Best Socks for Work Boots | Perfect Thick Cushion for Steel Toe & Sweaty Feet

Bad socks that rub blisters on your toes, slide around on the foot, or bunch around your ankles leave you with sore feet at the end of the day–especially if you are standing all day.  Whether you are a logger, construction worker, ironworker or welding crew chief, for ultimate comfort at work, you need a great pair of socks, if not the very best socks for work boots.  

Updated March 2020 by Tony Bleak

best socks work boots

In a Hurry? Here’s my Top Pick:

Fox River Heavyweight Steel Toe Crew Sock, Read on to find out why. 

The Wrangler Riggs Workwear Over-The-Calf Socks gets my nod for being the best value for the money.


Comparison Chart

Material Style Features
Fox River
Heavyweight Socks
Acrylic, nylon,
spandex
Crew
All season wear
Moisture wicking
Made in USA
Extra cushion
over toe & heel
View
ONKE Extra Heavy
Cushion Socks
Cotton, polyester,
nylon, spandex
Crew All season wear
Moisture wicking
In black & white
View
Dickies Heavyweight
Cushion Compression
Work Socks
Cotton, polyester,
spandex
Crew
All season wear
Moisture wicking
Toe & heel cushion
View
Wrangler Riggs
Workwear Socks
Cotton, nylon,
spandex
Over calf All season wear
Made in USA
Full cushion sole
View
Carhartt Cold Weather
Boot Sock
Acrylic, wool,
nylon, spandex
Over calf Winter wear
Moisture wicking
Full cushion sole
Made in USA
View

Key Features

Moisture

Great work socks wick away moisture.

Dampness increases friction, and friction increases the likelihood that your foot will develop blisters. Moisture-wicking materials move moisture away from the foot and increase your comfort. Cotton, polyester and nylon are good moisture-wicking materials because they are breathable and allow sweat to pass through the sock and dissipate. Wool, although warm to wear in some situations, is also excellent at wicking moisture and keeping sweaty feet from stinking. 

Height

Great work socks are the right height to keep your foot comfortable. 

Comfort is key here. If you prefer a short sock in a tall boot, great! One thing to remember is that very low-rise socks allow your work boot to rub against your ankle. The sock height that is best for you will feel good and will protect your leg. Here are the basic sock heights and what they mean. They apply to both men’s and women’s socks.

Two very short socks are “no-show” and “ankle” socks. No-show socks stop below the ankle and are shorter than a regular shoe height. Ankle socks stop at the ankle, and show above the top of a low-rise shoe. 

Crew socks cover the ankle, but don’t cover the calf. Slightly shorter crew socks that rest mid-way between an ankle sock and a regular crew sock are called 3/4 crews. Crew-length socks are tall enough to cover the bottom part of the leg if you cross one leg over the other.

Boot socks, over-the-calf socks, and knee socks get progressively higher. Boot socks get their name from the fact that they are about the height of a cowboy boot. Over-the-calf socks rise far enough to cover the entire calf muscle.  They show above the top of a cowboy boot. Knee socks stop at the bottom of the knee cap. 

Style & design

Great work socks match the styling of your boot.

Style features of your work boot will affect your choice of work sock. If your leather lace-up, work boot has a square toe or a moc toe with a fairly roomy toe box, you may have plenty of space for a thick sock. Rubber pull-on boots are also likely to allow room for a  heavyweight sock. You may need a lightweight sock if your boot is heavily insulated or has a safety toe. 

Padding & Protection

Socks should provide adequate padding to protect you at the main pressure points of your feet. 

Your toes and your heels bear the greatest pressure of walking, running, or standing. Your ankle is stressed when you bend or stretch.  All 3 of these areas benefit from extra padding. Some socks provide an extra layer of padding across the entire bottom of the foot and over the heel and toes. Other socks cushion the toe and ankle areas, but not the part of the sock under the arch.  Some extend the typical ankle pad to cover the Achilles heel area.  

Still others provide extra cushioning from the toe of the sock and across the top of the foot. 

Speciality Types

Special foot or shoe features may require a certain type of sock.

