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As a woman with size 9 feet and puffy, swollen ankles, I’ve found it very difficult to find socks to fit. All I want is a comfortable quarter sock. This means just above the ankle. (After just a day of sock hunting I was already learning the lingo!) Ideally I would prefer to support a British manufacturer. I’d also like a range with a few feminine colours, not just black and beige. It’s not much to ask for is it?
Over the years I have tried to find a sock supplier who can meet this brief, but I have been utterly unsuccessful. This post represents a more concerted effort to research British sock manufacturers and see what they can offer.
The brands below are arranged with the success stories at the top, and the runners up (for me, at least) at the bottom. Prices and stock details are correct as at September 2020. If you can suggest any other British made socks for ladies with large feet and swollen ankles, please comment below!
The A List
These brands are in alphabetical order.
Big Bloomers Company
I am an existing happy customer of the Big Bloomers Company, so I was excited to try these socks software sicher downloaden. The company has confirmed that they are manufactured in the UK, but their policy is not to identify the factory. They come in two sizes, 4 to 6, and 7 to 9, currently in oatmeal and black. They are made with 87% Cotton, 11% Elastane, 2% Lycra, and can be worn pulled up to the knee or floppy around the ankles. They cost £16.95 per pair.
These are the largest pair I have tried by a country mile. They would certainly fit someone with much wider feet and slightly longer feet than me. I expected the longer length to cause me some annoyance, but it hasn’t at all. If I pull them up, they seem to stay up quite well, with the gentlest of grips on the calf and no tight spots. They are also very comfortable when left in a slouch style. The ankles are wonderfully comfortable. My only concern has been that the toes are also wide, so they tend to move about a bit and and can bunch a little at the toe. They have washed extremely well, and they are definitely one of my favourites.
Bradford Sock Company
Bradford Sock Company are based in one of Bradford’s oldest surviving mills in West Yorkshire, and they specialise in short runs of about 50 pairs, with traditional designs, mostly made with 80% wool, and 20% nylon. Their ankle socks come in four sizes, 5 to 7, 8 to 10, and 11 to 13. Most designs are priced at £12.50 per pair. Some of their socks come in some lovely colours, but their ‘loose top’ design, also at £12.50 per pair, are only currently available in a limited range of colours, oatmeal, blue, and beige with bottle green heels ing app downloaden op laptop. The company recommends a 3×1 rib, which apparently provides the extra ‘give’ required for my ankles.
The 8 to 10 size fits my feet very well. They are a lovely weight, and even as an amateur I can tell that they are very well made and sturdy. They make an excellent walking sock – I tested them on our lunchtime hike and found them very comfortable. As I feared, they are a little longer in the leg than I would like, but they do fold over if you prefer. They have washed pretty well, but despite following the washing instructions carefully, I do find them just a smigeon stiffer and tighter on the ankle than when they first arrived.
Corrymoor socks make two styles which are suitable for larger ankles. I ordered a pair of each style to test.
The Gentle Top is a unisex shorter calf length sock design is available in four sizes to fit shoe sizes from 1 to 13. The socks have a ribbed leg with an elastic-free top. They are made from 55% mohair and 45% JAS nylon. Corrymoor explain that the nylon provides extra stretch flashlight download mobile phone. The ‘Gentle Top’ socks cost £ 11.70 per pair. There is an impressive range of 16 plain colours – I chose a glorious pink! They were quite cosy and beautifully soft on first wearing. They need to be washed at 30⁰c and line dried. I have found that they have washed well. Immediately after washing they are just a smidge tighter than they were on arrival, but they soon soften when I wear then again. They are a lovely weight and very comfortable. Although they are a little longer than I would like, but they folded over particularly easily – better than any other longer pair I have tried.
The Adventurer is a thicker and cosier version of the GentleTop – in fact they have been the cosiest to arrive so far. They are made from 68% Mohair and 32% JAS Nylon, with an elastic-free welt. Unusually, they can be machine washed at 40⁰c (most seem to specify 30⁰c). Like the GentleTops they are available in 16 colours and cost £15.50 per pair. I ordered this warm Christmassy red! As with the GentleTops they are a little long, and these ones don’t fold over as well as the GentleTops because they are quite thick app zum filme herunterladen. For the photo below I wore them ‘sloppy style’ rather than pulled up, and they were very comfortable. I’m waiting for the colder weather to kick in before I take them out for a walk.
J. Alex Swift
J Alex Swift established a sock making business in the Leicestershire village of Hathern in 1895. Their website is not very good, but they are about to redevelop it. They specialise in the manufacture of mohair and alpaca socks for other companies, including SockShop, and they are proud of their hand linking techniques. I emailed them to ask whether they make any suitable socks for me. They explained that they don’t retail their own products much, but they do sell a few lines on their Outlet Etsy Store. There are some fantastic bargains here, especially if you don’t have feet like mine! The one they suggested for me is a wool, cushioned sole walking sock, ideal to wear with walking shoes or boots. They make a standard version and a loose top version for wide ankles and calves rahmen word herunterladen. It is available in dark green and the medium size fits UK sizes 7 to 10. This is very good value at £7 or £13 for two.
Turner & Sons
Turner & Sons have been making socks since 1928. Their women’s designs only go up to a size 7. However, their Microgrip design in their men’s range come in seven colours and three sizes to cover shoe sizes 6 to 13. This is a plain non-elasticated comfort grip ankle sock in combed cotton (78%) and nylon (22%), at £11.99 per pair or £39.99 for a pack of four. All men’s socks have a 10.5 inch leg length, including the Microgrip, which is a bit higher than I would like.
