Where would we all be without socks? Especially during those ever increasingly cold winter months here in the UK. For a long time now the human race has insulated themselves with specialist garments and socks are no exception. The earliest surviving pair can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. These were found in Egypt and date back up to 1800 years ago. Today the variety of socks on offer is extensive. This article will strive to look at a few of these types in closer detail for the discerning shopper.
The staple of everyone’s sock drawers are ‘normal’ socks. This style is ankle length, which come just above the ankle and are found in a number of materials and colours. These types of socks are useful for everyday wear.
These specialist socks came to prominence a few years ago now and the craze surrounding them has certainly slowed down significantly since then. The ‘trainer sock’ or ‘trainer liner’ finishes just above the trainer. The low profile of these socks leaves the maximum amount of bare skin visible when worn with shorts, this is just one of the reasons for their popularity as it minimises tan lines during the summer months.
Trainer socks come in a variety of materials and are manufactured by a number of leading sports brands. Most materials that you will find ‘trainer liners’ constructed in are moisture wicking and breathable, making them far more comfortable during sporting endeavours.
Hiking socks, much like many sports socks, are perfectly suited to their field. The Hiking sock is thick and embodies a number of beneficial properties including moisture wicking and breathability. Choosing a woollen sock made from a material such as Rowan Yarn ensures the benefits extend further to insulation advantages. For a long time wool has been one of the top performers in hiking sock design and it’s not hard to see why. Increasingly man-man fibres are attempting to combat this trend but as yet none have been able to match wool as hiking sock material.
For comfort purposes it’s possible to find a range of hiking socks that have been made with composite materials so that the arch is given extra support. As you can imagine this is extremely beneficial when hiking over long distances or for anyone who has health issues with their feet or back.
‘Dress Socks’ are plain and commonly found in a gentleman’s wardrobe. These socks have one purpose and that’s to blend in. Dress socks are usually black in colour and are fairly thin, designed to be worn with dark trousers, whether that’s for a black-tie event or a day at the office. Much in the same way as some stockings are held up, dress socks used to be held up by a thin garter style strap, today however this is unnecessary as elastic is reliable for a long period of time.
Basically friendly and fun, these socks can be found in an array of different colours. The style is most popular with women and features a separate space for each toe at the closed end of the sock. The feeling can be a little unusual at first, having something in between each of your toes is quite unnatural after all! After a little time however the wearer can get used to the feeling and find great comfort in the cosiness of such socks, especially during cold weather.
- Photograph by bark (via Flickr) [CC BY 2.0]
- License: Creative Commons image source
If you’re considering making your own comfy socks for the upcoming winter, head over to Pack Lane Wool where you’ll find a great selection of Rowan Yarn amongst their other great products.