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How to Choose a Custom Sock Company

So you’ve decided to have custom socks created—whether you want to give them away to prospects and customers, recognize employees, or just throw a gigantic sock party (hey, we've all been there). Congratulations! You've made the right decision: custom socks make great corporate swag and the perfect gift.

The next step is choosing the right vendor to create the socks of your dreams. There are lots of companies out there that will promise great results, so it’s easy to do a Google search and quickly find yourself overwhelmed. But if you keep your needs in mind and ask the right questions, finding the right vendor won’t be a challenge. Here's a step-by-step guide for finding the right custom sock company.

Determine your requirements and make sure the vendor meets your needs

When it comes to custom swag, everyone has their own requirements. Ask your vendors if they can at least meet your most basic needs—if they can’t, move on to someone else.


Chances are that if you’re looking for custom socks, you need them in the (very) near future. And, of course, you never know when the inspiration for a new pair of custom socks might strike. The standard turnaround time for some companies can be between 3 to 8 weeks and, even in the US. You’ll want to make sure your vendor offers fast turnaround time—Tribe Socks, for example, offers a 5 day lead time in the US, so you can get custom socks in your hands (and on your feet) fast. Plus Tribe custom socks are sustainable swag!   

Quantity needed

How many socks do you need? If you’re like most of our customers, you probably don’t have an exact number in mind—you might just want to get a few socks to start out with and ramp up production after you’re satisfied with the quality of the socks. For maximum flexibility, go with a custom sock vendor that doesn’t have a minimum quantity requirement. 


Ahh, the money question. Obviously, cost is an important consideration when it comes to custom socks, so it’s best to first determine what your budget is and then ask vendors what their prices are. Custom socks typically cost anywhere between $5 and $16 per pair, and the more you order, the less the per-unit cost. But not all socks are knit equally. When evaluating cost, make sure to get physical samples to see the quality for yourself. Low needle count socks can be very inexpensive, but feel cheap and won’t last after a few wears. 

Look for a high-quality vendor

When it comes to the quality of a custom sock vendor, you need to look at more than just the quality of their socks. Asking plenty of questions will help you ascertain whether a vendor is worth partnering with.

How are the socks made?

Any company can put Photoshopped images of their custom socks online, but digging deep into the sock creation process will help you determine if the socks will look as good IRL as they do on your computer screen. Ask vendors what kind of personalization technology they use—direct-to-garment (DTG) or dye sublimation? DTG is a premium method of digitally printing vibrant artwork directly onto the yarn, and it’s far superior to dye sublimation, which only prints artwork onto the surface of a garment rather than embedding it into the fibers. Look for DTG if you want socks that’ll retain their artwork even after they’ve been stretched and worn many times.

Custom knit socks are also another option out there. Some vendors, including Tribe Socks, offer great quality knit socks, but because the socks are machine-knit they are very design restrictive. With DTG printed socks you get the best of both worlds: high quality custom socks with full-color designs and no restrictions.

Make sure you also ask vendors what kinds of yarns they make socks out of, since this will help determine the durability and comfort of the socks. At Tribe Socks, we use dense yet soft yarns and assemble our socks on 200-needle Italian Lonati machines. Lesser yarns can yield socks that are scratchy or don’t retain their shape well after numerous washes.

How much work is required on your end?

You’ve got a lot going on, which means you probably don’t want to invest a ton of your own time in getting custom socks made. To ensure this isn’t a time-consuming endeavor, ask every vendor you’re considering what the sock creation process involves from your end, from start to finish. 

For instance, what assets do you have to provide the sock company? It’s one thing if you only have to provide your preferred color scheme and the logo or image you want on the socks; it’s another thing to create the entire design yourself. To save yourself time and energy and get the best design possible, go with a company like Tribe Socks that has in-house designers and will take on the hard work of creating a custom, visually compelling design. With Tribe, all you have to do is send a few basic details and whatever image or logo you want on the socks, and our designers take care of the rest.

Find the right long-term partner

Though you might just have a single custom sock project in mind right now, it’s worth finding a vendor that you can work with on future projects as well. The following tips can help you identify the right custom sock company for your needs, now and in the future.

Request samples and references

Asking for sock samples and reading a few case studies is a great way to see firsthand what kind of socks you can expect. If a sock company isn’t willing to provide you with samples of their goods or a few customer references, run away—this is the sign of a vendor that won’t stand behind its products and doesn’t care about producing high-quality items.

Dig deeper for details on the socks

Beyond the materials and processes used, consider other aspects that’ll determine if a vendor’s custom socks are right for you. For instance, how is the toe linked to the main body of the sock? We only use hand-linked toe enclosure since it creates a seamless experience. Are the socks truly one-size-fits-all? You don’t want to end up having to order different sizes for different people. And when it comes to the design process, how many rounds of feedback can you go through? All of these will determine the final quality of the product.

