Here at Shoeaholics Anonymous we talk a lot about shoes. A lot.
But there’s another related article of clothing that we tend to neglect. I’m talking about socks. Some shoes need socks – period. And some, like sandals, should never be donned with socks (although ancient Egyptians sometimes did).
Everyone wears socks from an early age, so much so we sort of take them for granted. Many people think of them as plain white barriers between a foot and a shoe. But socks are so much more than that. And there are even occasions and health conditions that call for special socks you won’t find in a 12-pack.
There are two instances where custom socks play a role in sports. One is in terms of team spirit. In sports like soccer, volleyball and baseball teams will customize socks with logos, numbers, and colors so they match the rest of the uniform.
There is also a performance factor. Playing sports takes a toll on your feet unless games are played in a pool. Some athletic shoes, like cleats, require the use of socks with cushion, slip resistance and moisture-wicking properties. Few people realize that our feet sweat more than almost any other part of the body!
The first socks in history were very utilitarian garb that was fashioned out of animal skins and tied at the ankles. They may have been crude, but they got the job done. Today, many people still rely on socks to do their jobs in comfort.
Take firefighters for example. They have to wear specialty boots that go halfway up the shin. Thick, knee-high socks are absolutely necessary for them to do dangerous jobs without distraction.
Bottomline: Some jobs require focus and foot discomfort doesn’t help. For some, socks are an important part of their work and they’re willing the spend extra on extremely durable, high-quality socks that can handle heavy labor.
A lot of amazing things happen to a woman’s body when she’s pregnant. However, edema in the legs and feet aren’t so welcome. Edema is the medical term for water retention that causes swelling, and it’s very common during pregnancy.
There are a number of ways to combat the uncomfortable condition. One solution is compression socks. Compression socks are designed to apply pressure at varying degrees from the ankle up towards the knee. The pressure helps with circulation and keeps fluid from building up in the ankles and legs.
Fun fact: Athletes also sometimes wear compression socks after activity to help with sore muscles and to speed up recovery.
Being diagnosed with diabetes is life-changing. But your diet isn’t the only thing that gets an adjustment. Diabetics have to take special care of their feet.
Excess glucose from diabetes can cause two problems in the foot region. Sensory diabetic neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves in the feet and makes it difficult to feel sensations like hot and cold. It’s also more difficult to feel an injury, which increases the chance of an infection. The likelihood of foot ulcers is also higher.
The other problem is peripheral vascular disease. It reduces blood flow to the feet making it more difficult for injuries to heal. The condition can even lead to gangrene. That’s why foot amputations are common among people with diabetes.
Diabetics must take care to wear thick, durable socks that protect their feet from injury and blisters. It’s also best is socks have moisture-wicking properties to help prevent athlete’s foot and fungal infections. Compression socks can also be worn to help improve blood flow.
Socks are getting very festive these days. Never is that truer than during a holiday. You can find colorful, fun socks that celebrate every holiday imaginable. And they’re not just for kids. Just as many adults wear holiday socks as a discreet way to show their spirit.
Socks have also long been a Christmas stocking stuffer, which people weren’t usually too thrilled about. But now high-end decorative socks are a gift worth receiving. You can even customize them with the gift recipient’s name.
Socks can also add a special touch to holiday apparel. If you’ve ever been to church on Easter you’ve probably seen young girls with lace-trimmed socks that match their frilly dress. In recent years the lacey sock style has been popularized among young women and used to give heels a girlish touch.