tube socks

What are tube socks?

You might have heard the words tube sock before. As familiar as it sounds, it might not always be easy to picture or know why to wear them. So let's cut to the chase— what are tube socks?

Tube socks first made their appearance in the United States through the sport of soccer. The first tube socks are said to have been made in the 1960's and have left a mark on the fashion and athletic industry ever since.

Most popular in sports like soccer and basketball, the tube sock quickly found its place among the athletic crowd. In the 1960's, Basketball was a new and evolving sport which made the use of tube socks become deeply connected to the imprint of the sport. Today, tube socks are a nostalgic fashion statement and the "go-to" sock for basketball players and many other athletes.

What is the point of tube socks?

Designed for athletes, tube socks can provide several competitive advantages.

To begin, the sock's feature a simple shape that fits anybody and everybody, no matter the shape or size of the athlete's foot. Contrary to athletic crew socks, tube socks are more protective and more comfortable to put on as they stretch over the calf and up to the knee. Furthermore, innovations in material technology have allowed manufacturers to develop breathable, sweat-wicking and durable materials enhancing the overall wearer experience of the athlete.


  • Can be worn across multiple sports and other daily activities
  • Easy to wear and can adapt to many foot sizes
  • Delivers foot and leg protection other socks can't


  • Can cause blisters if the socks start bunching

What does a tube sock mean?

Generally, tube socks also known as knee-high sports socks are socks that athletes wear while playing sports to protect their legs from being scraped, stop grass burns and to give a retro look making them stand out on the field. Tube socks are usually white and feature two colored stripes at the top of a sock as seen below.

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What's the difference between crew socks and tube socks?

While crew socks have a visual built-in heel part, tube socks don't and almost look like a complete tube.

When wearing for the first time, the tube sock can be worn on either foot without a difference in comfort while crew socks are usually designed to be worn on the right or left foot respectively.

Another difference is the length of the tube sock. Tube socks are made to be pulled over the athlete's calf and all the way under the knee. On the other hand, crew socks are not as long which results in less leg protection.

However, if you're an athlete that plays in high heat conditions, the shorter crew socks will be a better option as they will allow your legs to keep cool.

Read More:
- Best Athletic Socks

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