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These Are the Most Comfortable Socks

Bombas socks really are the bomb.

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a bunch of colorful bombas socks Photo: Bombas

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Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Bombas, the three-year-old high-end sock brand that markets its product as the most comfortable socks and gives a pair away to someone in need for every pair sold. The questions might be coming because the brand is kind of everywhere — on subway ads, Instagram, in gift bags at events, and even on Shark Tank in 2014 — and $12 to $28 is a hell of a lot to spend on a pair of socks.

The list of features is long for such a small garment. There’s a blister tab on the back of the ankle socks to keep sneakers from rubbing. There’s no toe seam to squish your toes. There’s added arch support, a reinforced (but not super thick) foot bed, and something the brand calls “stay-up” technology that has something to do with fabric elasticity and tension (I can’t explain it to you, but I can vouch that they stay up).

The short answer: I’ve tried out most styles and I have to say, I’m sold. The no-show loafer pairs actually stay on my feet, the tall socks stay up under boots, and the short athletic socks are super comfortable for working out in. They’re the pairs I’ll dig around in my sock drawer for when I’m getting dressed in the morning, and when I pick up my laundry on Sunday I get excited to be able to start the weekly rotation with Bombas.

bombas athletic socks Photo: Bombas

To be totally honest, I didn’t expect to like Bombas when I first heard about it. Whenever I see a new do-gooder brand, with a donation-based model and peppy, uplifting slogan, I’m looking for the catch. Companies like Toms, which pioneered the practice of buy-one-give-one that Bombas participates in, have come under fire for the ethical questions surrounding the business model. (Toms has been called out for guilting people into buying its product, and whether the brand is effectively helping the communities on the receiving end has been called into question: Well-meaning donations from far away don’t always address the actual needs of a community, and in flooding developing economies with free goods, local commerce is disrupted by creating competition for small local brands, effectively putting them out of business.)

Bombas launched in 2013, seven years after Toms, and the company seems to have side-stepped some of these issues. Bombas focuses on supplying socks to homeless shelters in the US, where socks are the number one requested donation item. The brand partners with advocacy groups and local organizations to distribute the socks where they are most needed. Bombas has also designed a special pair with the needs of those wearers in mind — an antimicrobial treatment that helps reduce fungal growth and odor, dark colors, and seams that are reinforced to make them last longer — instead of giving away the same socks it’s already making for paying consumers, or donating something cheaper.

As the New York Times reported earlier this year, advocates for the homeless welcome the help: According to Megan Hustings, interim director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, “anything that works to get those socks to people is good.”

Aside from the feel-good effect of knowing a product will be donated with your purchase, there are other perks for the buyer, too. You can earn free socks by sharing a link with friends or discounts when purchasing in bulk, which is helpful for anyone thinking about gifting. And of course, you’ll get some really freaking comfortable socks.