Need more space in your sock drawer? Want to know what to wear when stargazing so your feet stay warm? Or feel like you’re walking on the Moon when you take a stroll to the shops?


Then take a look at our list of the best thermal and space-themed socks.

Socks have a terrible reputation. They’re the gift reserved for those hard-to-buy for relatives, the go-to option when you can't think of a Christmas present for Dad.

They are probably the least thought about part of anyone’s wardrobe. And yet, wear the wrong socks and you’ll be sorry for it the rest of the day. That’s never more true than when you’re out doing astronomy.

In recent years there’s been a ‘sock revolution’. Gone are the days when a pair of socks with coloured toes and cuffs were considered the height of daring – now socks come in a huge variety of patterns and styles, many of them space themed.

Whether you want to stay warm while stargazing, are looking for the most traditional of space themed Christmas presents, or just want something fun to wear with your work suit, here are our favourite socks.

Best socks for staying warm when stargazing

When out under a clear night sky doing astronomy, it's vital to keep warm. The best nights for stargazing are those clear, crisp winter nights when temperatures plummet.

And as your feet are always in contact with the cold ground, it can be hard to stop the heat from escaping your toes.

A pair of good boots and an insulating mat to stand on can help, but a pair of nice thick socks can be the difference between a night of awe inspiring astronomy and a miserable evening in the cold.

Heat holders

Made from heavy bulk yarn, known for its thermal properties, and with a TOG rating of 2.34 these thermal socks will help keep your feet toasty – from your toes all the way up to your calves thanks to the designs long sleeve. The long pile helps keep the socks soft and comfortable, while trapping air close to the skin to help keep your feet warmer for longer.

These socks come in a variety of styes including single colour, Nordic-themed patterns and even Star Wars characters, meaning you can cater your socks to both your thermal and fashion needs.

Battery heated socks with dual fuel pocket by Warmawear

There’s a hidden secret in this pair of socks: a heating filament threaded through the fabric. The high wool content means that by themselves, they function as a pair of standard thermal socks. But add a couple of AA batteries to the special pouch on the cuff and feel the warmth spread.

The heat is centred around the toes, as these are the coldest part of the foot. Then, if you start to feel like your overheating use the switch to turn off the power. For those especially cold nights, there’s an additional pouch on the bridge of the foot where you can slide in a disposable hand warmer for extra toastiness.

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Navy stars Thermafeet extra warm thermal socks

Want the stars a little closer to Earth while you're out stargazing? These 2.3 TOG socks are decorated with white stars and pink details. The mid-calf length helps to keep your ankles protected from the wind while the inner lining has been brushed to give a soft, fleece like feel.

Quechua warm hiking socks

When observing away from home it's important to not just think about what you'll do at the observing site, but how you'll get there. These hike socks are designed to cushion your foot to avoid blisters, while wicking away moisture that can make your feet much colder once the temperature drops. This means that by the time you get setting up your telescope, your feet will hopefully be just as comfortable as when you set out.

Bamboo Cable Knit Socks from BAM

The traditional cable knit pattern of these bamboo socks helps to keep the air close to the skin, where it will act as an insulating layer. These socks are made from fibres that are 90% bamboo, which means water doesn’t sit on the surface of the fibres, preventing the growth of odour causing bacteria helping to keep your feet feeling fresh.

It also means the socks are more eco-friendly. As well as being fast growing, bamboo soaks up more carbon dioxide and releases oxygen than most plants, fixing the carbon in the ground.

Did you know?

Alan Shepard used a pair of socks to smuggle some golf balls on to Apollo 14 along with a golf club. He later used these to take a golf shot while on the lunar surface.

Space-themed socks

While a nice pair of thick socks are great for when you’re out in the cold, they’re often a bit much for day-to-day use. However, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your love of all things space. Carry on your passion for the planets and excitement for exploration with these space-themed socks.

Mae Jemisox and Chris Hadfeet from Chatty Feet

Prepare for launch! Head for the International Sock Station with these high quality socks featuring depictions of Mae Jemisox (Mae Jemison who became the first African-American woman in space in 1992) and Chris Hadfeet (Chris Hadfield who filmed his rendition of Space Oddity while onboard the International Space Station in 2013).

The design is woven into the fabric of the sock, meaning the pattern won’t wear off over time. A great gift for children and adults alike, or if you fancy giving your feet a treat, get a pair for yourself.

Assorted Space sock sets

With dozens of options to choose from, you’re bound to find something to suit you amongst these science and space themed socks. The broad range of designs feature astronauts, space ships, planets, equations, constellations and more. You can buy one, four, six, eight or ten pairs, depending on just how much space you have – or need – in your sock drawer.

Yenz Design Socks – Explore Space

An astronaut walks over the surface of an alien planet, beneath a planet-filled sky in these premium quality cotton socks. They come in a gift box bearing a funky and colourful design, which you can either use to store your socks or as a pencil pot etc.

Did you know?

Astronauts on the International Space Station have special slipper socks rather than shoes as they tend to prefer soft footware in microgravity.

Sock It To Me Horsehead Nebula Socks

These knee high socks are an explosion of colour, featuring a stylised design of the Horsehead Nebula.

Constellation socks

Always have a constellation guide to hand – or rather ‘to foot’ – with these socks, depicting the main star patterns in the northern hemisphere.

Personalised Stargazing Dinosaur Socks

Make your spirits ‘saur’ with two golden dinosaurs staring up at the stars from your toes. You can personalise them with a different word on each sock, making these a unique gift.



Elizabeth Pearson
Ezzy PearsonScience journalist

Ezzy Pearson is the Features Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine. Her first book about the history of robotic planetary landers is out now from The History Press.