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Protective Clothing Personal Protective Equipment

Top 5 Best Work Socks for Steel Toe Boots Reviewed

If your job requires you to do hard and hazardous physical labor while on your feet during most of the day, you surely wear steel toe boots. But your boots won’t give you much comfort and protection until they’re paired with quality socks.

Steel toe socks usually are sturdier and thicker than regular socks to counteract the effect of wear and tear due to strenuous physical activities. We reviewed top men’s, women’s and unisex pairs great for hot and cold weather conditions and singled out the best performers.

This is your chance to find the right steel toe socks pair!

5 Work Socks That Goes Well With Steel Toe Boots

01 Dickies Men’s Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks Multipack (Top Men’s Choice)

Dickies Men's Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks Multipack

Why it stands out to us

The Dickies Men’s Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks are a wonderful example of an evenly cushioned soft socks with sufficient room for circulation and breathability. When it comes to durability and elasticity, they sure hold a very high spot.

The thick yet light fabric is an all season wear and will give you the feeling of walking on air. With an exceptional moisture absorbing quality, these work socks are surprisingly affordable and definitely desirable.

Our experience with Dickies Men’s Dri-tech Crew Socks

  • The eye-soothing grayscale shades and the elegant design swept us off of our feet. We fell in love with these incredibly soft six in one bag of joy.
  • Being mostly cotton, these socks are an absolute delight, offering warmth in winter and cool in summer. There’s adequate ventilation and proper circulation and the level of comfort is unparalleled.
  • The super durable fabric showed no piling or shrinking even after putting them into wash several times. We wore them for a year now and saw no holes at all.
  • With a spacious toe room, these socks snuggled our feet and felt great against our exhausted soles. They get a 10/10 for staying up and not riding down to our ankles, creating awkward leg movement.
  • The moisture wicking ability is top notch. We walked for almost 13 miles once and yet our feet never once got drenched. The whole time they remained dry and odorless.
  • The compression is moderate but the arch support is great. There’s no extra support at the heels but the socks are thick with an even all-round cushioning that gives an overall support to your feet, ankles and legs.
  • At such a reasonable price, these socks come as excellent work socks that could definitely help you out for an extended period of time.
  • Despite the thickness they’re lightweight and perfect for not just summer but also for the other seasons, although some people had opted them out for winter. They also don’t make your feet feel heavy either.

What we didn’t like

  • The elastic in the calf area was a bit too tight and dug through the skin.
  • Not seamless toe socks, thus caused a slight discomfort to picky people like us.

What could be improved

  • The calf elastic could be a bit loose so as to not hurt the skin.

Our Recommendations

  • The first five times, wash them inside out to prevent lint.


  • Material: 78% Cotton, 19% Polyester, 2% Spandex, 1% Nylon
  • Machine washable
  • Moisture control fibers
  • Arch compression


  • Comfortable
  • Thick but lightweight
  • Even cushioning
  • Arch support
  • Work socks
  • Durable
  • Affordable


  • Tight calf elastic
  • Uncomfortable toe seam

02 Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men & Women 20-30 mmHg – Athletic Fit (Top Unisex Choice)

Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men & Women 20-30 mmHg - Athletic Fit

Why it stands out to us

The Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks are truly an outstanding example of athletic compression socks that are also perfect for walking, traveling and daily activities. The stylish design and the stunning color options are extremely attractive to both women and men and these socks come with a plus size chart. The arch support, the pain relieving abilities along with the thin, breathable elastic fabric are excellent for any active individual. Moreover, if you suffer from swelling feet, these are your safe haven.

