Do Socks Go Over or Under Base Layers?

Do Socks Go Over or Under Base Layers?

Do Socks Go Over or Under Base Layers?

When putting on your exercise outfit, you might often wonder if you are getting dressed correctly when it comes to your socks. Socks can be a tricky one, as there is often a debate on how they should be worn – whether they should sit under or over your base layers.

We bring you this blog to discuss our reasoning behind what we think should be done in terms of what comes first, your base layer, or your socks. Do keep reading to find out more and what we think on this topic.


Do Socks Go Over or Under Base Layers?

Many people have a certain preference or a different opinion on this. There are also varying factors such as; what sport or exercise you will be participating in, how long your socks are, or how comfortable you believe your preference to be.

At Mizos Apparel, we recommend that if your socks are long enough, you wear them over your base layers with your base layer sitting underneath your socks and therefore next to your skin. This is due to the fact that base layers perform best when they are sitting on the skin.

Base layers hold many benefits for the body and in order for them to perform and give you the benefits that you need, they need to fit well and also fit correctly.

We will go over the reasons as to why we believe this is the right way to wear your socks – over the top of your base layer, so keep reading to discover the reasons why.


Moisture Wicking

One of the main features of base layers is that they have special moisture-wicking abilities. When exercising, sweat on your skin or on your clothes making them damp can be extremely uncomfortable. It can distract you and your performance and can weigh you down. Base layers work by wicking the moisture away from the skin and the body and out of the garment.

If you wear your socks underneath your base layer, then it will mean the moisture from your skin will not be able to be wicked away. Your sock will absorb any moisture and therefore leave you with uncomfortable damp socks.

For your base layer to perform and do the moisture-wicking, it is crucial for you to wear your base layer next to your skin and therefore your socks should not get in the way.



Base layers are fast absorbing. This is down to their ultra-thin and specially engineered fabric. The fast absorption is what helps allow for their moisture-wicking abilities.

There will be no fast absorption if your cotton socks stand in the way of your base layer and your skin. It is therefore best practice to stick your socks on the outside of your base layers.



Compression is also a benefit from wearing base layers. Without the right fit and without base layers fitting snugly against your skin, the compression element could be altered. Being that ‘second skin’ is what allows a base layer to perform effectively.

Compression is also considered a crucial part for people that do exercise regularly or intensely. It allows the body to recover quicker, supports the muscle before, during and after exercise and helps stop any build-up of lactic acid in the muscles when exercising. This allows for you to play for longer and even at a better standard!


The Bottom Line

The bottom line with base layers is that they have to be sat next to the skin to work. Other extra layers of clothing can sit on top of your base layers, that is absolutely fine. Whether that be outer layers such as jumpers, fleeces, coats, or socks, all of which is fine, just so long as the base layer comes first. This forms our reasoning for why socks should be worn over your base layers and not under them.


If You Don’t Want Your Socks Over Your Base Layers

If you don’t wish to wear your socks underneath your base layers for whatever reason, then there are a few things you can do. Firstly, why not opt for a short/shorter sock? This way you won’t have the option of choosing whether it goes under or over your base layers as it won’t be tall enough to deliberate on that decision.

Perhaps opt for base layers shorts instead of leggings? This way you will also not have the ‘under or over’ dilemma. Many people actually swear by this to avoid any overlapping issues of their base layers and socks, so it could work for you too.


Base Layers, Socks and Skiing

You will often wear longer socks when skiing, this provides extra cushioning on your toes and shins to protect against ski gear and against pressure from ski boots. Many ski socks are made from special fabric too, often merino wool instead of your standard cotton socks.

Merino wool helps to wick moisture away like a base layer does, so in cases such as this, you may choose to wear your socks either over or under your base layer, it will not make a difference as both layers of sock and base layer have the amazing moisture wicking abilities. Therefore, it will come down to your personal preference.


Mizos Apparel

We hope we have answered your question of whether or not your socks should sit under or over your base layers, or at least give you something to think about. From the benefits listed above along with the reasons why, you can see why we believe it is best to keep your socks on top of your base layers.

Ultimately you have to be completely comfortable when playing sports or exercising, so if you are not comfortable then please try the alternative method to the one you have been going with.

Whatever you do, when planning on wearing base layers, make sure you invest in quality. This way will you make sure you receive the proper benefits that a real base layer should provide you with.

Our Mizo Apparel Base Layer is high performing and is continually recommended and commended for being truly amazing at delivering sports people the best result and helping them to boost their performance. Check out our website for more information and do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions for us.

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