We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Tube Socks?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
BeautyAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At BeautyAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tube socks are socks that are knitted in a single long tube, so that they have no clearly delineated heel and ankle region. As a result, they are a one-size-fits-all design, with people purchasing different lengths depending on how large their feet are and how far up the leg they want their socks to reach. Numerous clothing stores sell these socks, especially athletic stores, and they can also be ordered from various manufacturers. In addition, they are relatively easy to knit, and they can be a fun beginning knitter pattern.

Many people associate tube socks with athletics, especially 1960s athletics, when striped ones became very popular. Athletes tend to wear them with a low percentage of cotton, since cotton does little to wick moisture and can easily cause blisters. The socks can be found in many types of fibers, including synthetic materials. Many manufacturers make them available in different weights as well, with heavy socks for winter wear in cold climates, and more lightweight versions for use as dress socks or for summer wear.

Although true tube socks are knitted in the shape of a tube, some manufacturers make versions with a knitted heel and a more heavily padded sole, for comfort. These socks share the ribbed cuff of traditional tube sock, which prevents the sock from sliding down the leg. As the socks and cuff gradually lose elasticity, however, they will start to slip when worn, as the ribs become stretched out.

Some people wear these socks simply because they are comfortable, and because they provide a layer of insulation in cold weather. Others view theem as a sort of fashion statement, and one may see tube socks on certain groups in various communities, who wear them as part of an overall style or look. In the late 1990s, for example, many skaters began adopting them as “old school socks,” sporting them along with other skate clothes.

Because tube socks are so simple to knit, the basic pattern has probably been made for centuries. Certainly during the First World War, an astounding number were produced as many countries contributed knitting to the war effort. The Red Cross, for example, encouraged both men and women at home to knit socks for soldiers in the trenches, since a solid pair of socks could insulate feet from extreme cold and painful blisters. Many knitters started making them because they were a fast knit and because a poorly turned heel can cause pain in the wearer, so these socks would have been more comfortable.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon147433 — On Jan 29, 2011

I loved wearing tube socks as a teenager growing up in the late 70's early 80's. They looked cool and were comfortable to wear. No problem with arranging them on your feet and when you pulled them up they stayed up! They came in a wide range of colours to match your nylon trimmed shorts. They were OK for sports wear and casual. Fashion trends usually go full circle so we might see that 'American' fashion style once again soon.

By StreamFinder — On Oct 28, 2010

I can't say I've ever been that big of a fan of crew tube socks.

I thought they looked silly the first time around when all the jocks were wearing them in the 60s, and they just looked even more ridiculous when it came back as an "ironic" trend.

So just remember, the next time you're looking at those "deck" tube socks with stripes, there is a fine, fine line between "ironic" and intensely annoying to those around you, and tube socks might just push you over that line.

By pharmchick78 — On Oct 28, 2010

Did you know that many people wear tube socks for medical reasons too?

One of the most common instances is that of diabetic tube socks. Diabetics are very prone to foot ulcers, so it's important that they have a good, supportive sock that can wick away moisture and keep the foot clean and dry. Unlike regular Hanes tube socks, diabetic tube socks are also made with a non-binding top, which is important, since diabetics often have compromised blood flow to their extremities.

Whereas a regular, top bound sock could cut off circulation and lead to foot problems, a diabetic sock is specifically designed to avoid this problem.

Some people also use tighter tube socks, like nylon tube socks, as support for varicose veins. Oftentimes, varicose veins become less painful if the leg is tightly supported, so this can be a good "band-aid" until further treatment can be taken.

Finally, tube socks are great for flying. There's always a risk of blood clots in the extremities, especially the feet and legs, when flying, and tube socks can compress the leg to help prevent that.

Who knew there were so many uses for the humble tube sock?

By rallenwriter — On Oct 28, 2010

I stumbled into wearing wool tube socks during the winter when I got stuck one day without tights. I had no idea how warm those things can keep your legs!

Of course, the cotton crew tube socks are good too, but if you want warmth, then wool is the way to go.

Just make sure you get the knee tube socks and not the ankle tube socks, to get the maximum warmth.

I now own several pairs of wool tube socks and wear them under my jeans whenever I got out in the winter. More convenient than long underwear or tights, but with excellent heat storing ability.

Try it out -- you'll be amazed too.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.