Why do we wear socks? My inner Canadian tells me that socks were invented to prevent frostbite. Other sources have since informed me that socks exist to soak up the moisture in our feet, and keep our toes dry. Either way, socks are important in any season, whether for warmth or dryness. Now that the weather is turning cooler, and winter is here, keeping our toes warm is a priority.
Just as all technology changes, socks have evolved into what we now know them as. In ancient times, socks were made from animal skins that were wrapped around the feet, and worn in boots. The oldest pair of socks in existence today is from ancient Egypt (see below.) These socks are actually shaped, and unless the ancient Egyptians had a different foot structure than modern feet, these socks seem to have been worn with sandals.
So, if anyone gives you a hard time for wearing socks with YOUR sandals, just refer them back to the ancient Egyptians, and let them know how important socks are for good foot health!
Why wear socks at all?
1. Socks keep our feet and toes warm
2. Socks can prevent callouses from forming. Because socks decrease friction between our shoes and our feet, they can keep skin supple and healthy, and prevent callouses and corns.
3. Socks regulate our foot temperature: keeping them warm in the winter, and actually preventing them from overheating on warm days. Shoes without socks can actually cause the foot to over-sweat and overheat.
4. Socks keep our shoes cleaner: you can always clean your socks, but cleaning the inside of your shoes is much more difficult
5. Socks can prevent infection
6. Socks absorb moisture to keep our feet dryer
Why is it important to keep our feet dry?
Our feet are responsible for much of the body’s sweat production: generating over 1 pint of sweat per day. Keeping our feet dry is essential for good foot health. Subjecting our feet to excess moisture can cause or exacerbate many problems:
Dampness between toes can cause ulcers, especially in diabetics
Dampness can encourage fungal growth, such as athletes foot, and bacterial infection
Dampness can cause skin breakdowns, or lesions.
Dampness not absorbed by your socks gets absorbed by your shoes, which leads to odor and stinky shoes
Dampness can lead to blisters: moisture plus friction equals blisters