I mostly knit socks to fit a women wearing a size 7-8 shoe (give or take a bit in the length). If I know someone has a small foot, I knit them with four fewer stitches and a few rows shorter in the foot. I don’t actually knit socks in “inches”; I knit them by counting rows so I know precisely how long each section of the sock actually is without the uncertainty of stretching it against a ruler.
This pair of socks is intended for a man wearing a size 9 1/2 shoe. So I added 6 rows to my usual foot length. With a bit of washing (even in cold water) which will shrink the socks a tiny bit they should fit nicely. Just waiting for an occasion to pass the socks along.
The socks aren’t “dull”, but they are sedate, I’d say. No bright colours. Just a wee bit jazzy.