If you’re one who needs all the arch support you can get, you’ll probably want a sock with arch support designed into it. If you suffer with diabetes or generally poor circulation, you’ll benefit from a sock made with special compression fabrics that prevent the foot from swelling. Your employer may require you to wear a safety toe boot with a met guard to protect your toes and your metatarsal bones. If that’s the case, you’ll want a sock with extra padding, especially in the toe area. Likewise, if your employer requires a waterproof or puncture-resistant work shoe, you’ll need a sock that matches that shoe.

The 5 best socks for work boots

Fox River Heavyweight Crew Socks 

Fox River Heavyweight Socks are thick and sturdy enough to stand up to the rigors of a steel-toe boot. Made in America, these socks are fashioned of acrylic, nylon and spandex. They feature an arch support and moisture-wicking capabilities, and can be worn year-round.

PROS

  • Sizes range from 3-14.5
  • Machine washable
  • Extra cushion over toe and heel

CONS

  • More expensive than most
  • Available only in black, gray or white
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

ONKE Men’s Cotton Moisture-Wicking Extra Heavy Cushion Athletic, Work Crew Socks   

The Men’s Cotton Moisture-Wicking Extra Heavy Cushion Work Crew Socks feature a blend of cotton, polyester, nylon and spandex. With a size range from 6-15 and moisture-wicking capabilities, these heavyweight socks can provide 4-season comfort to nearly anyone.  

PROS

  • Can be worn with safety-toe boots 
  • Inexpensive

CONS

  • Available in black and white only 
  • Imported
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Dickies Men’s Heavyweight Cushion Compression Work Crew Socks 

These Men’s Heavyweight Cushion Compression Work Crew Socks from Dickies feature a comfortable blend of cotton, polyester and spandex that provides compression comfort and support to men with circulation problems. Not specifically marketed for use in steel-toe boots, these socks nonetheless are heavyweight enough to be comfortable for many who wear a safety boot. 

PROS

  • Ankle and heel compression
  • Arch support
  • Machine washable

CONS

  • Sizes 6-12 only
  • Imported
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Wrangler Men’s Riggs Workwear Over-The-Calf Work Boot Socks  

In their Men’s Riggs Workwear Over-the-Calf Work Boot Socks, the Wrangler company uses a blend of cotton, nylon and spandex to create an all-season work sock with lots of cushioning and support. The sock fits comfortably, and doesn’t slide down the leg. 

PROS

  • Full cushion along the bottom
  • Machine washable
  • Made in US

CONS

  • Very limited sizes
  • Does not wick moisture
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Carhartt Men’s Cold Weather Boot Sock 

Carhartt’s Men’s Cold Weather Boot Sock is designed to keep your feet warm even if the weather is frigid.  Using a blend of acrylic, wool, nylon, spandex, the Carhartt folks fashioned an over-the-calf sock with a full cushioned bottom for extra warmth and an arch support for comfort.

PROS

  • Sizes range from 5-15
  • Machine washable
  • Made in US

CONS

  • More expensive than some
  • Available only in black, gray or white
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Customer Impression

All of these socks fit very well.

There is only a very small percentage of bad reviews for any of our 5 best socks for work boots. A relatively small portion of the negative reviews deals with issues of fit. The Wrangler Riggs sock did receive a few complaints saying that the sock ran big. A frustration with the Carhartt sock was that it was very loose.  Overall, these socks fit very well. 

All of these socks are very comfortable.

Across the board, these socks are rated as comfortable. More customers complimented the comfort of each one of these socks than any other attribute. A handful of reviewers for the Dickies and Carhartt socks claimed that their feet felt much better simply because they switched their sock brand. And each brand has a small percentage of customers who declared it the best sock ever for comfort. 

Each pair of socks has a particular strong point. 

The Fox River Steel Toe receives accolades for being an excellent sock for a steel toe boot. The Kirinland moisture-wicking sock with the extra cushion is deemed to be a very soft sock and a good value for the money. Reviewers really liked the fit of the Wrangler sock, saying that it stays up very well. The Carhartt Cold Weather Sock does a very good job of keeping your feet warm, and the Dickies compression sock gets exceptionally good reviews for comfort. 

