What’s the difference between knit custom socks and printed custom socks?

three different socks showing a rainbow trout pattern

You know you want to create a custom sock, but you’re not sure about the difference between a knitted custom sock and a printed custom sock. Both types of custom socks are knit right here in the microsockery from our unique sock silhouettes, designed for performance and durability. PrintMySock orders are also printed in-house. If you’re stymied by which option to pick, we’re here to help you choose which is best for you.

black custom knit socks with a colorful topographic design are stacked on a board in the factory

Knit Custom Socks

Knit socks are created by knitting a modified version of your custom design directly into the sock using computer-controlled precision needles and optical sensors. To manufacture your custom design, we use sustainable, eco-friendly fibers like USA-grown Merino wool from Oregon-based Shaniko Wool Company and recycled performance fiber from Repreve in North Carolina. Aesthetically, we recommend bold, graphic designs that avoid small details, as this translates best in knitted socks.

A big difference between knit socks and printed socks is the order size. At DeFeet, knit socks are for orders of 60 pairs or more. Because you can order many pairs at once, knit socks make perfect holiday gifts and event swag. Our manufacturing process makes it easy to create a large, custom order with the design woven into the fabric itself. Here’s how it works:

  • Submit an inquiry.  A DeFeet representative will contact you to talk about all the details: type of sock, design, and the size of your order. Then they’ll provide a quote.
  • Choose a sock. There are 5 options to choose from, all made from high quality poly or wool blends
  • Design your custom sock. You can send full design, a logo, or just an idea. We’ll work with you to make sure it’s perfect.
  • Review the Proof. Review the digital mock-up of your custom sock and make sure it meets your specifications.
  • Anticipate the arrival of your custom socks!

Usually, orders are processed in 4-6 weeks.

five different images of printed custom socks

Printed Custom Socks

Printed socks are created by sublimation printing. Your design is printed directly onto a blank white All Day or Levitator Lite sock, and heated to ensure colorfastness. Smaller details or photographs can be reproduced on printed custom socks, but the image may be somewhat fuzzy as a result of the sock fiber. 

Unlike many custom socks that are manufactured and printed off-site (or even off-continent), our PrintMySock orders are printed in the same building where they are knit. Printed on our own sock silhouettes, the Levitator Lite and the All Day are both designed for all kinds of use, from outdoor adventure to all day wear.

The biggest consideration between knit and printed socks is order size. If you need a small order of custom socks, then a printed sock is the perfect choice for you. Thanks to our special PrintMySock™ customizer, it’s easy to order as little as one pair of personalized socks.

  • Choose between two different sock types: the Levitator Lite or the All Day
  • Channel your inner designer with the DeFeet Design Portal.
  • The “Paint by Number” option gives you pre-set sock designs to customize—choose this for more design support.
  • The “Upload Your Own Design” option lets you upload your own graphic or image to be printed on your custom sock.
  • Choose hi-res photos in portrait, rather than landscape, and plan to spend some time making sure your image lines up correctly.
  • Add logos, text, or other design elements. The design portal will even take the white background out of logos and photos.

After you order, you’ll get a pair of one-of-a-kind custom socks in about a week!

Start Customizing Today

Whether you choose knit or print, you can rest assured that your socks will be durable, long-lasting and will feature your one-of-a-kind design. Our sock professionals are standing by to help! Start customizing today to get high-quality, custom socks you’ll love.