How To Knit Sock Heels

Welcome to the next part of the tutorial an sock knitting and design: Sock Knitting for Everybody! Today’s topic is all about how to knit sock heels: which sock heels are out there, and when to work which one?

Sock Knitting for Everybody: Table of Contents

There’s myriad of sock heel variants out there in the knitting wild: flap heels, round heels, short row heels, afterthought heels are just a few of them. My all-time favorite are German short row heels but I enjoy working a Dutch heel occasionally, too – especially when knitting my socks top-down.

How to Knit Sock Heels

There are many variants of knitting sock heels: You can work them from top down, toe-up, with or without flaps, with instep shaping or without, and by using short rows.

Here’s an overview.

Stitch Patterns in Sock Heels

When knitting socks, I mostly chose two stitch pattern variants for their heels: plain stockinette (or reverse stockinette) stitch, and slip-stitch ribbing. To add extra durability, you can use reinforcement yarn (thin polyester thread) together with the main yarn during heel knitting. The latter was a commonly used technique for sock knitting in the 1980s where I grew up, and some knitters still swear it’s the best thing ever!

Personally, I don’t care much for polyester yarns at all, and reinforcement yarn is no exception. I have to admit it has its advantages, though – there are quite a few pairs of socks in my drawers with holes in their heels due to heavy wear; maybe reinforcing the heel could have prevented this.

What’s your preferred variant of knitting sock heels? I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

4 thoughts on “How To Knit Sock Heels

  • Rochelle

    Re: my previous email–I always knit toe-up.

  • Rochelle

    I know Cat Bordhi has a video of her Sweet Tomato Heel, but I need a printed tutorial. I just learn best that way. I’ve been all over the web, and some PDF’s have mysteriously become blank pages or dead links, while others are infested with malware. Techniques can’t be copyrighted, so this is puzzling.

    Do you have a tutorial for this?

  • Wanda Rooken

    I’ m in love with the Sweet Tomato Heel by Cat Bordhi.
    In my case with absurdly fixed ankles and pointed feet below the ankle it’s difficult to macht my personal needs. But the sweet tomato heel can worked over just one, two or the complete 3 sections.
    Usually I knit only 2 wedges with fewer stitches and then maybe a half section if the sock still doesn’t fit me like I want.

    As a Dutch girl I’m aware of the Dutch heel but when your feet are pointed you will always get wrinkles in the back. And those hurt my body.

    So my definitely favorite heel construction is the Swwet Tomato Heel.

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