Socks matter for feet infographic

It’s a well-known fact that well-fitting shoes are vital for the health of children’s feet, but socks play an important part for the comfort of everyone’s feet, adults and children alike.

Socks are worn by billions of people every day, but should never be taken for granted as there is a great deal more science going into sock design than you might think.  The design of sports socks differs according to particular sports, with additional cushioning used on the ball of the foot for running, for instance.

Ski socks have extra padding on the shin to avoid rubbing by heavy ski boots.  Women tend to have higher arches in their feet and can put extra pressure on the ball of the foot with higher heeled shoes, so may need more cushioning on the ball of the sock, with extra arch support.

Knitting in rib gives extra stretch and support to different areas of a sock, depending on what activity it will be used for.  Some hiking socks are designed with a thin inner layer and a thicker outer layer to reduce the risk of sore blisters.

Young children’s feet grow rapidly and it is important that socks fit well, to avoid the feet being compressed – potentially leading to problems later in life.  Socks that are too long can cause blisters under the toes.  Socks that are too tight can restrict the circulation – an especially important consideration for babies who are not walking.

Natural fibres, such as wool or cotton, or a blended mix, offer the best solution for children’s socks, as they will withstand the hard wear children give their socks.  Make sure that children’s socks fit well and have not worn thin.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • Cotton isn’t used just for socks and other clothing, or bedding; paper money in the United States consists of 75% cotton.
  • Luxury cashmere socks are hand-finished to ensure perfectly flat seams that will not cause blisters for ultimate comfort.
  • Reverend William Lee, from Nottingham, invented the knitting loom in 1589 and was given financial support by the French king Henri 1V to open a stocking factory in Rouen.
  • Keeping your toenails short and smooth will help socks last longer.
  • Putting on a fresh pair of socks is a much-loved experience, mentioned over 10,000 times a week on twitter.

It’s worth taking time to find out a little more about the best socks for the activities you follow and to ensure that your socks fit just as well as your shoes.

Sock infographic from