With all the attention we pay to soccer boots, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the humble sock. Socks are, after all, a small, yet integral part of the equation. If you’re taking the pitch in a standard pair of dollar-store white tube socks, you’re probably not going to get the very best out of your boots. Of course, like all other gear and apparel, there are a ton of socks designed specifically for soccer on the market, and making sense of the selection can seem daunting.

Lucky for you, the pros at The Instep have selected a few sock styles that stand above the pack.

What Makes an Elite Sock?

Great socks should work with your cleats to provide a comfortable feel and a snug, responsive lockdown fit. They should add a little extra padding in stress areas, like the heel and ball of your foot, and be designed not to slip around inside your boot. Socks for soccer should be made out of moisture-wicking, breathable materials that will help your feet feel cool and fresh from the opening whistle through overtime. Soccer socks are available in both crew length and over the calf (OTC) length. Traditionally, OTC socks have been preferred because they completely cover large standard shin guards. These days, many players prefer crew socks that work well with smaller, modern shin guards.

Nike® Matchfit Soccer Socks

The first socks on our list are Nike Matchfit soccer socks. Nike is well-respected for manufacturing some of the best cleats on the market, and it’s no wonder their socks are high-quality too. Nike Matchfit socks are made with Dri-FIT sweat control fabric and feature dynamic compression arch support and strategic cushioning in high-wear areas.

adidas® Copa Zone Cushion Socks

Not to be outdone by Nike, adidas also makes exceptional socks for the pitch. The latest adidas Copa Zone Cushion 4 socks feature sweat-wicking Climalite fabric, arch and ankle compression, and padded heel and toe areas. They’re the perfect accessory to that new pair Copa or Predator cleats.

Nike Vapor III Soccer Socks

Nike Vapor III socks are another excellent option. They are similar to the Matchfit line, with a few subtle differences. Vapor socks have ribbed knitting along the entire foot area, which improves fit and lockdown. Made with the same Dri-FIT material as Matchfit socks, they feature a medium amount of cushioning in the heel and toe high-impact areas.

Find the Right Color to Match Your Team’s Uniform

You can’t go wrong with any of these premium soccer socks. We won’t blame you for stepping onto the pitch with adidas cleats and Nike socks (or vice versa), but you may get some looks from the crowd. Soccer socks are available in a range of colors from black to bright pink, and almost everything in between, so you can find the right look to match your team’s uniform or show off your unique playing style.