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Large Family Sock Conundrum: Bombas are the Bomb

managing socks in a large family

The Large Family Sock Conundrum*. I am just going to assume that any and all families with three or more kids experience this. 

*conundrum: a confusing and difficult problem or question

four happy kids smiling at the camera

We have been through many the many stages of the Large Family Sock Conundrum.

Stage One: 1 child = cute matching socks

Stage Two: 2 children = cute matching socks for boys, cute matching socks for girls

Stage Three: 3 children = any two socks = a pair

Stage Four: 4-6 children = find your own darn socks, they’re all in a basket

Stage Full Blown Crazy: 7 or more children = Socks?! You’re lucky to have three hots and a cot. Here’s some yarn, go knit your own.

Except (some of) my kids expect socks and even want clean ones every day. Others, I have to force (under the threat of extra chores or oatmeal for breakfast) to get them to wear socks. It’s not that I care about their feet so much as the putrid smell that I know will erupt if I let them wear their shoes sockless. 

We have tried various methods of managing socks. Years ago a woman told me she managed socks by buying all plain sports socks; white for the girls and black for the boys. This makes sense, and we did this for a while. The problem I ran into was, when I went back to buy new socks every two or three months, there was always some small change, even when I stuck to the same brand. They either added a colored line…or a gray toe, or something. As if they were purposely foiling my carefully orchestrated Sock Plan. 

bin full of  folded socks

After that I was forced to assign random sock styles to people. I mean, I am all for kids of similar shapes, sizes and genders sharing socks. But with a (current) age range of 4-17  in the house, clearly sharing socks is not an option. For a few years it has worked well to buy Judah white ankle socks and Enoch black ankle socks. They suddenly took ownership and would tenderly gather their own (folded) socks and place them in their overstuffed drawers, like a small flock of fluffy cotton offspring. Or something.

For a few months I have been storing all folded socks in a large bin in a cupboard in our living room. Kids who care can come grab “their” pairs and kids who don’t still have socks. The problem with this method is, I have a certain 12-year-old child who will wear any socks. It doesn’t matter if they belong to four-year old Apollo or Chuck. A sock’s a sock, right?

pink and black Bombas socks

It seems, my friends, that not everyone agrees with that sentiment. We recently had a small, quiet disagreement World War III over Someone wearing Someone Else’s socks. Tears were shed. Angry words were spoken. Fluffy bunnies died. Okay, not really, but it kind of seemed that way.

Bright and early the next morning I hopped online and ordered $138 worth of Bombas Socks. Why Bombas? I had seen them on a couple of blogs I read recently and checked out their site. Not only are their socks cool looking, but they donate a pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. I initially ordered a few (a few in this case being 8; we are a large family after all) pair of socks to try them out. At $8 or $9 a pair, they are not the cheapest option, but I’ve found in my large family quality is often less expensive in the long run than cheap.

a variety of Bombas socks

We loved them. Tilly called them Heaven on Feet. No, I’m not kidding. The bottoms are thicker than the cotton socks I’ve been buying. They have the slightly form-fitting shape that my kids love. They have enough variety in color and style (ankle or calf) that everyone  can have their own. They are stylish. They are lovely.

a variety of Bombas socks

So the morning after the Sock War at our house, I ordered 20 more pair. Oh yes I did. Now each child has their own color and style of Bombas socks. Sorting and folding is a breeze, my basket of folded socks looks beautiful, and most importantly: no more Sock Wars!

kids in clean socks

And we donate 20 pair of socks to a homeless shelter. It’s win-win.

What’s the point of this post? I love Bombas socks and wanted to share them with you. 

You’re welcome.




  1. Liz

    I need to look into something like this. Right now I gave up and we’re living out of a big sock basket in the laundry room. Throwing together the three little boys isn’t that hard. Well used to not be hard. Unfortunately Eli (3) can be very specific and even obsessive about things. We at least own probably seven different styles of toddler to preschool Hanes socks but his have to match or he freaks out.noah could care less. Even if there’s an extra red line.
    Silas has a little basket that I keep and so his are always folded nicely. Parker’s and Brad’s are always getting mixed up because his feet are bigger than mine but not as big as Brad’s. One thing that struck me was he gets holes and we probably throw away socks on a daily basis. I see what you’re saying about quality. These are just socks on Amazon of the normal name brands. I myself just bought six pairs of anklets for less than what you paid for one pair. I’m sure I’ll have holes again soon. but with summer coming I’ll only wear them mostly for walks. Then Olivia’s socks stand out pretty well because she wears bright colors. Most the time she’ll just take any two socks. That’s still cute at 7. and actually come to think of it Parker and I had anklets that are the same size except his his had gray in the heel and on the bottom and mine were only gray on the heel.ugh. So even his and mine were getting mixed up. Maybe something like this would work better. The thing is I almost have all boys and little boys at that with growing feet almost the same siZe. not quite ready to shell out that much for a pair of socks. and I just like them in the traditional white striped socks. The little boys socks actually haven’t had a problem with holes.its just quantity. Their pants are another thing. I think we’ll go to a system like this if our family grows though and we have more girls. Or as the boys get a little older and feet sizing changes

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      You wrote an entire blog post, Liz! So funny. Yeah, when my kids were younger is was a manageable (if not perfect). Right now though, we needed an whole (not HOLE) new method…

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Well, I bought them because I saw them on a different blog and ended up buying them, so its only fair! They seriously rock. You won’t be disappointed. And if you don’t send them to me ;)

  2. Kristal

    Those look like awesome socks. One of my sons tries to wear the same pair for days. His brother got tired of sharing the same “kind” of socks with him because of this and he has his own different socks. Meanwhile my daughter only wears mismatched socks. I’ll never win.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I agree, Tammie, but getting ten kids to put their socks in ten different lingerie bags would be a lesson in futility and frustration over here. I had a friend w/ six kids say any time she found a sock lying out, she made the kid come get it, to train them to put their socks away. The problem is, prior to our Bomba Revolution, I would have no way of knowing who’s sock was whose…

  3. Karen

    These certainly look like some very cozy winter socks! Probably a little warm in the summer though of course. I’ll definitely have to pick some up once fall rolls around again, just like it always does :)

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