After discovering and seeing the excellent prices, you're excited to order a pair of new pro-style ice hockey socks. However, after receiving them and trying them on, you're unsure if you're still as happy. Don't worry; this is a common response, particularly if you're used to the knitted poly/cotton tube-style hockey socks that have been around forever.

The difference in material is the first factor that makes the new pro-style socks fit and feel distinct from whay you may be used to. Knitted socks contain more stretch because they blend a synthetic fabric (polyester) with a natural fiber (cotton). This stretch allows for a snug, but not tight, fit that can be adjusted to your preference with shin pad tape or straps.

The second factor is how the socks are constructed. The older knitted styles are created by knitting, similar to how your great granny might knit a new sweater. Poly/cotton socks have no seams or stitching where the stripes are, so the socks expand and contract easily based on the pliability of the material.

In contrast, newer pro-style socks are cut and sewn from various materials to provide a better fit, performance, and durability. A rigid, durable fabric is used for the shin and knee area, followed by moisture-wicking stretch material in the thigh. If there are stripes, they're wrapped around the sock and sewn on, which changes the socks' fit and feel.

Because the striping is made from heavy-weight material and sewn to the sock's body, it doesn't stretch as much as a knitted sock, making the socks feel a little tight, particularly if you wear bulky shin pads. If this is your first time wearing the pro-style socks, give it some time to adjust, and you'll soon become a fan of the new style.

A good rule of thumb is that the more stripes on the pro-style socks, the less stretch they'll have. Although they may cost a little more upfront and take some getting used to, the new pro-style socks are a great option when you consider how easily old knitted poly/cotton socks rip and tear.