A (Thankfully) Non-Scratch and Sniff History of Socks

March 22, 2019 43 Comments

A (Thankfully) Non-Scratch and Sniff History of Socks

Socks Have Come A Long Way in the Last Several Thousand Years

We may take our comfy, well-made, subtly ironic socks for granted, but we shouldn’t because the road that brought us here is strewn with the god-awful worst socks you can ever imagine. Scratchy, unprocessed wool socks, rough-hewn animal skins and probably...I don’t know...bronze socks lined with pointed sticks.

People throughout history have had to make do with whatever they had available to them when it came to socks, which explains why war is a central theme across the eons. If only the Romans had access to cotton/nylon/spandex blends they likely would have been content to raise sheep and strum lutes all day instead of conquering the entirety of Europe. 

So how did we get to the cornucopia of sock bliss that we enjoy today? Let’s pull up our knee highs and wade into the history of under-shoe footwear.

Paleolithic...Socks? 

caveman making fire

The earliest socks would only be recognized as such by people that think wrapping their feet in freshly-peeled animal skin is an appropriate accouterment to tennis shoes. Paleolithic humans likely used animal hides tied at the ankle as proto-sock/shoe combinations. In the winter these hides would have included the animal's fur, for warmth, and in the summer their stench would have made them effective biological weapons against neighboring tribes.

Think Socks and Sandals is a Fashion Accident? This Angry Centurian Disagrees. 

first pair of socks

After the short-lived, ill-conceived, sharpened stick craze died out socks went back to being made of what they had been for millennia, woven wool. The earliest socks we have date to around 1,600 years ago. Found in an ancient burial chamber along the Nile in Egypt these socks had split toes, to accommodate sandals. Socks. Made specifically for sandals. Can you imagine? Ancient Egypt was a very silly place.

ancient roman siege

The Romans continued this tradition of lining their sandals with socks. In fact, the word “sock” derives from the Latin “soccus”, which was a light, low-heeled shoe. And this, in turn, derives from the Ancient Greek “sykkos” which was a thin, sock-like shoe worn with sandals. So maybe the next time we aim to deride some aging hippy turned television repairman for his choice to rock socks with sandals, we should remember that this footwear combination conquered most of the known world at one time. And it would have been very unwise to laugh in the face of an entire Roman legion.

Socks For Commoners? Pish Posh. They’re Lucky To Have Feet!

first knitting machine

Prior to 1589, when Englishman William Lee invented the first knitting machine, socks of any reasonable quality were the exclusive domain of the rich. Socks at the time were woven by hand, and decent, comfortable socks took a very long time to make, pricing commoners out of the market.

So if you had a dresser full of socks, and a dresser, it’s likely there was a group of pitchfork wielding peasants plotting your demise in some particularly gruesome fashion. But at least you could take solace in the fact that you’d likely die of natural causes at the ripe old age of 34 before your goon squad could make their move. 

It’s Official. The Past Was Awful.

If there’s one takeaway you should pull from this article, it’s that you are one of the luckiest people to ever exist. You get to live in the present, where socks aren’t fashioned from the side of a caribou or filled with termites. Instead, you get supremely comfortable, affordable, and fashionable socks, and you can wear a different pair...every day! Oh, the unbridled luxury of it all! Pick up a few pairs for yourself today and celebrate the supremely lucky happenstance of your birth.

ozone design sloth socks

 

~Jason Bloom~

Ozone Content Creator




43 Responses

Cotstyle sock
Cotstyle sock

May 09, 2019

Very nice and huge collection of designer socks. Nice to see socks collection.

Susan
Susan

April 15, 2019

Educational, fun and humorous information on the history of socks. Ozone socks are the best ever. I have at least eight pairs and look forward to more.

Frances Maltos
Frances Maltos

March 27, 2019

Great information on the socks. Love the socks.

Betty Munns
Betty Munns

March 27, 2019

Love ❤️ your socks

Amanda
Amanda

March 25, 2019

Love the sloth socks have 3 teenage daughters we love socks at my house your socks are super cute

Christina Morgan
Christina Morgan

March 25, 2019

These socks look so comfy!!

Brittany Huffman
Brittany Huffman

March 25, 2019

My friend has some of these socks and she loves them! I would live to try a pair!

Amy Stephens
Amy Stephens

March 25, 2019

These socks look cozy can’t wait to try them

Jenny Mae Deaton
Jenny Mae Deaton

March 25, 2019

After reading this article, I am very thankful for my socks!!!

