Polyester vs Cotton Socks : Which Should You Choose?

A good pair of socks is just as important as having a comfortable pair of shoes. They are not just fashion accessories that we wear to complete our outfit. They are way more than that. For this very reason polyester vs cotton Socks is very important to know.

Aside from our shoes, the socks that we wear can also be a form of protection by reducing the level of stress that our feet feel from pressure, impact, and other forces.

Moreover, as a aged person the socks you can use may not be suitable for your baby and toddlers as they have delicate body compared to the matured people.

Socks serve as a barrier between our shoes and our feet. Sometimes, no matter how comfortable our shoes are, they can still hurt our feet if we do not have socks in between. The right socks can do a lot for our feet as they can help reduce soreness and prevent our feet from having calluses, blisters, and even fungal infections.

What Makes a Good Pair of Socks?

When you go shopping for socks, the most expensive pairs do not necessarily equate to being the best. A good pair of socks is actually subjective. There are certain factors that you need to consider to determine the right socks for you.

Two of the most common fabrics used in making socks are polyester and cotton. There are a lot of major differences and below are just some of them.


Polyester socks are made from synthetic materials and man-made fibers with oil derivatives. Several materials are often combined to come up with socks which fit snugly and provide enough arch support.

Cotton socks are made from a cotton plant’s seed pod so they are made of natural fibers.


Since polyesters are made from synthetic materials for greater comfort and fit, they are best worn during activities when you need to wick away moisture and sweat. Athletes prefer wearing synthetic socks because they are more lightweight, durable, and less likely to bunch up. Polyester socks will also keep your feet dry and warm during the winter.

Cotton socks are best worn when you want something comfortable to wear, but are not planning to do any physical activities such as walking or running. Since cotton is very absorbent, the material will absorb the sweat and will keep your feet cool during warmer days.


There is really not much difference when it comes to the cost, but polyester socks can be more expensive than cotton because of the variety of materials used in the production.

To better understand which type of socks would be better for different situations, let us look at some of the pros and cons of each type.

Polyester vs Cotton: Pros and Cons

To know the better of Polyester and Cotton Socks you have to know their advantages and disadvantages carefully. So that you can make up your mind to choose what will serve your demands.

Polyester vs Cotton Socks

Polyester Socks : Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Polyester Socks

  • Polyester socks are more durable as they are more elastic and do not easily lose their form.
  • They are stain resistant.
  • These dry fast and wick moisture to keep our feet dry and prevent blisters.
  • They can be manufactured in different colors and designs without the need to use toxic dyes and chemicals.

Disadvantages of Polyester Socks

  • Polyester is not very comfortable, especially in hot conditions.
  • Insulation is reduced when they get wet.

Cotton Socks : Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Cotton socks

  • Cotton socks are very comfortable, especially during warm weather. They breathe well when dry.
  • They are common and usually inexpensive.
  • Cotton is all-natural and biodegradable that is why it is the favorite fabric of environmentalists.
  • Natural cotton is hypoallergenic so it is better for people who are allergic to synthetic fibers.

Disadvantages of Cotton Socks

  • Cotton does not dry out well when it gets wet that is why it is not advisable to wear cotton socks if you are expecting to sweat a lot.
  • May cause blisters when it gets wet with sweat because wet socks can rub on your feet more easily than dry socks.
  • Naturally comes in white. Colored cotton socks have been dyed using toxic dyes and chemicals which can increase the risk of skin infections.

​Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Which is better for me if I am into sports, polyester or cotton?

Answer: Engaging in sports means you will be exposed to sweat, dirt, and other elements due to various physical activities. As such, you need to wear socks which are sturdy enough and have the ability to protect your feet from blisters by wicking away moisture. Since cotton cannot do that, you should go for polyester socks.

Question: Do polyester socks allow feet to breathe?

Answer: Since polyester is made from durable, synthetic materials, they can increase the amount of perspiration on your feet. Unlike cotton, polyester socks do not allow feet to breathe as much. The downside of that is that there is a bigger tendency of having foot odor and other fungal infections.

Question: When is the best time to wear cotton socks?

Answer: Cotton socks are very comfortable, but they do not dry easily. As such, it is best to wear them when you are not going to engage in any physical activities. However, if you really want to wear cotton socks as sports socks, choose those which are not a hundred percent cotton. Cotton blend socks are a combination of cotton and synthetic fibers so they have better wicking ability than the pure ones. However, since they still contain cotton, they are only advisable for shorter exercise sessions.

Final Words

These are the comparison and contrast between polyester and cotton socks. Hope this will help you to decide what should you need and which one is perfect for you.

Feel free to contact about anything more or elaboration about some topic you need. Have a good day.