Do you wear ankle socks or tall socks? (when wearing shorts)

A TikTok user pointed out a fascinating trend: one’s sock choice might just be a generational giveaway.

You can tell what generation someone belongs to “just by looking at their feet.”

  • Ankle socks = Millennial
  • Tall socks = Gen Z

This observation holds water in my experience. When wearing regular socks with shorts, ankle socks seem to dominate the Millennial crowd. (this does not count fun patterned socks. I’m talking about regular, normal socks).

I’m a Gen X’er. Ankle socks have dominated my peers and family for years. This crosses over Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, even the Baby Boomers wear short socks. They’ve been in vogue for a good two decades.

Despite the popularity of ankle socks, I’ve always preferred tall socks, even with shorts. I’ve always felt a bit like a dork wearing tall socks with shorts. But I embrace it. I just like wearing taller socks, even with shorts. My unconventional style doesn’t stop there—I’m the guy who pairs socks with sandals, and yes, sometimes they’re black tall socks. It’s a nod to what some might call ‘grandpa chic,’ a tribute to my grandfather’s classic Estonian panache.

We could venture to guess that tall socks echo the tastes of the Silent Generation, the precursors to the Boomers.

Ankle socks slip off my feet too easily when I take off my shoes. Tall socks have many more options for fun patterns and designs. Back in 2009 I tweeted, “I hereby declare that for the rest of my life, I will never buy normal socks ever again.”

Do you wear tall socks or ankle socks? Let me know in the comments, Facebook, Bluesky, Mastodon, or Threads.

(Also, disclaimer. I’m not on TikTok. Anytime I look at those videos, I feel like my mind is rotting from within. I found this video embedded in an article while I was on the Insider website.)

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