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How To Wear White Socks With Sneakers 

December 22, 2022
How To Wear White Socks With Sneakers 

Recently, many people have been opting for the “sockless” look when wearing sneakers. Despite this, having visible socks remains prevalent in men’s style. So, can you wear white socks with sneakers?

White socks with sneakers is a great look for casual occasions. Consider the different styles of socks available and the color of the sneakers you’ll wear. Shorts can really enhance the casual nature of the look, and branding can add some intention to the outfit.

While that’s the gist, there’s a lot more to it.

With this in mind, let’s dig deeper.

patterned dress pants and sneakers
Image From Deposit Photos

5 Tips For Wearing White Socks With Sneakers

In this post, we’ve put together some essential tips to help you pull off white socks with sneakers every time. Read on to find out more.

1. Consider The Color Of Your Sneakers

An important factor to consider when wearing white socks with sneakers is your sneaker color.

Shoe color can make or break your outfit, and its impact on an outfit is often underestimated.

Having said that, it’s no secret that white is one of the most versatile colors out there in terms of fashion.

White is a neutral color. This means that it doesn’t appear on the color wheel. Neutral colors tend to be incredibly versatile because of this.

You should utilize this as much as possible, as it’s hard to go wrong when pairing something with white.

This applies to white socks just as well as it does any other white garment, so when pairing your white socks with sneakers, there are many different color combinations that work well.

As to be expected, white is the optimal sneaker color to wear alongside white socks. 

The monochromatic look is renowned for its sophistication and visual appeal. 

Sometimes, sneakers have slight detailing on them – metal around the lace holes, for example.

This can be a great way to add a bit of flair and contrast to your outfit if you’re not a fan of the entirely monochromatic look.

Blue is another color that works well. Sneakers come in many different shades of blue, and – due to the versatility of both colors – it’s up to you which shade you go for.

If you’d prefer even more contrast, consider a pair of black sneakers instead. 

black sneakers and white socks
Image From Deposit Photos

2. Consider Sock Length

There’s such a variety of different socks on the market – from no-show socks to knee-high socks and everything in between.

Because of this, it can be tough knowing the best white socks style to wear with sneakers.

For this post, the sock types will be split into four different styles and will exclude no-show socks and similarly hidden socks.

These four styles of socks are:

  • Ankle Socks
  • Short Crew Socks (AKA Quarter-Length Socks)
  • Crew Socks
  • Over-The-Calf Socks

Ankle socks are the shortest of the mentioned sock styles and – as the name suggests – reach around ankle height.

While ankle socks are sometimes used for sporting endeavors, they can also be used during the summer to keep cool, as they cover too much of your leg.

Short crew socks are considerably longer than ankle socks – extending to between your mid-calf and ankle.

white sneakers with white mini crew socks
White short crew (i.e quarter-crew) socks with sneakers

Image From Deposit Photos

They are fantastic if you’re wearing mid or high-top shoes as they help prevent chafing around your ankles.

Arguably the most popular sock style, crew socks are longer than quarter-length socks and sit around your mid-to-upper calf.

It’s important to ensure that socks of this length (or longer) fit properly, or else they’ll likely slide down your feet during the day. This can get incredibly annoying.

Finally, over-the-calf socks reach just above your calf. They are often seen as the dressier option and, therefore, are generally found in more expensive fabric.

In all honesty, any of these socks are appropriate to wear with sneakers, with the exception of over-the-calf socks.

3. Keep It Casual

Despite white being a very versatile color in terms of color-matching, it’s primarily used in casual wear. 

Generally, white button-up shirts are the only white formal wear you’ll find – as these are traditionally incredibly formal.

While there are some exceptions to this (white-tie events, for example), it’s a solid rule of thumb that white is predominantly casual.

Furthermore, usually, it’s best to match your socks to your pants. In formal scenarios, your pants will likely be dark.

Therefore, not only is white a pretty casual color, but white socks as a whole are casual too.

Similarly, sneakers are renowned for their casual nature, and while they can sometimes be acceptable smart-casually, they’re mainly worn casually.

That is to say, sneakers should never be worn in strictly formal situations.

Because both sneakers and white socks are casual garments, it only makes sense for the combination of the two to also be casual.

It’s best to avoid wearing white socks with sneakers in any formal – or even smart-casual or semi-formal – situations.

By doing so, you avoid any awkwardness or being underdressed for the occasion.

4. Think About Branding

While it may not seem an obvious tip initially, branding can add another element of depth to your outfit.

Branding is a great way to show off the style you are aiming for. 

Furthermore, when you pair branded socks with the same brand of sneakers, it can produce a well-put-together, intentional look.

For example, Nike sneakers with a pair of Nike crew socks.

Having said that, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a high-end brand, such as Nike, to create this effect – although Nike does work incredibly well.

However, going for a similarly reputable brand, such as Adidas, Reebok, Converse, etc., will really add to the casual aesthetic.

Remember that, while the branding can be as bold or subtle as you like, obvious branding makes it much easier to realize the implications of your outfit.

Another thing to remember is that branding isn’t a necessity. But small things like branding can significantly enhance your outfit.

5. Shorts Make It More Casual

It’s already been established that wearing white socks with sneakers is pretty casual.

However, if you wish for an even more casual look, there are a couple of things you can do.

One of these things is wearing shorts with your white socks and sneakers.

Shorts are naturally very casual garments – not suitable for formal situations in almost every circumstance.

Not only that but having very visible socks with shorts is also controversial in style.

There are many advocates for the idea that socks should never be visible when worn with shorts.

Therefore, this kind of experimentation makes the outfit incredibly casual, as anything with controversy should generally be avoided in formal situations.

When wearing shorts with white socks, ensure that your socks and shorts aren’t too long.

This is because it could cause an overlap between your shorts and socks, which looks awkward and is far from ideal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know the ins and outs of wearing white socks with sneakers, you’ll undoubtedly have some questions regarding the topic.

Here are some frequently asked questions to really sum it up for you.

Can You Wear White Socks With Black Sneakers?

White socks can work incredibly well with black sneakers because of the contrast. White socks with black branding (such as the Nike logo) look particularly good with black sneakers. Longer socks, like crew socks, work best with black sneakers.

When wearing white socks with black sneakers, it’s best to go with longer sock styles.

If you opt for ankle socks, for example, the contrast is barely visible. Because the contrast is experimental, it’s best to go ‘all-out.’

The way to do this is with long white socks, such as crew socks. 

Having said this, however, avoiding over-the-calf socks is still highly recommended, as these are best kept for formal situations.

Can You Wear White Socks With Jeans And Sneakers?

It’s possible to wear white socks with jeans and sneakers, so long as your sneakers are also white. Cuffed jeans work particularly well, as they reveal the lighter part of the denim, allowing for a smoother transition between the garments.

While the general advice is to match your socks with your pants, this primarily applies to formal apparel.

In casual wear, there’s much more room for experimentation and “rule” breaking – though there are still guidelines.

When wearing jeans with white socks and sneakers, it’s best to ensure that your sneakers are white.

Otherwise, there’ll be too much color variation around your ankle area, with different colored shoes, socks, and pants.


Pairing white socks with sneakers looks great and embraces both simplicity and versatility. Remember to keep it casual, and you’ll be able to pull it off every time.