Ankle vs. Crew Socks

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Two common types of socks are ankle socks and crew socks. Both types are made from the same materials and both are designed to wear with shoes. The main difference between ankle and crew socks are the height of the socks. The other difference between them is the reasons people choose for wearing them.

Ankle Socks

Ankle socks are shorter than crew socks. They cover the entire foot and come up to the ankle. People wear ankle socks for athletic purposes and when wearing casual types of shoes. Ankle socks sit right above the shoe opening and are not visible on the leg, unlike crew socks. Many people choose to wear ankle socks when they are wearing shorts to avoid a tall sock from standing out on their legs.

Crew Socks

Crew socks are also called work socks or boot socks. They are much taller than ankle socks and normally come up to around the mid-calf of a person’s legs. They can be worn pulled up all the way or cuffed or scrunched. Some crew socks come with different types of “ribs” or textures and are ideal to wear with boots or jeans. The ribs offer a stylish look and help the socks hold their shape by staying up on the leg better.


Both ankle and crew socks can be made from nylon, cotton, wool, microfiber or other materials. Women often wear crew dress socks made of nylon, polyester and spandex. These socks offer comfort, durability and a stylish look. Men often choose crew socks made of a combination of cotton, polyester, nylon and spandex for almost any purpose. These are ideal for working and everyday use. People who play sports often choose an ankle sock made from a cotton blend. Athletic ankle socks are designed to reduce sweating and to help keep feet cool.


Both types of socks vary by color; although many people automatically think of white socks when it comes to crew socks or ankle socks. Women’s ankle socks often come with pom-poms on the back of them and colored heels and toes. Men’s socks are also available with colored heels and toes. Men, women and children can also purchase ankle and crew dress socks in colors such as black or brown. By shopping around, you can find crew and ankle socks in almost any color or design.