Anatomy of a Sock

A sock is made up of several different sections with different names. Familiarizing yourself with the various parts will ensure that you always know what you're working on!

The cuff is the very top of the sock and the sock is usually either cast on or bound off here. Cuffs are often worked in ribbing to keep the socks up on the leg, or you can work a cuff in a variety of other decorative stitch patterns.

The leg is the portion of the sock up to the heel and shows off different stitch or color patterns. The leg is either straight or shaped to accommodate the size of the calf.

The heel is a portion of the sock that is shaped to fit around the heel of the foot. You can create a heel in different ways with slightly differing fits—and tube socks have no designated heel at all. Common heel types include the short-row heel and the heel flap and gusset.

The foot is the portion of the sock between the heel and the toe. Stitch patterns are most often placed on the top of the foot only, with the sole of the foot worked in stockinette stitch.

The toe is the shaped, closed portion at the bottom of the sock. The toe is sometimes shaped differently depending on the shape of the foot and fit preference.

cuff bind off edge


cuff toe

Socks of other constructions might be knit in a different order, but the parts of the sock remain the same. In a toe-up sock, the toe is worked first, then the foot, the heel, the leg, and then the cuff. The sock is bound off at the top of the cuff.

bind off edge bind off edge

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