The Importance Of Wearing Socks – Grippers Or No Grippers?

Colourful Socks

Why Do Kids’ Need To Wear Socks? Prevent Foot Issues!

Socks are meant to protect the feet and act as a barrier against irritation and infection. The importance of wearing socks is clear, since they play an important role in keeping our kids’ feet healthy. Fabric content and fit are essential for comfort inside the shoe. I always tell the parents that getting the right sock size has the same importance as getting the right shoe size.

If the shoes are fitted properly but your child is wearing a sock that is too small, this can create several foot problems. A sock that is too small won’t allow your kids’ toes to freely move, and might make your kids’ toes overlap each other. This can create friction and lead to calluses or corns. A sock that is too long will end up bunching up inside the shoe, causing your child discomfort every time he is walking or running.

Socks For Infants – Grippers Or No Grippers?

If your little one is walking barefoot around the house (as recommended for healthy foot development) he is going to need a pair of socks to protect his feet from the cold.

Have you noticed how some socks come with grippers in the bottom? A child should wear socks with grippers when he is NOT wearing the shoes. When a child is wearing his shoes, put socks that DON’T have grippers. You might be thinking, that is so silly! What difference is that going to make?

If your child is not wearing shoes, such as walking inside the house where is warm and cozy, socks should have grippers in the bottom which are great for little ones that are learning how to walk. The grippers help by making your child feel more stable and safe when walking. Please make sure the socks have grippers or your child might start face-planting on the floor with every couple of few steps. Allow your child to walk with confidence with gripper socks!

Socks For Babies

If your child is wearing shoes, then we DO NOT want grippers on socks.GRIPPERS SOCKS ARE ONLY MEANT FOR WALKING BAREFOOT AROUND THE HOUSE, THEY ARE NOT MEANT TO BE WORN WITH SHOES. The reason for this is that the grippers will stick to the bottom of the shoe, preventing the child’s foot and toes to freely move, which can create blisters on the toes. Babies like to move their toes a lot, that is their way of exercising their feet. They won’t be able to do this if they are wearing a shoe with a sock that doesn’t allow their toes to freely move.

If you don’t know what I mean by gripper socks, take a look at the picture below which shows a pair of kids’ socks with grippers on it:

Infant Gripper Socks

I also recommend socks that are seamless, since they are great for children who struggle with “bumps & lumps”. I actually wrote a post about seamless socks if you are interested, they are really a life savior for those children who are sensitive and they hate the feel of the seams of the socks. If  your child can’t stand how socks feel and keeps taking them off every time you put them on, DON’T WORRY, I will show you some magical socks. The post is called: Seamless Socks For Kids – Stop The Struggle Of Putting Socks On!

Children Knee High Socks

Why Does It Matter What Are Your Kids’ Socks Made Of?

Cotton and nylon is the best combination. Cotton allows the foot to breathe while the nylon gives strength and shape to the sock. Seamless socks are highly recommended for foot comfort and for children who have sensitive feet, another name for this type of sock is hand linked seams. Children love seamless socks! Parents that come to the shoe store I work for are always thanking me about how happy I made their children by showing them  seamless socks.

What Is The Right Sock Size? – Get It Right!

Socks and shoes go hand in hand. In order to find the right pair of socks you must know your child shoe size. Do not pay attention at the “sock size” or “age guidelines.”  Always look under shoe size in the socks tags. Take a look at the two pictures below for clarification.

The first picture shows a  three sock pack that only seems to show us  the “sock size” and the “age” of the child as a guideline of what size to get. However, if you turn the pack around (picture below), you will notice how one of the columns says “shoe size” (the one marked with a tick). That is the one you always want to refer to when buying socks for your kid if you want to get the correct sock size.Kids-Sock-SizesKids Sock Sizes

If a sock is too large,the excess should be folded up over the toes (not under the toes) since this will allow the socks to adjust to the proper fit as the foot moves inside the shoe. However, there is no reason for your child socks to be too large now that you know how to buy socks for kids!

Sometimes children will walk into the store to have their feet checked without wearing any socks.  I always ask the parent if the child likes to wear socks with his shoes and if the answer is “no,”  I proceed to explaining the importance of wearing socks with shoes. Socks separate our feet from the shoe and help avoid irritation, but they also help parents to realize if their children are sweating too much, and without socks be wouldn’t know that and they will be prone to getting fungus.  Switch the socks twice a day if your child tends to sweat a lot.

