We write all of our sock descriptions and, I’ve got to tell you, after describing our 1,000th sock, words begin to fail us. But seriously…You’ve probably come across the term “ribbing” in a sock description. Ribbing in socks is very typical, especially men’s socks. It is the vertical stripe that runs up the leg. Ribbing is used in non-compression socks to help keep them up. Since compression hosiery stays up by gripping the leg, the ribbing is more decorative. It also makes a compression stocking look like a regular sock. Without ribbing, compression socks would have a flat, smooth finish. Traditional ribbing is “1X1”, which is narrow and compact. A recent trend in both regular and compression stocking manufacturing has been to offer a wider, and more contempoary “2X1” ribbing.
Here is an example of ribbing. On the left is the Allegro Men’s #102 with traditional ribbing and on the right the Allegro Jazz #121, with a more modern, casual look. On the new Allegro Jazz #121, every fourth rib is accentuated to attract the eye. It’s a small detail but it looks nice and certainly makes it easier to pair socks with the correct mate when they come out of the dryer. (Did we say dryer? Most ribbed socks are dryer-friendly, but please check the laundry instructions first!)
Jobst Casual for Men and Medi for Men both offer contemporary wider ribbing. If you’re a traditionalist and prefer the look of a classic men’s dress sock, check-out Jobst for Men and Medi Patriot. Both feature traditional 1X1 ribbing.