10 Random Facts About Socks!

Socks. Many of us take them for granted. We put them on in the morning and they keep our feet warm and dry. Yet, the humble sock has played a crucial part of history of the world and has earned its place in both the cultural and the fashion hall of fame. Want to know more? Here are ten wacky, memorable and utterly random facts about socks for you!


1. Where did the word "sock" come from?

Amongst the many Roman achievements that remain a big part of our culture today, those ancient snappy dressers gave us the word of sock. It comes from the Latin word ‘soccus’, meaning a loose-fitting slipper worn by Roman comedy actors on stage. A ‘soccus’ had no ties or buckles and was made from leather or woven fabric.

2. "Sock City"

There is a place in China that has come to be known as ‘Sock City’, thanks to its status as the world’s top sock producing region. Datang is located in eastern China and produces around 40% of the world’s socks. It is estimated that Datang makes enough socks to supply every person on the planet with two pairs each. That’s a lot of socks.


3. Sustainable socks

As awareness rises about the need to look for more environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions to our everyday needs, so a wider variety of natural fibres and materials have become popular in the world of sock manufacturing. Cotton socks are fast becoming rivalled by bamboo, which offers a smooth, soft finish and a more sustainable method of sourcing raw materials. Bamboo is hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial and helps to regulate foot temperature and prevent moisture build-up inside shoes, thanks to its super absorbent properties. It also requires one-third less water to grow as compared to cotton. (Shameless plug: here at Sock Shop we offer bamboo fibre socks and bamboo fibre sock boxes which we know you will love)! 

4. 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.

5. 82% of young men wear odd socks at least once a week

In a survey that was conducted, the researchers found that the mystery of lost socks resulted in 82% of young men rocking odd socks at least once a week. The (Another shameless plug: they should purchase the sock clips we offer on our website under 'extras' so they can keep their socks together!)

6. 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.

7. The largest sock in the world measures 9.93 m (32 ft 7 in) x 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) x 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in)... that's HUGE!

It was created by Project Undercover, Inc. (USA). It was unveiled at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, on 2 December 2011.


8. The largest collection of socks is 660 pairs!

It was achieved by Ashan Fernando (USA) in Berkley, Massachusetts, United States on 30 September 2020.


9. You can increase your IQ dramatically with a single sock

Did you know that the average German thinks you are more creative, intelligent and capable if you wear stockings in fancy colours? It reflects an assertive character and a creative streak that only those with a high IQ would demonstrate. Would you have thought that hosiery had such an influence on the human psyche?


10. The first sock machine

In 1589 William Lee invented the first machine that wove socks because he felt his wife spent too much time weaving socks. Now that's a thoughtful husband!




Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The Sock Shop team 


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