How to Keep Hockey Socks Up : A Comprehensive Guide

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Hockey is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled sport that requires a considerable degree of agility and strength. However, the enjoyment and optimization of your game can be hampered by trivial hiccups such as “hockey socks” that just won’t stay up!

Don’t worry, though. Here are few tried and tested methods that will ensure your hockey socks stay up during the entire game, allowing you to focus on the more important shots.

1. The Hockey Garter Belt

The garter belt initially came from the fashion industry and later crossed over to the hockey world. It’s a belt worn around the waist, with straps running down to the socks. The straps have clips at the end that hook onto the tops of the socks, keeping them up.

The Steps:

  • Step 1: Wrap the garter belt around the waist and fasten it securely. It should sit comfortably without impeding movement.
  • Step 2: Extend the straps to the top of the socks, one strap per sock.
  • Step 3: Fasten the clips to the socks securely.

Note: Take your time to adjust the tension in the straps, ensuring that the socks are comfortable and snug but don’t restrict any movement.

2. Hockey Sock Tape

Hockey sock tape is another popular method chosen by players, especially those who find the garter belts uncomfortable. The tape wraps around the socks, causing them to cling onto the leg and stay up.

The Steps:

  • Step 1: Pull up the socks as high as they will go.
  • Step 2: Using the hockey sock tape, wrap it around the top of the socks, below the knee. Don’t make it too tight – circulation is important!
  • Step 3: Use a few more wraps of tape around the socks for added support, if necessary.

Note: When taking off the tape, avoid directly ripping it off. This might lead to damaging your socks, and it could also hurt! Cut the tape slowly and carefully using a pair of scissors.

3. Modern Hockey Jock Shorts

One of the last alternatives is to utilize modern hockey jock shorts or pants that come with velcro tabs or hooks which can be used to maintain your sock in its position.

The Steps:

  • Step 1: Locate the velcro tabs on the shorts. They’re usually situated on the front and back.
  • Step 2: Pull up your socks, attaching the top to the velcro tabs so they’re held securely in place.

Note: Ensure that the socks are snug, but not overly stretched. If you hook them up too high, it might become uncomfortable as you play.

Additional Methods to Keep Hockey Socks Up

Beyond the traditional garter belt, hockey sock tape, and modern hockey jock shorts mentioned previously, other practical solutions have kept evolving over time, helping hockey athletes ensure their socks stay in place during gruelling games and practices. Let’s dive into more options!

4. Using Clear Tape

While some athletes use hockey-specific sock tape, others choose to utilize clear tape for holding up their hockey socks.

The Steps:

  • Step 1: Pull up the socks as far as they can go.
  • Step 2: Wrap the clear tape around the top of the sock, just below the knee. Ensure the tape is tight enough to hold the sock in place but loose enough to not hinder circulation.
  • Step 3: Applying additional wraps of clear tape at mid calf can add another stabilizing point.

Remember, clear tape might not offer the same level of hold as hockey sock tape, and though it might not visually show, care should be taken to avoid skin irritation.

5. The Skate Lace Technique

Some players prefer using an old-school technique involving a lace that ties the socks to the underlayer or base layer you’re wearing.

The Steps:

  • Step 1: Thread a long hockey or skate lace through the top of your hockey socks.
  • Step 2: Wrap the lace around your waist, over top of your base layer but under your equipment shorts.
  • Step 3: Tie off the lace securely, but not tightly, making sure the socks are held comfortably in place.

Think of this method as a makeshift garter belt. Even though it might not be the most sophisticated method. It’s quick, cost-effective, and gets the job done!

6. Compression Shorts with Sock Tabs

Compression shorts are a fantastic and popular modern alternative. Similar to hockey jock shorts, they include Velcro or button tabs, but also provide the added benefit of muscle support during gameplay.

The Steps:

  • Step 1: Slide on your compression shorts as usual.
  • Step 2: Attach your hockey socks to the tabs provided on the shorts. Typically, there are four tabs – two on the front and two on the back.

