What do keen shots say? What's the correct form?

The right way of wearing shooting socks – and what not to do.

Liam Bell, chairman of the National Gamekeepers Organisation and Shooting Times contributor says: ” Being very much a traditionalist, the incorrect wearing of shooting socks irks me somewhat, when really it shouldn’t. The stocking should always be worn over the plus- two , plus- four or shooting breek, regardless of whether it has a buckle, a Velcro strap or an elasticated bottom. The stocking should be held in place by a garter, neatly tied above the breek fastener with just an inch or two of the flash showing, then folded down. Any knit, any colour, any style, just so long as they are worn properly.”



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Patrick Galbraith, editor of Shooting Times commented: “‘The proper way of wearing shooting socks? For years I wore mine underneath my breeks until an old farmer in Shropshire took me aside and told me ‘it really wasn’t acceptable’ – for the most part, though, I’m just happy to find a matching pair.”

plus fours

Rob Fenwick, Managing Director of EJ Churchill replied from a grouse moor: “So the proper way is with your socks over your breeks and with your garter then over the sock and the strap / buckle of your breeks. You then fold the top of the sock down over the garter which cover the bow and leaves the tassels showing a little bit. This is the only way.

“My tip is to get breeks that are long so that when you bend your knee when going over fences etc the breeks don’t pull away from your socks and show your legs. Obviously wrong. If the breeks are long then when you bend the knee it takes up the slack of the breeks that are dropping down around the knee. This is the correct way.”
shooting socks
Editor of Sporting Gun Matthew Clark advises: “I always wear mine over the cuffs of my breeks. I feel it looks smarter. My favourite pair of socks are the compression socks from Harkila because they reduce leg fatigue and look very smart. You don’t get the Nora Batty wrinkles at the ankles with these socks. Sadly they are no longer available. I would say always invest in a good pair of socks because they are part of the “comfort system” of your boots. It’s amazing the difference a quality pair of socks can make to the comfort of your feet.”
Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner comments that he wears his shooting socks: “Under my trousers. Breeks are strange garments which serve no useful purpose other than to drive sales of long, brightly coloured, expensive socks!”

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But John Sugden, who heads up Royal Warrant holders Campbells of Beauly wouldn’t be without his: “If I’m stalking I always wear longer plus-fours, and I pull the sock up and buckle the plus-four on top of the sock. I also like a comfortable cushion foot sock for extra comfort on the long walk.

“When on the peg, I tend to wear breeks. The shorter breek allows for a fancy cuff sock to be worn and seen, and the sock is work over the buckle of the breeks this time.  I really like the chess board cuff’s, preferably in a bright colour. I’m going for purple at the moment. “