Socks are one of those things we tend not to think about until something goes wrong. Holes in toes are irritating for an entire day, and losing a favored sock can be a tragedy. Because socks are pretty cheap, we don’t tend to give their longevity a lot of thought.

But how long are socks supposed to last? And is it ever possible to have a pair of socks for life?

Unlike a favorite jacket or pair of boots, socks seem to be increasingly viewed as a semi-disposable necessity rather than a product worth caring for. Admittedly, socks are much easier to lose. But there’s a financial and environmental toll to the relationship we have with socks. With a basic pack of socks costing anywhere from $8 all the way up to $26, the cost adds up fast. The US is predicted to spend $5.6bn on socks in 2022!

It’s estimated that we replace our socks every 6 months on average, with many retailers even recommending this, due to expected wear and tear affecting the sock’s durability. With an American population of 332 million, each owning 10-14 pairs on average, that’s a staggering amount of socks headed for landfill each year. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way; on reaching out to our Buy Me Once community, we learned that most of you are able to keep your socks going for between 2-6 years. Nice going!

If you’re looking to have a more meaningful relationship with your possessions, and save yourself some money in the process, then look no further than this guide we’ve put together with our community: 

A sock that fits.

Don’t underestimate a good fit when it comes to prolonging the life of your socks. A sock that’s too small will stretch over your foot, stressing the fabric and causing more holes - particularly on the toes. A sock that’s too big will bunch up and rub against your shoes where they shouldn’t. Shoes that fit you well are also a big factor, as they’ll minimize friction.

Rockay Socks

Keep them paired up. 

Actively look for that second sock when you find yourself putting a solitary sock back in your drawer. If you don’t intervene now, it’s unlikely you’ll remember to find it later! Make sure each pair enters the washing machine together too. Our fans also had a good tip for sock storage - don’t roll them inside-out as it damages and stretches the elastic, causing the sock to lose its shape. A simple fold will do. 

Keep your toenails clipped.

Hopefully this one is self explanatory! 

Dry them inside, but not in the dryer!

We heard a lot of you saying the best way to prevent lost socks is to dry them on a clothes rack inside - this prevents any chance of discovering them when you’re digging the back corner of the garden several months later. Also, not putting them in the dryer prevents them from shrinking or damaging their elasticity. 

Learn the lost art of darning.

Learning how to repair socks is really worthwhile. Socks tend to be made of thin material and experience a lot of hardship, but that doesn’t have to mean a hole spells the end of their life. Instead of creating an uncomfortable sewn seam, darning creates a woven patch to repair a hole - and it's easier than it sounds.

Buy durable socks!

You knew we’d say it, but next time you’re in the market for a new pair of socks, do yourself a favour and get some that will last. You’re in for a better sock experience that will save you much more money in the long run.

Rockay Socks

Rockay really epitomises what we look for in a Buy Me Once product. Built for optimal performance and tested by athletes, they’ve produced a versatile range of socks that are reliable on and off the running track. An everyday item - one that we would usually throw away without batting an eyelid - is made exceptionally durable, with a Lifetime Guarantee to assure you of their quality. 

Shop the Rockay range here.

February 17, 2022 — Catherine McKay