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A sock is an item of clothing typically worn under shoes to help keep the feet warm, guard against painful ailments like blisters and absorb perspiration. They can be worn with a variety of footwear, including boots and gym shoes.


Being a fashion item, there are several colors, brands and styles of socks. Lengths range from barely-there socks meant to be worn with flats, ankle socks usually worn with athletic shoes, regular socks that extend over the ankle and up the calf, and knee-high socks that cover the knees and sometimes parts of the upper thigh. Colors of socks range in the thousands, as do patterns like striped and polka-dot pairs. Styles range from toe socks, which have individual slots for the toes like hand gloves, and leg warmers, which aren’t technically socks but are usually found in the sock and tights section of most stores.


Socks also come in a variety of different materials, including cotton, merino wool, nylon, spandex, polyester, cashmere, and even a special dri FIT material meant to help wick away extra sweat and moisture (the latter of which can be found at Nike and sporting good stores). 


The term sock derives from the Old English word socc, which means light slipper. 


US sock sizes are determined by the length of the foot in inches. 

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