British socks for all ages
January 26, 2016
Let’s face it, the British climate isn’t particularly warm, so most of the population wear socks for a majority of the time, especially when we are outside. This custom has come about through both expediency (socks help to keep our feet warm) and comfort (socks improve the comfort of shoes). Some people also find that wearing warm, cashmere bed socks improves their quality of sleep and helps to avoid the protests of partners who don’t appreciate you trying to warm your cold feet on their legs!
When should we start wearing socks?
It is widely recognised that we lose body heat more rapidly from the extremities (hands, feet and head), which is why new-born babies have those parts of their bodies protected, in addition to other clothing items. Right from the word “go” however, it is important to understand that the bones in babies’ and young children’s feet are soft up to the age of around five years, so it is important that the feet are not compressed.
Natural fibres, such as cotton, cashmere or wool are best for children’s socks, which is why British sock manufacturer Corgi Hosiery ensures that the main fibre in its children’s collection is cotton. They also offer a luxury cashmere range and a “mini-me” selection, with identical socks for adult and child – ideal for when children want to be like the grown-ups in their lives.
Most people are aware of the importance of having well-fitting children’s shoes (and indeed of the benefits of young children not wearing shoes before they are walking), but not everyone realises that socks, especially 100% nylon socks, can also compress children’s feet. Natural fibres are also much warmer than nylon when knitted into socks for people of all ages.
Socks as a fashion accessory
Gone are the days when British socks were limited to subdued colours, or plain white. Nowadays, socks are available in a huge range of patterns, including zig-zags, stripes, dots and stars, and colours such as shocking pink, bright green or more subdued purples, blues and yellows.
Because wearing socks is pretty much a necessity for many people, most of the time, it is possible to find socks that co-ordinate with different outfits, or to find socks and ties that match, for instance. The boundaries of past traditions are being extended and one can now see women wearing ankle socks with high-heeled shoes or sandals, over the knee socks which offer more scope for interesting designs than shorter versions and personalised socks with particular initials or logos knitted into the pattern.
Socks for Health
With the amount of air travel that many people take for business or pleasure, wearing compression socks has become common on long-haul flights, to reduce the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Similar socks are used as a matter of course in many hospitals prior to and post operations.
A sad fact of life as people reach their seventies and eighties can be the onset of arthritis. This painful condition can sometimes be eased by wearing wool or cashmere socks and gloves and the afore-mentioned bed socks can also help with night-time comfort.
There has been an increase in the availability of knitted “slipper socks” in recent years, as these can help to keep the feet warm indoors, with the advantage that they do not restrict the foot – an important consideration for people whose feet are swollen with arthritis or other medical conditions.
So, whatever your particular needs, it is likely that there is a pair of British socks to satisfy it.
About the author
Pam Forshaw has been involved with fund-raising for charities for many years and has a particular interest in children’s health. Having brought up her own three children, she is familiar with the sometimes conflicting demands of fashion and comfort in children’s clothing and abandoned trying to knit or sew clothes for her children once they reached school age.
Keywords: children’s socks, children’s clothing, compression socks, British socks, children’s feet, bed socks, cashmere socks, fashion accessories, socks for health, cotton socks