Bright solid socks

Cotton Vs. Polyester Socks: Which Is Right For You?

Socks are versatile pieces of clothing that take different forms depending on when and how you wear them., especially when you are deciding between cotton vs polyester socks.

Socks are your best friends when outdoors hiking and your closest pals when you laze on a couch at night watching a movie. They can be aesthetically pleasing to look at but can also be discreet and absorb foot sweat to prevent odor.

Polyester and cotton socks have always been pitted against each other.

These materials are vastly different and it is important to know what separates one from the other.

Follow along as I compare cotton vs polyester socks and give recommendations for when and where you should wear them.

Table of Contents

Polyester vs Cotton: Key Differences

Cotton is a naturally occurring fiber that is grown and extracted from cotton trees.

When on the tree, cotton is coated with a natural wax to protect it from excess sunlight, rain, and snow. In its natural form, cotton is water repellent.

However, after processing, its natural wax can be removed to make cotton more absorbent. The material is soft and light and is thus very airy. So when it comes to the best socks for hot weather, cotton vs polyester, cotton wins.

It is also hypoallergenic, which is why a lot of clothing made for sensitive skin like a baby is made from cotton. Natural cotton is very strong and does not wear out easily. It is also biodegradable and the fabric of choice for the environmentally conscious.

Polyester, on the other hand, is a man-made product. It is extracted from petroleum, which is mined from fossils.

The resulting material is strong and stretchy.
Polyester fiber is very solid, with no spaces between one fiber to the next, making it difficult for water to penetrate.

At the same time, the solidity of polyester makes it hold on to moisture, including sweat.

Since polyester is made from petroleum extracted from nonrenewable fossils and takes a long time to decompose, it is not considered an eco-friendly material.

Why Choose Cotton Socks?

Cotton is an excellent material, and cotton socks have loads of characteristics that make them perfect for multiple types of wear. Here are areas where cotton shines in the cotton vs polyester socks battle:

  • Easily absorb and wick away moisture.
  • Light and breathable, suitable for reducing foot odor.
  • Hypoallergenic and thus good for people with sensitive skin.
  • Natural cotton is durable and can weather long use.
  • Easy to wash, whether by hand or using a washing machine.
  • Comfortable and have heat retention properties.

These characteristics make it easy to pick cotton socks vs polyester when conducting light activities. I enjoy the soft feel of cotton in my sneakers when I am out and about running errands.

The cotton socks mold to the feet and are thus comfortable to wear if you need extra support when wearing shoes.

They are a good option for wearing during the summer months since they are very breathable. Their easy-to-wash property combines with their wicking and durable properties to make it easy for you to wash and re-wear your socks if you only have one pair. 

The Best Cotton Socks to Wear in 2022

Shark Navy Blue Sock
Shark Navy Blue Sock

Shark Navy Blue Sock

The Shark Navy Blue Socks is a pair that features colorful fish and friendly sharks against a navy blue background. These socks have a fun look that can go with both casual and formal wear. 


  • 20% Nylon, 78% Carded Cotton, and  2% Spandex
  • Fits shoe size 7 to 13
  • You can wear it with any kind of shoe


  • Carded cotton is strong and can weather a lot of wear.
  • These socks are soft, molding perfectly to your feet to provide a soft cushion against the inner of your shoe. 
  • Designed with great moisture-wicking properties, leaving your feet dry even on a hot day.


  • Only one color options are available
Sasquatch - Big Foot Black Socks
Sasquatch – Big Foot Black Socks

Sasquatch | Big Foot Black Socks

The Sasquatch | Big Foot Black Socks is a colorful option for everyone who likes a pop of color to brighten their day. They feature Bigfoot himself and fir trees all set against a black background.


  • 78% Carded Cotton, 2% Spandex, and 20% Nylon
  • Fit size 7-13 shoes


  • A geometric pattern makes these socks suitable for wearing with formal outfits
  • Contain moisture-wicking properties that leave your feet dry and odorless
  • Suitable for all genders


  • Not available in other colors
Dapper Dots Gold Socks
Dapper Dots Gold Socks

Dapper Dots Gold Socks

The Dapper Dots Gold Socks are made from high-quality carded cotton mixed with spandex and nylon to give your feet a soft, breathable place to rest on. The socks are a fun pair that you can wear both casually and formally. The design features a white polka dots pattern atop a golden background. On the toe and heel turn, you’ll find a splash of mustard yellow.


