Socks. Back in the day socks were always white. There were crew socks, knee socks, tube socks and footies, but they were always white. At least athletic socks were always white. And they have always been a fundamental part of every athlete’s attire. (Except perhaps for swimming, diving, or gymnastics) Many athletes pay little attention to socks, but not the ones who played basketball for John Wooden at UCLA. He wrote in his book “The Wizard of Westwood” that on the first day of practice, he would tell his recruits, “Gentleman, today we’re going to figure out how to put our shoes and socks on.” Wooden would calmly explain that most players are benched for blisters, and the easiest way to avoid them is to pay attention to the basics. He would meticulously show them how to roll up their socks and tighten their laces. “I wanted it done consciously, not quickly or casually,” he said. “Otherwise we would not be doing everything possible to prepare in the best way.”
Socks have evolved. We now have socks that take moisture away from feet to help prevent blisters. We have socks with added padding for cushioning. And we have socks with color to match the shoes we wear!
Socks should still be put on with care but now perhaps they are as much an expression of style as they are a functional part of an athlete’s gear. With the explosion of color added to shoes now there is the need to choose socks that coordinate. Not everyone agrees and there are some players who still wear white socks with black shoes. I think that is a little like the dad who wears his white workout socks with his dress casual shoes!