Reinforced heel for toe-up socks

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With the help of this interactive pattern you can easily make a reinforced flap and gusset heel for your toe up sock. This recipe works for any yarn and gauge and it requires no picking up of stitches. All you need to know is the total amount of stitches you have per sock and your row gauge and you’ll get detailed instructions how to make the heel.

The stockinette version of this heel you can find here.

On you can find also patterns for afterthought heel (toe up or cuff down)short row heel (toe up or cuff down) as well as dutch and french heel for cuff down socks.

Featured socks are made with Novita Nalle which is available on

 sts on my needles  rows / 4” (10cm).

This pattern is written for the magic loop method but you can easily adjust it for the double pointed needles as well.

Gusset increases

You should now have a total of 56 sts divided evenly on two needles (28 sts on each needle). From toe up knit until your work measures 4’’ [10 cm] less than desired length. Start the gusset increases.


Needle 1: k all

Needle 2: m1r, k to end, m1l


Needle 1: k all

Needle 2: k all

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 11 more times. 24 sts increased on needle 2.


You have now 12 gusset sts on each end of needle 2 and 30 sts in the middle. A total of 54 sts on needle 2. While working the short rows the gusset sts are on hold.

Slip stitch pattern

Slip stitch repeat is worked flat over two sts.

Right side rows: k1, sl1 wyib

Wrong side rows: p all

Heel turn with short rows

K until you are at the beginning of needle 2. The following rows 1-4 are worked on needle 2 only. 

Row 1 (RS): k 12 sts, work in slip stitch pattern until 12 sts remain, k2, turn.

Row 2 (WS): mds, p until 12 sts remain, turn.

Row 3 (RS): mds, k2, work in slip stitch pattern to 2sts before double st (adjust sts so that they match the first row), k2, turn.

Row 4 (WS): mds, p to double st, turn.

Repeat rows 3 & 4 until the last row you worked was mds, k2, work 10 sts in slip stitch pattern, k2. Do not turn your work.

On needle 2 you should now have 12 gusset sts, 10 double sts, 10 sts on the right needle and 10 double sts and 12 gusset sts on the left needle.

Reinforced heel flap

K to last double sts, ssk, turn (k together through the back loop the last double sts with the first gusset st on hold.) Please note that double sts are knitted and purled through both legs.

Row 1 (WS): sl1, p to last double st, p2tog, turn

Row 2 (RS): sl1, k1, work in slip stitch pattern to 1 st before slipped st, k1, ssk, turn

Row 3 (WS): sl1, p to slipped st, p2tog, turn

Repeat rows 2 & 3 until you have one gusset st left at each end of the needle 2 (a total of 28 sts left on needle 2).

Round 3 (RS): sl1, k1, work in slip stitch pattern to 1st before slipped st, k1, ssk, continue working in the round and k all sts on Needle 1, k2tog the first two sts on Needle 2, k to end of Needle 2.

You should have a total of 56 sts (28 sts on each needle).

The heel is now finished. Continue working in the round. 

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k = knit

m1l = make one left = from front lift up the thread between two stitches with left needle and knit that stitch in the back loop. Great tutorial here.

m1r = make one right = from back lift up the thread between two stitches with left needle and knit that stitch in front loop. Great tutorial here.

mds = make double stitch = Slip 1 stitch
purlwise with yarn in front. Bring yarn up,
over and back to pull on the slipped stitch
until it slides around to show two legs. If you are unfamiliar with the technique see a tutorial with images here.

p = purl

p2tog = purl two stitches together

rs = right side

sl = slip stitch purlwise

ssk = Slip, slip, knit = slip 1 stitch knitwise, slip another stitch knitwise, then slide the left-hand needle into the front part of both stitches and knit them together

st = stitch

wyib = with yarn in back

ws = wrong side

Thank you so much for reading this far!

Thank you so much for reading this far!

This pattern is provided free of charge but you can support my work by spreading the word.

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Regards Ida

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4 Responses

  1. Beate says:

    Hi Ida,
    I’m totally inspired by your reinforced heel for toe-up socks. The calculation is fantastic….the length fits exactly. The heel fits perfect and is really strong. No pickup stitches, no holes. Thank you very much! I will definitly come back to your site.

  2. I have been looking for a reenforced heel such as this but I knit socks cuff down do you have instructions for it ?

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