Few moments are as culturally significant as Michael Jackson wearing white socks and black leather loafers while having a boogie with zombies. And while the Thriller music video came out forty-plus years ago, the best socks for loafers retain their status as a timeless fashion statement.
Even prior to Jackson’s signature look, the likes of Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin were all known to wear loafers with socks. Fast forward to the present day, fashion icons like Harry Styles and Pharrell Williams prove that this look is here to stay.
The best socks for loafers are a sure way to upgrade your footwear game, so long as you know the right kind to wear. This article dishes out the top socks to wear with loafers for a range of occasions and styles. Whether you’re looking to dress them up or keep it casual, these are the men’s socks for loafers to emulate this classic look.
The best socks to wear with loafers come in all styles, sizes, and colors. From mid calves to no shows, this article covers all the varieties of loafer socks on the market.
After scouring the internet high and low across countless sites, our top picks are the ISTO Cotton Socks, which are soft, comfortable, and look great with any kind of loafers. If you’d rather keep your socks out of sight, the Myrqvist Lars Cotton Socks are designed specially for loafers with a heel grip to keep them from sliding down into your shoes.
Keep reading to discover all of the pairs of socks we deem worthy of your finest loafers.
Our Top Picks
Why They’re Great: Crafted from organic cotton, elastane, and recycled materials, these socks are a treat for the feet and look especially good with loafers. They’re mid-calf length, which allows them to peek out from your shoes before disappearing under a pant leg. With four dark neutral colorways to choose from, they’re sharp with loafers and will keep you comfortable no matter how long your day gets.
How They Feel: These socks for loafers are equal parts soft and stretchy. The bit of elastane contributes to their flexibility and helps hold them up throughout the day.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: Eighteen bucks for a single pair of socks hurts a bit, but you can’t put a price tag on quality socks.
Material: 70% organic cotton, 28% recycled polyamide, 2% elastane | Sizes: S-M, L-XL | Colors: 4 | Type: Mid Calf
Why They’re Great: It doesn’t get any more classic than Gildan white crew socks. These look great with loafers if you’re going for a more casual, laid back style. Since they’re white, they’ll match any color loafers lining your closet. Not to mention, the ten pack ensures you always have a backup, even if the dryer eats a couple of pairs.
How They Feel: These socks feel pretty much like any other athletic socks. They may be a little tight in loafers because they’re on the thicker side, but this will only help with cushioning, preventing nasty blisters. They also wick moisture to keep your feet cool and dry while running around town.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: These definitely dress loafers down, so if you’re headed to a nice function, stick with dress socks or no shows, rather than athletic socks.
Material: 72% cotton, 24% polyester, 3% spandex, 1% nylon | Sizes: US 6-12, 13-15 | Colors: 3 | Type: Athletic (Mid Calf)
Why They’re Great: If you want to make a statement, these are the best socks to wear with loafers. Sporting a sharp houndstooth print, these dress socks show you’ve given some thought to your outfit, especially when paired with brown leather loafers. They reach up to mid-calf and are made from the softest cotton for supreme comfort.
How They Feel: While dress socks tend to be on the thinner side, this pair is slightly thicker than the average. This will prevent uncomfortable rubbing with your loafers while helping to keep the socks up all day long.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: If you don’t want to draw attention to your ankles, it pays to stick with a more inconspicuous type of socks, unlike these patterned mid calves.
Material: Scottish Lisle cotton | Sizes: S, M, L | Colors: 6 | Type: Mid Calf
Why They’re Great: Specially designed for loafers, these socks stay out of sight while preventing uncomfortable rubbing. You can buy a single pair or opt for a three or nine pack to always have them handy. However, what’s really special about these no show loafer socks is the small silicon patch on the heel, which prevents them from slipping down into the abyss. Less adjusting, more comfort.
How They Feel: Made from a cotton blend, these socks feel soft on the feet for effortless wear. Since you can’t see them under shoes, you may forget you’re wearing socks at all.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: These socks for loafers only come in a single colorway (black), which doesn’t matter much since they’re not meant to be seen.
Material: Cotton blend | Sizes: EU 39-41, 42-44, 45-47 | Colors: 1 | Type: No Show
Why They’re Great: To help dress loafers down, pair them with these athletic socks. They’re much nicer than your typical varsity crew socks while retaining the classic ribbed material for a sporty look. Finished with
How They Feel: Since these are pretty standard sports socks, they have a tighter feel around the ankles, thanks to the rib. They’re super comfortable, crafted from a cotton elastane blend for softness with a touch of stretch.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: Sometimes, I feel like it’s hard to justify socks when they’re above $20. But when it comes down to it, what’s the difference between $20 and $26? (Not much).
Material: 80% cotton, 19% polyamide, 1% elastane | Sizes: EU 36-40, 41-45 | Colors: 3 | Type: Athletic (Mid Calf)
Why They’re Great: Created for the discreetly stylish man, these are the best socks for loafers if you don’t want them to be seen. They have a fitted design, which helps them stay on your feet over long periods of time. To keep them up further, there’s a rubber grip inside the heel that prevents the socks from sliding down into your loafers. Smartly made from a bamboo blend, these loafer socks are odor resistant as the cherry on top of an already perfect cake.