What Are The Best Socks For Sweaty And Smelly Feet?

With your child in school all day and leading an active life, you want socks that wick away the moisture.  Wicking simply means absorbing moisture. For kids and adults, UnderArmour is a great brand that runs in sizes child through adult, both genders.  You may know of UnderArmour shirts, which famously wick away sweat.  Their socks, while made of slightly different fibers, serve the same purpose, along with providing support where the foot needs it. However, AVOID UnderArmour shoes! They make the worst shoes for children when it comes to support and structure!

If you want to learn about the best shoes for children, I wrote a post you can probably benefit from reading called: The Best Kids Sneakers – Learn About The Best Shoes For Children Age 3 Through 10

Boys Smelly Socks

Sweaty feet is an issue that spans all age groups.  The best way to deal with sweaty – and in some cases—stinky feet is to wear proper socks.  Even if your feet are not prone to sweating excessively, moisture on the skin can create myriad problems, such as blisters, the growth of odor-causing bacteria, and fungus, such as Athlete’s Foot.  Moisture on the skin is also a problem during cold weather, as moisture pulls heat away from the skin at a significantly higher rate than air.

Synthetic socks are the WORST in that they do not absorb moisture nor allow the foot to properly breathe. A little synthetic fiber in your sock is not the end of the world, but I advise against synthetic materials if your feet sweat at any level of possible discomfort.  Cotton is a wonderful fiber, however it does not absorb moisture as well as other fibers.  The fibers that you can purchase socks in which absorb the most moisture, in order of absorption, are wool and merino. Below you can find a selection of the best kids’ socks that are seamless and breathable:


Were you aware about the important role that socks play when it comes to keeping our children feet healthy? Do you have a favorite brand of socks? Comment below so we can all benefit from YOUR experiences.

STOP BUYING THE WRONG PAIR OF SHOES FOR YOUR CHILDREN.LET’S START TAKING CARE OF THEIR FEET!

I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

54 Comments on The Importance Of Wearing Socks – Grippers Or No Grippers?

  1. I loved this article. O am all about having a good sock. If it is important. I don’t have children of my own but I have several nephews and a niece.Although I agree wool socks would be warmest, I don’t think I could stand the itch. I have never heard of merino. What exactly is that?
    Polly

    • Thank you for reading my post. I explain the importance of wearing socks and how they act as a barrier between your feet and the shoe. Merino wool socks are wonderful since they can absorb a significant amount of moisture. I highly recommend this type of socks since they are incredible soft, it stays warm even when wet, it’s naturally anti bacterial and odor resistant. I hope this clarifies your doubts.

  2. This is such a clear and informative article. When my children were young I insisted that they wear socks, possibly because I remembered the discomfort I experienced the few times I wore socks without them – oh, and the blisters!

  3. Hello Juan,

    Thank you for this informative post, I didn’t knew much about socks because in my opinion they are so common. But I’m a diabetic and the feet is a problem area when you have diabetic. I take your advice with the next pair of socks I buy.
    Ron.

    • Ron,
      I will soon provide you with a post I am working on for the diabetic foot.
      For now I will give you the same response I gave to another individual who had a similar question to yours.Wool and acrylic socks are preferable and the main reason for this recommendation is absorbency. You must also make sure that the socks do not feel too tight.It is important that the individual practices good foot care, such as choosing appropriate socks for preventing possible complications. Thorlos clinically-tested padded diabetic socks are highly effective diabetic socks with unique padding clinically shown to reduce blisters, pain, pressures and moisture

      If you are a diabetic you must fill all three pieces to the foot care/protection puzzle which are:
      Proper shoe fit
      Correct orthotics (if needed)
      A great pair of cushioned socks.

      If you read my posts I always emphasize making the shoe laces tight when it comes to shoes, but if you have a diabetic foot I would recommend actually the opposite.

  4. My son’s feet really pong! Will have to have a look into getting him some better socks as until now we’ve gone by what character is on them rather than how good they are!

    • Jenny,
      Hang in there, you are not alone. If you are in the market for socks avoid nylon and 100% cotton. Individuals do differ over their own personal preference between wool and cotton. My recommendation to you is to find merino wool socks, which can be used year round.