  • 78% Carded Cotton, 20% Nylon, and 2% Spandex
  • Measure 3.25” x 18.0”
  • Extra tall double cuff to ensure grip
  • Virtually seamless hand-linked toe



  • Only one color option available

What is Polyester? (And When Is it Best Worn?)

The thought of polyester brings to the mind of many the thought of a cheap material that sticks irritatingly to the skin. Put away those thoughts because science has made it so polyester socks are highly comfortable and more versatile than cotton socks. Here are the reasons why polyester socks are a good option to consider:

  • Durable and not subject to easy wear and tear.
  • Does not easily lose its shape, making it great for providing foot support.
  • Traps heat between its fibers, protecting the feet from the cold when outdoors.
  • Easy to dye and customize to your taste.
  • Combines high quality with affordability.

Polyester is light and fits perfectly on the feet. When it comes to polyester socks vs cotton socks for running, I pick my polyester socks every day when going out for my morning jog.

Their heat retention also makes them great, inexpensive socks to wear when hiking a mountain and when camping outside overnight. When it comes to the price between cotton vs polyester socks, the latter are inexpensive and thus one can afford to buy multiple at one go without breaking the bank.

Top-Rated Polyester Socks to Wear in 2021

The Scientist Multicolor Sock Pack
The Scientist Multicolor Sock Pack

The Scientist Multicolor Sock Pack

Consisting of five pairs of socks, the Scientist Multicolor Sock Pack offers comfortability and style. Inspired by elements of mathematics, astronomy, and physics, these socks are made from high-quality materials. In turn, this ensures that they will serve you for many years. These socks are suitable for wearing when doing outdoor activities like jogging or when at the gym.


  • 80% carded cotton, 3% elastane, and 17% spandex
  • Light cushioned sole
  • No-slip double calf band


  • The materials allow for moisture-wicking, leaving your feet dry and warm
  • The venting allows fresh air to circulate inside your shoe, reducing foot odors
  • The light cushioning at the sole provides light support for your feet when you are in motion
  • Arch compression enhances your stability whether you are running on a trail or lifting weights at the gym


  • The thin construction makes the socks easy to wear out at the toe and heel areas
Great Catch Pink Socks
Great Catch Pink Socks

Great Catch Pink Socks

If you love seafood, then Great Catch Pink Socks will be suitable for you. These crustacean-laden socks will protect your feet from blisters and keep your feet dry.


These socks feature red lobsters against a pink background with a navy heel turn. They are made of cotton, spandex, and carded cotton. 


  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Affordable
  • Designed to wick moisture and leave your feet dry and odorless
  • The cushioned bottom provides comfort even when outdoors


  • Might feel thin like dress socks rather than activewear
Long Beach 4 Multicolor Socks
Long Beach 4 Multicolor Socks

Long Beach 4 Multicolor Socks

This 4-pack pair of socks from Sock Genius is designed for both active and indoor wear. You can wear them in both sports shoes and official suits. You get to choose between different bright colors depending on your taste.


  • 3% Elastane, 17% Spandex, 80% Carded Cotton 
  • Half-cushion padding
  • Mid-calf length


  • Comes in a variety of color
  • Timeless design
  • Suitable for both outdoors and indoors 
  • Features padding to protect your feet and legs from full impact when active
  • The nice cushioning prevents your feet from filling up your shoes.
  • Great value for money since they come in a 4-pack


  • Can be hard during laundry if you don’t wash it properly


Socks are all-season essentials for anyone with feet. Just like all clothes, the quality of socks depends on the type of materials they are made from. The debate of cotton vs polyester socks is endless, but it is clear that both materials have their benefits and downsides. Instead of picking one material and sticking to it, why don’t you pick multiple pairs in both materials so you can be fully stocked up, ready for any season and activity! 

If you are looking for high-quality socks, why not visit We have some of the best socks in the industry that will keep you comfortable while making sure you remain fashionable.

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