High quality socks usually feature hand-linked toes, i.e. their toe areas are smooth, and their toe seams are flat. As a result, socks with hand-linked toes are more comfortable than other socks, though some men don’t notice the difference. Anyway, this hand-linking procedure (a special manually operated machine is used) increases production time and costs. However, it must be noted that nowadays some advanced machines can make very flat toe seams as well (for example, Busi Giovanni machines with Rimaglio option).
Bresciani socks with hand-linked toes.
Corgi socks with hand-linked toes.
Gallo socks with hand-linked toes.
Hand-linked toes can be considered as a hallmark of high quality socks, but I must make two remarks. First, today you can find quite cheap socks with hand-linked toes – and their producers use relatively inexpensive raw materials which are not luxurious. Second, high quality socks sometimes (rarely) do not feature hand-linked toes – for example, you can find very good, nice and durable Marcoliani socks made of extra-long staple cotton from Peru… whose toes are not linked by hand (but I must add that Marcoliani also offers socks with hand-linked toes).
Some brands which offer socks with hand-linked toes: Bresciani, Brioni, Canali, Collonil (sometimes), Corgi, Ecco (sometimes), Falke (not always), Fort Belvedere, Gallo, Gammarelli, Herring, Marcoliani (not always), Mazarin, Pantherella (very often), Richard James, Sorley and Sozzi.