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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was able to buy the last 4 pairs of Robert Talbott socks at Filenes for $8 each after I read about them on this board. I like the 4 pairs really really well. but since then, nothing. No new high-end socks. All I'm seeing at the discount stores are Polo, Nautica, Joseph Abboud, Gold Toe and off brands.

I also got burned on a bad pack of Gold Toe dress socks last fall- At least 3 individual socks out of the 4 pair I bought were defective- my toenails popped through two of the socks two days in a row.

I read about Pantherella and these other high or higher-end socks here.

They are simply out of my price range.

Are there any socks that people can recommend between Gold Toe and Robert Talbott?

I talked to a clerk who never heard of Robert Talbott, but recommented John Weitz, Thorlo and Fox River socks. I'm open to suggestions for any sub-$10 per pair socks people swear by. Meanwhile I'm still scouting for Robert Talbotts.
 

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Costco has really good dress socks, and the price is less than $10 for a 4-pack. GAP also has great dress socks at affordable prices. I got a few pairs of Marcoliani and Ben Silver recently, but I still think for everyday office wear, the costco and the GAP socks are unbeatable.
 

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I have JAB socks and they're not bad, I have BB's and also some good johnston and Murphy ones all good - no idea who really makes them. I did finally find some of these much ballyhooed Talbott socks with the elastene and wool etc. and while I like OTC socks i think these feel kind of flimsy, Im not impressed and I wont get more unless these magically wear like iron somehow. I am trying however to head in the direction of wool socks more than cotton.

As to the OP's question I have to give a +1 for the run-of-the-mill gold toes you can get at Costco. As cheap as they are the are comfortable and if they dont last forever, hey they were cheap. I have never had the failures described here with gold-toe so I can still endorse them.

I think the real problem is that nobody makes the Buick of socks, you seem to either get the yugos or the mercedes with not much in the middle thats easy to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Buick of socks is the perfect description. I'll pay $7 per pair for top of the line socks on a regular basis, but the over-$10 pair of socks is just too rich for my blood.

I find that in general, in at least 75% of industries, there is the ultra low end with full manufaturing efficiencies and overseas labor and then there's the specialty products where you not only pay for quality, but pay for the lack of efficiencies.
 

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I have a couple of recommendations for your "Buick" socks, and both are fine American made products. One is from Orvis, made in Vermont, and called something like "Indestructible" or something like that - these are thicker than Pantherellas, but not quite as thick as heavy duty hiking socks. I've been wearing them for years - they are machine washable, very comfortable, and reasonably warm in cold weather, yet great as a Summer athletic sock (I use mine for cycling, as well as for daily wear). The caveat here is that they are very tight fitting, with a lot of elastic material inside - on the recommendation of an Orvis salesman I bought a size up and that works great (correct size is just too tight and hard to get on).
The other is Smartwool. They started out making casual type Merino wool socks, but have expanded their range and make dressy type socks now as well, and these are excellent - very comfortable, a little more body than Pantherellas, and machine washable.
Either of these options is great and, outside of Pantherellas or that Italian brand (M something, the maker of the cashmere socks) are the only makers I'd consider, and actually are the best for real life, day to day wearing, yet fine enough to wear with a suit.
 

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I should add, though, that Smartwool socks will shrink some with machine washing, so buying a size up might be a good idea for these as well. The Italian sock maker I was referring to is Marcoliani-excellent cashmere socks, but they require hand washing.
 

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Go with Wool!

I have the Banks Merino Wool socks and they are comfortable and keep their color well. They could use more elastic as they do no stay put. I see SmartWool has a dress selection but no retailers (In NYC) seem to carry them. You will have to order them via the web. Ovdafut makes great socks but they are cotton (doesn't breathe/wick as well as wool) and are not as colorfast as wool. They are also a little "shmatzy" for my taste.
 

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Nordstrom's Rack has tons of Robert Talbott socks for $5.97 (retail $32.50) and these are high end socks. Don't live The Rack? Someone on styleforum is always selling them for $10 shipped. These socks are the best deals around for good quality socks.

stores in DC area
https://about.nordstrom.com/MapPoint/PrxResults.aspx?&LOC=38.9041871915969%3a-77.0317955349418&CT=38.9041871915969%3a-77.0317955349418%3a1.78126408441369%3a1.33594806331027&DSN=MapPoint.NA&GAD2=&GCITY=&GSTATE=&GZIP=20005&GAD3=+20005&GAD4=&IC=38.9041871915969%3a-77.0317955349418%3a32%3a+20005&DBR=75&FC=Nordstrom%2cSpa%2cRack
 

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I'm surprised to hear about your experience with Gold Toes. Mine have been as durable as any socks I've owned. Were yours purchased as seconds, maybe?

I've owned socks ranging from the very cheap to the very expensive, and have not found that durability increases with price. I'll pay for patterns, but I don't buy Pantherellas expecting them to outlast my Gold Toes. Sometimes they don't last as long. (Full disclosure: I'm not about to start hand washing my socks, so mine lead a fairly rough 'n' tumble existence.)
 
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