I have to walk a lot of miles each day when its extremely hot. The socks make a huge difference regarding how hot I get. I like socks (always ankle high of course) that are very stretched-out, thus making the cotton very thin. This allows my feet to breath because I always walk in old running shoes.

New socks are just horrible!!! Trust me, you do not want to do a 8-km walk in 85" heat in new socks. Running in new socks for a few weeks before walking in them does not really help stretch them out. I'm not sure why. Currently walking (and suffering) is how I break in new socks. But, once I make a pair comfortable, I will always choose to wear them. As a result, I am always wearing the same few pair of socks that are comfortable until they form holes and eventually tear apart... this is not a good system for me.

Basically, how can I take new socks and artificially stretch out the cotton so as to minimize their insulation of my feet? Note: the elasticity of the sock can't be destroyed because I want to be able to quickly slip my shoes off before going inside. I can't have the socks slip off along with the shoes.

3 Answers 3


You could buy thinner socks. A quick search for "thin socks" reveals that many clothing shops carry them.

  • I think I know the "thin" socks you are referencing. But, they did not last very long. I walked a tear into them pretty quick and they were not that comfortable. I just really like normal cotton socks that have been stretched-out and broken-in. Nov 21, 2016 at 2:59
  • @imaichiko try some different kind of thin sock?
    – djechlin
    Nov 21, 2016 at 3:21
  • 1
    There are many quality thin shocks.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 21, 2016 at 15:52

Drying them stretched might work. Cut a feet shape in cardboard that is bigger than the sock and put the sock on it while it is wet. Drying in this condition should help loosen them.

Disclaimer, I never tried it myself for socks. I'm just improvising a hack from an old hack I was using to have longer jeans, hanging them with bricks as I couldn't find jeans long enough for my thin waist.


Small load in the washer, and use dishwashing machine powder instead of clothes detergent. Dishwashing powder has mild abrasives in it and will wear the fibers for you.

  • And then residue from this abrasive powder is left in your washing machine?
    – djechlin
    Nov 27, 2016 at 3:33
  • Powder clothing detergents contain abrasive particles too. The rutile that gives whiter than white is abrasive.
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 28, 2016 at 15:05

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