How to Choose the Right Lifestyle Socks

Person wearing cute casual socks while petting a cuter dog

Our Lifestyle socks make you hopeful that somebody will inadvertently catch a glimpse and make a comment like, “Wow, those are cool socks!” These are the moments we live for. These, and the long airport security lines where everybody is forced to de-shoe and show their socks. It’s a prime opportunity to tell people who you are without ever telling them.

It’s a meaningful exchange – as proud sock wearers we hope for this – because your socks do say a lot about you. Since Darn Tough started knitting Lifestyle socks, we’ve made it easier for folks to express themselves creatively by wearing socks that are stylish, but also comfortable, durable, and the best fitting socks ever.

Person reading a book at home, feet up, wearing comfy lifestyle socks

What are Lifestyle socks? Think of Lifestyle socks as the socks you wear every day – at home, around town, at work. Pretty much anywhere.

The best sock is one you want to wear every day, and we can help you find it. The secret, they say, is letting the sock choose you. But for someone with a lifestyle as adventurous and spontaneous as yours, we feel you might need a little help.

It's Not a Trend, It's a Lifestyle

Two pairs of feet wearing matching men's and women's casual socks

Our Lifestyle socks are perfect for every occasion. They’re built for everyday use but extend beyond being reserved for just casual wear. Darn Tough Lifestyle socks are always up for a challenge, even if you find yourself going on an unexpected dog walk that turns into a hike. They’re made from Merino Wool – so even though they’re not technically hiking socks – they will protect your feet when the going gets tough.

There are innumerable instances where Lifestyle socks fit the bill. To help you find the right pair, though, there are a few things to consider first. These features, just to name a few, are what you should look for in every lifestyle sock:

  • Made from Merino Wool — It's what we knit all our Lifestyle socks with. Merino Wool is naturally durable and silky soft, making it ideal for all-day wearing. It also protects against blistering and prevents moisture from soaking your toes. Plus, it doesn’t stink.
  • Lightweight — All Darn Tough Lifestyle socks are knit using Lightweight yarn. It’s the weight of the thread that determines the weight of the sock. This finer gauge yarn provides your feet unparalleled comfort and support in all your favorite footwear.
  • True Seamless Toe™ — No seams mean no fuss. The feature never noticed because there’s nothing to feel but comfortable bliss.
  • Durable — Our socks are the most durable, so you don’t have to keep spending money to replace your favorite pair. They’re knit to withstand the elements and guaranteed to last forever.
  • Performance Fit — Say goodbye to that feeling of your socks slipping and getting lost in your shoe. Our Performance Fit makes for a sock that stays up and stays put, no matter what you’re doing.

Now, let’s consider some of what makes our Lifestyle socks different from one another, including height, cushion, and style.


The height of your socks might not reflect the height of your success, but it very well could. It really depends on what type of shoes you’re wearing, which will help determine the right sock height for you. And if you’re not wearing socks, well... let’s just say you’re missing out.

Our rule of thumb – your socks should cover every touchpoint between your foot and your shoe. Meaning that you should feel your sock snug around your foot for extra protection in sensitive areas. If you’re someone who wears shoes without socks, this is directed at you. Going sockless sets your feet up for bouts of uncomfortable friction, infections, and unwanted bacteria. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Person seated on patio with feet up wearing no show casual socks

Our Lifestyle socks come in six different heights (two are exclusive to Women's styles and one to Men's). We break them all down here:

  • No Show Invisible (Women's style): The shortest sock we offer. These can be worn with slip-ons or flats for a sock that’s undetectable but still protective. People may think you’re crazy for not wearing socks. But what they don’t know won’t hurt them, right?
  • No Show Hidden: The second shortest sock we offer. For days when you don’t want your socks to show but still want the comfort that Merino Wool socks bring. It’s like a secret for you and your feet. Can be worn with loafers or slip-ons.
    Person putting on slip on shoes over no show hidden socks
  • No Show: For those who prefer a minimal profile but still enough substance to protect your feet. They’re visible in most sneakers, but just barely, and they stay put without stealing the show. Can be worn with most casual and dress shoes, including, driving loafers, boat shoes, oxfords, monks, or penny loafers.
  • Shorty (Women' style): The Shorty height sits between our No Show and Crew heights. It’s tall enough to cover your ankles but short enough to ensure your legs have room to breathe. Ideal to wear with mid- or high-top shoes and Chelsea boots, but also look great in sneakers. Arguably the trendiest height of them all.
  • Crew: The Crew height is our bread and butter. It’s our most popular and the height we feature the most unique styles in. Pairs well with boots, sneakers, dress shoes, slides, athletic shoes... you name it. You probably have a few pairs of these in your sock drawer, but what’s one (or two) more?
    Person seated on couch playing air guitar wearing lifestyle socks with a guitar playing squirrel
  • Mid-Calf (Men's styles): The tallest Lifestyle sock we knit, for those who prefer comfort at the mid-calf. Slightly taller than our Crew height and best worn with all types of shoes, including casual, dress, and athletic. It’s perfect for formal dress attire if you’re searching for something warm that can stretch to cover most of your lower leg.