This method neatly tucks away under your hockey pants, providing a comfortable, practical, and barely noticeable solution for holding up those hockey socks.

The Use of Rubberized Elastic Bands

Rubberized elastic bands are an excellent option to keep your hockey socks up, acting as an anchor to hold them.


  • Step 1: Locate rubberized elastic bands. These are usually flat, wide bands similar to headbands but with a layer of rubber lining on the inside.
  • Step 2: Slip on your hockey socks.
  • Step 3: Roll or fold the top of the hockey socks over the rubberized elastic bands.

Note: Ensure the bands are placed comfortably on your thighs. They should be secure enough to hold the socks but not too tight to restrict circulation or movement.

Using High Compression Hockey Socks

High compression hockey socks are the latest advancement. In the industry and are designed to alleviate the problem of falling socks.


Highly Elastic:

These socks are made with a high blend of elastic fibers. Ensuring they can grip strongly onto your legs.

Integrated Belt System:

Some models contain an internal waistband that helps keep the socks in place without requiring any additional equipment.


They provide extra padding and moisture-wicking fibers, ensuring gameplay comfort.

Upgrade to a Better Fit

When all else fails, it might be time to consider a better-fitted pair of hockey socks.

Important Factors:

  • Size: Ensure that the socks are neither too tight nor too loose. They should match your leg length and circumference. A well-fitted sock feels snug and doesn’t droop.
  • Material: Look for a sock made with an elastic material or specialized fibers designed for better grip on the skin or underlying layer.
  • Brand: Consider opting for brands known for the quality and design of their hockey socks.

Remember, while your primary focus should be the game, taking care of even the smallest details such as keeping your hockey socks up can significantly enhance your performance and overall hockey experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Keeping Hockey Socks Up

Below are some commonly asked questions. Players have when faced with the task of keeping their hockey socks up during a game.

1. Why don’t my hockey socks stay up?

The likely cause could be the size, material, or quality of the socks. They could be too big or lack the essential elastic material needed for a perfect fit.

2. Do I have to use hockey sock tape every time I play?

Not necessarily. Hockey sock tape is merely one solution. You can explore other methods like using a garter belt, hockey jock shorts, rubberized elastic bands, or even purchase high compression hockey socks that are designed to stay up.

3. Can I play without hockey socks?

Technically, nothing is stopping you. However, hockey socks provide a layer of protection, absorb sweat and increase the comfort inside your hockey skates. Therefore, it’s best to keep them on.

4. Are there specific brands of hockey socks that stay up better than others?

Certain brands do indeed offer higher-quality materials that provide better elastic properties, which helps the socks stay up. It is suggested to try a few different brands to see what works best for your needs.

5. Can the way I wash my hockey socks affect their ability to stay up?

Yes, washing can affect the elasticity of socks. It is recommended to always follow the care instructions found on your hockey socks. Avoid high-temperature washing and drying as heat may cause the elastic fibers to stretch and lose their elasticity.

6. Can using a skate lace to keep my hockey socks up damage the socks?

If done properly, the skate lace method should not cause any damage to your hockey socks. You’re merely threading the lace through the existing band of the socks and securing around your waist or thigh. Make sure not to pull or tug too hard to avoid causing unnecessary tension or damage.


Maintaining your hockey socks up is a small, but critical aspect of playing hockey. It reduces distractions and lets you focus on the game. Whether you choose a traditional approach such as a garter belt, a more modern method with hockey jock shorts or the commonly used hockey sock tape, there’s a solution for everyone to enjoy their game unhindered.

Remember, you’re supposed to be playing the most exciting sport in the world. Not consistently pulling up your socks!

Nazrul Islam: Nazrul is an established author and the esteemed Sports Editor of the ADT Canada Russia Challenge. His passion for sports journalism is evident in each article he crafts, giving life to statistics and scores.
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