Skip to content

All Blog Posts

The Rise of the Knee-high Sock

by Pivotal Digital 03 Feb 2023
The Rise of the Knee-high Sock

(Image source)

Autumn’s here and the clocks are going back. Which means it’s finally boot weather… and we are thrilled. Why? Because this means it’s also (drumroll please) long sock season!

Long or knee-high socks have always been a great way to cover your legs, keep warm, and remain incredibly stylish. You can create vintage, 20th-century looks or the perfect, preppy back-to-school outfit based on socks alone. No wonder they’re making a comeback.

Knee-high socks are particularly popular in Europe and the US - probably thanks to their extreme versatility. These are everyday socks, special occasion socks, sporty socks, good-for-your-health socks. Truly, these are your do-it-all socks. And today, we’re here to tell you a little bit about where they came from and how you can wear them to create almost any kind of look.


The long history of knee-high socks

Knee-high socks are currently in high fashion, but did you know people have been wearing them for thousands of years? Yes, the Romans and the Greeks really thought they were onto something with the toga and long socks combo. (We’re not sure they went with the sandals though, ourselves, but hey – personal preference!)

Let’s take a quick look at the evolution of the knee-high sock through the ages.

  • Ancient Rome - both men and women wore knee-high socks to keep off the chill between the shady colonnades. In fact, a lot of ancient Europeans embraced this trend. However, we probably would not recognise them as socks today, as they were only long pieces of material tied to the leg with a leather strap to keep them from slipping.
  • The French Revolution - in an age where women weren’t even supposed to reveal their ankles, the knee-high sock was a flirty way of showing off their thighs under layers of thick skirts. Marie Antoinette apparently loved this style of stocking. Ooh la la.
  • 20th Century Socks - the 20th century saw an increase in the production of nylon, rayon, and elastic. This meant women could finally do away with stockings and garters and start wearing what we’d now call knee-high socks. As hemlines got shorter, these socks became a fashion item all on their own. So, during this period, there was a much higher demand for coloured and patterned socks.
  • Today - knee-high socks are available in an almost infinite range of styles, colours, and patterns. As you will see, they are perfect for wearing on formal and casual occasions, as well as while you are exercising.


Why do people wear knee-high socks rather than mid-calf?

Proper menswear etiquette dictates that men should not show off their bare legs when wearing trousers. Sitting down and crossing your legs makes the cuffs of your trousers ride up. So, as old fashioned as it sounds, men need to wear longer socks under their suit trousers in a corporate or formal setting to avoid showing too much skin.

There are two different types of dress sock we want to take a look at now:

  • Trouser socks/mid-calf socks - longer than your average crew sock, but they don’t quite reach the knee. They’re usually made of a thinner fabric, like cotton, but if you’re feeling fancy, you could get some in silk or cashmere instead.
  • Over-the-calf/knee-high socks - typically 18” high, making them the perfect sock to pair with business or formal attire.

Why do people go for knee-high socks over the mid-calf length?

  • Staying power - knee-high socks will always stay up better than mid-calf socks, because the top of the calf muscle actually stops them slipping down! If you don’t want to be constantly pulling up your socks in the boardroom or at important functions, you need a pair of knee-high socks.
  • Leg coverage - people like to say size doesn’t matter, but knee-high socks are 5” longer than mid-calf socks, and they make those extra inches count. They give you more coverage, meaning that even if your trousers do ride up, you won’t be making a major faux pas, flashing your bare leg at everyone!
  • They make a statement - Knee-high socks are not just for formal wear! Create a very preppy, back-to-school look with knee-highs and a skirt. Or, if your style is more individual, go for some in a funky colour or pattern. As we move through autumn into winter, they’re also great for wearing under wellies and long boots, to keep your legs warm.


person wearing knee-high socks perches on a bridge(image source)

Ways to wear knee-high socks

The Casual Look

Knee-high socks are very preppy chic. If you want some inspiration on how to style them, check out Blair Waldorf’s best looks on Gossip Girl. They’re very practical this time of year, too. Wear them under knee-high boots to keep your legs lovely and warm all winter long.