The B List
These are other brands which I researched, but which didn’t make the A list because of their designs or because of the location of their factory. There are some great options here if buying British is not your priority. They are in alphabetical order.
Arbon Socks were launched in 2018. They produce and sell a range of luxury alpaca and wool socks. Arbon’s HQ is in Somerset. The socks are knitted in the Midlands. Their ‘Exmoor’ socks looked like good ‘uns for me. They have loose fold over tops and come in 10 colours with contrast areas at the heel and ankle. They are available in four size bands from 4 to 14. The yarn for the Exmoor socks is spun by John Arbon at his mill, from local Exmoor sheep. They cost £12.70 per pair or £30 for three pairs. John Arbon also sells some amazing yarn, if you can knit, (I can’t!) These definitely would have made the A list except that I’m not at all keen on handwashing socks!
Brora make lovely socks from Scottish cashmere, but there are no large women’s sizes, and you’d need deep pockets for these gorgeous socks.
Corgi was founded in 1892 by Carmarthenshire draper Rhys Jones. Their socks are still made in Carmarthenshire, but they retail operation is shared with Dents in Warminster. They make a range of socks in an ‘extra large’ women’s size which fits UK shoe sizes 8 to 9, including six patterned designs which are 75% cotton, 25% nylon mix, ankle length styles at £14.40 each, and two luxury cashmere designs. Sadly their plain socks are not available in the extra large size, and their men’s socks all look too tight on the ankle and calf. I ordered the classic corgi design to test. (Look out for end of line/colour discounts when buying yours!) I didn’t find these socks very suitable for my feet. They were just a bit longer than the usual size 7 to 9 socks you can find on the high street. The welt was a little tight and there was no additional space or give for my ankles.
Dapplebrook is a UK sock design and manufacturing company. Their website doesn’t show much detail, and they don’t seem to make any wide styles. I don’t believe they sell their products direct to the public.
Freight HGG make alpaca socks in England in lovely colours but there is only one design, which is mid calf and not especially wide.
Genevieve Sweeney make a lovely range of socks but the quarter length socks only go up to a size seven.
HJ Hall have been manufacturing socks in Leicestershire since 1882. They are reputedly the largest branded sock manufacturer in the UK. Unfortunately their ladies’ Softop® Socks only go up to to a size 7. Their men’s 75% cotton range comes in three large sizes: 6 to 11, 11 to 13, and 13 to 15, and five colours. At £5 per pair these are the cheapest socks I have found, but I am not keen on the length. I am also very familiar with these as my ex-husband had size 15½ feet and he used to buy them. The men’s style really is rather masculine and if I remember rightly they are not really very forgiving at the ankle.
Houlie make fantastic long length stripey socks to fit up to size 11, but that’s all!
Jennifer Kent make lovely cashmere socks in three colours and two sizes, 7-9 and 10-12, at £36 a pair. They are knitted and hand-finished in Hawick in the Scottish Borders. They are low calf length. Unfortunately they require hand washing.
John Smedley only make men’s mid calf socks.
KV Manufacturing have a factory making socks in Burgess Hill, West Sussex. They offer a wide range of colours, but only one mid calf length.
MagicFit is a British manufacturer specialising in school socks. Sizes are not given on the website. They don’t seem to do wide fitting socks anyway.
Norfolk Socks offer quite a large range of plain socks with soft tops ideal for swollen ankles, to accommodate shoe sizes from 3 to 13. They kindly informed me that their factory is located in Istanbul, Turkey, and their Head Office and Design Studio are based in Leicester. Most of their yarns are sourced from Europe, such as their Merino wool, which is from Germany.
Pantherella socks are made at their own Leicestershire factory. They also make Scott Nichol Socks. However their women’s sizes only go up to a measly size 7 and they only have one pair of ankle length socks for men.
Peper Harow make a range of funky socks but their women’s designs are only available in one size to fit shoe sizes 3 – 8. The men’s socks fit sizes 6 to 13, but are all either trainer socks or calf length, and not a wide fit.
Samson Hosiery are a family run manufacturer of bespoke socks since 1981, based in Manchester. They do not appear to retail their products.
Sockland are based in Leicester, but I am not sure whether they manufacture there exclusively. Their ‘Flexi-Top’ ladies designs (which look rather like the GentleGrip TM socks sold at SockShop and Edinburgh Woollen Mill), only go up to a size 7. The men’s designs are only available in dark colours.
Sockmine are a British company specialising in technical socks for sports. Their ladies’ walking socks are made with COOLMAX® technology and merino wool. Prices range from £11 to £13 per pair, and they come in four sizes to suit shoe sizes from 2 up to 9½. Unfortunately they have no wide styles.
Teddy Edward make a small range of plain and two tone socks in lovely colours, and in three sizes to fit shoe sizes 4 to 13, but unfortunately they have no wide styles. They cost from £14 to £18.
Tenderfoot Socks are based in Sileby, Leicestershire, and have been making socks since 1998. Their socks come in three sizes to cover sizes 6 to 14, but they are all low calf length. Their knit designs are gorgeous, and I especially like the Fairisle designs. Unfortunately they don’t have wider ankle options. They advertise their stockists on their website, and you can download a brochure there if you supply your email address. Their combed cotton socks are 82% pure cotton, and their merino wool socks are 80% merino wool blend.