As for cotton vs. wool, I prefer cotton. I like to machine wash and line dry socks. Wools fuzz up that way, and thicker wools are more likely to bunch up in bad ways around the toes. And I've gone through some good wool socks. Maybe with hand-washing they hold up better. Others would know.
Originally Posted by Mildly Consumptive
Depends on what you mean by affordable. Do you mean good quality socks that will last a long time? Or simply the cheapest price possible?
+1 "Affordable" is a marketing distraction. Quality will always be your best value. The idea that you can get the best for cheapest is wrong most of the time. Don't be too timid and cowardly to pay enough for quality. $25 for socks will not bankrupt you. The trick is to buy quality so you don't need to buy them often. For thin dress socks, I vote Nagrani and Marcoliani
, which I have not had enough experience with to recommend them with much conviction. These Sock it to Me OTC argyles
have held up really well too. Gold Toe has been hit and miss for me. For thicker cotton crew socks, which I often wear in cold temperatures, my favorites are these "slouch socks"
from Sock Dreams. The colors are somewhat limited for men, but navy, medium brown, and natural go a long way. And the olive is good with green cords. In the summer this kind of sock is too hot.