Unusual Facts About Socks

Socks are for much more than keeping your feet warm, comfortable and protected. They are also a valuable fashion accessory that can be a vital part of anyone’s wardrobe. Plus, they have an interesting history that can only be described as unusual and strange.

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Here are a few examples of weird facts about socks.

1 – The Word Sock Actually Means Light Slipper

The origin of the word sock can be traced back to the Old English word ‘socc’ which comes from the Latin word ‘soccus’ which was used at the time to describe a light, low-heeled shoe. It may have also had a connection with the Ancient Greek word ‘sykkos’ which referred to a thin shoe that was worn with a sandal. Over time, socc, which loosely translated to mean a light slipper, evolved into the word sock that we use to describe that foot warming sleeve worn with shoes or sandals.

2 – We Know, We Suggested Wearing Socks With Sandals

Well, as history appears to show, the original sock was actually meant to be worn with sandals. The earlier socks discovered actually featured a split toe design which would have made them the footwear accessory of choice for the average sandal wearer.

Oddly enough, in today’s world wearing socks with sandals is considered a fatal fashion error and toe socks have moved from fashion accessory to novelty fashion item.

3 – Not All Socks Were Made Of Breathable Cotton or Cotton Blend

Apparently ancient Greeks were slightly ahead of their time back at about the 8th Century. That was when they were well-known for wearing socks – or at least foot protection – that was made from matted animal fur.

While they would have provided a fair deal of protection regarding moisture getting into them from rain, hiking through mud and rivers, the fur socks of Ancient Greeks would also have been very warm. Sometimes too warm on a hot summer’s day.

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4 – Having Socks Used To Mean You Were A Somebody

It was around the 10th century when socks had moved from the functional footwear category to the territory of fashion symbol. This was directly related to the fact that comfortable, fashionable socks were such a time consuming product to produce that only the rich could afford them. Socks eventually because a measuring tool where you could easily assume the wealth of the person wearing them as knee-high stockings were all the rage with nobles, royals and kings. Long silken socks told others that you were loaded and sat high on the class standing scale.

5 – A Sock Knitting Machine Sped Up Production For An Entrepreneur

An English clergyman named William Lee invented a knitting machine in 1589. By that time socks were a necessity and Lee’s wife was making money hand-knitting them. However, she could not keep up with the demand. The knitting machine turned her part-time hobby into a legitimate home-based business producing socks eight times faster than she could make them by hand.

6 – Queen Elizabeth Was Not Supportive Of The Knitting Machine

So, here it is. A newly-invented knitting machine that spits out socks faster than anything before it. The inventor, William Lee, goes to Queen Elizabeth seeking a patent and the royal wanted nothing to do with it. Granting a patent would have meant that she endorsed the invention and as it turns out, she wasn’t fond of the product it was producing. That’s right, Queen Elizabeth felt the wool socks being mass produced by Lee’s wife were substandard.

7 – Another Inventor Actually Hated Socks For His Entire Lifetime

Albert Einstein was known to be somewhat of an eccentric. One of his most interesting quirks – and there were plenty – was that he had a healthy hate-on for socks. Einstein disliked them so much that he quit wearing any from an early age. His argument was centered on not seeing a practical reason for wearing both socks and shoes. He also didn’t like that his big toes would typically poke holes in his socks over time.

8 – Just For The Heck Of It, Visit Datang, Sock City

There is actually a Sock Capital of the World. In eastern China you will find the Datang district. This happens to be the top sock producing region on the planet. The total is about 40% of the world’s socks is made here and as a result, the region has become known as quite simply, Sock City. The production figures indicate that so many socks are made here that they produce enough to supply two pairs for every person on Earth.

Socks Have Sure Come A Long Way

Thanks to today’s world of tech you can order socks online, you can even design your own socks. If you have some creative ideas and want to try your hand at creating custom socks to buy, simply download our app and create your customized socks!

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