Pointy Toes (A Sock Rant)

I enjoy knitting socks, but I don’t enjoy wearing hand-knit socks. Why? Because of the toes. I don’t like those pointy V toes! I’m not talking about how you finish the toes (kitchener, or 3-needle bind off, or pull the yarn through the remaining loops), I’m talking about the toe decreases on the sides that end up making the toe pointed no matter how you finish it off.

I don’t like the way it looks and I really don’t like the way it feels. I don’t have V-shaped toes and I don’t know of anyone else who has V-shaped toes, so I don’t want to knit V-shaped socks.

Do I have any other options? I have several sock books but I don’t see anything else I can do. (BTW - have you ever noticed that the socks are photographed from the side so it looks like the toes are nice and rounded?)

I haven’t tried a toe-up pattern, is that any better? I’ve heard that toe-up patterns are harder to find. Please help, because I’m very discouraged right now.

Hi! :waving:

Like you, I don’t like the pointy toes on hand-knit socks. Here’s how I handle it –

On many patterns it says to knit to where you have 4 stitches left at the toe - 2 on each needle. I knit until I have at least 8 stitches left (4 or each needle) or even more, depending on how it looks with the yarn. Then I use Kitchener stitch to graft the opening closed.

If the length of the sock comes up a bit short on the toe decreases, just add a couple of rows when you first start the decreases and it’ll work itself out.

Hope this helps!


I knit round toes. 'Cos my toes aren’t pointy!
HERE is a pattern I found that has round toes… And HERE is another. There used to be a web site that had a wonderful selection of toes and heels, but the link no longer works.
Maybe one of these will be good for you.

One thing you can do is decrease more often toward the end. Also when start to graft take the second stitch and pull it over the first stitch on each needle then graft. I haven’t tried it, but it’s supposed to make them neater w/o those points.

there a few different ways of shapng toes. These are the the toe shaping instructions i use: Persnickety Knitter anatomically correct socks.

I like this because it is a formula that can be used on any sock pattern in place of the normal toes. I am going to have look at the toes in the other patterns mentioned here.

On my first pair of socks I “messed up” by decreasing till there were 12 on each needle instead of 12 (6 on each needle).

I didn’t realize it till I did the second sock…and then I realized I LIKED it that way…makes a much rounder toe.

I also don’t decrease down to as few stitches as called for in most patterns. I start decreasing at about 1 3/4" instead of 2" and when I get down to about 20 stitches I decrease every row for a couple of rows and I start grafting with 16 stitches left 8 on each needle and they fit the shape of my toes well. I vary the stitch count a bit depending on the weight of the yarn I used.

I haven’t read the other replies, so forgive me if I’m repeating, but this is what I do. I decrease as the pattern says to (every other row, with plain knit rows alternating) until I have half the number of stitches left. So if I started off with 60sts, I do toe decreases every other round until 30sts remain. Then I switch to doing toe decreases [U]every round[/U] until approximately 10-12sts remain (depending on how many stitches you start with, and I kind of go until the toe “looks right”) and then graft.

I agree 100%. I have been trying to figure out how to make the toe decreases in such a way that they actually fit my foot. Those instructions seem to fit the bill. Another "adjustment I make to get a better fit is to do a decrease on each side of the sole where your foot narrows, knit about an inch and then increase back. This gives a sung fit under the arch of your foot.

Everything my grandma knits has points, gloves, mitts, socks, slippers…but she also doesn’t us a pattern for anything either…shrugs

You all are awesome! Thank you so much for the suggestions and links to websites. I’m glad to find out that I’m not the only one who has a problem with the toes.

Last night when I posted this, I had just finished a sock and had tried it on, so I was not in the best frame of mind. I was so upset that I told my husband I wasn’t knitting any more socks. You’ve made me change my mind – thanks!

“Joan’s Favorite Toe” is a gradual, rounded taper for the toe:

This is the one I use almost exclusively.

Thank you! However, I’m not sure I understand the instructions. Does ‘do this part twice (or 3 times)’ mean just the knit round?

You could do a short row toe. I did my first pair of socks with a short row heal and toe and they turned out very nice and rounded. I also really like to knit sock toe up. You could always try that way and then try on the toe and if you don’t like it you didn’t spend that much time on it. I often start with 8 stitches on top and 8 stitches on bottom with a magic cast on for toe up socks.

McKnitty, you would do everything since the dotted line above the step the specified number of times. There are actually five steps to the toe:

  1. Work a decrease round, then 3 rounds even.
  2. Work a decrease round, then 2 rounds even. [I]Repeat this step twice.[/I]
  3. Work a decrease round, then 1 round even. [I]Repeat this step three times.[/I]
  4. Decrease every round until you have a total of 16 stitches left. (I have found the “16 stitches” is not a hard and fast number. Depending upon my gauge and the size/shape of the sock wearer’s foot, I decrease till I have 12-24 stitches.)
  5. Kitchener toe seam together.

It’s truly a comfortable toe!

I checked out the ‘Round Toe’ sock pattern and I think I would like to try the pattern. I am a beginner with knitting so my question is what size is the sock pattern for that is being shown?

I wear a size 8,8 1/2 shoe will that sock fit ?

Denise in Michigan with your five steps to the toe, can that work on any sock pattern?

It will work on any top-down sock! (I’m sure it could be done in the opposite order for a toe-up sock, but it might be a bit tricky to determine on step four how many “decrease every round” rounds to do.) Sorry it took me a couple days to answer this!

Gee, that sounds a little weird. Anyway, I gathered up my courage this weekend and took the toe out all the way to the row before the toe decreases, then I knit Joan’s Favorite Toe.

It is a huge improvement! Although I must admit that the toe on my sock isn’t quite as round as the picture on the website (for Joan’s Favorite Toe) but it looks much better and feels more comfortable too. Thanks Denise in Michigan for posting.

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement. I was so excited about the toe improvement that I immediately cast on for the 2nd sock and I’m already to the gusset. Hooray for socks! :cheering: