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How to Stop Socks from Sliding Down

We have recently discussed that the number one pet peeve in men’s wear is keeping your shirt tucked. Today, we reveal the second most mentioned pet peeve: keeping your socks from sliding down.

Why Do You Want To Keep Your Socks From Sliding?

Personally, I always hate it when my socks came down my calves because they would bunch on my shoes and it will be uncomfortable walking in them. That happened particularly when I walked a lot, and so it was just bothersome to always pull the socks back up.

Socks that slide down is the second pet peeve in men's wear

Socks that slide down is the second pet peeve in men’s wear

The second point is no one really wants to see your hairy calves. And even if you shave your legs for some reason that is still not appropriate. There is no professional setting where it is okay to wear your dress pants and have your skin showing underneath of it.

How To Prevent Socks from Sliding Down

1. Length Of Over The Calf Socks

The most important thing to consider is the length of your socks. If you just have socks that are slightly above the ankle or if you have some that are mid-calf, they will inevitably slide down. Especially for the mid-calf, they will sit at the widest part of your calf and so the only way that they have is to go down because of gravity.

To even stand a chance for your socks to stay up all day, you need over the calf length socks that truly sit over the calf, because that is a smaller part. And once they sit up there with the right tightness, they won’t come down. Now, not every pair of socks that’s long will automatically stay up. But if it is not over the calf, you won’t even have a chance that it stays up.

Over the calf socks should have long and strong elastics

Over the calf socks should have long and strong elastics

2. The Right Amount Of Elastic

The second point is the elastics. Once you have an over the calf sock, you want an elastic that is quite long and quite strong. A few years back I was so frustrated with the over the calf socks that would slide down that I decided it was time to design something that truly stays up all day every day. Therefore, we experimented with different materials, different elastics and different sizes. We finally came up with the solution that works and stays up! The great part about it is we were able to wrap the whole cut material around the elastic, so your skin only ever touches the cotton, but you still get the benefit of the elastic which keeps the socks up. That is why we only sell over the calf socks.

One size fits all socks

One size fits all socks

3. Get The Right Size

Even if you have socks that are over the calf and they have the right amount of elastic, they can still slide down if you choose them in the wrong size, particularly if the size is too small. What happens is while you walk, the sock wants to contract, so it pulls down your heel. Once your heel is down everything will come down further on. Most sock companies have only a one size fits it all sock which is terrible and not the right thing. Some feet are very small and feet that are very big and trying to have the same sock won’t work. Even if you look a little further sometimes, you find small, medium and large sizes. But at Fort Belvedere we offer four different sizes, so we cover all kinds of men’s feet comfortably and the socks will stay up.

Sock Garters And Shirt Stays

Now some men, especially the ones who are into vintage or who have a large selection shorter socks resort to sock garters or shirt stays. It is a little clip that clips onto your sock with a strap that is held in place either above your knee or connected to the tails of your shirt.

Sharp & Dapper Shirt Stays with flexible ring so they are more comfortable than regular shirt stays

Sharp & Dapper Shirt Stays with flexible ring so they are more comfortable than regular shirt stays

While it is a very effective way, it is one more thing to consider when you get dressed. It is also direct to your skin so you can feel it all day and I find it extremely uncomfortable. There are different versions out there, and the best one I have seen so far comes from Sharp & Dapper because it has three straps. It spreads out the pull and pressure a little more.


If you have a lot of short socks and you don’t want to upgrade to quality over the calf socks, sock garters and shirt stays are probably your best bet. If you ask me, I prefer to invest in shirts that are cut the right way and don’t come untucked. And I want to invest in a pair of socks that are quality, comfortable and stay up without any additional gimmicks. But at the end of the day, it is each to his own.

Want to know how to combine shoes, socks and pants so you look the part? Click here.

How to Stop Socks from Sliding Down
Article Name
How to Stop Socks from Sliding Down
We reveal the ultimate tips and tricks on what to look for in good quality socks that stay up in place all day.
Gentleman's Gazette LLC
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8 replies
  1. Christopher says:

    Must say I do luv the socks you offer. I’ve always had a thing for ribbed socks. Great article as always, keep up the awesome work.

  2. Luigi says:

    This article should have called “how to escape the downcreeping sock burden” and was much needed.
    Yet there is another big trouble to face.
    Some men – I among them – like to wear quote slim (yet not skinny) trousers, which seem to creep up along the calf. So the have to stay with a hem that is “High water” or to pull it down. And this, besides being uncomfortable and ridiculous, pulls down the sock. Now if you pull up the sock, the trousers leg follows – in a vicious loop.
    Mr. Schneider, can you suggest a way to escape this circle and be once more our saviour? (Please don’ tell me to enlarge my trousers).
    Kudos for the good work on this site!

  3. Enrique says:

    I’ve tried over-the-calf socks but my pants tend to get caught on them and not drape properly. My pants are wool and lined down to the knee only.

  4. Old-old School says:

    Not to change, but … whatever happened to Cordovan or Oxblood colored shoes to be worn versus the ‘now’ Brown colored shoe be substituted.

  5. John says:

    I tried over the calf socks and it caused static cling when I walked – so that my pants clung to my shin and rode up to my ankle bone…

    My pants are wool, lined to the knee only, and non-cuffed with a medium break. I tried wool, cotton, and nylon versions. Wool socks with wool pants was the worst combo – but they all caused static.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Maybe your suits is not all wool. Even if the label says 100% it doesn’t mean that it has to be 100%. It could legally contain just 97% wool.

      I have never experienced that issue before and I only wear over the calf socks.

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