The best football socks you can buy in 2021

When it comes to talking about football kits, socks can often be forgotten. They’re not exactly the most glamorous of items. They don’t get the Pro endorsements like star-studded football boots. But why not? They’re still a very important piece of kit. They’re all that stands between you and your football boots, after all.

Why do some players cut the feet from their socks? 

In the past few years, there has been a trend of some football players cutting the feet off of their football socks. Even in the biggest leagues in the world, top players were chopping up official kit socks. There are a couple of reasons they do this, mostly it’s so a pair of extra grippy socks can be worn on the feet to stop sliding around inside football boots. Although, some players find wearing a full pair of football socks restrictive because they can feel too tight on their calf muscles. Kyle Walker and Danny Rose infamously wore socks with cut out holes on them to reduce tension in the calf muscles. Since then, top footballing brands have caught on and have designed split socks with either calf sleeves or stirrups so players can have their grippy socks without taking scissors to their gear. 

Why do some players wear their socks low?

Players like Jack Grealish, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Francesco Totti are known for wearing their socks low. This can be at the annoyance of referees and match officials when amateurs try to copy their look. Some, like Grealish, can be chalked down to superstition - one time his socks shrunk in the wash and he played really well, and the rest is history. But some players with particularly muscly calves can find long, tight socks restrictive and lowering them can help relieve some of that tension. Split socks can also remedy some of that discomfort.

These 11 pairs of socks have been designed to make life a little easier, soaking up sweat, batting away blisters and even trimming time from impromptu craft sessions.

1.  Umbro ProTex grip sock and diamond top sock leg


The Umbro ProTex sock uses Premgripp technology to create an ultra stable sock. The non-slip socks don’t just stay in place, they stimulate nerve endings and blood circulation to reduce fatigue which increases performance. The ankle has double density padding which is perfect for those players who find themselves getting kicked a lot during games. The sock leg is separate and designed to be worn over the ProTex sock to look just like a full set. The sleeve is stretchy and has Umbro’s classic diamond design knitted into the ribbed turnover.

Get them from Umbro for £20.00 (socks) and £9.00 (sleeves)

2.  Nike Classic football socks

Nike Classic Football Socks

Nike’s Classic offering does the simple things well. For those who like their socks to be exactly that, look no further. They have a medium-density cushioning for those who like just that little extra support against blisters and rubbing. The DriFit technology ensures you stay dry with its top-of-the-range sweat-wicking abilities. There is a stretchy ribbing around the ankles which ensures the fit is snug and secure. 

Get them from JD Sports for £10.00

3.  Viralto MiD non-slip football socks and F500 stirrup socks

Viralto MiD non-slip

The developers at Decathlon’s own brand Kipsta studied the pitch as always and found out that many players were cutting the feet from their socks so they could still meet kit regulations. They designed a matching set of stirrups and socks that can be worn together to give the illusion of wearing a continuous sock and still passing that match official check up. The mid rise socks have been designed with a non-slip fabric to keep your foot locked in your boot and anti-chafing padding to reduce blisters. The parts are sold separately and come in a variety of colours to suit whichever team colours your team wears.

Get them from Decathlon for £7.99 (socks) and £3.99 (stirrup socks)

4.  Kipsta Club football socks

Kipsta Club

For those who prefer their socks all-in-one with no fuss, these Kipsta Club socks are perfect. They were designed to be worn up to three times a week so they’re super resilient. The chevrons on the instep are ventilated which makes these a very breathable pair of socks. Meanwhile, the heels and toes are padded for comfort and the midfoot has an elasticated band to minimise mid-match sock slippage. They also come in a wide range of colours so, whether you’re home, away, or even the referee, these socks can be used. 

Get them from Decathlon for £4.99

5.  Adidas Milano 16 socks

Adidas Milano 16 socks

These classic Milano 16 socks from Adidas use Aeroready tech which helps wick sweat away from the legs. These will be particularly useful to those who find their shins often get sweaty. To back this up they have added mesh inserts to help ventilate the socks. The cuffs, ankle and instep are ribbed for optimised fit and there are clever spots of padding and cushioning to make the socks comfortable.

Get them from JD Sports for £8.00

6.  Umbro Classico socks

Umbro Classico socks

The Umbro Classico socks come in a large array of colours, ranging from bold to reserved. These socks have a flat toe seam for ultimate comfort, which will be a blessing for those who find their toes feel cramped at the end of their boots. The footbed is completely padded so there is no unseemly friction going on when you wear them. They are ventilated using micromesh and they even have a corrugated area to prevent creasing which means you’ll be looking fresh and smart come matchday. 

Get them from Umbro for £8.00 

7.  Adidas Adi 21 socks

Adidas Adi 21 socks

The Adi 21 socks are made for moisture absorption. That means you can play to your fullest ability without having to worry about getting sweaty. Adidas even describe these as a “sock umbrella” which could be very useful when living in a rainy place like the United Kingdom. The socks are eco-conscious as well as they’re made with Primegreen which are a series of recycled materials. They’re anatomically designed to have a different left and right fit which means they mould well to your feet. 

Get them from Adidas for £13.00

8.  Nike MatchFit Crew socks and Squad leg sleeves

Nike MatchFit Crew socks and Squad leg sleeves

Nike created their MatchFit Crew socks for those who prefer a split sock situation. These socks are crafted with Nike’s signature DriFit technology that wicks sweat away for a breathable sock. The arches of these socks have dynamic compression support which helps lock the foot in the boot, and the toes and heels are reinforced to keep them durable. If you're after a secure yet stretchy fit that works well with any type of shin guard, the leg sleeved are almost entirely ribbed for that purpose. 

Get them from JD Sports for £9.00 (socks) and £7.00 (sleeves)

9.  Nike Squad 21 crew socks and Squad leg sleeves

Nike Squad 21 crew socks and Squad leg sleeves

Nike Squad 21’s matching crew socks and leg sleeves are a high-class alternative to cutting the feet off your socks. The socks have zonal cushioning which relieves boot pressure and reduces chafing, perfect for those who find their boots cause them pain. The fabric has built-in sweat-wicking abilities, ensuring you can play at the top of your game for longer. The coordinating sleeve is stretchy and gives a seamless look when worn together.

Get them from Nike for £8.95 (socks) and £6.95 (sleeves)

10.  TapeDesign grip socks

TapeDesign grip socks

The underside of these socks has grippy circles that seem to look like an octopus. These are the ultra grip rubber knobs that give a first-class hold in your boots. It means that you can turn and pivot at the very top of your level without even a shred of hesitation. They’re super stretchy and come in a one-size-fits-all package. These are perfect if you’re in between sizes. At the moment TapeDesign doesn’t have a leg sleeve of their own, so they can be paired with a leg sleeve of your choosing. 

Get them from Sports Direct for £16.00

11.  Sells Excel Keeper sock

Sells Excel Keeper sock

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Perhaps a lesser-known brand than Nike or Adidas, Sells is a company that produces products exclusively for goalkeepers. Having been used by professionals and England goalkeepers like Nick Pope and Ben Foster, you know you’re in safe hands. They’re knitted with soft acrylic yarns for ultimate comfort whilst keeping your feet fresh and secure. The footbed is nicely elasticated and has a breathable mesh construction. There's no need to stop to adjust your socks anymore, as the socks have a double welt turnover. These socks are suitable for all weather conditions.

Get them from Pro:Direct Soccer for £5.00

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