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How To Cut Soccer Socks? 2 Common Ways

How To Cut Soccer Socks? 2 Common Ways

You must have seen elite soccer players wear ripped socks that made you wonder if they were too poor to afford a new pair. Perhaps, you have not paid attention to this seemingly crazy trend even.

The last time, we told you all the possible reasons why soccer players cut their socks, and the top on the list was comfort. Well, ever since we made that post, we have received numerous messages from our readers asking us the proper way to cut their socks.

Soccer players usually wear two thick pairs of socks because they are mandated to wear the official team kit but often have a preferred choice of socks that gives them better comfort and stability.

Soccer shoes and socks are on the field

Considering the fact that their boots are often custom made, wearing two thick pairs of socks will make the boots really tight and uncomfortable.

To pull off the stunt of wearing multiple socks, soccer players often have to cut one of the pairs of socks (the official socks). Also, if soccer players dared to wear both pairs of socks without cutting them, their feet would sweat a lot and make them uncomfortable throughout the duration of the game.

If you got hooked on the idea of cutting soccer socks after reading the benefits we mentioned in our earlier post, we got you covered. Today, we are going to give you a practical guide on how to cut your socks like a pro.

A soccer player is adjusting his socks

How to cut soccer socks?

There are two main ways that soccer players cut their socks. The first is to take out the entire ankle area downward leaving only a hollow tube that looks like a footless sleeve.

The other way that soccer players cut their socks is to make holes of about one inch in diameter randomly around the calf. There are pros of each method and your choice will depend on what you want to achieve.

adidas Rivalry Soccer Socks (2-Pair), Black/White, X-Small
  • Moisture-wicking yarn keeps your feet cool and dry.
  • Arch and ankle compression for added stability.
  • Cushioned foot provides protection from impact. Smooth flat-knit leg

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why cut socks into footless sleeves?

Some soccer socks are designed with ribs under the foot to improve grip so that the player’s leg doesn’t slide around in the boots. Players who cut their official team socks into a footless sleeve make it possible to wear the improved socks underneath.

This allows them to enjoy the full benefits of the improved socks without going against the team regulation which specifies that they must wear the official team kit. Peradventure you are asking, “Why can’t they wear the improved socks rather than going through the stress of cutting their socks?”

Well, most soccer teams have struck deals with soccer gear manufacturers which often include the compulsory wearing of the kit with the manufacturer’s logo in all their games. Wearing a different kit without the partnering manufacturer’s logo on it amounts to a breach of contract and can attract a serious fine.

Why cut tiny holes in the calf?

Newer soccer kits are made of improved materials and have become tighter compared to maybe two decades ago.

For example, two decades ago and longer, it was a common sight to see players’ socks slide down their ankles as they play forcing them to bend down every now and then to pull them up. Today, the socks are usually so tight that some soccer players can go the entire ninety minutes without bending to adjust their socks.

adidas Copa Zone Cushion 4 Soccer Socks for Boys, Girls, Men and Women (1-Pair), Argentina Blue/White, X-Small
  • This product is made with recycled content as part of our ambition to end plastic waste.
  • Moisture-wicking yarn keeps your feet dry from sweat.
  • Classic 3-stripe finish at the welt and a centerfront badge of sport logo.

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

However, this improved fitness comes at the expense of comfort. Players with large calf muscles often feel like the socks are constricting their blood vessels and cutting their circulation.

Cutting small holes at the back of the calves helps to relieve this pressure and makes their legs breathe more freely. Also, cutting small holes in the calves improves air circulation which helps to keep their legs less sweaty.

Although there is little scientific evidence to back up the claim that cutting small holes in the calf can reduce muscle cramps, it has not stopped elite England and Manchester City defender, Kyle Walker, from donning ripped socks.

Now that you know the pros of cutting socks, we guess that your interest has spiked even further. Don’t worry, see the step-by-step guide on how to cut soccer socks below.

How to cut soccer socks into a footless sleeve?

This is arguably the most popular way soccer players cut their socks. Interestingly, the referees do not have any problem with this and no soccer player on record has been penalized for cutting their socks into a footless sleeve.

The reason for cutting socks this way is to bypass the restriction that forces soccer players to wear a particular type of socks.

Below are the steps to cut soccer socks into a footless sleeve:

Step 1. Put on the preferred socks with the ribbed bottom. Make sure that the height of the socks is no more than mid-shin.

Step 2. Take the official team socks and cut them around the ankle area. An important point to note here is to make sure that you do not perform the cut in an area with too much stitching, padding, or ribs since you want to achieve a smooth cut. The cleaner the cut the less likely the socks will start fraying, which means you can use them longer.

use scissor to cut a blue soccer sock

Step 3. Pull the team socks over the custom socks and pull them up all the way to the knee. At this point, your job is almost done.

Step 4. Slide in your shin pad so that it stays in between your choice socks and the official team socks that you have just cut.

Step 5. Tape up the split between your choice socks and the official team socks so that no one will be able to see the gap. The tape will also help to hold your shin pad in place.

tape up the split of two socks


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Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pro Tips: The sharper your pair of scissors, the cleaner cut you can get. However, if you are unable to achieve a clean cut, use a lighter to burn the edges of the cut area of the official team socks. This will prevent fraying when you wrap it with athletic tape.

Without this, when you try to take the tape off, the string adhesive will pull on the loose threads which will cause your cut socks to wear out faster. However, you can ignore this advice if you only intend to use the socks once—like professional soccer players.

Another important point to note when taping your cut socks is to match the color of the tape with the color of your official team socks or the color of the socks you are wearing underneath (which is most probably white).

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Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Soccer has some strict rules including the one that says the color of the socks must match the jersey. The referee may ask you to go and change your socks if he or she notices a disturbing disparity in color.

How to cut holes or patches on calves?

Socks often get tighter around the calf area, especially for soccer players with muscular calves. Thankfully, some brands are beginning to listen to soccer players and have started making socks that are not so tight around the calves.

Nevertheless, if you still have socks that are tight on the calves that you almost feel constricted, take the following steps to cut small holes into the calves.

Step 1. Wear the socks and pull them all the way up to the knees

Step 2. Use a permanent marker to draw tiny circles on the areas of the socks that you want to cut

use a marker to draw circles on blue soccer socks

Step 3. Pull off the socks and get your pair of scissors and start cutting off the tiny holes you have drawn

Step 4. To make the cutting easier, pinch the circles you drew on the socks together to form a cone. Use the scissors to cut the base of the cone which will leave you with a nice little hole in the socks.

pinch to form a cone to cut circles on blue soccer socks

adidas Rivalry Field Socks - Multi Sport Over the Calf (OTC) Socks for Boys, Girls, Men and Women (2-Pair)
  • Moisture-wicking yarn keeps your feet cool and dry.
  • Arch and ankle compression for added stability.
  • Cushioned foot provides protection from impact.

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pro Tip: Referees are beginning to clamp down on players that have too many holes cut in their socks. Therefore, if you must do this, limit the holes to no more than five and make sure that they are not wider than one inch in diameter.


Obviously, cutting holes in socks is not a feature that you can roll back when you are tired. Therefore, you have to be pretty sure that you know what you are doing—or at least can afford to get a new pair—before getting started.

Also, unlike cutting the socks into footless sleeves, cutting holes in the socks takes away from their beauty. Also, the chances of fraying are higher with the more holes you cut in the socks.

Nevertheless, we still cannot take away the fact that official team socks are not the most comfortable. So, if you need to wear more comfortable socks with grip pads on the bottom to prevent your feet from sliding around in your boots and causing injuries, you know what to do. All you need is a pair of really sharp scissors and a steady hand.