Our experience with Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks

  • These unisex socks came within a wonderfully wrapped packaging that protected what was inside and we were really happy with how it arrived on our doorstep. There was even an instruction manual!
  • The elegant design and the vibrant yet classy hues in the ankle area are extremely eye-catching and we totally fell in love with the feet hugging shape.
  • Those of us plus sized people with wider feet and thicker calves were satisfied with the elasticity and fantastic fitting.
  • The lightweight material is excellent and the comfort of this all-day wear was paramount. We could work for around 12 hours at a stretch without feeling any ground impact. They also dealt with the sore calves after running or doing any other sport.
  • The breathable fabric had adequate ventilation and flexibility, promoting blood circulation. In fact, it’s so light, we forgot we were wearing any socks at all. They also stayed up to the calves despite being machine washed several times.
  • When it comes to compression, these socks work like magic. The amount of pain relief the heel and toe reinforcement has demonstrated is almost unreal.
  • The elasticity is superb and we didn’t have to worry about them rolling down to our ankles even after wearing them so many times.
  • With medium arch support, these are particularly great for travelling, with little to no pain at the end of the day. The moisture wicking abilities are substantial.
  • As some of us had been suffering from swollen feet for a long time, we decided to try them out and we’re so glad we did. The swelling has stopped, the pain is gone and our feet have never felt so light.
  • The inward sewed seams don’t hurt your toes and the fine thin ribbing doesn’t cause any discomfort to the leg area.
  • These socks are not just super suitable as athletic socks but also outstanding for pregnant individuals and parents of newborns.

What we didn’t like

  • The hem on the closure was a bit too tight.
  • They lack cushioning, so they might not feel soft to everyone.

What could be improved

  • The hem on the closure could be a bit loose so that it doesn’t dig into the skin.

Our recommendation

  • If you’re one of those people who sweat a bit too much, wear those little cotton ankle socks underneath these.
  • If you need extra cushioning, then these are not for you.


  • 70% Nylon, 30% Spandex
  • 20-30 mmHg Compression
  • Washable


  • Unisex
  • Compression
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Durable
  • Pain relieving, heals swollen feet
  • Plus-size option
  • All-day wear athletic socks
  • Pregnancy socks
  • Attractive colors


  • No cushioning

03 Dickies womens Dritech Advanced Moisture Wicking Crew Sock – 6/12 Pairs (Top Women’s Choice)

Dickies womens Dritech Advanced Moisture Wicking Crew Sock - 6/12 Pairs

Why it stands out to us

The Dickies women’s Dritech Crew Socks have exceeded our expectations in terms of comfort, design, colors and versatility. The toe, ankle and heel support with an adequate amount of padding made us fall in love with them. You’d be stunned to see how comfy they’d feel against your feet and legs when you wear them for hours and even when you go for hiking, camping or biking. These lightweight wonders with marvelous shades are suitable for all seasons and come at a surprisingly reasonable price range.

Our experience with Dickies women’s Dritech Crew Sock

  • Tailored specifically for women, the super attractive design with several eye soothing and elegant color options made the Dickie’s Crew Socks a must have in your wardrobe.
  • The fabric is not too thin to end up in holes but not too thick to be heavy. The weight and thickness is just about right as an all-season wear.
  • We found out how right the other reviewers were when we wore these socks and went for a hike. All that climbing up and down seemed like a child’s play and our soles never once got tired. We used them for cycling as well and got the same result.
  • The fit was great, being not too tight and the right amount of cushioning gave us maximal comfort. They didn’t bunch up to the ankle and stayed up in their rightful place, hugging our feet.
  • We could totally go for a few miles’ run wearing these socks without getting any pain due to the exceptional toe and heel reinforcement.
  • The sufficient amount of arch and ankle support is extremely helpful as it lessened the ground impact caused by standing on concrete for several hours.
  • The moisture absorbing abilities are unmatched as they maintain a desirable foot temperature and our feet stayed dry and odorless for a surprisingly long time.
  • They’re perfect not just for workout sessions but also for walking and working all day. The length is decent, reaching up to mid-calf preventing the leather rubbing from boots and there’s adequate ribbing from ankle to mid-calf for thorough elasticity.
  • We put them in the wash several times after rigorous use and they still maintained their shape and elasticity.
  • The socks come in as a set of 6 or 12 pairs and offer an incredibly reasonable price.

What we didn’t like

  • They slightly shrink after washing.
  • These are great for slender feet and calves but no wide options, so some people found them a bit too tight.

What could be improved

  • The material could be a bit better to avoid shrinkage.
  • A wide feet option could be introduced.


  • Material: 96% Polyester, 2% Spandex, 2% Rubber
  • Machine wash
  • Moisture wicking fibers
  • Arch compression


  • All-season wear
  • Stay up socks
  • Comfortable
  • Daily wear
  • Good fit
  • Light and thin
  • Great for hiking and cycling
  • Moisture absorbent
  • Maintains feet temperature
  • Odor resistant
  • All day wear
  • Attractive colors
  • Affordable


  • Shrinking after wash
  • Not good for wide feet and thick calves

04 Gold Toe Men’s 656s Cotton Crew Athletic Sock MultiPairs

Gold Toe Men's 656s Cotton Crew Athletic Sock MultiPairs

Why it stands out to us

The Gold Toe Men’s 656s socks are the epitome of durability, warmth and comfort. Providing convenience and reducing foot fatigue during the long strenuous work hours, these socks are truly a gem. The thick yet light and elastic material along with the all-round cushioning are what makes them ideal for winter. The toe and heel reinforcement was a standout. Such comfy socks with barely there seams at such a reasonable price are definitely worth getting your hands on.

Our experience with Gold Toe Men’s 656s

  • When it comes to durability, these socks are extraordinary. We have been using them regularly for years. Three pairs alternating went up to 4 years. In fact, we could wear them more than 10 hours a day!
  • The thick full cushioning with thick bottom rendered the utmost comfort we needed to walk and work the whole day without getting exhausted. But no way did they cramp the shoes.
  • We had a paradigm shift when we found out how warm these socks are despite being a medium in terms of weight and thickness. Our feet remained warm and cozy even in cold harsh weather.
  • The smooth and flat toe seams are almost unnoticeable, hence no toe rubbing and blisters and definitely no awkward leg movement.
  • The reinforcement in the toe and heel areas reduces ground impact and thus prevents leg fatigue. Our feet were absolutely blissful as though we were walking on clouds.
  • These socks are perfect stay up socks with ribbing from ankle to calf and never ever did they roll down to the ankles. We washed them a hundred times and yet they didn’t lose their elasticity.
  • With enough arch support, they were a perfect fit, not too loose, not too tight, snugging our feet lovingly. The moisture absorption is great as most part of the blended material is cotton and our feet didn’t feel wet and uncomfortable at all. We never once slipped inside our soles.
  • The dark color is suitable for work socks as they don’t look dirty for a good amount of time and just like the name, the toe area is gold in color which gives them a trendy look.

What we didn’t like

  • They’re too warm for any other season except winter.
  • We could detect some lint after several washings.
  • They get a bit loose around the ankle after a prolonged use.

What could be improved

  • The quality of the fabric could be improved so they don’t get lint.
  • The elasticity of the ankle part could be better.

Our recommendation

  • Wear these socks only in cold weather for best results.


  • 80% USA Cotton, 19% Nylon, 1% Spandex
  • Pull On closure
  • Machine Wash
  • AquaFX Moisture Control


  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Thicker bottom
  • Full cushioning
  • Reinforced toe and heel
  • Arch support
  • Flat and smooth toe seam
  • Moisture wicking
  • Everyday use
  • Good for cold weather
  • Washable


  • Not suitable for summer

05 Fruit of the Loom Men’s 6 Pack Heavy Duty Reinforced Cushion Full Crew Socks

Fruit of the Loom Men's 6 Pack Heavy Duty Reinforced Cushion Full Crew Socks

Why it stands out to us

The Fruit of the Loom Full Crew Socks are known for their durability, comfort and absolutely lightweight padding- perfect as an all-day wear. The soft, thin and super elastic but not tight material is a standout when it comes to snugging your tired soles. The heel reinforcement is exceptional and we couldn’t help but fall in love with the trendy seamless design. These moisture wicking socks are not just ideal for summer but also for the rest of the year except winter. And what’s more, all of these attributes come at a surprisingly attractive price.