The Formal Look

You might think it’s weird to wear long socks under trousers. But as we’ve just proven, if you want to avoid a serious faux pas, knee-high socks are a must for formal occasions.

You simply can’t go wrong with a pair of classic, over-the-calf socks with a pair of dress shoes and a smart suit. If you need them for a summer wedding, though, make sure you get them in a light, breathable fabric like cotton, bamboo, or silk, so you don’t overheat while you’re dancing the night away!


The Sporty Look

Knee-high socks are worn by professional athletes in all sorts of sports, including football, basketball, skiing, and snowboarding. So, whether you’re hitting the slopes this winter or you’re just there for the apres-ski, pull your socks up. You’ll be warmer and more comfortable, plus you’ll attract lots of compliments on your trendy athleisure look.


Compression Socks

These are made of gradient elastic which squeezes your leg. Admittedly, they’re not the sexiest of socks, but they can really help you if you suffer from conditions like diabetes, DVT, or varicose veins. You often have to wear them after surgery, but they can also help reduce the risk of blood clots on flights, and relieve aches and pains after a workout.

So, if you’re going on holiday or down the gym, grab yourself some knee-high compression socks and thank us after!


man sitting in chair wearing knee-high socks, drinking from cup(image source)

(K)need a pair?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Unfortunately, a lot of brick-and-mortar shops don’t sell knee-high socks anymore, as they take up too much room. Here at SocksFox, however, we believe in the bigger, the better.

We’ve got a wide range of funky, formal, and sportswear socks for you to choose from. Whoever you are and wherever you’re going, we’ve got your feet, calves, and knees covered, my friend.

Check out our incomparable selection of knee-high socks for men, women, and children today – we doubt you’ll be disappointed!

930 x 520px


Sample Block Quote

Praesent vestibulum congue tellus at fringilla. Curabitur vitae semper sem, eu convallis est. Cras felis nunc commodo eu convallis vitae interdum non nisl. Maecenas ac est sit amet augue pharetra convallis.

Sample Paragraph Text

Praesent vestibulum congue tellus at fringilla. Curabitur vitae semper sem, eu convallis est. Cras felis nunc commodo eu convallis vitae interdum non nisl. Maecenas ac est sit amet augue pharetra convallis nec danos dui. Cras suscipit quam et turpis eleifend vitae malesuada magna congue. Damus id ullamcorper neque. Sed vitae mi a mi pretium aliquet ac sed elitos. Pellentesque nulla eros accumsan quis justo at tincidunt lobortis deli denimes, suspendisse vestibulum lectus in lectus volutpate.
Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Sign Up for exclusive updates, new arrivals & insider only discounts

Recently Viewed

Edit Option
Terms & Conditions

Welcome to SocksFox is owned and operated by Zapzero Ltd (referred to in these terms as SocksFox). We provide access to the website ('website') and sell our products to you subject to the following terms and conditions. The following terms and conditions of sale constitute a binding agreement between SocksFox and its customers, which applies to all purchases made on the website, by telephone or email.

  You agree to review these terms and conditions prior to placing future orders to ensure you are aware of the current terms and conditions in place at that time. You agree not to change these terms of sale from the form presented by us. All other terms and conditions including those in any order submitted by you are expressly excluded and shall have no effect.

1. Your Account

When you use the website, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password. You should contact us immediately if you have any reason to believe that your password is being, or is likely to be, used in an unauthorised manner.

Please ensure that the details you provide us with are full and correct. Let us know immediately if any changes need to be made to correct the information you provided on registering.

SocksFox reserves the right to refuse access to the website, terminate an account, remove or edit content, or cancel an order at our discretion. If we cancel an order, any payment made will be returned to you.

2. Privacy & Security

We take the security of our customers and website very seriously. We will only collect information about you that you have specifically and knowingly provided, for example your contact details and card information. This information will be used to deliver your ordered products to you, process your payments and communicate with you about your orders.

Zapzero Ltd, utilises a to offer secure communications by encrypting all data to and from our site. The padlock helps you know that you are on an authenticated legitimate website and that your transactions will be secured.

