It finally happened. We have reached peak subscription box.
Since 2012 when the first fully-realized subscription boxes hit the internet, the sheer number and variety of subscription boxes available have exploded. At last count there were: snack boxes, wine boxes, underwear boxes, skincare boxes, diabetic supply boxes, boxes of personal-stylist-selected clothing, cigar boxes, sex-toy boxes, and even apocalypse-prepper boxes. If you wanted to, you could literally outfit your entire life with products solely from subscription boxes.
With all those boxes being shipped across the world, it shouldn’t come as a shock when we reveal that there are literally dozens of different sock subscription boxes on the market now, running the gamut from playful, patterned socks to high-end, respectable work-wear.
When it comes to our socks though, most men aren’t that concerned. For nearly 50 years, we got by on only two options: black crew socks and white gym socks. When you only have two basic choices, taste and discernment don’t much matter. Today, socks are more often seen as an accessory on the level with timepieces and ties, rather than just a piece of cloth to save your shoes from smelling. The cut, color, pattern, and material are all key factors when deciding on what sock to purchase. But, you can’t really try socks on at the store (or at least, you shouldn’t). So, we took the time to sift through the nearly endless options and have selected our top five sock subscription boxes. Check these out and give your toes a treat.
The US is on track to generate 35 billion pounds of textile waste by 2019, one of the fastest growing waste products in the world. One way to help reduce that amount of waste is of course recycling. Nice Laundry cornered this market by sending you a postage paid return bag with every subscription box so when you get your new socks, you can send your old ones back and create more room in the chaos that is a sock drawer. If they are gently used, Nice Laundry will wash them and send them to places of need. If they are to’ up, they will be shredded into fibers and turned into things like home insulation. Plus you can go on their site and build your own box so you can choose your favorite colors and patterns and know what to expect with every delivery.
Sock Works has a super selection of styles and patterns. When subscribing, choose from three types of boxes, “fun,” “pro,” or “mixed.” As a veteran-owned and operated company, Sock Works also gives back to our guys in green with 10% of their profits going to a different veteran charity each month. With a Sock Works subscription, you can feel good while looking good, too.
Cost: $20 per month when paying month to month or subscribe for a full year and pay only $18 per month–a yearly savings of $24.
Made from 70% combed cotton with a 200 thread count, these socks are supple and soft. A two-inch no-slip cuff band prevents these pairs from falling down and a reinforced heel and toe ensures no future blow-outs or toe-holes. Sock Fancy sends you a random pattern each month, so if you’re the type of guy who needs control or choice, this might not be the best box for you.
Cost: $11 per month for one pair or $57 for a six-pack.
Composed of cotton grown in the southeastern United States and made right here in Austin, Texas, Sock Club is the most homegrown of all the emerging sock subscription boxes. Receive one newly designed pair of socks each month and be satisfied knowing that Sock Club has, “Complete oversight of [their] entire process. Ensuring not only the finest quality product but that [their] processes are eco-friendly and [their] workers are paid a living wage.” No sweat shops here.
Cost: $12 per month when paying month to month or $132 for a full year.
Foot Cardigan will send you one randomly selected pair of socks per month. Most of the socks are gender neutral in design, so you won’t have to worry about receiving something a little too frilly for your tastes. These socks are made from “75% combed cotton, 20% polyester, 5% spandex, 2.4% natural and artificial flavors, 1.7% laughter, and the last twinkle of a distant dying star.” Their playful and fun designs and patterns also make for an excellent (and fairly inexpensive) gift subscription.
Cost: $9 a month for one randomly selected pair.
Sock Panda is the feel good company with the feel-good socks. This box made our list because of its charitable contributions. For every pair of socks you purchase, Sock Panda will donate a pair of socks to someone in need. With options for “Stylish and Suave,” “Daring and Bold,” or a box with one of each, Sock Panda will have you putting your best foot forward.
Cost: $19 for two pair per month when billed monthly, $16 for two pair per month if paying for a full year in advance.
Bonus Sock Brand We Love
Because sometimes a whole box is too much sock.
Pair of Thieves no show socks are so soft you’ll forget you’re wearing them. With a super-low cut that will be hidden in even the shallowest of shoes and a gel heel pad to prevent slippage, these crew socks are worth seeking out more than just a single pair.
Dad + Kid Set, $16
Like father, like son — Pair of Thieves also sells Dad+Kid sets of socks, which are almost too cute for comfort. Match-up with your little munchkin and be prepped for the playground in these no-slip, moisture wicking, breathable cotton socks.
Featured image: Anthony Willis via anthonywillisphotography.com