How to Wear Socks with Keds

How to Style Socks with Keds
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Last Updated on December 2, 2022

As anyone that has experienced blisters and burns on their feet knows, sometimes wearing shoes without some kind of layer between your toes and your shoes is simply just not possible. I know this first-hand because I have suffered some very ugly burns on my heels and ankles, to the point of not being able to wear anything but open flats for days!

The thing is, wearing socks with certain footwear was considered unfashionable not so long ago.

Thankfully, that has changed in recent years. From the now-popular move of wearing sandals with socks, something unheard of and frowned upon a few decades back, to socks being one more fashionable element to play around with, there are now plenty of styles to choose from. 

If you require a protective layer between your tender skin and your Keds sneakers, this is your lucky day! This guide will give you the tools to make the most of your socks and transform your Keds outfits into next-level fashion statements.

Which type of person are you?

According to Taylor Swift, there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who wear socks with their Keds and those who don’t!

So, which are you?

Let’s do a quick list of pros and cons of wearing socks with your favorite Keds:


  • It is the perfect way to ease yourself into a new pair of shoes
  • Helps you avoid burns and scoffing around the ankle
  • Provides an extra layer of protection for the foot
  • Makes your feet slip in and out without effort
  • Adds a level of cushioning
  • It’s another item to play around with styling!


  • Your feet might sweat
  • Your toes will get toasty
  • The shoes will feel less breathy
  • Might make your shoes feel tighter
  • Might not look great depending on what you are wearing

I personally like to wear no-show socks with my Keds, which is like the best of both worlds. You don’t have to think about how to combine them and you get all of the positive traits of wearing them.

Still, there are a ton of great ideas and styles to emulate if you want to make your socks fashionable when wearing your favorite Keds. I already spotted a couple of new combinations that I can’t wait to try!


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By Sock Type

Chances are that you at least know four types of socks from the top of your hat, but you might not be aware that there are plenty more lengths available!

There is the no-show sock that stays just inside your low tops and we all know and appreciate, the pretty standard mid-calf or crew sock that you probably have a ton of in your closet, and the knee-high or over the knee long socks that are a personal favorite when wearing high boots. 

But, there is also the obscure toe cover or mule that basically only covers your toes, the ped or low cut sock that runs just a bit over your ankle, the quarter or anklets that is a weird length between a ped and a mid-calf, the over the calf or executive (that makes sure your socks edge is not on display when your pants run up!) and the loose that only covers the calf without the foot. 

To top it off, there are also lots of materials available, like:

  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Cashmere
  • Blends
  • Fishnet
  • Lycra
  • Nylon (sheer socks)
  • Fleece
  • Lace

…and more.

Plus, there are plenty of styles, like:

  • Bobby socks that have a ruffle or frill on the edge
  • Lettuce edged socks
  • Split-toe socks

…and you can even consider full-length tights in the same category as well. 

Sorry for the overload! I know it’s a lot. So, for this guide, I have divided things into cotton, woollen, sheer socks, full-length tights, and inside of those, I will be discussing different occasions and styles for each. 

Cotton socks

Mid-calf cotton socks are one of the most common types of socks we all own. This is why combining them with Champions or any type of canvas sneakers is so easy to pull off!

Pair up Keds of the same color as your socks to extend the silhouette and make them look like one thing instead of clashing against each other. The tennis look is super popular right now as part of a general 90s revival trend.

Get your white pleated skirt undusted and pair it up with your favorite baggy sweatshirt or hoodie for a casual, stroll downtown vibe. 

If you’re not afraid of a little print or plaid, and you like adding a little extra fancy to your outfits, go for your favorite design and pair it up with platform sneakers or slip-on low tops.

To make things work, try to add something white in another part of your outfit and an element that matches at least one of the colors in the print. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just keep things in the same ballpark palette.


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Woollen socks

When it’s chilly, it’s time to swap your cotton sock for wool, cashmere, or angora blends!

There is no rule that says woollen socks don’t go with slip-ons, but in my opinion, they look their best paired up with booties or clogs. Pick a color if you are wearing one of the floral Rifle and Co prints and match your outfit to it! 

Case in point these forest green pants and cream-colored socks. A cream sweater or cardigan with green buttons would look delightful to complete the look. And if you are willing to go the extra mile, a beanie with a fur pompom or a green nylon vest will look ace!

Keds might not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think of boots, but they do have a selection of beautiful and warm models! Green and camel are my favorite colors, but there is also black, off-white, red, and more to choose from. 

Neutral and light colors like tan and cream look amazing when combined with these tan boots. The plaid over-jacket and burnt copper sweater look great with the scenery and even match with the shoelaces!

Read: Keds vs. Toms: Which Relaxed Shoe Brand Wins?

Crochet or sheer socks

Sheer socks are back in style! They are a perfect alternative for those that want to have all the pros of socks without the added warmth. Crochet or see-through socks will protect your feet from burns and blisters but to a lesser degree, so be careful if you’re using them for extended periods of time.

They are one of my favorite choices for parties because they add a touch of flair to basic sneakers. For added glam, think glitter sneakers like the ones from the Kate Spade collaboration!

Read: Get Your Fix with these Nineties Kicks: 9 Iconic 90’s Sneakers

With tights

It might not seem as flattering at first sight, but sheer tights with Keds look great and are a super malleable option that can adapt to a myriad of occasions. They look great be it on the street, casually strolling downtown, or ready to party at nighttime.

One of my favorite options right now to pair with tights is an extra long blazer with a small handbag or cross-body bag. Match the color of the tights to the color of your Keds to make your legs look ten miles long and extra slim! 

For added warmth in winter you can double up on tights and woollen socks just peeking over your comfy boots. Think jeans with slits, skirts, dresses, or rugged pants.

Another great idea: leg warmers!

Leg warmers are such an iconic 80s and 90s item, that I can’t help but jump on the opportunity to use them as much as I can.

If you find woollen socks are simply not enough for the peak cold temperatures, you can throw in a pair of leg warmers over your jeans.

Pro tip: wear tights under your pants, no one will know and you will be that much warmer!

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Lorena Lombardo
Lorena Lombardo is a fashion designer specialized in trend forecasting and fashion journalism. She studied at the UAL (University of London), ORT (Universidad ORT Uruguay), and taken various courses about traditional craftsmanship while living in Tokyo. Some of her favorite memories during the 90s include wearing bucket hats and trying to copy Rachel’s hairstyle. Her absolute favorite show was Buffy: the Vampire Slayer but she was also a huge fan of Clueless because of its amazing fashion choices. Her top track of the decade is currently disputed between How soon is Now? by the Smiths and Here with me by Dido. Both also happen to be the opening songs for two great 90s shows: Charmed and Roswell. Coincidence? I think not!