Knitting Sock Heels – Which One is the One For You?

Welcome to Improve Your Knitting Skills in 30 Days, a knitter’s master class helping you getting better at knitting and learn new knitting techniques and tricks in 30 days! Today we’re answering a frequently asked question: How to choose the heel for you when knitting sock heels?

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If you happen to be a sock knitter, you have to face one question sooner or later: which heel should I choose for my socks? There’s more than one way to knit sock heels each having its advantages and disadvantages. So when to choose which one?

Sock Heel Constructions Methods

Standard Flap Heel

The standard flap heel is the most commonly method used to knit sock heels for knitters who prefer knitting without short rows. (There are variants using a few short rows to turn the heel, though.)

Flap heels are shaped using gusset inserts and most suitable for feet with large insteps. Prominent examples include socks for men, they almost always use flap heels.

Toe-Up Flap Heel

The same principles apply for toe-up flap heels – they use gussets too and are suitable for larger feet and/or feet with large insteps.

The Dutch Heel

Also known as the Square Heel, the Dutch Heel comes without short rows. The main feature are visible, straight lines at the bottom oh the heel and – obviously! – it’s square shape. As there are almost no gusset stitches, Dutch heels are suitable for feet on the smaller side of the spectrum.

German Short Row Heels

The most common method of working short row sock heels are German short row heels, also known as the Boomerang or Kylie Heel, or as Bumerangferse (the German word for it). Main features: it can be worked as an afterthought heel, has a snuggle fit and is easy to knit if you know how to work short rows. It can be worked on any number of stitches.

German short row heels do not feature additional stitches at the instep which makes them the perfect heel for narrow feet or for kids and toddlers.

Other Methods

There are a myriad of other methods, for example the hat heel, or socks worked on the bias, or sideways too. Have a look at my post about sock heels – 5 Ways to Knit Sock Heels – for more details on those.

What is your favorite sock heel? Make sure to let me know by leaving a comment below!

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