Conclusion

Each of these pairs of socks is a very good option for certain situations. The Fox River Steel Toe Sock is the best-of-the-best to me because of the comfort features and the durability of the sock. I also appreciate the fact that the sock is made in the USA. The Wrangler Rigg’s Workwear Sock gets my nod as a great value for the money. It’s relatively cheap, especially if purchased in quantity. Try one of these–or any of the other 3–and see if you agree.  

The best socks for sweaty feet in work boots are usually made of what materials?

The best socks for sweaty feet in work boots are made of moisture-wicking materials that pull the moisture away from your foot. It’s when moisture becomes trapped in your boot that a rancid smell develops. So, the “cream of the crop” best moisture-wicking materials also help dispel the moisture once they have pulled it away from the foot. They are the best materials for socks that help eliminate the sweat and the odor problem. 

If you read several articles or blog posts about which fabrics are the very best at wicking moisture, you’ll see conflicting opinions. There is some agreement, however. Most people agree that synthetic products by themselves do a poor job of combating foot odor. Many people believe that synthetics by themselves actual contribute to sweaty feet and foot odor because they are less breathable. 

Generally, wool and blends of wool, synthetics or cotton are viewed as the best fabrics to wick moisture and are some of the best socks to avoid sweaty feet in work boots. Some people absolutely insist that wool–particularly Merino wool–is the premier sweat-fighting material. 

One factor that complicates this discussion is the fact that people’s skin reacts differently to these fabrics. One person in my family just can’t wear wool socks. Another one swears that wool socks are the most comfortable and the best at keeping feet dry. If your feet sweat profusely, you may need to try a few different fabrics to see which one works best for you. 

I am looking for a pair of thick socks for work boots. What socks would you recommend?

There are a host of products manufactured in a vast variety of materials, many of which wick away moisture, and others that don’t. The following list includes socks in varying heights and color options. The list spans a fairly broad range of price and other features such as arch support, padding, and compression. These all represent a range of good options for thick socks for work boots, depending on the features you need. 

  • Fruit of the Loom Men’s 6 Pack Heavy Duty Reinforced Cushion Full Crew Socks
  • Carhartt Men’s A118-4 All Season Work Socks
  • Carhartt Men’s 2 Pack Full Cushion Steel-Toe Synthetic Work Boot Socks
  • YUEDGE Men’s Cushion Cotton Athletic Casual Crew Socks 5Pairs/Pack
  • Dickies Men’s Multi-pack Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks
  • Wigwam S1349 At Work Durasole Pro 2-Pack Sock
  • Drymax Work Boot Over Calf Socks
  • Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Work Compression Sock
  • Enerwear 6P Pack Men’s Merino Wool Cushion Outdoor Trail Socks
  • Ubersox Cotton Moisture Wicking Extra Heavy Cushion thick socks for work boots
  • Carhartt Men’s Heavy Duty Thermal Crew 2-Pair Socks

Keep in mind that the socks can also be a bit fun and not just work socks. Once you kick off your boots at the end of the day, you’ll feel extra relaxed when looking down at cartoon cat or dog socks .

What are the best socks for steel toe work boots?

Listed below are several pairs that come highly rated specifically for steel toe work boots. They are made from wool, cotton or synthetic materials. Most are a blend of 2 or more materials. The best socks for steel toe work boots have a variety of features and come in a range of heights, colors and price points. 

  • Dickies Genuine Men’s Premium Steel Toe Protection Crew Work Socks
  • Carhartt Men’s Force Performance Steel Toe Crew Socks
  • Fox River Steel-Toe Mid-Calf Boot Work Socks
  • Wolverine Men’s Steel Toe Over The Calf Socks
  • Wolverine Men’s Steel Toe Quarter Socks
  • Kodiak Men’s Steel Toe Crew Work Socks 
  • Carhartt Men’s Steel Toe Arctic Wool Boot Sock
  • Wrangler Ultra-dri Crew Socks
  • Carhartt Men’s Merino Wool Comfort-Stretch Steel Toe Socks
  • Dickies Steel Toe Shin Protector Boot Length Crew
  • Wolverine Men’s Steel Toe Mid Calf socks for steel toe work boots

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