  5. Hi Juan:

    When my son was young, he used to enjoy wearing shoes without socks and I always corrected him on this. His feet would be intolerable when it came to the smell if he did not wear socks with his shoes. If he did not put socks on in the morning, his feet would have a horrible smell to them that was so strong. Is that related to fungi and bacteria growth?

    Steph

    • Steph,
      I am glad you managed to survive the smell. Socks act as a barrier between the foot and the shoe. I always emphasize the importance of socks that absorb moisture (wool socks) as well as other fibers. Avoid nylon and 100% cotton.

      Excessive foot perspiration creates foot and shoe discomfort. It can also be very damaging to the shoe, causing rapid “aging” of the materials and components (upper, linings, insoles, counter, etc.) with loss of shoe shape and shoe fit.The salts and acids of perspiration along with the bacteria (“perspiration is body “waste” and has an abundance of bacteria), feed on such protein-rich shoe materials as leather, cotton, cellulose etc.

  6. Socks have always been important to me and I have always made sure my children had socks that were appropriate for the type shoe they were using. What type of sock would you recommend for a diabetic? I hear there are some really nice ones available now days.
    Bob

    • Bob,
      Wool and acrylic socks are preferable and the main reason for this recommendation is absorbency. You must also make sure that the socks do not feel too tight.It is important that the individual practices good foot care, such as choosing appropriate socks for preventing possible complications. Thorlos clinically-tested padded diabetic socks are highly effective diabetic socks with unique padding clinically shown to reduce blisters, pain, pressures and moisture

      If you are a diabetic you must fill all three pieces to the foot care/protection puzzle which are:
      Proper shoe fit
      Correct orthotics (if needed)
      A great pair of cushioned socks.

      If you read my posts I always emphasize making the shoe laces tight when it comes to shoes, but if you have a diabetic foot I would recommend actually the opposite.

  7. This is a great article on the importance of wearing socks. I must admit that I have gotten into the habit of not wearing socks when I go on short errands. I also will have to stop tucking my socks under and start tucking them over my toes. Thanks Juan.

  8. Great article, I suffer from sweaty feet and I have been through several blisters as well, socks that reduce friction work best for me.When I was a little girl my mom always bought me cotton shoes and I clearly remember folding socks when they were too big, it is good to learn this technique is useful for kids.

  9. Dear Juan,

    I always wondered why my mom felt cotton socks were the best fit for me as a child. Upon reading this Article of yours, I have finally realized the truth behind it. Cotton socks are quite a comfortable fit, allows the feet to breathe especially. I hate having smelly feet too, it is usually caused by sweat or perhaps stress.

    I never wear shoes without socks.

    But, I want to know something, would you say that most people wear socks the most during the winter season rather than the summer season due to humidity while in winter they want to keep warm?

    Thanks in advance for answering my question. 🙂

    Wishing you all the best with your online success above and beyond the horizon,

    ~Angel

    • Angel,

      I wear socks in the summer and winter season since I feel much more comfortable with socks. There are socks made out of wool that are great for both seasons, they will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Visit my review section on socks. Make sure that you are using breathable shoes, and try socks made out of wool, you will not only find them extremely comfortable, but they will reduce the amount of sweat your are experiencing in your feet.

  10. I agree it’s definitely important to wear socks! However I had no idea there were so many different kinds or that it really made a difference which kind you wore. I’ve always thought a sock is a sock. It’s interesting reading through this and seeing your suggestions. With each type of sock you mention, it’d be useful to have a picture showing what that sock looks like. I have no idea what a gripper is but my boys are home all the time and I don’t like them to wear shoes in the house but they do wear their socks. I wonder how the grippers compare to what they usually wear. This is an interesting read and it’s obvious you know what you’re talking about!

    • Who would have thought that socks play such a key role in footwear? The importance of wearing socks is clear, since they play an important role in a healthy foot for children. Fabric content and fit are essential for comfort inside the shoe. If you want to learn about toddler socks click here you will see a review of socks with pictures so you can see what they look like. If you want to learn about children’s socks click here. I even provide a review for adult’s socks if you are interested. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Great post Elvalen1987! I had no idea that synthetic socks did not absorb moisture. I am a sufferer of sweaty feet. Under Armour is a great company and I am not surprised that they have done it again! I will be sure to spread the word. Have you tried out these sock yourself?