How They Feel: Bamboo socks are the cream of the crop because of their soft, breathable qualities. Rather than sweaty, stinky feet, these work socks will help keep you cool throughout the day without fear of smelling up the office.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: It’s hard to find fault in such a perfect product. That said, if your loafers have a shorter vamp, the socks may peek out a little bit.
Material: 75% bamboo, 23% polyamide, 2% elastane | Sizes: EU 39-42, 43-46 | Colors: 2 | Type: No Show
Why They’re Great: Ankle socks are a standout choice for loafers, especially when they’re neutral colored and hidden under a pant leg. These men’s socks for loafers strike a perfect middle ground between no show and athletic socks at a solid length and comfortable weight. They’re also easy to dress up or down with loafers, making them a versatile choice for any man.
How They Feel: Made from a polyester and cotton blend, these socks for loafers have a touch of spandex for added stretch. They’re on the thinner side, which will help keep your feet cool throughout the day while mitigating any rubbing from leather loafers.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: Many men swing to extremes – either no show socks or mid calves with loafers. If you’re not already on the ankle sock train, they may look a bit funny if it’s your first time pairing them with loafers.
Material: 58% polyester, 40% cotton, 2% spandex | Sizes: US 6-12 | Colors: 3 | Type: Ankle
Why They’re Great: If cramming athletic socks into loafers gives you the heebie jeebies, these thin dress socks are the ultimate solution. Stretching up to a mid calf length, they’re thinner than even traditional dress socks, made from a silky polyester with a sheer(ish) look. These are the best choice if you don’t have much room in your loafers for a thicker sock or if you’re seeking something you’ll forget is even there.
How They Feel: These socks are as thin as they get, and because of this, they feel like nothing. They’re sheer, lightweight, and super breathable, making them the top choice if you’re looking for summer socks to wear with loafers or simply thinner, over the calf socks. Though, thin doesn’t mean weak. These loafer socks have a reinforced toe and heel for extra durability.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: Due to the silky material, these socks may slide down a bit, especially while walking.
Material: 92% polyester, 8% spandex | Sizes: One Size | Colors: 11 | Type: Mid Calf
Buying Considerations For Men’s Loafer Socks
The first consideration when determining the best men’s socks for loafers is the style. In general, these are the main sock styles to wear with loafers, which impact the overall look and feel of your footwear:
- No-Show Socks: These sit hidden out of sight to give the illusion of being sockless while still protecting your feet from blisters and discomfort. The best no show socks for loafers have a silicon or rubber grip to keep them from slipping into the shoe. They’re also great for a casual or more dressy look.
- Dress Socks: These give loafers an upscale feel. Usually a mid calf length, dress socks are a great way to add a pop of color or pattern to your outfit when paired with loafers. They look especially sharp with suits or nicer getups.
- Athletic Socks: These socks give loafers a more casual feel, namely when they have the classic ribbed construction. Wear them with jeans or chinos for a laid back look.
The material also impacts the look and feel of the best socks for loafers. Loafer socks are generally made from a cotton blend, often with the inclusion of elastane for a bit of stretch. Occasionally, you’ll find loafer socks made from innovative materials like bamboo, which aid in keeping feet cool, dry, and odor free throughout the day.
Finally, it’s worth thinking about the color of socks for loafers, as this impacts their wearability. To play it safe, stick with neutral colored socks in hues of white, black, grey, and tan, which will match any color loafer and whatever you choose to wear them with.
However, if you want to be adventurous and show off your true style, opt for a bold color or patterned sock paired with your loafer.
On a personal note, my dad is well known for always wearing colorful socks with his loafers, which he gets complimented on daily.
Why You Should Trust Us
When I’m not watching Michael Jackson music videos, I’m constantly on the hunt for the latest styles and trends. I split my time between New York, Paris, and London, and over the past year, I’ve seen more men rocking loafers with socks than ever before. Based on my personal observations and taking cues from style greats, I’ve been able to determine the best socks for loafers that suit any man’s preferences. You’ll find them all on this list, waiting to accompany this year’s hottest footwear.
The best socks for loafers definitely depend on individual preference. However, I’m happy to report that through my personal findings, the ISTO Cotton Socks are the top mid calves, with four neutral colorways to choose from and a soft cotton blend. If you’d rather keep your socks incognito, opt for the Myrqvist Lars Cotton Socks, which will stay out of sight without slipping down into your loafers thanks to the silicon grip on the heel.
Socks are definitely okay with loafers – just take Michael Jackson, for example. They’re a great way to add interesting contrast to an outfit or to show off your personal style through a bold sock choice.
Whether loafers look better without socks depends on the outfit. For example, loafers without socks look great with shorts or casual getups, while loafers worn with socks are stellar for suits and chinos, especially if they’re dress socks.