Our experience with the Fruit of the Loom Full Crew Socks

  • These socks come with great fit, durability, comfort and arch support. We were able to wear them all day, performing a wide range of activities in a worry-free condition.
  • The cushioning and arch support rendered the utmost comfort without making our feet feel heavy. We could stand on our feet for a miraculously long period of time.
  • The superb heel reinforcement made us feel as if our heels were being cradled. We were relieved of our leg fatigue as they reduced the ground impact from walking on hard surfaces.
  • Our feet were perfectly snugged by the thin yet comfy fabric. The seamless design was an added bonus.
  • The socks come with ribbing which, along with the elastic material, keep the socks to their places without being folded down to our ankles.
  • We could wear them in all the three seasons except for winter. They’re a great all-purpose wear allowing you to walk two miles at a stretch.
  • The breathable fabric has antimicrobial, moisture wicking properties and our feet were dry and odor-free the whole time we wore them.
  • We were surprised by the length accuracy as they were not too long, not too short, just enough so our work boots don’t rub against our skin.
  • Of course we wore these lovely socks several times and thus we needed to put them in the wash. And even after being washed so many times, they didn’t lose their elasticity and retained their shape. To get such a great product at a highly reasonable price is an absolute win.

What we didn’t like

  • The socks allowed only light workouts but they didn’t have any additional padding so not suitable for hard labor like factory work.

What could be improved

  • An extra layer of padding could be added for more functionality.

Our recommendations

  • If you’re looking for a great all-day wear suitable for everyday activities, these are perfect.
  • Don’t get them if you need a pair for doing any blue collar work.


  • Cotton- 76%, Polyester-22%, Lycra Spandex-1%, Other fibers-1%
  • Pull on closure
  • Machine wash


  • All purpose
  • Comfortable
  • All day wear
  • Durable
  • Heel reinforcement
  • Seamless
  • Foot snugging
  • Mid weight
  • Arch support
  • Right length
  • Three seasons
  • Elastic after several wash
  • Affordable


  • No additional padding

Why Wear Work Socks with Steel Toe Boots

  • Relaxation

No matter what kind of labor you’re engaged in, a comfy pair of socks is essential to concentrate on your daily work and be highly productive and responsive.

  • Safekeeping

If you’re a construction or a factory worker or you simply work near heavy machines and accident prone equipment, work socks are a must to add that extra layer of protection to your feet.

  • Sterility

Work socks come with anti-bacterial properties that help shield your feet from infections. Moreover, they keep your hygiene intact by stopping moisture and odor accumulation.

  • Anti-blisters

Work socks help protect your feet from getting blisters and keep them smooth and productive.

What Happens If You Don’t Wear Steel Toe Socks?

  • Infections

If you don’t wear socks, the congested space within your shoes would definitely make you sweat and the repeated friction against your skin will give you blisters. Then the sweat and the blood from blisters would invite germs that cause harmful infections to your feet, making you sick.

  • Odor

The 125,000 sweat glands in your feet are responsible for making the soles wet with moisture. So, if you choose not to wear socks, your feet will become a seedbed for smell causing bacteria and the smell would be transferred to your other footwear.

  • Slipping

The moisture accumulated inside your shoes due to the absence of socks will cause your feet to slip continuously on your insoles and you won’t be able to grip your shoes properly.

  • Other problems

Without socks, the skin of your feet comes into contact with the leather and ends up with blisters. Also, without the protective layers of padding that socks provide, the sensitive, injury prone areas of your feet are exposed and more likely to get damaged.

Best Work Boots for Hot Weather – Buying Guide

1. Materials

  • Synthetic

Factory-made synthetic materials like nylon, spandex, and acrylic have great moisture-wicking abilities and they are durable too. Lycra is a great material used commonly in sportswear that doesn’t get ruffled up. They provide comfort and arch support and have feet hugging properties with sufficient elasticity.

