When you think of sock rage, what do you think of? The fact that no matter how carefully you wash them in pairs, half will always emerge from the washing machine an hour later without their significant other? Or what about the fact they leave unsightly compression marks on your ankles? Or maybe if you’re female it’s the fact that YOU’VE JUST WORN MEN’S SOCKS FOR THE FIRST TIME AND REALISED YOU’VE BEEN CHEATED YOUR ENTIRE LIFE?!
That was me during London Fashion Week. A laundry miscalculation and a need to desperately run out the door meant that I just grabbed a pair of ST’s socks and hoped I wouldn’t grow male genitalia by the end of the day. Guess what? Nothing sprouted down below. In fact nothing sinister happened at all, except for the fact I realised I’ve been lied to for nearly thirty years.
I would generally class socks in the “they definitely don’t need to be gendered, they should all just be unisex” pile, but not all socks are created equally. I can see why women’s socks exist – generally women have smaller feet and a size 4 woman probably doesn’t want to wear socks designed for a size 11 man – but other than sizing, why should there be a difference? Socks are socks, designed for warmth and protection, whether you’re male or female should bear little influence on your daily sock requirements.
But there I was, walking and walking and walking between shows and suddenly I realised something that had probably NEVER happened before: my feet didn’t hurt. I checked my phone and I had walked ten miles. Ten miles without any rubbing, blisters or silent inward cries. What new world was this? Oh yeah, the world men already live in where socks are ACTUALLY GOOD.
It wasn’t until I wore ST’s socks that I realised how crap my ‘lady socks’ were. Why would I have known? It’s not one of those things you ever think of. For the rest of LFW I wore his lovely black socks (normal ‘worky’ type ones, not sport socks) and continued to average 10-12 miles a day without a smidgen of foot pain. I also enjoyed that they were much longer, meaning I could wear them half way up my shin and feel like I was getting a constant little ankle hug under my jeans.
Naturally, I headed to Twitter to share my new-found discovery and a number of girls chipped in that they had also seen the glorious light that is luscious men’s socks. Is it that they’re generally thicker? A superior cotton? Just generally made with better re-enforcements at the toes and ankles? I can’t quite put my finger (toe?) on what it is exactly that makes them so much more comfortable, but I can only assume it’s a mixture of the aforementioned. They also wash a lot better, ALL my socks seem to go stiff as if they were once elasticated and now they’re inwardly perishing whereas ST’s socks survive for years and remain soft. I wash them together, so it’s definitely a fabric thing rather than a laundry mishap on my part.
It’s not like ST’s socks are posh ones either, they’re just your usual M&S/Next/Sainsbury’s boring old cheap black socks. Granted, they don’t have cute faces on like a lot of my exceptionally mature favourites (ahem) but my god I’d give up the bunny ears in a flash if I could walk around town without my feet throbbing.
Luxury socks? Now that’s a different ball game altogether, but once again a corner of the market that the men seem to have wrapped up. I haven’t written about menswear for years really but I remember always liking the socks, albeit never having worn them. But then Nik Speller kindly pointed me in the direction of Form&Thread who specialise in contemporary high quality men’s socks and I got some and I am now a woman converted.
You may have noticed my mint green pair in my first vlog…
I’m not sure if you can appreciate the beautiful knit from my shoddy photos but they’re quite something.
Form&Thread describe their socks as “made from the best quality materials, combining distinctive knit constructions and textures to form a unique series of products” and I can only add to that by describing them as “really bloody lovely”. Like, they are the BEST SOCKS EVER. They’re marketed for men but I have size 7 feet and they’re perfect for me.
So there’s no real point to this post really, other than to say that if you’re female: steal some socks from a boy. You won’t regret it. (As long as they’re clean).