Friday, June 12, 2009


Apart from cake, socks are one of the things that make the world go round. In my earnest opinion, one should not wear shoes without socks, and thus they are indispensable items (unless, of course, one lives at the beach). However, socks can be worn without shoes. This phenomenon is known as "the Slipper Sock", and is generally manufactured to be thicker than normal socks, as well as having rubberised sections (albeit small and generally in patterns). These rubberised sections help one to keep one's grip while walking, thus ensuring proper contact with the floor, and ultimately, no slipping.

Socks can be obtained in many diverse and interesting colours, as well as in various thicknesses and textures. The proportion of cotton, nylon, wool and even mohair will determine the heat capacity as well as the comfort of the sock. For example, it is inadvisable for one to wear socks made purely with nylon, since the synthetic nature of the fabric generally causes one's foot area to emit a foul-smelling odour after a few hours in them. Length of sock is another important factor: knee-high socks tend to keep one's calves warm, but also have an annoying inclination to slip down, thus negating the warmth factor of these socks, unless one is prepared to be constantly pulling them up. The normal length of sock generally comes up about 10 - 15cm past the ankle, are the commonest length of sock, and are used for anything from working socks to sports socks. Many sports people nowadays use a third length of sock: the anklet. The appeal of these socks is that they tend not to give one a "sock tan" - or at least the leg is tanned lower than would otherwise be the case if one wore normal length socks. The anklet is usually more comfortable than normal socks if one is doing mildly strenuous activities, such as running or cycling. There are variants between these three lengths of sock, but I have endeavoured to cover fully the merits of the main types only.

Socks become curious objects when one wonders about missing socks. A recurring question appears to be that of a theological nature: "where do socks go when they die?", which can only be answered if one becomes a sock, which then dies. To my knowledge, no-one has achieved this feat thus far, and so human kind will continue to speculate on the existence of a "sock heaven". However, sock death is not as common as one would think. Many cases of "the missing sock" have been opened and solved by the sleuths that run households. Many of these cases can be put down to socks not being paired correctly by their colour, material or length. Where the owners have many pairs of similar socks, this becomes an increasingly common occurrence until the owner either buys several sets of identical socks, or diverges his collection into wildly different colours and lengths.

Here ends my narrative on the wonders of the sock.

1 comment:

Athena said...

I so completely, 100% agree with you about the wonder of socks!! A good topic, always :)