The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

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What you need to know about buying socks

Chiropodists and Podiatrists do a wonderful job helping to keep as many of us on our feet as is possible – and without pain or discomfort.  It goes without saying then that good foot care is paramount, but having the right additional components like good shoes and socks is vital too.

Naturally, as sockmakers with a heritage of over 131 years of making socks in England and abroad it is these, socks, the unsung heroes where our interest, knowledge and enthusiasm lies. With all this valuable knowledge we have compiled below the key components that our vast experience recommends you look for when buying these humble, yet most important items for maintaining good foot condition:-

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  • Always buy the best you can afford - cheap socks often use high content, poor quality, man-made fibres and have poor durability and bad moisture management. This can lead to excess perspiration and increased bacteria and therefore odour – they also don’t generally last long making bad financial sense too.


  • Look for natural fibres – Cotton is better in warmer weather and wool is better when cooler climate – but both can be worn all year round. Both offer good moisture management and comfort.


  • Buy the right size – take care to look at the size you are buying, too big would cause the socks to crease underfoot and too tight would be uncomfortable and restrict circulation


  • Check the elastic content – Lycra and Elastane are two of the best elastics, don’t buy anything else, and avoid anything with more than 5% except on medical or compression type socks


  • Non-elastic – these are ideal for those that suffer from diabetes, poor circulation, obesity,  ulcers, and swollen or large ankles. HJ invented Softops™ the original non-elastic socks over 23yrs ago and to this day they remain the market leader with many tens of millions of pairs having been sold, we even make extra wide versions now too (watch out for non-elastic socks with elastane in them as they are not true non-elastic socks – Softops™ are).
  • Look for additional features – there are many of these suitable for different socks with different uses, but the most popular that have the most benefit are:-


  • Cushioned sole for extra comfort and protection
  • Ventilated foot panels for improved breathability
  • Reinforced heal and toe for extra durability and protection
  • Comfort top for a relaxed grip
  • Full terry for additional protection in key areas
  • A guarantee of quality (All HJ socks come with a minimum 6 month unconditional guarantee)


It is very easy to think it is “just socks” but having supplied the British Military forces for many years and having sold many millions of pairs of our famous socks (including Softop™, Diabetic, Protrek™, Extra Wide, Flysafe™, Energisox™, Commando™ etc.,) we can’t emphasise enough the importance of wearing the right socks for the right circumstances.  After a thorough testing too, we are pleased and proud that the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (IOCP) agree with us and have endorsed two of our most popular socks  - the Softop™ and the Diabetic. HJ socks can be found in stockists all around the world, in independent retailers, departmental stores, shoe shops, Chiropodists, Podiatrists and in many places on line too - so we can’t all be wrong can we?

To find our more or to become a stockist, take a look at our website

Think great socks – think HJ

The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists,
150 Lord Street,
Southport, Merseyside,

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