Parts of a Sock

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Sock with markings for each different part - Parts of a Sock

Socks can be worn for function or fashion, but because all feet are generally the same shape, most socks have the same features. And, while some terms are obvious, others may be unfamiliar to you. Here are all the parts of a sock that you should know.


The top part of a sock is called the cuff or welt. The cuff gives the sock a nice, finished look and also keeps the threads from unraveling. It's also typically ribbed so that the sock will fit more securely to your leg.


The leg is the vertical tube part of the sock that goes around your ankle and some of your leg. It's the part above the heel. And, unlike most other parts of the sock, the leg can sometimes be seen above your shoes, making it one of the best places to put a pattern!


The heel is the cup-shaped pocket designed to fit snugly around the heel of your foot. The bend of the heel creates and L-shape that helps the sock change direction from the leg to the foot.


The gusset is the triangular shape that connects the heel and foot of the sock. It also helps the sock change direction. The gusset should fit your foot's arch.


The instep is similar to the gusset, but it's on the top of your foot instead of the bottom. It creates a seamless design from your ankle to your toes. Not all socks have a gusset or instep though. It depends on how the heel is made.


The foot is the part of the sock that covers your foot. It's the top of the sock from the instep to the toe and the bottom of the sock from the heel to the toe. And if you really want to break down this part of the sock, the sole is the bottom that runs the length of your foot. The foot is another popular place to see fun patterns!


The toe is the very tip of the sock that covers your toes. The pocket usually starts at the base of your toes and narrows at the end of your toes. A seam is also common on the top of the toe. Why is this? Well, socks have to be sewn shut somewhere, and the top of the sock is more comfortable than at the end of the toe or under the toe.

The Anatomy of a Sock

As you can see, there are many parts of a sock. They all have different functions, but as a whole, they work together to keep your feet warm and comfortable.

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