very little difference (sometimes!)
HUGE differences (other times!)
many knitting techniques are reversible --you can increase in one direction or decrease in the other directions…
but for socks, the big difference are
Cast ons /bind offs
(obviously use different castons for toe up and different bind offs too)
but there are cast ons that look like grafting, and cast off’s that look like cast ons…(so you can have almost identical socks…)
the HEEL is the main point of differences…
there are bi-directional heels (ie short row heels) and there are flat/turned/gusseted heels for toe up.
they are not identical… but close. IN APPEARENCE–in the process of creating them? there can be radical differences!
there are sock designers (tsock tsarina of the Fleece sock club) who have actually designed a pair of socks (one knit toe up, one knit cuff down) knit both ways…
the socks are not identical… but at first glance… they look it.
neither style is harder or easier… its just what you like or are used to…
(i alternate (not A/B, A/B,) and use both styles.
current sock on needles? cuff down, previous 2 pairs? toe up. before that 3 pairs in a row, cuff down…)