Who invented socks?


Those little garments that we usually take for granted.

There are times when we forget about them. Hence, we leave them in the dryer. Sometimes, our dogs play with them. We even shove them under the sheets. But socks deserve more props than we give them credit for. 

Without socks, it would be challenging to keep our feet warm and dry. It would also be a challenge to ensure that we are protected from blisters while wearing shoes for an extended period. So, in this article, we will honor this piece of clothing and look back at the first time it has become a staple in our wardrobe.

What year were socks invented?

Socks hold a complex history. Way back in the 17th century, people referred to socks as 'stockings'. However, based on Wikipedia, the word sock was recorded in modern English in 1960. The term was an evolution from socc, an Old English from the Latin soccus, a lightweight footwear seen on ancient Greek and Roman actors.

Since then, socks have come in varying fabrics, colors, lengths, patterns, and styles. How they are labelled depends upon their purpose. For example, thick wool socks were associated with skiin and white socks with running. 

However, if one would want to trace the first pair of socks seen, piloi from the 8th century BC Greece would resurface. This kind was made from leather or matted animal hair. A follow-through happened in the 2nd century AD, where Romans pioneered the sewing of woven fabrics together that resulted in fitted socks or undones. 

A red-orange pair are the oldest socks survived: it dates back to 250-420 AD and was dug from Oxyrhynchus on the Nile in Egypt. These socks were created with knotless netting, which has given birth to what we know today as knitting and crocheting. In that period, also, socks began to have split toes (a significant relief!). 

In Egypt, socks were as important as gold and jewels. King Tut’s tomb includes many pairs made from linen.

Who invented socks and why?

Socks used to be bright in the Middle Ages. And that was the time when they evolved to be beyond a fashion statement. These socks seem to have become longer over the centuries and even more expensive. 

Yes, an era where socks were expensive took place during the first millennia. Owning a pair then was perceived as a status symbol. The piece of garment became ornamental.

The evolution of stockings and society

As the world progressed, so did socks. 

Socks represented a person’s economic class (where nobles would own silk and peasant wool). They also became a display of wealth and played a part in the utilitarian purpose. 

Indeed, this piece of garment, as we know it today, has stepped up. Primarily, socks were invented to keep feet warm. As the clock went by, socks were worn for different reasons such as health, fashion statement and status symbol. 

Why should you wear socks today?

The rich timeline of socks proves that they are unlikely to go out of style.

Today, you still wear socks because they are necessary, practical and healthy. They are also a means of self-expression that would complete your OOTD.

There's no doubt what socks can do - regardless of what you need them for. The question of wearing one boils down to the situation that you're in - hygienically and socially. There are times when you'd be required to, there are times when you wouldn't. It's just a matter of looking at the setting and deciding from there. 

Here at Smiling Socks, we have many designs and colors that would help you make a fashion statement. Whether you're looking for patterned, cute, funny, long, plain or colorful socks, we've got you covered. 

Pair our killer socks with your favorite shoes and start a conversation wherever you go! Spread happiness too, for happiness is always in the little things, by giving your special someone a gift card. We ensure that our collection provides you with the avenue to express your style! And there's no better time to rock your sock game than now!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published