6 Reasons Why Your Socks Slide Down in the Shoes?

The main reason for socks sliding down in shoes is due to high friction between the sock and the shoe. It is caused by a combination of two factors i.e. the sock is not tight enough to provide a snug fit, or the shoe is slippery on the inside from the foot perspiration. The other reason includes your socks have lost elasticity, or your shoes are too big for your feet. To stop socks from sliding down in shoes or boots, try wearing tall socks with thinner styles that won’t bunch up on themselves. The crew-cut style also helps to prevent them from sliding.

Many people face the problem of socks sliding down in their footwear and it is an irritating and uncomfortable feeling. Whether you’re a runner or someone who wears flat, low-top shoes, your socks (especially ankle socks) will inevitably slide down in your shoes and boots.

It feels like your shoes are eating your ankle or no-show socks or the socks are rotating on your feet. This blog will look at why this happens and different ways to keep your socks from slipping.

Bonus Read: Benefits of Compression Socks

Key Insights On Socks Slipping In Shoes

Causes of Socks Slipping In ShoesSolution
Solution to Loss of ElasticityWash them after each use to prevent the fibers from becoming loose; opt for high-quality socks with closed knitting that have a strong and long-lasting elastic
Solutions for Loose ShoesGet shoes that fit snugly, buy insoles or use heel grips, try lock-lacing, wear double socks.
Insoles or InsertsGel inserts with a grip on the bottom to avoid slipping, wear no-show compression socks
No-Show Socks SlippingBuy some good no-show socks from popular brands that have a good quality silicon grip on the toe and heel area e.g. Vans or Smartwool no-show socks
Material Compatibility of Socks and ShoesWear thin and smooth socks with dress shoes, thick athletic socks with boots, Puma brand socks for running shoes
Elastic Arch SupportJoynee Athletic Socks are known for providing excellent arch support

How to Keep Socks from Slipping into the Shoes?

If your pesky ankle socks are constantly sliding down, it can become uncomfortable and perhaps embarrassing to the point where you don’t want to wear your favorite pair of short socks to work out in public. If you’re a person who spends a lot of time on foot running or hiking, you might end up with some unpleasant blisters.

There are several methods to socks from slipping or rolling down in shoes towards to toes. I’ll discuss several reasons for socks sliding down or slipping off the heel along with the solution to prevent this issue.

1. Socks Have Lost Elasticity

The one reason for your socks rolling or sliding down in shoes is that they have become less stretchy and thus you need a new pair. This usually happens with cotton socks, especially thinner ones.

The fibers are pulled apart over time and start to lose their ability to hug your feet. The longer you wear socks, the quicker they start to wear out. Eventually, the material in the socks will lose its gripping ability and the sock will start to become loose and floppy.

Another reason for losing elasticity in socks is that they’re loosely knitted and are not made of high-quality material.


One remedy for maintaining the elasticity of the socks to prevent them from rolling in the shoes is to wash them after every single use. This will keep the fibers from becoming looser and from being able to cause a trip hazard.

Caution: Don’t wash your socks in the hot water as it will further ruin the elastic. You can check out this article on socks washing techniques.

The other solution is to get high-quality socks with closed knitting. Puma brand makes some great socks that are made of nylon and spandex. These ankle-high athletic socks have a strong elastic and don’t stretch out quickly.

Pro Tip: If you can’t buy new socks, you can get some duct tape, pull your socks up and wrap them around them. Slip a rubber band around your foot and up to the top of your sock. The rubber band will grip your socks tightly and prevent them from sliding down. The downside of this DIY technique is that it will affect your appearance if you’re wearing shorts and your socks are visible. Also, this method only works for crew socks or over-the-calf socks.

Bonus Read: What socks to wear in Converse High-Tops

2. Your Shoe Size is Big

When there is a gap between your heel and shoe, it starts rubbing with the shoe lining. Rubbing can pull your sock into the shoes, and it may seem like your shoes are eating your socks.

If you have a narrow heel, your feet will not remain in their place inside your shoes. Instead, they will continuously rub against the shoes, due to which socks will start sliding down.


The only solution to get rid of this issue is the get the right fit of your shoes for a comfy snug fit. For a sizing guide, you can check my article on dress shoes vs sneakers size and the difference between 2E and 4E width in shoes to get a better idea.

If due to some foot problems you can’t narrow down your shoes size, you can buy insoles or use heel grips.

For further details, you can read my article on making the shoes smaller. In this guide, the method of using insoles works well for slip-on shoes.

You can also try to change the lacing style which is specifically designed to prevent heel slippage. This method is called the lock-lacing method. You can check it here.

Another thing you can do is to wear double socks. This is the am technique that hikers usually use if their shoes are big and they rub with your socks. All you need is to put on a sock liner and an outer thick sock to prevent rubbing.

3. Get Insoles or Inserts

Sometimes, the socks are not compatible with the lining of your footwear. For instance, if the lining of your dress shoes, ballets, or flats is slippery, it can also cause the slipping of socks inside the shoes.


You can try gel inserts that have a grip on the bottom to avoid slipping. You can wear them with no-show compression socks. The insert ensures a tight grip on the back of your foot, which means less movement in the shoes. The less movement means socks will not rotate on your feet.

4. Ankle or No-show Socks Slipping

Ankle or no-show socks seem to be the worst offenders for socks to roll down in the shoes. The reason is that you can’t pull them high enough over your calves to stay in place. Your calves play the role of a belt.

The calves cover a thicker area, due to which they can grab the socks tightly. As there is no such case with no-show socks or ankle socks, there are more prone to slipping inside the shoes.