Our Lifestyle socks offer two types of cushioning – one with cushion and one without. If you were to ask the author of this post, they’d say our Lightweight with Cushion Lifestyle socks are some of the best we knit. But that’s just one person. And everyone’s feet are different. So, it’s up to you to decide how cozy and cushy you like your socks.

Potter wearing everyday socks with cushion while working in shop

Lifestyle socks with cushion provide a layer of enhanced comfort beneath your feet for all-day support. It’s like walking on clouds, but not the cumulous type that shrouds your feet in fluff. It’s fuzzy enough to help ease your soles but not too overpowering, especially if you suffer from sweaty feet. In that case, our Lifestyle socks without cushion might be better for you.


It used to be that people picked their socks to match their outfit. But lately people seem to be in favor of the opposite. Socks are now the first thing people grab from their wardrobe, searching for which color/style/pattern is best suited for how they’re feeling that day. Their outfit then gets selected based on which socks they choose.

It’s great. And for obvious reasons, we love it.

Feet wearing yellow socks with polka dots from darn tough, putting on booties

Style is what separates our socks from the rest. It’s where we get our kicks, and where your feet get yours. Our attention to detail, one-off colorways, and exclusive patterns are simply unparalleled. We make it possible for everyone to find a sock that speaks directly to them. Unlike your classic solid color socks (we’ve got those too) our imaginative Lifestyle selection is what people get most excited about.

What makes choosing the right Lifestyle socks so fun and addicting is that they never get old. No matter what you’re doing or where you go, we’ve got a Lifestyle sock that’s knit just for you.

Lifestyle Breakdown — Dress & Casual Socks

Our Lifestyle socks fall into two categories – dress and casual. They can be quirky and colorful or neutral and formal. We’ve got something for every occasion, from family weddings to Friday nights at home.

Dress Socks

Person in black slacks and dress shoes wearing Darn Tough dress socks

Formal attire is important to nail down if you’re planning to dress up for a wedding or attend a work event. If you’re looking for formal socks, you may want to opt for styles like The Standard, Solid, or Solid Basic. These three styles are relatively tame (in terms of flashy appearance) but still give your feet the chance to stand out in a room full of generic dress socks.

Casual Socks

For days when you’re chasing a more casual vibe, there are many different socks to choose from. If you’re looking for something to wear with sneakers, opt for No Show styles like the Lucky Lady. For a taller sock that’s simple yet stylish, we recommend checking out the Shetland style for a casual sock that’s budding at the seams with charisma.

Close up of feet wearing lucky lady socks putting on low-top sneakers

Styles like the Truffle Hog are subtle enough to not startle your neighbor but interesting enough to pique and hold their curiosity. If you’re on the fence between something that’s formal and super casual, styles like Blossom will help you bridge the gap with a sock that can be worn as either or.

At the high end of self-expression, there are a few unique styles that your feet will love, like Animal Haus. For a burst of flavor that’s undeniably funky, we recommend exploring some of our more imaginative styles, like the Druid and Wild Life. These are raging with color and personality patterns that might even mimic your own.

For something even more specific to your lifestyle (say, if you’re into birds or fishing), we recommend exploring styles like the Twitterpated and Spey Fly – this Lightweight Crew sock was inspired by our very own Marc Cabot, and for the fisherman out there… it takes the bait.

Skateboarder wearing the Spey Fly socks while doing tricks on stairs

It's Your Life, Live It How You Want

There’s no right or wrong way to go about picking your Lifestyle socks (and we have tips on choosing socks for other activities). As long as you’re confident in your choice, they’ll hug your feet and love you all the same. It’s a part of our Guarantee, even though you might not read that on any packaging. But it’s true.

Get creative and shop our selection of Lifestyle socks today to find the right pair. If you want a little assist, we also have a quiz to help you find socks. And just remember, it’s your life… life it how you want.

Person putting on dress shoes over super colorful dress socks