Our mothers (and their mothers) knew this sock by heart, with its vertical heel flap, turned heel, picked up gussets and grafted toe. For many of us, it’s the first sock we learned and our point of departure into the ever widening world of socks. While we love some of the new approaches, we return again and again to this straightforward, comfy basic. Once you understand its simple structure, improvise to your heart’s content.
If you need to size socks for a surprise, here’s a rule of thumb (‘rule of toe?’) based on averages of North American shoe sizing systems:
Women’s size 5 = 9”. For each full size, add ¼” (e.g. size 7 = 9½”).
For men, take man’s size + 1½; the resulting number is the equivalent women’s size; using the rule above, translate this to inches (e.g. Men’s size 9½ + 1½ = women’s size 11 = 10½”).
Socks are forgiving—just get close!