The history of socks dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who created the first socks by using two strips of hide that were sewn together. The earliest known socks were worn by the Pharaohs and included leather thongs that ran up each leg in order to be tightened around one foot. In later years, rags would be stuffed into shoes before they were covered with pieces of cloth. Today, people wear socks for numerous reasons such as fashion and insulation.

The First Signs of Socks

The first socks were created in the Middle East where there was a great need for foot protection. In these times, shoes had loose openings, so when rocks and other debris got inside of them it was very painful on the feet. Ancient Egyptians wore woven sandals that were woven into two strips of hide that were sewn together to form one piece. The strips had to be made long enough to extend up both calves and included long leather straps that were tied tightly around the foot. The Egyptians who wore the first socks also wore sandals with small pieces of cloth inserted in the openings, which was called a "foot-cloth". These socks were not manufactured to be worn by one person, they were made and worn by several people to protect their feet.

The Romans also wore a type of sock commonly called a "wedgewick". Around the 3rd century, socks were used in some parts of Europe. The Saxons used rough-woven woolen socks to protect their feet. When the Romans moved into northern Europe, they brought to that part of the world their styles and ideas. The early Roman socks were made from coarse wool and included features such as double seams and oval-shaped toes. The Romans also used socks to keep their feet warm, but they were not made to be worn with shoes. The Romans did not have shoes that were designed to fit the feet, so the socks were worn next to the skin. The ancient Japanese wore socks for protection, as well. The sock of the ancient Japanese was made from linen and was sewn into one long tube that was folded for comfort. These socks were also worn under the foot-cloth and were worn by warriors. The Chinese developed the first practical socks in the year 29 AD. These socks were made of silk and had a heel seam. These socks were used not only by adults, but also by babies and children.


Getting Popular in the World

In the 10th century, socks became popular in northern Europe. During this time, textiles started to be imported from Asia, which included the use of silk for making socks. The people of northern Europe started using socks made from wool and cotton, which became the universal material. The Middle ages also saw the introduction of socks made of leather. At this time, men and women wore long stockings that were tied to their shoes. The socks in this period were known as "hose".

Socks underwent a revival during the Renaissance period when thick wool hose were worn around the feet and legs by both men and women. Most of these socks were made in thick wool yarns and knitted to fit snugly around the calf and foot. These socks were also known as "stockings" because they resembled close-fitting stockings.

In the Victorian era, when Victorianism flourished throughout Britain, there was a greater demand for socks. The women of this time wore silk stockings that were worn with boots on special occasions or when they went out in public. The women's hose were held up by garters that were tied to the tops of their boots. The men wore long wool socks that reached up to their knees. These socks were also held up by garters and attached to the top of their trousers with buttons or hooks. All socks in this period were handmade.
During World War I and II, some people developed a new style of sock called anklets, which were very short. These socks were designed to protect men and women who were serving in the military. The socks came in a variety of colors and styles.


Later in Time

In the 1940s and 50s, the anklet was extended to seven inches in length. The invention of nylon made nylon stockings available for everyone and people looked for a way to wear them with their shoes. Shoes at this time did not have holes for laces, so people began adding elastic around the top of the shoe so that they could wear their shoes with socks that had elastic ankles.

Since then, socks became what we know and wear now. Even though there are different styles and ways to wear it, we all do it with style and colors!