3 Heels for Customizing Your Knit Socks

It’s no secret that I love knit socks. I love their portability, the way they show off special yarn, and the fun of finding just the right stitch pattern. I especially love customizing them by using a knit sock heel that fits the unique needs of the wearer. That’s why I pulled together this post discussing my three most commonly used knit sock heel styles: the heel flap and gusset, the no-wrap short-row heel, and the forethought heel for cuff down socks.


Of the three, I like the heel flap and gusset the most. It’s the most customizable, and it’s the one I use most often in my designs. You might like one of the others, though, or even a style that I haven’t discussed here. That’s the beauty of knitting: once you have a general idea of what you’re doing, you can start making your own modifications to get the fit that’s best for you.

Heel Flap and Gusset: A Classic

The heel flap and gusset form a traditional heel that is one of the most customizable and adaptable. If you have a high instep, this is a great heel for you. Ordinarily, you work the heel flap across an equal, even number of stitches and rows to form a square flap. If you have a high instep, however, you can add additional rows to create a fit that better contours to your foot shape.

Forethought Heel: Quick and Familiar

Working the forethought heel, which you’ll sometimes see called the peasant heel, requires a strand of spare waste yarn, and is knit after the rest of the sock is finished. This tends to be a shallower heel, so it’s great for people with lower insteps. If, however, you have a higher instep and still like the look of this knit sock heel, you can make it a little roomier by adding a few rounds of knit stitches at the beginning of the heel before you start your decreases.

No-Wrap Short-Row Heel: for Knitters in a Hurry

The no-wrap short-row heel is the quickest heel discussed here. You work this heel across half the stitches of your sock, and it tends to be a somewhat shallow heel. If you have a higher instep, you may notice a little pulling across the top when you wear the sock.

Curious to learn more about knitting or to dig deeper into knit sock heels? Click on through for tutorials, free patterns, technique tips, and more.

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