ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Importance of the Simple Sock

Updated on September 18, 2015

A Potted History of the Sock

Everybody takes them for granted, and we wear them without thinking too much about why we do so, or about what purpose they serve.

The sock, though, is an important item of apparel for so many reasons. It is a little known fact, but the human foot can produce anything up to a pint of perspiration each day. Our socks assist in the process of absorbing this sweat and drawing it into areas of the foot from which the air can evaporate it most efficiently.

The word "sock" comes from the Latin soccus - a light, low-heeled shoe or slipper. The earliest known socks were made from animal skins and, in the days before elastication, were tied around the ankles in order to keep them from falling. At one time they were the exclusive preserve of holy men, who wore them as a symbol of their purity. Centuries later they were sported by the rich as an indicator of wealth.

Visitors to London's Victoria and Albert Museum will see the oldest known pair of cloth socks on display. Discovered by the River Nile in Egypt and dated between 500 and 300 years B.C., they have split toes to enable them to be worn with open-toe sandals and bear more than a passing resemblance to pigs' trotters.

When knitting machines were invented in the late sixteenth century socks entered into large-scale production, and today they are a cheap and extremely common item of footwear worn by most, usually beneath the shoe. They can also be made from a whole range of fabrics.

Smartwool - Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew
Smartwool - Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew

Specialist Socks for Climbing and Hiking

In conditions of extreme cold socks can be a useful defence against the threat of frostbite. It is for this amongst other reasons that hikers and climbers take a great deal of care when choosing socks to wear prior to an expedition. This is why specialist companies such as Smartwool pay a great deal of attention to design when producing socks and outdoor gear  for running, hiking and climbing.

Of course socks designed for climbing or for hiking have far more detail and feature built into them than socks mass produced to be sold as casual footwear. For example Smartwool's Extra Heavy Crew has a reinforced sole which offers maximum comfort as well as protection against the frost and cold. These additional aspects are essential if the socks are to fulfil their intended purpose under what most would consider to be quite exceptional conditions.

Smartwool Socks Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Smartwool - Women's PhD Outdoor Light CrewSmartwool - Women's Hiking Light CrewSmartwool - Men's PhD Outdoor Medium Crew
Smartwool - Women's PhD Outdoor Light Crew
Smartwool - Women's PhD Outdoor Light Crew
Smartwool - Women's Hiking Light Crew
Smartwool - Women's Hiking Light Crew
Smartwool - Men's PhD Outdoor Medium Crew
Smartwool - Men's PhD Outdoor Medium Crew

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)