  • Wool

Merino wool is a natural fabric that keeps your feet warm, making it more suitable for winter. The softness and comfort are the reason behind the higher price.

  • Bamboo

Bamboo is a natural material that is soft, breathable and comes with anti-bacterial properties. It is not warm like wool and thus, better suited for summer.

  • Cotton

Soft and lightweight, it can absorb moisture but it doesn’t dry out. This results in a wet, heavy feet and discomfort. But cotton works when blended with other materials.

2. Comfort and Padding

Your boots might lack sufficient cushioning and that’s why you should wear socks as they provide padding for your comfort. However, socks are essential to maintain the cushion balance for your feet so that you feel comfortable all day. Moreover, adequate padding is also compulsory for enhanced leg movement.

3. Fit & Size

Socks that have a small toe area will hurt, loose heels will cause discomfort, loose socks will make you slip inside the shoes and tight ones will hamper blood circulation and cause pain and blisters- so accurate fitting is a must. Feet snugging socks are mandatory for work boots and the fitting and sizes vary depending on brands, materials and designs.

4. Usage and Work Environment

Consider your working conditions and the type of work you do. Cotton socks are good for office work. But for places like construction sites, you need breathable athletic socks with padding. If you’re working in cold weather, you’d need thicker socks with insulating properties that keep your feet dry.

5. Moisture Absorption

When you’re in work boots, friction will give you blisters. And this happens when feet sweat too much. To prevent this, moisture wicking socks are required that are usually a blend of several materials.

6. Weight and Thickness

Thicker socks are great for winter with their cushioning but for summer, go with a lighter one. Also, make sure, whatever you choose allows you to move your toes and is lightweight enough to work for a long time.

7. Warmth

When you’re working in a cold environment, you must choose socks with insulating properties such as merino wool socks. These will help keep your feet warm without making them sweat.

8. Arch Support

Arch support features an extra layer of padding along the arch of your foot. Decent work socks come with this design and choose one that is adequate for your arch, not too thick or too thin, so you can mobilize your feet.

9. Compression

Compression technology has minimized the necessity of thicker arch support. This is great for highly active individuals who need constant massaging for their soles, recovering from and preventing fatigue.

10. Length

Three types are recommended- crew length, quarter socks, knee length. These socks are ideal as they reach above your work boots up your leg and prevents the leather rubbing on your skin. As work boots are usually designed to go past the ankles, ankle socks are not recommended.

11. Double-stitching and ribbing

The extra layer of stitching for a stronger seam is known as the double stitching style. This prevents your seam from bursting.

Ribbing is a pleat-like vertical pattern that goes from ankle to calf to increase elasticity. Your socks will be easy to stretch and hug your feet. The socks will feel thick yet light and will not be folded down at the ankle.

12. Heel & Toe Reinforcement

If you’re engaged in hard labor, the vulnerable areas – your toes and heels are mainly prone to injury. Extra padding or tough fibers are heel and toe reinforcement that minimize the reaction force on the feet from gravity, lower the floor impact, decrease the downward pressure from your body, and protect your feet from fatigue and injury.

13. Color and Pattern

As they’d mostly be hidden under steel toe boots, work socks are not exactly eye catching. They’d be keeping your feet dry, active and comfy so prioritize functionality over aesthetics. However, compression socks come in different colors and patterns as they’re designed to be worn with other types of footwear too.

About the author

Willie F Brodson

Certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and a master of Science in Occupational Safety Management from Indiana State University, Willie F Brodson is an occupational safety expert who believes in the age-old saying – “It is better to be safe than sorry.”

Willie’s areas of expertise include legal guidelines for health and safety, coding and construction safety, fire prevention and theft, and environmental technology. Over a span of four decades, he has provided safety training and consultation and developed safety manuals for a number of state-owned and private organizations.

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