Sock History Timeline: Because Understanding Socks and their Background is Vital to Life

Sock History Timeline: Because Understanding Socks and their Background is Vital


Ever wondered about the history of socks? Probably not, but it is still pretty interesting. So, where do socks begin? Let’s take a look.

  • The Caveman – Yep…they had socks. Well, sort of. They used animal skins which were tied off around the ankles. This helped to protect their feet from the terrain, as well as keep them warm.
  • 8th Century BC – According the Greek poet, Hesiod, socks were woven from matted animal hair. This was called, “piloi.” The Ancient Greeks also wrapped their feet with leather and other woven fabrics.
  • 2nd Century AD – The Romans began sewing fabrics together to make socks actually fit their feet. These were called “udones.”
  • 5th Century AD – Holy people in Europe wore socks called “puttees” which symbolized purity.
  • By the Middle Ages, pants or trousers, got longer, think of a capri pant. As a result, socks became tight, bright and outta sight. Basically, they used bright colors and covered the part of the leg exposed by the elongated trouser. As you can already guess, elastic bands were not a thing, so they used garters to hold up their socks (think 1980’s yuppie).
  • 1000 AD – Socks symbolize wealth. You owned a pair of socks; you were the billionaire of your time baby! Rich beyond your wildest dreams. Swimming in your sea of gold coins in your basement. Maybe naked, if they were into that sort of thing.
  • 16th Century AD – socks started having designs on the ankles or sides. I mean, you got to show off your 16th century personality, right? They called this a “clock.”
  • 1589 AD – The knitting machine was invented and could produce 6 times the number of socks that could be knitted by hand. However, knitting machines and hand knitters worked together side by side until the 1800’s.
  • Fast forward to 1938 – A revolution hit the sock world by the invention of Nylon. Up until that time, socks were made from silk, cotton & wool. Nylon was born when we started to blend yarns together to create new yarns, which still is a big part of sock construction today.

As you can see, socks have been necessary since people began roaming the earth. With all of the new technology at our fingertips, socks are so much better now because they can specialize in different areas. For example, diabetic socks that do not restrict blood flow, or hiking socks that are engineered to protect from the elements. There’s no limit as to how your feet can be protected. Even if you take the most basic principal of wearing socks. Its job is to protect your feet from sweat and bacteria, so that you can avoid everything from foot fungus to stinky feet. You need socks. You need Paul Bryan socks. We have your feet covered. #what'sonyourfeet?