By: Andy Maingam

Ever wondered why we 'really' find the need to wear socks? After all, they're not exactly the most visible item of clothing to adorn our person. Well, to begin with, socks are very useful for absorbing the sweat produced by the feet. That's breathable socks made form cottons and wools. I used to suffer with serious problems with athlete's foot and it was all because I wore cheap tacky shoes and synthetic socks.

Leaving aside the 'dress sock' just for a minute, it's important to note that there are many different materials that socks are made of - from the natural to the synthetic - and each of these materials will give you a different feel and look. It's all too easy to grab a pack of 5 cheapies from the local department store, but if you end up treating a stubborn bout of athlete's foot because of them, then the saving is immaterial.

Okay, so that's the quality and feel out the way, let's take a quick look at the history of the humble sock. Believe it or not there is a long history of socks going back through the centuries, and socks, like underwear, were among some of the first items of clothing ever worn by mankind. The main reasons for this are obviously because people needed to protect their feet and also keep them warm.

The earliest socks ever to be worn were simply made from animal skins which here tied around the ankles. Clearly socks have evolved over the centuries and eveidence has been gathered to suggest that in the 8th century BC, socks were produced by the ancient Greeks from matted animal hair which was ideal for warmth and comfort. Hundreds of years later in 1589, the knitting machine was invented and the rest, as they say, is history!

Today, most manufactured socks are created with the use of what's known as a circular knitting machine and are mass produced. But socks have come a long way and there's more to the modern sock than just styles and materials.

Some people suffer from a foot problem known as Plantar Fasciitis and there are specially designed socks which give arch support and provide relief from the pain associated with painful condition. Makers of plantar Fasciitis socks claim that they provide an inexpensive and easy-to-use method of pain relief.

Thick socks, thin socks, cotton socks, wool socks, long socks, short socks, fun socks, and medical socks, you name it there's a sock for it! They also make great gifts if you're stuck for ideas at Christmas and birthdays.

But on a more serious note, both footwear and foot care are important if we are to prevent the many problems relating with feet when we get older, and this starts with wearing the right socks with the right shoes.

About the author:

Read about choosing the right footwear for your feet including how to select the right Mans Dress shoes, a look at the popular Easy Spirit Shoes and a take on the value for money Clarks shoes. All this plus more at Hip Footwear dot com

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