Gone are the days when the present of a pair of socks was considered dull and unthoughtful. With so many fantastic designs out there across a wide range of themes, socks are now a welcome gift.
At the BBC Wildlife team, we're are mad about anything wildlife-themed and socks are always a great excuse to add a bit of colour and nature to an outfit. In fact, for me personally, my sock drawer is made up of 99% wildlife-themed socks! We rounded up some of our favourites here for you to browse, some of which also support wildlife conservation charities as there’s something rather satisfying about pulling on a pair of socks and being reminded on the animal that your socks are helping – a great combo in our books!
If your eyes are to the skies, you may also be interested in space and astronomy socks, as reviewed by our sister magazine BBC Sky at Night (the Mae Jemison and Chris Hadfield ones are particularly great!). If you're after socks for walking and hiking in, then BBC Countryfile Magazine have got you covered with their guide, which also covers how to choose the best walking socks and preventing blisters.
Sloth it socks
United Oddsocks has a great range of colourful and, as the name suggests, odd pairs of six socks to mix-and-match and I am loving their wildlife themed ones. It's hard to pick a favourite, but the ‘Sloth It’ set (pictured above) ended up winning out over the others. Though the ‘Blooming Amazing’ and ‘Bee Yourself’ sets are battling it out for second place in my heart, and I've noted down the ‘Mistletoes’ set for future reference with the cute Christmas and wildlife design combinations (the fox in a Santa hat and scarf is just adorable!).
Only set up in 2021, Hedgy Socks is a new shop making wildlife-themed socks from bamboo (80% bamboo, 17% spandex, 3% nylon). For each pair sold, 10% of the total trade price is donated to the Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre in Gloucestershire. There’s a range of designs available including stags (pictured), robins, hedgehogs, bees and frogs – so you’re bound to find a suitable design for your loved one!
Sea turtle sock
There are three themes for Wild Socks' collection so far: ocean (sea turtle, whale shark, coral), savannah (rhino, elephant, zebra), and polar (penguin, blue whale, polar bear), with the themes for the boxes voted on by the public on Wild Socks' website.
Each pair of socks is partnered up with a different conservation charity, with 30% of the gross profits donated. The sea turtles pair (pictured above) goes to Eco Barge, which removes ocean plastics and cares for sick and injured turtles in Australia's Whitsunday region.
The socks are made from 80% combed cotton, 17% nylon and 3% spandex. The packaging is plastic-free, and the socks are sent in a recycled cardboard mailer box.
The basic principle on which Bare Kind is founded is that each pair of socks will help a specific species. Choose from an impressively broad selection of species – the children’s range includes pandas, turtles, rabbits and sun bears, while the adult range is even wider, with toucans, hedgehogs, elephants and whales among the highlights. Bare Kind then donates 10% of the profits to a charity that works to protect that same species. So when you pop your feet into a pair of giraffe socks, you know that you’re helping protect giraffes via The Giraffe Conservation Foundation, elephants via the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, and so on.
That’s the ethics – but what about the socks? Good news there too – they’re attractively designed, soft and luxurious, and very comfortable.
They are made from 65% viscose derived from bamboo, 18% polyamide, 15% cotton and 2% elastane, and manufactured at a third generation family business in Istanbul, audited by SEDEX and BSCI.
Reviewed by Paul McGuinness, editor, BBC Wildlife
Tie-dye dolphin socks
“Our socks save species”. That’s the slogan of this online shop, which sells animal-themed socks to raise funds (and awareness) for the world’s most critically endangered species.
The socks in question come in a range of stylish pastel shades and fun patterns from stripes to speckles and even tie-dye as seen here. Wildlife-lovers won’t be able to resist the cute, embroidered animal silhouettes of species such as the amur leopard, giant panda and Sumatran elephant.
Thicker than bamboo socks, which seem to have become very popular, the GOTS-certified organic cotton material feels warm and comfortable. The recycled carboard box packaging, complete with a fact sheet on an endangered species, is a nice touch too, making these a great, affordable present.
Reviewed by Catherine Smalley, production editor, BBC Wildlife
Woodland birds socks
This pack of three socks from Joules are great for any bird lover that also likes interesting designs – featuring great spotted woodpeckers, bullfinches and pheasants. They're available in one size (UK 4-8), and made from a viscose and cotton mix, with Joules a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to support sustainable cotton practices.
The team behind Wrendale strike again with the lovely designs by illustrator Hannah Dale, this time with these adorable socks! There's a few different animals (both wild and domestic animals) available to choose from, including sloths, giraffe, and hare, but this fox design (called ‘Born to be Wild’) is definitely our favourite.
The socks are make from 100% Oeko-Tex bamboo (with nylon stitching), and come with an illustrated gift bag – handy if you want to give them to someone else (or just a bonus bag if you're buying these as a treat for yourself!).