10 fascinating sock facts

Posted by SOCKSHOP

Man wearing socks and sandals

Who do we have to thank for the socks and sandals look? Find out below.

Socks are a staple part of our wardrobe and one of the few items of clothing that we wear every day. But did you know that the first socks were worn by cavemen and that Roman legionnaires liked to rock the socks and sandals look?

We’d bet there are lots of fascinating sock facts that you don’t know. Here are 10 of our favourites. 

1. World’s oldest socks have split toes

The oldest known pair of socks is 1,600 years old and was excavated at the end of the 19th century from the burial grounds of ancient Oxyrhynchus, a Greek colony on the Nile in central Egypt. The socks are made from red wool and have split toes for wearing with sandals.

2. The word ‘sock’ has Roman origins

The word ‘sock’ comes from the Latin word ‘soccus’ – a loose-fitting slipper worn by Roman comic actors.

3. Cavemen were the first to wear socks

Experts believe that the first socks were worn by cavemen, who wrapped animal skins around their feet and tied them at the ankle. Animal furs were sometimes used for extra warmth.

4. Greek socks were made from matted animal hair

In the 8th Century BC, the Greek poet, Hesiod, wrote about piloi, which were socks made from matted animal hair. Doesn’t sound that comfortable, does it?

5. The ancient Romans committed fashion faux pas too

Rust on a nail from a Roman sandal, found at an archaeological dig in Yorkshire, appeared to contain material fibres, suggesting that a sock-type garment had been worn. Yep that’s right – Roman legionnaires committed the ultimate modern fashion crime and wore socks with sandals

6. Lost socks can cost you £240 a year

Misplaced socks are no laughing matter. In 2011, researchers established that the average four person family will lose 60 socks a year, racking up a total loss of £240. What they can’t tell us though is where on earth they go?!

7. 82% of young men wear odd socks at least once a week

In the above survey, the researchers also found that the mystery of lost socks resulted in 82% of young men rocking odd socks at least once a week.

8. People who wear mismatched socks are more likely to be married

It’s more common for married people to dress in the dark, in an attempt to avoid waking their spouses. This results in them accidentally wearing socks of subtly different colours.

9. A design on the ankle or side of a sock is called a clock

This has been the case since the 16th century, but the origin of the name is uncertain.

10. There is a sock colour etiquette

According to traditional etiquette guides, the sock colour should match the colour of the shoes and/or trousers, but should be at least one shade darker than the trousers and one shade lighter than the shoes.
But hey, sometimes there’s no better way to shake off the blues than to don a bright pair of socks, regardless of the colour of your trousers.


Do you know any more fascinating sock facts? Get involved and contact us on Twitter @sockshopuk!

Image by Tobyotter



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