At Tribe Socks, we have a high bar for quality and strive to make custom socks that we know you’ll love. Learn more at custom.tribesocks.com.

Why Custom Socks Make Great Corporate Swag

company swag

Company swag serves a number of purposes: it can build camaraderie among teammates, generate interest from prospects in a way emails or cold calls can’t, and enable instant recall for your brand.

But only when it’s done right.

People won’t keep a cheap pen, ill-fitting shirt, or flimsy tote bag around for long. That doesn’t mean, however, that all swag is doomed to fail. In fact, your employees, prospects, and customers will happily keep a high quality item that’s genuinely useful and doesn’t scream “corporate promotional item.”

Custom socks are a relatively new item in the world of company swag, but they’ve quickly been adopted by organizations looking for giveaway items that are unique and grab people’s attention. Here are 8 reasons why companies like Google, Sephora, Zendesk, Blizzard, and many more have welcomed custom socks with open arms (err, feet).

1. Guaranteed to make a great impression

Who doesn’t like a comfortable, great-looking pair of personalized socks? There’s a good reason Professor Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series referenced socks as one of his favorite gifts to receive: high quality socks are something everyone can appreciate. Socks are also an incredibly versatile piece of clothing—whether you’re wearing a suit and tie to the office, are walking around town in a t-shirt and jeans, or are dressed somewhere in the middle, you can always don a playful and eye-catching pair of socks that’ll grab people’s attention. (That said, please don’t wear socks at the beach.)

Why Custom Socks Make Great Corporate Swag

2. Custom socks are a unique and novel item

Personalized socks haven’t historically been a common giveaway item, which means they’re still fresh and novel. The 2019 report by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) on promotional products lists all the swag we’re used to—writing instruments, t-shirts, and desk accessories—in the top 10 promotional items consumers own, but socks aren’t on that list. What does this mean? When you hand out custom socks at a trade show or to your employees, they won’t be shoved into a drawer and ignored like the 15 other logoed pens people receive.

zendesk custom socks

3. Custom socks look fantastic—when done right

Not all swag items are made alike. Too many companies issue sad-looking t-shirts or ugly baseball caps with their logo slapped on, and no one (except, perhaps, die-hard employees) actually wants to wear them in public. On the other hand, expertly crafted custom socks boast creative, compelling, and colorful designs. And with Tribe Socks’ unique direct-to-garment digital printing process, powered by our world-class sock design team, the sky’s the limit when it comes to personalized socks that your prospects, customers, and employees will want to wear everywhere they go.

4. Comfort is king

Even the most amazing-looking apparel won’t get worn if it isn’t comfortable. Well-made socks offer unparalleled comfort: they’re soft, protect your feet without causing them to overheat, and fit well, so they won’t bunch up. Plus, our socks are built to last: they’re 200 needle knit and have a reinforced heel and toe. By giving out custom socks that are durable, yet comfortable, you’ll ensure your socks are worn (and your design of choice displayed for everyone to see) all the time.

5. One size fits all

Few things are more frustrating than getting a great piece of clothing as a gift only to realize it won’t fit you. And it’s no easier for companies giving out swag: they have to stock up on a variety of sizes for sweatshirts, t-shirts, and vests, usually divided into men’s and women’s, and lug them to every event. This isn’t an issue with custom-made socks like ours that are truly one-size-fits-all and unisex by design.

6. Convenience is key

Giving out items in bulk? The last thing you want to deal with is the high shipping costs and hassle associated with transporting bulky swag. Since personalized socks take up much less room and weight than other apparel, they’re a lot more convenient to travel with and hand out.

7. Sustainability matters

Over the last couple of decades, customers have made their preference for sustainability loud and clear. People want to buy from brands that care about the environment: according to a 2020 consumer survey report by IBM, a whopping 78% of consumers say it’s moderately or very important for brands to be sustainable and environmentally responsible.

The more you can project a sustainability-first image, the more likely consumers will want to affiliate themselves with your brand. That’s why offering swag that was made in an environmentally responsible manner matters. At Tribe Socks, all of our custom socks are made from recycled plastic bottles using Repreve yarn, ensuring that our environmental footprint (and yours) is as minimal as possible.

8. Custom socks are easy

At the end of the day, offering up corporate swag shouldn’t be a chore, but instead a fun experience for everyone involved. That’s why we’ve worked hard to make the custom sock creation process as streamlined and enjoyable as possible. All you have to do is tell us how many socks you need (no minimums!), give us a deadline, and provide us with one or more images, such as your logo, as well as any desired colors. Our artists take it from there, creating different design mockups and working with you until they’re exactly what you want. And even though Tribe Socks offers quick production times, we never skimp out on quality.

If you’re still giving away faddish items that’ll get thrown into a drawer or thrown out entirely, it’s time to start offering corporate swag your prospects, customers, and employees will love.

Interested in making custom socks a core part of your corporate swag strategy? Learn more about the benefits of teaming up with Tribe Socks.

