One of my long-held beliefs is that you can never own too many pairs of socks. They simply always come in handy. Socks may have a reputation for being a lazy holiday gift, but I’m always happy to receive them, and enjoy gifting them; it’s nice not to worry too much about specific sizing, especially if you’re buying for someone else, and socks are usually pretty inexpensive. If you’re looking for some gift inspiration this year, there are socks to meet just about every need there is — from fashion to coziness to circulation issues — and I’ve made a list of my seven favorites. Trust me, these socks are anything but boring.
1. For Fashion: Sock Candy
Sock Candy specializes in “funky yet elegant” foot coverings. Both playful and colorful, these socks come in sheer and sparkly varieties that would look unexpectedly cute when paired with heels or flats. If you’re looking for something unabashedly feminine — their patterns include hearts, flowers, and butterflies — look no further than Sock Candy. They’ll be sure to add a touch of quirky, youthful style to any holiday party outfit.
2. For Coziness: Nordic Socks
Nordic socks are basically sweaters for your feet. These thick (but not too thick, no sweaty toes here!) socks are made in Europe from cozy and high-quality merino wool, which is known for being breathable and keeping foot odor and moisture to a minimum. They come in classic Nordic patterns that instantly evoke the comforts of the holiday season. These will pair well with snowy days — imagine wearing ’em while curled up by the fireplace on a white Christmas morning.
3. For Pop Culture References: Happy Socks
If you’re stumped on what to get the pop culture lover in your life, Happy Socks has got you covered. The brand offers an impressive roster of designs in vibrant colors and groovy patterns, plus they’re known for their many collaborations with pop culture icons: You can buy special edition socks inspired by The Beatles, Queen, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, and Disney, and they’re always coming up with new and exciting additions.
4. For Philanthropy: Bombas
Want to buy some socks and support a great cause? Sounds like a win-win. Bombas is beloved for their policy of donating one pair of socks to those in need with every pair purchased. To date, they’ve donated 75 million items. Gifting a pair of Bombas will get you into the charitable spirit of the season; plus, the socks come in all kinds of lengths, colors, and multipacks, so there’s no shortage of options.
5. For Circulation: Comrad
Compression socks apply pressure to the legs and ankles as a means of promoting blood flow and reducing pain and swelling. They can be useful for a variety of medical conditions, and are often recommended by doctors following surgery. They can also be worn while flying, in order to increase circulation and decrease the risk of developing blood clots. Up until recently, compression socks were considered more homely than fashionable — but now, you can buy pairs that are actually quite stylish. The brand Comrad makes compression footwear with classically chic stripes and hip tie-dyed ombre prints. They’re a thoughtful gift for anyone who may be experiencing pain or planning to go on a long flight soon.
6. For Athletic Activity: Darn Tough
Few things are more annoying than a hole in your sock — but this isn’t going to be an issue if you buy from Darn Tough. This made-in-Vermont brand offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee and makes socks that are durable enough for activities like hiking, running, skiing, and hunting. These no-nonsense footwear are built to last, and your athletic loved ones will definitely thank you. If you’re stumped about which specific pair to buy, they even have a helpful sock finder quiz on their site.
7. For Royalty: Corgi Socks
What do you get for the person who has everything? How about a pair of socks that are quite literally fit for a queen. Corgi Socks (not to be confused with novelty socks decorated with corgis, which also make a cute gift!) is a British brand with a long history. Founded in 1892, Corgi’s factory is still based out of the same small Welsh village in which they started over a hundred years ago. In 1989, the brand was given a Royal Warrant, described as “a mark of recognition to individuals or companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, or The Prince of Wales,” and they still make socks for the royal family today (they’re known to be a favorite of King Charles). The Corgi dog breed was famously loved by the late Queen Elizabeth, who was known for raising the charmingly squat pets during her long reign. At around $35, these socks are no doubt more expensive than your typical pair — but you’re paying for a regal association, after all. Corgi Socks come in many different patterns (the William Morris floral print collection is particularly lovely) and have hand-linked toe seams that lay completely flat for extra comfort. These make an ideal gift for anyone who’s interested in the monarchy.
No matter which sock brand you choose, you’ll be giving the gift of comfort, quality, and style — and who could say ‘no’ to that? With the holiday season in full swing, it’s finally time to reject the outdated notion that socks make a bad present. These socks are all worth gifting… and you may even want to snag a few pairs for yourself.
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