While National No Socks Day was created as a way to consciously connect more deeply with the earth under our feet, we here in Red Sox Nation can take off our socks while delighting in the knowledge that the whole country is celebrating the Sox today — whether they know it or not.
Socks seem to have been invented by the ancient Greeks (another one in their Win column) by at least the eighth century BCE. The Romans, who loved to do what the Greeks had already done, also were notable sock-wearers, wrapping strips of fabric around their legs. While these socks covered the legs only, people along the Nile in Egypt wore socks which included coverage for the foot.
Around the fifth century CE, socks were worn by holy men in Europe as an outward symbol of inner purity. By this time, socks had evolved into one piece of fabric that could be pulled on, rather than wrapped. Still no feet on these socks though.
Fast forward a bit more, and socks began to adjust in connection to pants: as pants got shorter, coming in around knee length, socks became longer. And as socks became longer, they cost more to make. Eventually they became a status symbol and a way to measure wealth. If you’re thinking that they were reserved for the upper classes at this point in time, you’re right. The peasants of Europe still used wrapped strips of fabric because they couldn’t afford the luxury of one piece of fabric designed only for the lower leg. Decadent!
Enter the knitting machine in 1589, and socks could now be made much more quickly and cheaply. They became available to anyone to wear, though the upper classes wore silk while the lower classes wore wool.
And now we have novelty socks like Big Foot socks, Red Sox socks, Red Solo Cup socks... and shoeys!
What’s the best way to do a shoey?
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Happy National No Socks (and No Sox) Day!