Tribe Custom Socks

Why Custom Socks Make the Perfect Gift

custom socks make the perfect gift

Few things feel as good as giving the perfect gift (save for getting the perfect gift, of course), but it’s a task easier said than done. Whether you’re trying to please the pickiest person you know, think of something novel to give out at your company’s next trade show, or excite your employees, the perfect gift or giveaway item is often elusive. How do you give something that’s meaningful, yet not impossible to find; something that’ll last a while, yet won’t cost you dearly?

The answer may be closer than you think. Chances are, you or someone you know is wearing the perfect gift right now.

Socks—especially custom-made ones—make excellent gifts for everyone to whom you want to give something special. Here are 7 reasons why you should give a pair of custom-made socks to your team, prospects, or closest homies.

1. Socks are actually useful

What did you do the last time a random company gave you a t-shirt with its logo slapped across it? If the answer is “threw it inside a drawer,” “used it to wash my car,” or “no idea,” you know what it’s like to get a less-than-desirable item as a gift.

Socks are way different. They’re something your customers, employees, and friends will actually use, from the house to the board room, because cozy, comfortable socks are always in demand.

Custom socks take things a step further by serving as a blank canvas on which you’re able to paint your best ideas—your company or organization’s logo, a cool collection of colors, or anything else that comes to mind. Whatever you choose to put on those socks, they’ll be worn everywhere, so your ideas are always on full display.

2. Custom socks are inexpensive

When most people think of personalized gifts, they think of custom-engraved items, high-value jewelry, or embossed apparel. These may be cool, but they certainly cost a pretty penny.

On the other hand, custom socks come in at an affordable price, so you can get them created for practically any occasion—as something to wear at a fun bachelor party, for a team-building exercise, or to give away at your next company conference. Plus, with Tribe Socks, there are no minimums, so there’s no need to order hundreds of socks at once.

3. They’re easily personalizable

People love custom-made gifts because they show you care. Anyone can buy things off the shelf, but the decision-making and careful consideration that go into a unique gift can mean a lot—after all, there’s a reason Apple lets you put a custom engraving on the back of its iPads and iPhones.

Socks are incredibly easy to customize, especially when you get them made through a company like Tribe Socks. You simply have to send us whatever image(s) you want on the socks, as well as any other instructions (like preferred colors), and our expert design team will handle the rest, creating a design for the entire sock and getting your approval before starting production.
custom socks for party

4. Great for building camaraderie

Looking to build a sense of spirit at your next company offsite or add some unexpected delight to your kid’s graduation party? Get everyone to wear a custom pair of socks with a fun design on them and watch everyone, young and old, revel in the fun. Unlike custom t-shirts, which are played out, custom socks are a novel and unique way to build a sense of unity—all while adding a little whimsy to everyone’s day.

5. No need to worry about getting the right size

It’s easy to buy a t-shirt, sweater, or pair of pants for one person. But as you add more and more people, it gets impossible to guess everyone’s size. In the corporate world, companies end up buying more apparel than necessary for giveaways and risk upsetting prospects by sending them the wrong size of clothing.

There’s no need to worry about nailing the right sizes and quantities with custom socks. Tribe Socks come in a single size that fits anyone between a female size 4 and a male size 13. So no matter who you’re gifting a pair of custom socks to, it’ll fit them just fine.

6. Durable and long-lasting

What’s worse than a crummy gift? A crummy gift that doesn’t last the test of time. Whether it’s a cheap pen that breaks or runs out of ink within months, a t-shirt that fades after a few washes, or an electronic item that mysteriously stops working one fine day, no one likes getting an item that won’t last or is incredibly delicate.

Fortunately, socks are just the opposite of fragile and short-lived. They’re just begging to be tossed around, but they certainly won’t stop working one day. At Tribe Socks, we were tired of cheap-feeling, quick-to-fade socks and decided to create our own signature yarns. Instead of dye sublimation, we use direct-to-garment printing, so your designs are printed directly onto the yarns. The result is a sock that won’t stretch or fade for years and years, while feeling great to boot.

7. Last minute? No problem
last minute custom socks

Thanks to the magic of the internet, creating custom versions of practically anything is simple. But many kinds of custom goods can require extremely long lead times. This isn’t the case with custom socks from Tribe Socks. Our advanced sock creation capabilities mean we can promise a 5-10 day lead time in the US, so in just about a week, you can go from sending us your ideas to getting sent high quality, custom socks perfect for your needs.

Not only does everyone love a great pair of socks, but custom socks are also an incredibly versatile gift to give. Celebrating a new product launch at your next conference? Create custom socks! Throwing an epic birthday party? Create custom socks! Making a music video? We think you get the idea.

There’s no shortage of companies that offer custom socks, but no one else offers the quality and flexibility of Tribe Socks. See for yourself why partnering with Tribe Socks will knock your socks off.