    • Evan,

      Synthetic socks are the worst in that they do not absorb moisture nor allow the foot to properly breathe. A little synthetic fiber in your sock is not the end of the world, but I advise against synthetic materials if your feet sweat at any level of possible discomfort.Cotton is a wonderful fiber, however it does not absorb moisture as well as other fibers. The fibers that you can purchase socks in which absorb the most moisture, in order of absorption, are wool and merino. Let me know anytime you have any questions about footwear or hosiery.

  12. Thanks for your review on socks for children as I believe it is very essential to the care of their feet and this should be a priority. Children can be very sensitive and if we are not cautious, it could lead to various circumstances such as feet problems.

    I also appreciate the fact that you highlited the various kind of socks and their various use. That was much informative.

    • The whole purpose of providing our children with the proper pair of shoes and socks is to avoid and prevent any kind of foot injuries or problems. I am glad that you found the website informative.

  13. It’s so hard to find good socks these days for kids.
    The cheap nylon ones they sell in big department stores make my daughter’s feet sweat and she hates them!
    The grippers are good when they are little especially walking on tiles in the kitchen. Helps to prevent slips!
    I’ll check out the ones you recommend to get some better quality socks for my little terror!

    • Luke,

      Thank you for sharing.You are correct that nowadays is hard to find good socks not just for our children, but for adults as well. You definitely should stay away from nylon socks. Look for cotton and wool. Tell me how everything works out!

  14. This was a very informative article. Though I have heard of the brand, I have never heard of UnderArmour socks before! I might have to invest in a pair of those! Wool socks are great to wear in our climate.

    I agree, children need to wear socks! I hated the blisters I would get as a kid from rushing out the door without putting socks on.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Blisters are the worst, they can be very uncomfortable and painful. UnderArmour socks are highly recommended. Thank you for sharing!

  15. I came across your article as I Was looking for some socks for my daughter for school time as her feet were smelly when she got home. I didn’t realise the science behind it! I see you have suggested some socks which specifically help with smelly feet. Great stuff

    Do you know if there is a special way that you should wash them or anything?

    • I do not believe there is a special way to wash them. Do keep in mind that they will shrink once you put them in the machine, so cold water is recommended. I hope after you try these socks your child won’t have smelly feet anymore! Thank you for sharing!

    • Bruce,

      If you child wears a gripper sock inside the shoe the grippers tend to stick to the bottom of the shoe, constricting foot movement. If the toes or the foot are not able to move then this can create blisters in the small toe. I hope this clarifies.

  16. Juan,

    I learned a lot on your site just never gave it much thought as kids we just always wore socks.

    I do think a lot about shoes since I had 7200 volts of electricity go through my body. The scares on my feet feel a lot better with the right shoes and possible the socks do make a difference.

    Now in my yawning years I do like knee high socks for leg support.

    Thanks for the great info.

    • Jim,

      In all honestly, I never knew or understood the importance of proper fitting socks and shoes until I started working at the shoe store. I understand that most people are not aware of the problems we can create to our children’s feet or to ourselves by avoiding wearing socks, and I believe this is just due to people not being informed. The reason I created the website is to inform people about footwear and socks, that way they can make the most informative decision. You should try seamless socks to avoid any friction to your feet. You should also make sure that you are wearing shoes that are wide enough for your feet, since after the incident you had, you want to avoid any sort of pressure towards your feet.

  17. Very interesting. I went through a period of not wearing socks, and my feet toughened up to it. This was probably only possible because I only wore shoes at work. This is really not such a smart idea .I never got foot fungus or the like, but I did get enough foreign objects in my feet, such as glass, to require surgery! This site teaches the value of socks, as well as what kinds of socks are best for different types, and ages of people. It would be wise to consult this site when choosing footwear. What kind of shoes do you wear? Investigate a sock that goes well with them. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has worn socks that slip down, bunch and cause blisters, feel too tight you name it… This site can help you find the answers to your footwear questions.

    • Sam,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. As you mention in your comment, if we do not wear the right type and size sock it can cause many problems to our feet. Children are running around for most of the day which makes their feet more prone to sweating. Sweaty feet not only creates bad odors, but it also creates moisture on the skin that leads to a myriad of problems, such as blisters, and fungus, such as athlete’s foot.

  18. I tried the Dirty Buck and now I ordered some of the socks you recommend. My child doesn’t like to wear socks and he always has one that does not match the other.Once I read about the potential danger of not wearing socks such as irritation and infection, I knew it was time to get him new socks.

