The 12 Best Luxury Men’s Sock Makers In The World
If you want to show your feet some love while elevating your daily outfits then these specialist sock makers and luxury labels should definitely be on your radar.
Who’d be a sock? It’s the least loved garment in a man’s wardrobe and yet it does all the hard labor. It’s often the very last thought when putting together a look (and that’s if you even give it a thought) but as ever with fine details, ignore them at your peril.
The truth is, while socks might not get much in the way of style air time, when they do occasionally peep out, they get noticed, so a failure to give them much thought gives a bad impression. Moreover, a pair of uncomfortable socks can literally ruin your day so it pays to invest in good pairs.
What makes a sock ‘luxury’ often comes down to two things: fabric and build quality. Natural fibers such as organic cotton and wool, combined with some synthetic yarns to add stretch, perfectly woven and constructed for optimum comfort is where the bar is set.
The following brands produce the finest men’s socks in the world, with both specialists and luxury labels contributing top-drawer products to your top drawer.
Made in England since 1937, Pantherella’s legacy is as one of the first fine-gauge sockmakers in the world. It started when founder Louis Goldschmidt convinced local machine makers to produce a specialist sock machine that could weave fine lightweight ribbed socks rather than the thick bulky styles of the time, and the rest is history.
Now found all over the world, Pantherella has become the benchmark for excellence. While it still does a roaring trade in ribbed socks, it produces virtually every other style you can possibly imagine, from Fair Isle cashmere styles to an array of sports socks.
Although there is very little public information about this enigmatic Japanese sockmaker, Anonymous ISM emerged onto the scene in 1993 under the masterful craftsmanship of Akihiro Joseph Ono, a native of Nara, renowned as the epicenter of Japan’s sock production.
At the heart of Anonymous ISM’s allure lies the artistry of its founder, whose commitment to the sock-making craft is deeply ingrained in the brand’s DNA. Through a meticulous blend of premium wool, cotton and wool blends, Anonymous ISM’s socks are beautifully constructed in a wide variety of unique patterns – perfect if you want to make a statement with your socks.
Steeped in vintage Americana, Rostersox are handmade socks hailing from Japan, boasting peerless craftsmanship that delivers both exquisite comfort and consummate style.
Inspired by baseball heritage, the socks typically have a nostalgic sporty aesthetic, underpinned by preppy design motifs and playful designs, including animal visuals and tie-dye techniques.
German luxury brand Falke is the grandaddy of sockmakers, being in the hosiery business since 1895 when roofer and seasonal knitter Franz Falke-Rohen founded a woolen mill.
It hasn’t rested on its laurels however, creating a number of innovative yarns over the years and keeping up to date with the demands of different sports.
It produces every style of sock under the sun, from ribbed business styles to ergonomic ski socks, all constructed on state-of-the-art knitting machines for unparalleled comfort and performance.
A master sockmaker with a propensity for the eccentric, Italian specialist Gallo was founded in Milan in 1927 and has developed a fine reputation for producing excellent socks featuring bold colors and stripes.
In the beginning, the company made blue and grey versions, but then the 60s happened. Ever since Gallo has been the brand for sock lovers who aren’t shy about showing some ankle.
The brand only uses twisted and doubled premium-quality yarns such as extra-fine merino wool, pure lisle thread, linen, cashmere and pure silk to create its hosiery, purchased in raw form before dyeing it with signature Gallo colors.
If you like your socks with stripes, then Gallo is non-negotiable.
It’s not just Europeans and the Japanese that have a hegemony on the luxury sock market. There is one North American brand that also deserves to be reckoned with, and that is William Abraham.
Founded by William Abraham Franklin Jr (affectionately known as ‘Bram’), his eponymous company is based in New York and focuses on the more sartorial style of fine-gauge socks. Using only the finest yarns from family-run Italian mills, Bram has created an undeniably elegant collection of socks for the discerning gent, in particular the over-the-calf style.
If you wear a suit for most of the week, Bram’s socks will definitely put a pep in your step.
Founded by Mario Bresciani in 1970, the eponymous Italian sockmaker from Spirano has been producing some of the finest sock styles for the biggest luxury houses, earning Mario the title of Knight of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2009 and the Star of Labour Merit in 2012.
But it wasn’t until 2021 that you could actually order his socks online. Using the finest cashmere, cotton, silk, wool and linen, Bresciani’s socks are widely considered the best of the best by many in the know.
You won’t find outrageous patterns or bold colors – Bresciani lets the fit and fabrics do all the talking.
Japanese sock specialist RoToTo considers its socks to be ‘lifelong consumables’, and given the Japanese obsession with socks, you can see where the brand is coming from.
Meticulously crafted in the Nara prefecture of Japan, which is famous for its production of the high-end ‘Yamato Gasuri’ cotton, RoToTo produces casual, house and sports-inspired socks of great distinction.
With old-school styling reminiscent of preppy sports socks, they are a great addition to casual and workwear wardrobes, while the thick house socks are like walking on clouds.
Established in 1892, Corgi is the only maker on this list that can boast a Royal Warrant. The Welsh sock maker originally started life making socks for Welsh miners, going on to make argyll socks for Brooks Brothers in the 1930s and socks for soldiers in the Second World War.
Since then it has built a sterling reputation for high-quality yarns and excellent craftsmanship, producing socks for many luxury fashion houses. It offers a variety of diverse collections, incorporating the finest cotton, silk, merino wool and cashmere yarns across the board.
Founded in 2009 by Ryo Yamazaki, the first thing you’ll notice about Chup socks is their distinctive aesthetic – inspired by the patterns of various indigenous tribes from around the globe.
Using vintage stocking frame machines that can only produce 20-25 pairs a day, Chup’s master craftsmen painstakingly hand-link each sock, ensuring exceptional comfort and durability.
The wool collections are comfort distilled into a sock, with vibrant designs perfect for combining with a workwear or outdoorsy aesthetic.
Johnstons of Elgin
The pride of Scottish knitwear, Johnstons of Elgin is most famous for its cashmere jumpers, but it also creates some of the best socks you’ll ever have the pleasure of pulling on your feet.
The ribbed cashmere socks are a no-brainer for smart winter looks, while for more casual fits, the Fair Isle and Donegal cable knit styles in cashmere are a winner.
Makers of some of the finest natural fibers in the wool, Loro Piana is the poster boy for stealth wealth, creating understated but beautifully crafted menswear and womenswear collections.
Naturally, then, its socks are some of the finest that money can buy. Don’t expect bold designs or vibrant patterns though – Loro Piana’s socks are very much in keeping with the muted ethos, hence a narrow palette of dark tones woven in a micro rib knit.
They come in cashmere, cotton, cashmere-silk blends and virgin wool, and are perfect for an understated elegant wardrobe.