Tall Order, we offer simple sizing that’s easy to determine, and covers ALL feet: big, tall, wide, and small. Tall Order socks come in:

If you fall right at the average shoe size, we have an option for you. If you have big and tall feet, we have options for you too. We started Tall Order with the desire to make premium socks for feet of ALL sizes, so we engineered the best socks you’ll ever wear. They’re not too tight, or too loose, have plenty of stretchability, and offer many great premium sock features at an affordable price.

Engineering Socks That Fit Properly

Tall Order socks are made from premium fabrics that are breathable, stretchable, and comfortable. Our Extra Cushioned crew length socks are the perfect all-around casual and dress sock, with a special comfort band at the top to prevent sagging, and extra cushioning to ensure a comfortable fit. Our Low Cut Ankle Socks offer the same padding in the sole of the foot, while having a special heel tab around the ankle to ensure they stay in place during all levels of activity. Plus, all Tall Order Extra Cushioned and Ankle Socks feature seamless toes, so you’ll never be bothered around your toes ever again!