Your payment details and credit card numbers will only be shared with our payment providers Braintree or PayPal for the purpose of processing your orders. When you place an order via our website SocksFox will not be privy to your credit and debit card information. If you place your order by telephone as soon as your payment has been inputted your card details will be securely destroyed and disposed of. SocksFox does not store any credit or debit card information.

We will only send you our offers and product news by email if you have chosen to opt in. You can remove yourself from our mailing list at any time.

View our Privacy information page for more information.


3. Order Process and Contract

All orders submitted by you on the website (or our customer services team by telephone or email) represent an offer for contract. You are seeking to enter into a contract with SocksFox when you place an order. We reserve the right to refuse your offer for any reason.

SocksFox will send you an order confirmation email confirming receipt and details of your order. Your order represents an offer to SocksFox to purchase a product which is accepted by us when we dispatch that product to you.

Only when we dispatch the goods together with a dispatch note will a binding contract be entered. Any products on the same order which have not been dispatched as yet do not form part of that contract.

You can review the details of the orders you have placed and their current status by logging into Your Account. If you choose to shop as a guest you will not be able to review the details of your current or previous orders. 


4. Discount Codes, Special Offers & Gift Cards

Our email newsletter (usually sent fortnightly) and occasionally the website offer promotions, which may require the use of a discount code. Our policy is that only one discount code to be allowed per order.

All discount codes and product special offers unless stated otherwise, will end at 12 noon GMT or BST (whichever is applicable) on the date specified. For all discount codes and offers the end time is always based on GMT or BST. 

The United Kingdom is the governing jurisdiction for SocksFox.

A SocksFox e-gift card discount code can be used across the site, on one occasion only and is valid for six months from the date of e-gift card dispatch.


5. 60 Day No Quibble Returns

You may return any items purchased from us for whatever reason, even if you just change your mind, as long as you send them back within 60 days of receiving them. Products must be returned in their original condition, unworn with tags attached and the packaging undamaged and complete.

To ensure you order the correct size and colour of an item we would advise the following. As different Countries and Brands have their own size systems, before placing an order we advise that you check the size guide provided for each item in the Size Guide tab to ensure you are ordering the correct size. Colour swatch samples and photographs are provided as a guide only. The colour you see on your screen may not be an accurate representation of the item's actual colour due to inconsistencies in how display screens reproduce colours. Ordering the wrong size or a colour not being to your liking does not mean that the item is classed as being faulty.

The cost of return postage for damaged, faulty items or if we have made an error will be refunded to you. Return postage for items you choose to return will not be refunded.

When returning products we advise you use Royal Mail First or Second Class and obtain proof of postage. If you are returning items from overseas we advise you use the equivalent Airmail service provided by your countries postal service and obtain proof of postage. If you choose to return items by a tracked service or courier you need to gain approval from SocksFox, otherwise we will only refund the amount it would have cost to return the items by Royal Mail First or Second Class or the equivalent Airmail service.

For Customs duties on Returned items please also refer to section 8 Customs of our Terms and Conditions.

Gift cards are non-returnable & cannot be refunded.

For more information on our Returns and Cancellation policy please see here.


6. Prices and VAT

All prices quoted are for new products. All prices are based on the Great British Pound (GBP / £) but, for your convenience, can be displayed in the Euro or US Dollar equivalents at ruling exchange rates on the website.

All payments are processed securely through either Braintree or PayPal. Your order payment will be based on the Great British Pound (GBP) amount. When processing your payment you can choose to pay in an alternative currency, to GBP. In this case the amount to be paid may vary slightly as Braintree and PayPal will apply their own exchange rate.

The prices on our website are the same whether you purchase from within the United Kingdom (UK) or from outside of the UK. Within the UK all prices include VAT. For purchases made outside of the UK prices do not have VAT included; the item price you see is the price you will pay.  

All purchases must be paid in full before dispatch. SocksFox will continue to own, and reserve the right to repossess any goods sold from the website until payment has been received and cleared in full.

Whilst we endeavour to ensure all pricing is accurate and correct very occasionally errors may happen. On processing an order if it is realised that the correct price is lower than that stated on the website we will adjust your payment to the lower amount and dispatch your order. If the product's correct price is higher than that stated on the website, we will contact you for instructions before dispatch.


7. Dispatch and Delivery

SocksFox aims to dispatch items the same or next working day. If demand exceeds our stock holding dispatch may be delayed by around 7 working days. If this applies to your order or there is an availability issue we will be in touch by email. At SocksFox, offering an extensive range of styles, colours and sizes at competitive prices to customers in both the UK and Worldwide is what sets us apart from many other retailers. To be able to do this we are unable to hold in stock all items all of the time and in our experience most customers are happy to wait. If immediate dispatch is a priority for you please contact us for current availability.

The postal service selected to deliver your order will be the best one to ensure a successful delivery and a signature may be required as part of that service. All packages are sent using a tracked service. Information on how your package is progressing can be obtained by contacting the SocksFox Customer Service Team.

Estimated Delivery Times: UK Standard Delivery: 2-3 working days; Europe Standard Delivery: 5-7 working days; Rest of the World Delivery: 8-13 working days.

For packages being sent to Europe and the Rest of the World once a package arrives in the destination country for many orders the national postal service will complete the final delivery. If your order has not been delivered by 10 working days from the date of dispatch, 15 working days for Europe & Rest of the World, please contact us and we will look into what has happened to your package.

Whilst most International deliveries are made successfully within the above timeframes unfortunately this is not always the case due to circumstances outside of our control. Sometimes delivery may take up to 6 weeks and for this reason a package is not deemed to be lost until 6 weeks from dispatch have passed.

Non delivery of a package (UK or International) cannot be investigated after 10 weeks from the dispatch date due to carrier tracking limitations. SocksFox will not provide a replacement package or refund if first contact has not been until after 10 weeks from dispatch. 

Any delivery dates are given in good faith. Zapzero Ltd accepts no liability for delays resulting from occurrences outside its control. These include, but are not limited to acts of God, strikes, lockouts and delays by suppliers. Your products will be dispatched to the shipping address as stated in your order confirmation email. It is your responsibility to ensure the shipping address for this order is correct.

It is the customer's responsibility to inform us of any change of delivery address immediately. Unless instructed otherwise your order will be dispatched to the shipping address as shown in the order confirmation email you will have been sent.  SocksFox accepts no liability for dispatch made to the wrong address. Please note that if you request delivery of your order to a designated place (for example in the porch, by the green bin, over the hedge) for if you are out when delivery is attempted and subsequently the order goes missing SocksFox does not accept responsibility for non-receipt.

If delivery of an order is not achieved due to refusal at the delivery destination as nominated by the customer, when the shipment is returned to us a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover any return costs incurred by us.

Please note that due to U.S. Trademark Restrictions we are unable to sell any Burlington items to customers with a U.S. shipping address.

8. Customs

For items ordered for delivery overseas you as the recipient are deemed the importer and you may be liable for local customs, import duties or taxes ('duty'). The amount of duty depends on the type and value of goods and some items can be imported without paying any duty.

For all packages destined for delivery outside of the United Kingdom it is a legal requirement that SocksFox declares the full value of the goods (not including delivery costs).

Each country's customs policies are different and you should contact your local customs office for more information. Any additional costs for clearing customs must be paid by you. Unfortunately we have no control over these costs and cannot predict what they may be.

SocksFox will not be responsible for any local customs, import duties or taxes that may be levied when the goods enter the country of destination.

When returning any goods from overseas, please clearly mark the package on the outside with 'RETURNED GOODS' Unfortunately if any incoming customs charges are incurred as a result of this message not being added a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover the costs incurred by us.

If delivery of a shipment is not possible due to import duties not being paid, when the shipment is returned to us a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover any return costs incurred by us.


9. Your Statutory Rights

Your statutory rights are not affected by these terms.


10. Zapzero Ltd  

Please do not send any returns to the address below, see here for the SocksFox returns address.

Registered Office Address:
1-4 London Road
PE11 2TA
United Kingdom

Registered in England and Wales: 4805063

VAT Registration: 843357028

    this is just a warning
    Login Close
    0 items
    Applies to UK shipping only