Socks. Not the most exciting gift when you’re a kid, but as an adult, socks kind of rule. They keep your feet comfy. They don’t take up a ton of space (which makes them easy to mail as gifts, too). And lately, high-quality socks have showed up with wild designs and characters.
To talk sock gift ideas, we checked in with MEC staffer Christine, who’s been a footwear product specialist in our stores. Naturally, that role included all things sock related. “Socks make fantastic gifts because everyone can always use another pair of good socks,” says Christine.
“Quality socks can be bright and fun or have a great pattern, but most importantly, they’ll keep feet comfortable and dry all day long.” – MEC staffer Christine
Get ready to find the perfect pair for the person on your list:
1. Star Wars socks
Give the gift of The Force and cool feet. These technical Stance Star Wars running socks also come in R2D2 and Sith designs. “For high-output activities like running, synthetic fabric wick moisture to keep feet cool and they dry quickly when wet,” says Christine.
2. Wild striped socks
“Smartwool socks are my absolute favourites,” Christine said. “The merino is so soft, they fit so well and there are so many styles to choose from, from hiking to everyday socks.” If you’re looking for bold and bright, these Smartwool Crystal Grid Socks fit the bill.
3. Pineapple socks
DeFeet Aireator Pineapple Socks are excellent for riding bikes, keeping feet airy and sending out tropical vibes (even on cloudy days).
4. Ice cream socks
DeFeet ice cream socks will keep feet cool on long bike rides and would make a sweet stocking stuffer.
5. Snowy peak ski socks
Know someone who dreams of fresh powder or ripping groomers? Give them these Darn Tough mountain ski socks for extra-cushy shin support in ski boots. “I’ve definitely been looking at Darn Tough ski socks this year, so I’d love to receive a pair of these (hint hint!)” Christine says.
6. Oh Canada ski socks
“Hands down one of my favourite pairs of gift socks,” Christine said. “I bought three pairs of these for my partner and his two brothers. I love this print!” These merino-blend Darn Tough maple leaf ski socks are warm and seamless for ski days in Whistler, BC, or Blue Mountain, Ontario.
7. Expert navigator socks
Soft, non-itchy fine-knit merino wool make up these Darn Tough compass socks, which seem made for travellers and wanderers. “The first time I wore merino wool socks to work instead of cotton, it changed my entire day,” says Christine.
8. Run socks to match any outfit
Another stellar pair from Stance. Stance cushioned run socks wick and breathe on runs, snugly support feet, and come in a crazy amount of colours and patterns to match any run outfit.
9. PhD level hiking socks
Smartwool PhD Outdoor socks are an awesome gift for hikers or walkers on your list. “When I worked in the footwear department, members bought more of these than any other socks,” said Christine. Soft, itch-free merino wool in solid or wild designs.
10. Cozy cabin socks
11. Rainbow skyline socks
DeFeet Skyline Socks brighten up any day on bikes. Along with the rainbow ridge above, they also come in a fiery sunset and cool blue colours.
12. Featherlight toe socks
Have a running buddy that complains about blisters? Toe socks might just be the answer. This Injinji feather toe sock pair is ultra-thin for warm weather runs.
13. Style at the summit socks
Comfy, moisture-wicking and ready to hit the hiking trail in style. Stance hiking socks come in a ton of designs as original as the adventures they’ll go on.
14. Woodland creatures socks
Bring #nature to secret santa gift exchanges. Darn Tough woodland creatures socks are made of a fine-gauge merino wool blend so they’re itch-free and comfy. “Plus,” Christine adds, “Merino wool naturally regulates temperature, so feet stay warm if it’s chilly and cool if it’s hot.”
15. Uncle Buck socks
Rudolph-esque for the holidays and wildlife-esque for the other 11 months of the year. Darn Tough Uncle Buck socks are cushioned and quick-drying for comfortable hiking. “These are such a great pattern I’m thinking of buying them for my partner so I get to see them all the time,” said Christine.
16. It’s always sunny on your bicycle socks
17. Ultimate sock fan set
A nice package for the person who loves unwrapping socks as a present. Three pairs of lightly cushioned, brightly coloured socks make up the Wigwam Peak to Pub Gift Box.
The best part about the socks on this list? They’re the gift of happy feet for outdoor adventures.