Socks should hug your calves or legs without pain or redness.

How to Loosen Tight Socks

by Mimi Bullock

Socks that feel uncomfortably tight take the enjoyment out of wearing these cozy foot coverings. When socks cut into your skin, they can create temporary indentations that may be accompanied by what appears to be a red band around the ankle. People who have circulation issues may also experience tingling or pain when wearing tight socks. You can avoid this discomfort and embarrassing look by loosening tight socks before you slide them over your toes and feet. However, when stretching your socks use caution. If you overstretch the material, the socks may droop or sag when you wear them.

Read the care label on your sock package. Wash and tumble dry the socks before you wear them. If you have specialty socks made from wool or cashmere, you should hand wash and dry them.

Shape the socks by placing them on your feet while the fabric is still warm. You also can blow dry the sock bands to get the same effect. This method works best on socks that have rubberized sock bands. By putting the socks on while the fabric is warm, you can shape the fabric to fit your legs.

Get more leg room by gripping the top of the sock with both hands. Pull the sock band horizontally in separate directions to loosen them. Do not pull too hard or rip the sock.

Items you will need

  • Blow dryer


  • Buy socks that are close to your shoe size for the best fit.


  • You should wear socks that suit the shoes you are wearing. Overly thick socks with snug shoes can squeeze the foot and leg.

About the Author

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images