How to Wear Soccer Socks (Complete Guide)

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Putting on a pair of soccer socks isn’t rocket science by any means.

But because there are quite a number of different ways in which professional players choose to put on this piece of gear, it’s good to document the process for those who are new to the sport.

When you’ve got shin guards in the equation, there can be a little bit of confusion because someone playing soccer for the first time may not know whether these go under or over the socks.

That’s why in this article, we’re going to go through the process of putting on your soccer socks from start to finish.

Without further ado, let’s get started!


Wearing soccer socks like a pro

Lots of casual players of the game want to look just like the professionals when they step out on to the grass or artificial turf.

After all, who wouldn’t want to emulate the physical appearance of someone like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

So, here are the steps you can take to wear your soccer socks in the right way.


Step #1 – Secure the shin guards in place

The rules of the game stipulate that shin guards are compulsory pieces of equipment.

And they go on to specify that:

“They must be made of a suitable material to provide reasonable protection and covered by the socks.”

Source – FA Law 4 on Player Equipment

You won’t get away without wearing shin guards at any sort of professional level, as referees and fourth officials usually inspect player attire before the match commences.


Now that you know shin guards are a necessary component of a player’s kit, you need to learn how to put them on.

So, the process of locking them into place involves setting the shin guard over the leg in a way that it won’t inhibit your performance.

If your shin guard is placed too low over the leg, then it may interfere with aspects of your play, particularly when it comes to striking the soccer ball.

Conversely, if you set the shin guard too high on your leg, you risk injury to the lower calf area as the guard isn’t in the correct position to provide the necessary protection.

As a side note, you should be aware that there are different types of shin guards.

Some have built-in ankle protection, which means that you’ll have to slide your foot through the elastic ankle loop before tying the Velcro straps around your leg to secure the shin guard fit.

Other types of shin guards are slip-on ones, which generally only require you to ensure that the plate of the guard rests comfortably around the front part of your leg prior to securing the fit.

To keep these shin guards in place, you can use the Velcro straps that come with the guard to securely tie the guard to your leg.

Like this:

how to wear soccer socks - secure shin guards in place

Once that’s complete, you’re ready to move on to the next step.


Step #2 – Place your thumbs in the top of the sock

Because of their length and stiffness, you’re going to need to stretch the sock out so that you fit your feet within it.

So, what you need to do here is take the first sock and place your thumbs inside it.

Have a look at the picture below for reference.

how to wear soccer socks - place thumbs in sock

Once this is done, you can proceed to the subsequent step.


Step #3 – Gather up the sides of the fabric until you reach the footbed of the sock


Now that your thumbs are inside the sock just like the picture above displays, you need to roll down the sides of the fabric until you get to the base of the sock.

You need to do this so that you can fit your toe comfortably into the sock.


Step #4 – Slot your toes into the sock and pull the socks up

The next part simply involves putting your toes inside the now open sock.

Here’s a picture which demonstrates this part of the process.

how to wear soccer socks - slot toes into sock

Once your toes are comfortably in position, all you need to do is pull the sock all the way up to your knee.

This is done so that your shin guards are completely covered by the soccer socks.

Although it’s important to note that the length you decide to roll up the sock to is entirely up to you, as some people prefer the socks to go all the way up past the knee area too.

Let’s talk a little bit about this in the next section of the post.


How are soccer socks supposed to be worn?

Professional soccer players wear their socks in a number of different ways.

Check out the video below for more information on this:

Alternatively, read through to learn about the most prevalent styles.


Over the knees

As the name implies, this is where your soccer socks are rolled up all the way past the knee area.

When worn this way, the ends of your socks should settle along your thighs.

One famous player who loved to wear his soccer socks like this was Thierry Henry.

It was something that he personally preferred to do, but it could be argued that his over-the-knee style gave him some performance benefits as well.

You see, when your socks go past the knee you don’t have to worry about freezing temperatures.

As most of the surface area of the lower and upper leg is covered by the sock fabric, you’ll feel warm as you play and the benefit of warm muscles is smoother blood circulation within the body.

From a comfort sense, you also eliminate the annoying aspect of socks sliding down as you run on the pitch because they are rolled up to the maximum length.


Below the knees

The standard way of wearing soccer socks is just below the knees.

Here, you simply fold the ends of the sock so that they rest just underneath your knee.

One purported benefit of wearing soccer socks in this way is that you get added knee flexibility because the knee isn’t covered by any sock fabric.

When players wear their socks below the knee, they typically use sock tape in tandem to ensure the fit is secured for the entire duration of games.

You can check out some sock tape options below, which are available on Amazon:


Low on the calf

Finally, we have what is dubbed as the Jack Grealish method.

The Manchester City forward has massive lower legs, which you get to see in all their glory due to the low-cut way in which he wears his socks.

What you get here is a really stylish look, because you don’t have the clunkiness of traditional sized shin guards to complement the fit.

When you wear soccer socks low like this, you can purchase small slip-on shin guards which you simply slot inside the already worn socks.


Do you wear socks under soccer socks?

You can definitely wear another pair of socks under your soccer socks, because the additional layer helps to prevent blistering.

What you need to know, however, is that the second pair of socks needs to be of the right size in order to accommodate the main soccer socks which make up most of the fit.


Do soccer socks go over or under shin guards?

The most important rule you should remember is that soccer socks always go over your shin pads.

Have you ever seen a player wearing their shin guards on top of their soccer socks?

Well, I certainly haven’t!

Samuel Waihenya
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