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For a good period, I went sockless. Not all the time, but when the occasion called for it. A loafer. A boat shoe. Sneakers worn with shorts. Maybe I was blessed with durable, non-sweaty, non-stinky feet. But as the years have gone by and my taste for footwear has become increasingly more expensive, the question of whether or not to wear socks has grown increasingly more urgent. Ultimately, I needed a good pair that protected not only my feet, but the shoe itself. A sock safeguards my shoes from pooling sweat, from the wear and tear of my feet rubbing against the insoles over time, and from accumulating a funk.

That’s when I discovered no-show socks. Now, I’ve become obsessed with finding the thinnest, lightest, lowest-cut versions that are so discreet that sometimes I forget I’m wearing them. And now I know that my closet is filled with investment-quality footwear, going with a sock is good insurance, making my investments stand the test of time. 

But not all no-show socks are created equal, and finding good ones can prove to be more art than science. If you’re looking for the best no-show socks, here are a few good places to start. 

What to Consider Before Buying the Best No-Show Socks for Men:

There are plenty of cheap no-show socks out there that will slip below your heel, bunch up, and cause more trouble than they’re worth. But if you stick to the following guidelines, you’ll find yourself stepping out in no-show socks that can go the distance. 

Material: As with most things these days, you’ll want to consider the materials carefully. A lot of synthetic fibers provide the moisture-wicking and anti-stink properties you need. More natural fibers such as cotton and wool may not perform in quite the same way, but they might offer more of that classic look you’re going for. 

Length: This comes down to two things: personal preference and the type of shoe. Some footwear may cover the entire top of your foot, in which case the length is less important, but other styles—such as loafers or tuxedo slippers—might be cut a little bit closer to your toes, exposing more of the foot, and requiring a shorter length.

Color: The market for no-show socks has expanded tremendously in recent years; it’s now possible to find pretty much whatever color or pattern you’re looking for. Of course, you’re still welcome to buy the whites, the blacks, the nudes—but why go that route when no-show socks aren’t even visible to the outside world, anyway?

Cushioning: Socks these days have come a long way. The addition of cushioned zones underfoot can help prevent the formation of blisters, especially if you’re wearing these no-show socks for long stretches of time. If you need a little extra comfort, check to see if your socks have added cushioning. 

Most Reliable No-Show Socks

This pair offers just enough coverage but also a lower cut that hides discreetly under most loafers, boat shoes, and lace-ups. We loved this pair for their light cushioning, no-slip heel grip, and that they come in a staggering sixteen different colors.

Materials: Cotton-blend. 
Cushioning Available: Yes.
Colors Available: 16.

Buy Now on Stance: $12

Best No-Slip No-Show Socks

A good no-slip heel can make or break a pair of no-show socks, and the one on this pair from Feetures is crazy good—it’s lightweight, practically unnoticeable when worn, yet can withstand the most challenging environments while staying perfectly put. 

Materials: Nylon and spandex.
Cushioning Available: Yes.
Colors Available: 3.

Buy Now on Backcountry: $18

Best Nude No-Show Socks

The point of no-show sucks is to be completely invisible, but, depending on the cut and the shoe you chose, parts may peep through the sides. This is definitely not the case with this pack from Bombas, one of the leaders in the sock game. The socks feature a contour seam, meaning that they’ll mold to your feet, and the variety of flesh tones will make sure that no one will ever know that you’re wearing a pair.

Materials: Staple cotton. 
Cushioning Available: No.
Color Available: 5.

Buy Now on Bombas: $52

Best Striped No-Show Socks

Why not have a little fun with your socks? This three-pack comes in Sir Paul Smith’s signature stripe. Because even when you’re wearing a sock that isn’t seen, it’s fun to know you’re still sporting something a little colorful.

Materials: Cotton-blend. 
Cushioning Available: Yes.
Colors Available: 16.

Buy Now on Mr Porter: $75

Best No-Show Socks for Loafers

Trust German brand Falke has a perfectly engineered, precision-cut no-show sock that is designed to seamlessly fit under your loafers, boat shoes, and most slip-ons—not too big, not too small, but just right. They’re also made from sustainably sourced, socially responsible cotton. 

Materials: Cotton-blend. 
Cushioning Available: No.
Colors Available: 5.

Buy Now on Zappos: $18

Best Buy-in-Bulk No-Show Socks

Leave it to Mr. Porter to design the quintessential no-show sock. The fabric blend on this style is just right: it’s stretchy, yet breathable, and will hug your foot all day long. You’ll love these, so best to stock up.

Materials: Polyester, nylon, cotton, and polyurethane.
Cushioning Available: Yes.
Colors Available: 3.

Buy Now on Mr Porter: $50

Best No-Show Socks for the Gym

Nike understands how to design high-performance gear that works under pressure. Their signature Plus Cushion socks are cut here in a no-show silhouette, for when you don’t want a visible sock to cramp your gym fit.

Materials: Polyester, nylon, and elastane. 
Cushioning Available: Yes.
Colors Available: 6.

Buy Now on Nike: $18

Best No-Show Dress Socks

Ah yes, the gentleman’s no-show sock. If it’s good enough for King Charles, it’s good enough for us. The mercerized cotton cables on this pair exudes class. We also love that a pair of socks designed to be invisible still has such a sophisticated design.

Materials: Cotton-blend. 
Cushioning Available: Yes.
Colors Available: 4.

Buy Now on Todd Snyder: $25

Best No-Show Socks for Runners

Running demands a lot from your feet and your shoes, which means traditional socks may not cut it. You need something breathable and comfortable, and this Balega is up to the task with tons of integrated cushioning, so your feet will feel secure and supported as you clock those miles. 

Materials: Cotton-blend. 
Cushioning Available: Yes.
Colors Available: 26.

Buy Now on Amazon: $16

Best No-Show Socks Starter Kit

Sock brand Sheec offers this tidy start kit thatcomes with six pairs of different no-show socks so you can see which sizes and styles work best with your closet. This set includes the three coverages, each with a different thickness: Secret 3.0 ultra lightweight and the Active X lightweight. It’s one package for all styles of shoes.

Materials: Modal, nylon, and elastane.
Cushioning Available: Yes.
Colors Available: 2.

Buy Now on Sheec: $56

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