What is a midcalf?
By general definition, a midcalf hits you right in the middle of your calf, or about halfway up to your knee. Our Measurements & Sizes page has a handy diagram of sock coverage, and you can see that the crew is close, but not quite, as tall as a midcalf.
On average, we’ve found that a midcalf is about 9-11 inches long from heel to the top of the cuff. They give you a little more coverage than a crew for a reason—a midcalf is one of the traditional men’s dress sock heights. When you’re wearing slacks and sit down, the legs of your trousers ride up, flashing ankle. A midcalf just covers that skin that might show and they are just the right height to be paired with old-fashioned sock garters. Crews are a touch too short to close that gap between shoe and cuff and knee highs are more sock than you need, but midcalves are just right.
More on what makes a midcalf (and a common misconception about them) after the jump!
So they’re taller than a crew and shorter than a knee high, but what else is a midcalf? As I mentioned, they’re a common height for “men’s” dress socks. Even if you’re not a guy, but you’re dressing in slacks and nice loafers, odds are you’ll pick a midcalf sock to go with. That means that our men’s socks collection has some fancy and office-appropriate options in midcalves, even if their overlap with crews and larger footed options means that there are some novelty socks and crazy stripes too.
As we all know, it doesn’t matter what gender you identify with when it comes to picking socks. It’s all about what kind of style, fiber and coverage you want to rock. But midcalves are often called “men’s socks” and designed with a traditional guy in mind, so there is one thing to remember—foot size. Not all midcalves are designed for larger feet, but quite a few (like the B.Ella midcalf styles) are.
You may remember from the Sock Math post that I said the most common sock size was 9-11? Well, “men’s socks” range about 10-13, or a US men’s shoe size most commonly 8-11. Though we always list all the sizing info we can in the Sizing Tips for each style, we tend to call what other folks say is a “men’s sock” a “larger footed midcalf.” When you’re shopping around and see us use that phrase, or the Sizing Tips show you a larger sock, remember that you can subtract about 1.5 to a US women’s shoe size to figure out your US men’s shoe size
A lot of folks who wear a US women’s shoe size 9 can comfortably wear the average larger-footed midcalf, though there can be too much room in the toes for some. So don’t get too sad if you see a midcalf that says it’s larger, measure that foot and drop us a line, odds are, if you’re over a US women’s 8.5, it’ll fit. The following socks are just a few that are "men's", but they're happily modelled and rocked by ladies with an average-sized lady foot.