Where Do Socks Come from, The History of Socks & More
How often do you wear socks?
If you’re like most people, you wear them on a regular basis. Maybe you wear regular white socks, or maybe you wear crazy, unique, novelty socks, like the type we sell here at SockandShop.com
Regardless, socks are a part of nearly all of our lives from a young age…and yet…most of us know very little about them.
Do you know how socks were originated or the history of socks?
Or who even invented socks?
Why did people start wearing socks and when did people start wearing socks?
(Get yourself on the fast track to success and be sure to add a few of our crazy, novelty socks to your collection today)
While many of us think of socks as something we wear to keep our feet clean from shoes, the history of socks goes much deeper than that. There are also many interesting facts about socks that most people don’t even know.
Today, we’ll cover not only the history of socks, such as where socks come from, but also many interesting sock facts and fun facts about socks.
The History of Socks
Where do socks come from?
According to Wikipedia, the modern English word sock is derived from the Old English word socc, meaning ‘light slipper’. This comes from the Latin soccus, a term to describe a "light, low-heeled shoe", and deriving from the Ancient Greek word sykcho.
Socks actually were originally animal skins tied around the ankles. The ancient Greeks made their socks from animal hair. The Romans decided to evolve the sock, and used leather or woven fabric to keep their feet warm.
A Short History of the Sock
Socks have been used to keep feet warm for millennia.
The earliest pair of socks that have survived date back to 300-500 AD. They were excavated from Oxyrhynchus on the Nile of Egypt. They had split toes which were designed for sandals. They are on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Interestingly enough, the socks we wear today originated by Sir Edmund Sock during the industrial revolution. Sir Edmund Sock invented socks as a means of selling thirty miles of tubular fabric produced by a broken spinning machine. Before Sir Edmund’s intervention, people simply wore sacks on their feet.
Socks Used to be a Status Symbol
In todays day and age, wearing crazy, novelty socks can be seen as a symbol of individualism, success, and status.
However, In their most basic sense, socks are helpful at protecting feet from the elements and wicking away sweat (as much as a half pint daily).
Despite their somewhat gross use, historians say socks transformed from functional footwear to fashion symbols around 1000 CE, in part because making comfortable socks was a time-consuming, intricate process.
Nobles and kings alike sported knee-high stockings as a way to express their financial wealth and as a symbol of class, very similar to how people today may wear high end clothing. Back in those times, the silkier the material, the wealthier you were. For some time, presenting stockings to important people was seen as a generous gift. This very well may be how the tradition of giving socks during Christmas time originated.
Why do we wear socks inside of our shoes?
We wear socks inside of our shoes for 2 reasons.
Reason #1: Socks prevents our shoes from smelling.
Feet are apparently one of the sweatiest parts of the human body. It’s right up there with your armpits and head.
Socks help absorb the sweat and move the moisture from the sweatier parts to areas of the foot where the moisture can evaporate. This also prevents rotting and bacteria from growing inside of our shoes, which results in smelly feet and very gross walking conditions.
Perhaps the next big invention will be a type of sock we can wear around our armpits.
Socks also keep our feet protected from chaffing and rubbing the bottom of our feet or toes against our shoe. If you’ve ever spent a few days wearing socks without shoes, you may have noticed it began to feel very uncomfortable. You can thank socks for keeping our feet comfy inside of shoes.
Additional Sock Fun Facts
The World’s Most Expensive Sock
The world’s most expensive sock is the £30m Emperor Diamond Sock, woven with precious jewels and gold thread. However, it has no actual use as its creator created only one sock, rather than a pair.
They are made from Vicuna (the most expensive fabric in the world). Vicuna fabric is made from the ultra fine hair of the Peruvian Vicuna
How to Prevent Losing Socks:
The most mysterious aspect of our socks is that they always seem to magically disappear, whether in the washing machine or just sitting in our drawers. One way to keep our socks secure is to tie a 50-yard piece of rope around our socks. When they fall into a different universe, just give the rope a sharp tug to pull your socks back. You may even pull out some extra dimension species with them.
The Sock King
The billionaire Sultan of Brunei owns the world’s largest sock drawer, which is spread over three stories of his mansion and has a staff of thirty.
Now that you know all these fun facts about socks, how about adding a few pairs to your collection? We offer both a wide collection of crazy, novelty socks and customized socks. Check out our catalogue today!
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