Pam Wheeler
Pam Wheeler

March 25, 2019

I agree, the history of socks was pretty awful. I am spoiled with my soft, comfortable socks.

Antonio Spennati
Antonio Spennati

March 25, 2019

Your socks rock they are definitely very unique!! The many different varieties you style and look are off the charts! Very Cool Socks!!

Christina
Christina

March 25, 2019

I absolutely love the designs on all y’all’s socks :)

Kris Mihalov
Kris Mihalov

March 25, 2019

Love your socks!

Brittany Skaggs
Brittany Skaggs

March 25, 2019

This was so interesting & enjoyable to read! Thank you for the fun content!! ❤

Leah
Leah

March 25, 2019

Love your sloth socks.

Sandra Hall
Sandra Hall

March 25, 2019

Sloths socks are the best around. Now about those sandel socks they look a bit weird.

Jenny Bryant
Jenny Bryant

March 25, 2019

Love these

Melissa Skipper
Melissa Skipper

March 25, 2019

What wonderful pictures you take.

Debbie Erickson
Debbie Erickson

March 25, 2019

Fascinating info on different sock materials through time. Very glad we have the comfy cozy socks available to us!

Danielle Minshall
Danielle Minshall

March 25, 2019

I love all of your designs on your socks!! By far #1 sick company that I have seen!! Your socks rock!!

Michelle little
Michelle little

March 25, 2019

Absolutely ❤️😊

Kimberly Snyder
Kimberly Snyder

March 25, 2019

Too cute! We love all kinds of wacky, crazy socks! Thanks!

Rebecca Bishop
Rebecca Bishop

March 25, 2019

Very interesting 😊

Suzanne Driscoll
Suzanne Driscoll

March 25, 2019

These socks and designs are so cute!!

Heather Joy
Heather Joy

March 25, 2019

I adore your socks💙💙

ae minx
ae minx

March 25, 2019

Great article. Funny, but informative

Gail Ormsbee
Gail Ormsbee

March 25, 2019

I seem to go through lots of pairs of socks—always can use more

Dawn gorrow
Dawn gorrow

March 25, 2019

Im so glad we dont have to wear socks made from the side of caribou. Would love to win a pair of ozone cosy socks! Love me some crazy cozy socks!

chris
chris

March 25, 2019

Love me some fun socks!!

Susan P.
Susan P.

March 25, 2019

To think that we have so many choices of styles and patterns of socks is amazing!

Jessica Staley
Jessica Staley

March 25, 2019

Thank goodness we don’t live back in the day. I need my comfy socks.

Nicole
Nicole

March 25, 2019

Love these socks!

Bridgette Byrd
Bridgette Byrd

March 25, 2019

I absolutely agree that to own a pair & wear a pair of ozone sucks makes me like the luckiest person in the world! I can’t tell you how many people comment on my over the knee boot socks when I wear them out! They are like wearing compression stockings but much fancier! I thank you for all you to give back & for creating great quality & beautiful art & stylish socks

Esther deIpolyi
Esther deIpolyi

March 25, 2019

A different pair every day works for me!

Janice Dean
Janice Dean

March 25, 2019

Lots of good info! Thanks for sharing and I love Ozone Socks :)

Lori Biggy
Lori Biggy

March 25, 2019

Sloths are so cute

Jacqueline Hannum
Jacqueline Hannum

March 25, 2019

Gorgeous socks. I’m going to order the sloth socks instead of trying to won them.

Anne Zaziski
Anne Zaziski

March 25, 2019

Love your blog!

Cheryl Ford
Cheryl Ford

March 25, 2019

I’d love a pair of socks – thank you for the opportunity

Donna Shaw
Donna Shaw

March 25, 2019

Thanks for the chance to win!

Barbara Harrell
Barbara Harrell

March 25, 2019

This look cozy and stylish.

Deanna
Deanna

March 25, 2019

Omg these are sooo cute! I am obsessed with socks and sloths omg#! I really hope I win🙏 ty for the chance!!

Kasey
Kasey

March 25, 2019

WOW! Socks have certainly come a long way! Thankful for that!

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Sizing Guide

Sock Size

9-11 10-12
U.S. M Shoe Size 4½-7½ 8-12½
U.S. W Shoe Size 5½-9½ 10-12½