    Thanks for pointing out the specific socks that is recommended for children to wear at home.I was gonna raise the slippery problem but you’re aware of that and cover it in your post.

    It’s something new for me to know on sizes on sock tags. I appreciate with this particular tip. I will take note on that!

    • Tar,

      I hope you have been happy with the Dirty Buck. All the socks I recommend are top of the line. Some of them are seamless socks, which children tend to love. I recommend them fr children who have wide feet or children who have sensory issues.
      Which particular sock did you get? Please stay in touch and let me know how they work out.

  19. I do like this website’s ideas. Because it is true: Walking barefoot is necessary for healthy foot development. Which is why I personally wear 5finger ‘barefoot’ shoes when I walk out in nature. Wearing a pair of gripper socks does sound like a better idea than wearing slippers around the house.

    • Graham,

      Walking barefoot around the house allows the baby to promote healthy muscle development. The tiny toes are constantly wiggling, which is nature’s way of exercising the foot for development. Toe gripping is also essential for gait balance when the child starts to walk.

      I have never tried the 5 finger “barefoot” shoes but I do know that some people swear by them. I actually prefer good supportive shoes for children or adults who are on their feet all day.

  20. Congrats on a clear and direct way of letting us know when the grippers are appropriate and when not.

    You’ve mentioned that infants should wear grippers while walking barefoot around the house. I presume that this is meant during the colder periods only? We prefer walking barefoot – without socks – during late spring and through all of the summer.

    Anyways, thanks for the info and good luck!

    • Ervin,

      Infants should wear socks if it is cold inside the house. Maybe if there is tile floor or wood floors. Socks will also act as a barrier between the foot and the floor. If it is warm enough in the house walking barefoot without socks is totally fine.

  21. Ugh I have sweaty feet whenever I leave home from work no matter if the weather is hot or cold. Sometimes when you’re running around all day on a construction site you can get quite a bit of moisture in your shoes. I mean even when I pressure wash things at work I would have my wet shoes in the garage all night and they still would not be dry the next morning. I’ve had to throw out socks because they smelled so bad after work.

    Good Stuff!

    Chris

    • Chris,

      I believe what you need is a pair of waterproof shoes or waterproof boots. If you wear them with a pair of wool socks you should definitely see an improvement. Sweaty feet can bring a myriad of problems and it must be very uncomfortable having to work with your feet being wet. I will be writing a post about waterproof shoes for men and hopefully you will find it useful.

  22. Saludos, Juan Pablo!

    Glad to be back on your website.
    Interesting article, must I say. I haven’t really thought about socks in such a deep way as you present it here.
    I remember my parents always making me wear socks around the house (which I hated) but they were right – wearing socks around the house with cold floors definitely wouldn’t be beneficial for the child. Not sure if they thought of the material of the socks, but nowadays I choose socks by the way they feel on my feet. I like a soft material, feels nice on the feet.
    There were a lot of moments in your article that were new for me; as I said earlier, I didn’t really think much about socks in a deep way.
    Oh well, every day we learn something new, no?
    Thank you for sharing,
    Zarina

    • Zarina,

      I am glad that you found the article informative. Socks play a huge role when it comes to footwear. For example, children who are running around all day tend to sweat a lot, and if they don”t wear breathable shoes and socks then they will be more prone to foot issues. Sweaty feet is an issue that spans all age groups. The best way to deal with sweaty – and in some cases—stinky feet is to wear proper socks. Even if your feet are not prone to sweating excessively, moisture on the skin can create myriad problems, such as blisters, the growth of odor-causing bacteria, and fungus, such as Athlete’s Foot.

  23. As I am quite an active person, what with work and daily life I worry about sweaty feet. And also the added health issues with this. I didn’t know though that there were socks that could help with this so this post was quite useful for me. I think that I will try the UnderArmour socks. Do you know where I could get some? Are they on Amazon?

    • Owain,

      Did you know that there are various reasons why your feet might be sweating excessively? Smelly feet is commonly brought on by emotional stress or physical exercise. However, they type of socks and footwear that you use can and will reduce the amount of sweat. The UnderArmour socks are one of the best and Amazon is the cheapest place to buy them from.

  24. Wow – I had no idea that this much went into socks. It makes sense though that they are meant to protect the feet from unwanted issues and such. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

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