Ankle Socks Vs. Crew Socks, What's The Difference?

I was chatting with a friend the other day.  Somehow, we ended up talking about different types of socks and what they were called.  One “heated” debate started when we were discussing the difference between ankle socks vs. crew socks.  So, What’s the difference between ankle socks and crew socks anyway?

The difference between ankle socks and crew socks come down to their height. Ankle socks (also known as quarter crew socks) are a type of sock that comes up over your ankles but don’t go much more above.  Crew socks are the most common length of sock, measuring halfway up the leg between the ankle and knee.

Crew socks and ankle socks are two popular types of socks and are typically made from the same materials. Most socks can be made from cotton, polyester, bamboo, wool, nylon, spandex or a blend of any of these materials. 

There are also socks made from silicone.  Read this article about silicone socks: What are silicone socks for?

Both ankle socks and crew socks can be used for most occasions.  While crew socks are the most manufactured sock length, ankle socks are more popular for athletic use.

Let’s dig into these different styles of socks!

Here is a handy guide that those the different sock sizes.

Ankle Socks – Things You Should Know!

Ankle socks have also been referred to as quarter socks or mini-crew sock come up to and over the ankle but not further. These socks cover your entire foot and end to the ankle portion.

The majority of people tend to wear ankle socks for some athletic purposes. Some people love to wear these types of socks when wearing casual shoes. Ankle socks sit above your shoe opening, and these are not visible on your leg, not like with the crew socks.

Women's Multi-Colored Ankle Socks

Perhaps you may opt to wear these socks, especially if you’re wearing shorts to prevent tall socks from standing on their legs.

They can also be used with all types of shoes, from sliders and sandals, where they can show their full attractiveness, to ankle boots for an additional layer of softness that would protect your skin and help you prevent discomfort and blisters while you’re walking around.

These types of socks are the perfect choice during the summer months, especially when the temperature starts to rise.

Men's Arch Support Ankle Socks

Despite being a smaller type of socks, these socks are still available in different sizes based on material, style, and brand. Quarter type of socks reaches up to 3-5 inches above the top portion of your shoes, which cover the ankle bone but only a little bit.

Furthermore, these are used with sports or trainers’ shoes to give additional padding and protection for the heel and ball of your foot. Those traditional ankle socks may appear a bit taller, which is around 5-6 inches.

What’s the point of these ankle socks?

Probably you’re asking yourself if what’s the point of these ankle socks. Why is it that you can’t just push a quite longer sock down to its required height?

Well, ankle socks are sometimes worn to provide a protective layer and great comfort – pushing taller socks down may provide some bulk and creases, which makes these more uncomfortable when doing your daily activities like running, training, walking, or anything that requires moving.

Woman's Plush Fuzzy Socks

When to use ankle socks?

One of the good things about these ankle socks is their versatility. You may choose a dark blue, charcoal grey, or black color type of socks for a more traditional appearance.

Sports socks are usually worn for running or jogging sessions, from trips to a fitness gym or sports practice. A casual type of ankle socks makes your feet warm, especially if you’re chilling out inside your house.

You can also wear these types of socks if you tend to go with your friends for a hang-out or you will go to a club for enjoyment purposes. In some instances, you can also wear these types of socks if you just want to simply cheek up yourself if you’re having an exhausted or rough day.

Things that You Should Know About Crew Socks

Crew socks are types of socks that are also referred to as boot socks or work socks. These are quite taller than those with ankle socks. These usually come up around the mid-portion of your calf.

These types can be used pulled up, scrunched, or cuffed. Crew socks are available in different types of ribs or textures. These are said to be a perfect option to wear with jeans or boots. The rib socks provide an extraordinary look and allow your socks to hold their shape by maintaining a better fit on your legs.

Crew socks are prominently known by many people because of its great comfort and convenience that these give to the users. These socks typically reach below your calf muscle. These types of socks come in three different types – casual, dress, and athletic.

Women's Multi-Color (Fun) Wool Socks

Men's Marino Wool Athletic Crew Sock

What is the approximate length of crew socks?

The length of the crew socks may significantly vary across brands and types. However, most of these socks have lengths around six to eight inches from the top portion of the cuff down to the heel. They are available in various lengths, which include standard length cut of the crew, ¾ crew, and ¼ crew.

If you’re still confused between crew socks and ankle socks, then just imagine, or think about its length. However, these two types are prominent cuts for a casual type of socks. Just always bear in mind that ankle socks are quite shorter than those crew sock types since these come up to your ankle bone.

Carhartt Men's Full Cushion Steel-Toe Work Boot Socks

For better understanding, try to learn more about the lengths of the crews as what being mentioned and discussed above. Crew socks may come in smaller types and may be referred to as micro crew socks. As the name suggests, these are small or mini types of socks.

Some people refer to these socks as quarter crew socks. So, you may think of these micro crew socks as in-between – these are quite shorter than those classic types of crew socks, but these have length on ankle socks, standing at six inches tall and could read to mid-calf.

The micro version of it is an exceptional fit to be used for high-top sneakers since it avoids chafing at your ankles. These types of socks are also a perfect choice for hot summer days and some sorts of hiking adventures.

With the two separate discussions between ankle socks and crew socks, it is now expected that you can distinguish the difference between these two types. You can also choose a specific type of socks that would be good enough based on your overall outfit.

So, never get confused if what you will wear for your shoes. You may opt for crew socks or ankle socks since these two socks provide great comfort and convenience based on your wearing purposes.

Are Crew Socks the Same as Ankle Socks?

When it comes to feet comfort and protection, ankle and crew socks provide the same purpose. However, they differ in length and uses. Crew socks are typically longer than ankle socks. Ankle socks are just right in the shoe opening; however, crew socks are revealed right up to the mid-calf.

Typically ankle socks are used for athletic and casual wear, which is the same for crew socks. However, some would prefer ankle socks because they find crew socks bulky. On the other hand, people tend to choose crew socks during cold seasons, and some would use ankle socks, especially for summer seasons.

What is the Advantage of Ankle Socks Over Crew Socks?

The advantage of ankle socks over crew socks is the short and lightweight appearance. When you choose ankle socks, it is desirable, especially if you want to hide your socks when wearing shoes. It will give you the option to hide the socks without losing the foot support and comfort that you need.

Also, ankle socks are versatile when it comes to what occasion and activity you want to wear them. You can wear crew socks for casual, formal, dressy, and athletic wear. However, due to its lightweight feature compared to crew socks is ideal for activewear and loungewear.


Crew socks and ankle socks both provide comfort and protection to your feet. Both come with distinct features and purposes and differ in length. Crew socks are longer than ankle socks. Choosing which is best to wear depends on your comfort and preference. H

owever, ankle socks are best used during hot seasons since they sit only on the ankle and allow your legs to breathe. Some would prefer ankle socks over crew socks due to their versatile features. Whichever your choice may be, the verdict is in you; I have listed factors to consider in choosing the best type of socks; feel free to consider reading them above for guidance.

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