Furthermore, the other reason for slipping of no-show socks is that they don’t have a good quality silicon grip on the toe and heel area.


You need to buy some good no-show socks from famous brands to prevent them from rolling down in shoes.

Vans no-show socks are the best no-show socks I’ve ever had that don’t slide down in the shoes.

They are a bit rubberized at the heel to keep them from sliding down. The only downside of Vans no-show socks is that they are reasonably thin.

Smartwool no-show socks also have some great reviews. They are a bit expensive as compared to Vans no-show socks, but they hold up really well.

The socks have targeted compression around the arch of your foot and they don’t slide down in your shoe. Furthermore, they are more odor resistant due to their wool material.

5. Compatibility of Socks and Shoes Material Matters

If you wear dress shoes such as high heels, loafers, or ballerina flats, you should consider wearing snug-fitted socks with smooth and soft fabric. This type of sock will simply glide against the sides of your shoe. It will reduce friction that might lead to slipping.

Similarly, if you’re wearing boots you should consider wearing thick athletic socks. Kirkland Wool Socks are highly recommended by people to wear with boots.

Dan Post Socks are also considered one of the best socks to wear with boots. The socks have great fabric and are elastic and durable. They have nice thick foot material for comfort, but a thin shaft with an elastic top band to keep them in place.

Dress ShoesCasual Slip-on SneakersRunning Shoes
Type of sockThin and smooth material like a silkModerately thick for a suitable grip against the shoes liningThick socks like Puma brand with a degree of compression
MaterialNylon or PolyesterCotton or Polyester socks with a rubber backing on the heelPolyester with spandex

6. Elastic Arch Support

Like shoes, arch support is equally important for socks. Your socks should hug your arch and there should not be any gap between your foot and socks.

Socks provide a very important role—wrapping around and hugging your feet and encasing your toes and arch. Without the right kind of socks, your feet will endure a lot of unnecessary stress.

You can even develop blisters and corns on your feet because your shoes won’t be able to hug your feet as they should.

Compression socks are great to provide suitable arch support. Joynee Atheltic Socks are known for providing great arch support.

socks features to prevent slipping
Source: Amazon

6. Washing Socks in a Wrong Way

Ankle Socks are made of various materials, such as cotton, wool, and synthetic fibers. The fibers in these materials create friction, which helps the sock grip onto the foot.

The knit pattern of the sock also plays a role in grip, as it creates tiny pockets of air that increase friction.

When you wash socks, you expose them to various chemicals and temperatures that can affect the fibers and knit pattern.

So, how exactly does washing your socks in the wrong way affect their grip? There are several factors to consider:

  1. Temperature: Washing your socks in hot water can cause the fibers to shrink and become distorted, affecting their ability to grip onto your feet.
  2. Detergent: Using too much detergent or harsh chemicals can damage the fibers in your socks, causing them to lose their grip.
  3. Fabric Softener: Fabric softener can leave a residue on your socks that can cause them to become slippery.
  4. Tumble Drying: Tumble drying your socks can cause them to shrink and lose their shape, affecting their ability to grip onto your feet.


To prevent slipping in your shoes, it’s important to properly care for your socks. Here are some tips:

  1. Wash in Cold Water: Washing your socks in cold water can prevent the fibers from shrinking and becoming distorted.
  2. Use a Gentle Detergent: Use a gentle detergent that is specifically designed for delicate fabrics, and avoid using too much. Use a gentle detergent that is free from bleach or chlorine. 
  3. Skip the Fabric Softener: Avoid using fabric softener on your socks, as it can leave a residue that can cause slipping.
  4. Air Dry: Instead of tumble drying, air dry your socks to prevent them from shrinking and losing their shape.

7. Socks Do Not Have Right Size for Your Feet

One of the main reasons for slipping in shoes is wearing socks that are too big or too small. When your ankle or trainer socks are too big, they tend to bunch up at the heel or under the toes, which can cause discomfort and lead to slipping.


To avoid slipping in your shoes, it’s important to choose socks that fit properly. Here are some tips for choosing the right size socks:

  • Check the Sock Size Chart: Most sock manufacturers provide a sock size chart that can help you determine the right size socks for your feet. Be sure to measure your feet before purchasing socks to ensure you get the right size. Most sock sizes are based on your shoe size, typically ranging from small (shoe size 5-6) to extra-large (shoe size 12-14). However, keep in mind that different brands may have slightly different sizing charts, so it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before making a purchase.
  • Tighter Fit Around the Ankle: Look for socks with an elastic band around the ankle that will keep the sock in place. This will help prevent the sock from slipping down or bunching up around your toes.
  • Avoid One-Size-Fits-All Socks: The problem with one-size-fits-all socks is that they are designed to fit a range of foot sizes, from small to large. This means that the sock has to stretch to fit a variety of foot shapes and sizes. While this may work for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone. The problem with one size fits all socks is that they do not provide a snug fit. They tend to bunch up in the shoe, causing discomfort and slipping. One-size-fits-all socks are often made with stretchy materials that lose their elasticity over time. This can cause the socks to become loose and slip inside the shoe

Final Thoughts about Socks Sliding Down in Shoes

No matter how hard we try to keep our ankle or trainer socks from sliding down in our shoes, they always seem to find a way. This is a common occurrence, and we’ve all been there before. If you’re sick and tired of fighting with your socks to keep them in place, we’ve got the perfect solution for you in this blog.

We hope you enjoyed our article about why do shoes eat socks and how to prevent socks from sliding down in shoes.

With this knowledge, we know that you can make the most of your day and not have to worry about constantly adjusting your socks so they stay up! So what are you waiting for? Go try out these tips today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *