Quarter Socks vs Ankle Socks: The Differences

Quarter Socks vs Ankle Socks

Every fashion enthusiast or stylist can go crazy while fitting a pair of socks with any outfit they are presented with.

Socks are commonly known to come in colors like black, grey, and white but over time they have been made in different colors and designs to match different outfit choices and occasions.

Socks can be customized to fit into any setting or theme that you choose making it an interesting article of clothing. Here, we’ll be focusing on the difference between quarter socks and ankle socks amongst other types.

Read: Crew Socks vs Ankle Socks: Similarities And Differences

What are Quarter & Ankle Socks?

Quarter socks are a type of socks that covers the entire ankle bone and cover a couple of inches further above the ankle. It covers the ankle such that it rests a little distance above that does not allow it to ride down and bunch over your shoes while you’re walking.

Quarter socks touch your shins and are made to protect your heels while you walk and perform certain sporting activities.

Ankle socks on the other hand are a type of socks that are made to cover the entire sole of the feet and stop just on the ankle or immediately after it. They are a comfortable option for summer and casual wear. They are also breathable and are suitable for some athletic shoes.

Quarter Socks Of Choice
Dickies Men's Dri-tech Moisture Control Quarter Socks Multipack
Our Go-to Ankle Socks
Amazon Essentials Women's 6-Pack Performance Cotton
Dickies Dri-tech Moisture Control Quarter Socks
Amazon Essentials Women’s 6-Pack Performance Cotton
70% Cotton, 28% Polyester, 2% Spandex
61% Cotton, 32% Polyester, 4% Nylon, 3% Elastane
Machine Wash
Machine Wash
Top Feature
Top Feature
Reinforced Heel and Toe for Increased Durability. Ventilation Channels Enhance Air Flow and Comfort.
Zone cushioning, premium cotton with breathable mesh ventilation and moisture management to keep feet comfortable.

Quarter Socks vs Ankle Socks: What Are The Differences?

Despite being visibly different, quarter socks and ankle socks are sometimes pitched against each other in comparison. In most cases, it’s focused on which of the two are more fashionable when paired with an outfit and not based on the functionality offered by these types of socks.

Below are the functional differences between quarter and ankle socks;

1. Quarter socks are a little longer than ankle socks

Quarter socks are inarguably longer than ankle socks, even the names of both socks indicate that one is longer than the other when put side by side. While ankle socks just cover the entire feet and stop right above the ankle, quarter socks go past the ankle and touch your shins.

Quarter socks as the name imply cover a quarter of the space between your feet and the top of your knees, ankle socks on the other hand simply rest on or immediately above your ankles when worn just as the name implies as well.

If you need shorter socks for an outfit or a particular occasion, ankle socks would be great, but if you need much longer socks to match your fit, get a pair of quarter socks.

2. Quarter socks are more protective than ankle socks

Owing to the advantage of more length that quarter socks have in comparison to ankle socks, they offer more protection for the legs when worn for certain purposes. Your shoes will make less forceful contact with your legs because they will be protected by the pair of quarter socks you have on.

It helps to prevent blisters in the part of your leg where your Achilles or heels make contact with your shoes. Ankle socks might slip off your ankles while you walk and if your shoes are tight, they will constantly brush against your heels and cause a bruise or an injury.

This protective feature of quarter socks also makes them more suited for certain types of sports than ankle socks. For a sport such as running, where your shoes are bound to make continuous contact with your heels, to avoid discomfort and bruising, it would be best to wear a pair of quarter socks.

Quarter socks can also be used for sports like lawn tennis, basketball and while going on a morning hike, they cushion the feet perfectly and protect them from injuries or any other form of discomfort.

3. Ankle socks are more efficient in wicking moisture than quarter socks

Lady Wearing Ankle Socks
Lady Wearing Ankle Socks. Image: @vkstudio via Twenty20

You can say that ankle socks are created with the responsibility of wicking moisture in the feet area in mind. Most ankle socks are made using a combination of polyester, nylon, and spandex.

Polyester is a synthetic blend that has always been a reliable moisture-wicking material. When polyester is blended with other materials, it makes them lightweight, breathable, and easy to dry.

These features of polyester make ankle socks a great and reliable option for people that have sweaty feet, it is also a suitable choice for persons whose jobs require them to be always on the move.

While ankle socks are best suited for wicking moisture because of the mixture of polyester in their material makeup, quarter socks are mostly made from cotton which soaks up moisture and causes discomfort for the wearer.

4. Ankle socks are more lightweight and versatile than quarter socks

Ankle socks are made to feel more lightweight than quarter socks when worn, this makes it very comfortable and gives it an invisible feel when put on. Ankle socks being easier to tuck in also make it an amazing option when you need to put on a pair of socks but do not want them poking out of your shoes.

Ankle socks are also sleeker than quarter socks when paired with any outfit.

Ankle socks also happen to be more versatile in comparison with quarter socks. The fact that is shorter in length than quarter socks and designed to be lightweight makes it a suitable option for various outfit types which could be; athletic looks, dressy looks, formal looks, or casual looks.

Ankle socks come in different colors and are incredibly comfortable and can easily serve as a cushion for your feet even in the summer. Having different colors and designs make it suitable for the male and female genders and a lovely look when paired with different types of shoes.


Ankle socks and quarter socks are both functional socks that are suitable for different purposes and outfit choices.

They are different in length, they differ in weight when put on, they are suitable for different sports and occasions, they are made in different colors and designs, and they are suitable for different weathers.

Just like other socks, in most cases, the major determinant for choosing a pair of socks whether quarter or ankle is a personal preference based on the length, design, and colors.

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