Fashion houses and labels are paying more attention to where sport fans are. This means chasing after the big names in sports to be the face of their brands. Given the influence most of the sports personalities carry, brands like Nike and Adidas will not hesitate to pick out multiple-award winning sports persons to rally behind their brands. The effect is that their fans will want to imitate their style. In this attempt, they end up flocking to their stores to get a pair of sneakers, pants, socks, or whatever it is their favorite player was spotted rocking publicly.

Attempting to understand why style also plays a part in sports may call you to journey through history. In this article, we will pay close attention to basketball and why there seems to be some interest around the socks to wear. Assuming you have interacted with the sport, one thing you may have come to notice is the diversity in socks. Arguably, players will go a great deal to identify with their style and unashamedly flaunt it throughout the game. Depending on what age group you fall, the trends have kept changing with time. Here is an attempt to come up with a fact sheet on how these styles have evolved over the years.

The Baggy Socks of the 1950’s

For some reason, back in the 1950’s, wearing loose-fitting socks made you trendy. If you have watched the movie Hoosiers, then you know what the trend meant then. There could be many questions running through your mind like: 

  • Did the socks really feel comfortable around their ankles?
  • Did the sliding effect of the socks in their shoes feel good?
  • Worse yet, how was it like for players who did not adopt this style?

Well, anyone has to be an old hooper to answer some of those questions. If you aren’t one, the best thing to do would be to stop overthinking and let go of any assumption. Interestingly, just like most fashion trends, the baggy socks is a style that catches up with turks many decades later.

The Tube Socks of the 1970’s

Maybe the baggy socks did not work or they increasingly became irrelevant. We don’t know, but what we know for sure is that the emergence of tube socks saw the need to cover the shin. As you presently are aware, some of the youth basketball socks today adopt the tube style. We can simply agree that this was the precursor to the leg tights of the 2010’s. 

Well, even for this, it didn’t quite last long. The direction changed to something a bit more below. Worth noting is that while these lost trend in the late 80’s, they were resuscitated sometime in the late 90’s by the likes of Glenn Robinson.

The Ankle Socks of the 1990’s

By this era, it was easier fooling guys at the court that you were wearing no socks. It was increasingly becoming uncool to show off your socks. It got worse to the point of players lowering the socks to the full extent of having them tucked inside the shoes. If one did not know better, one would say this fashion was simply an obsession of men with their calf muscles which sadly led to the wave of players getting calf implants. Well, maybe that is a bit too extreme but that was the 90’s for you.

The No Rules Socks of the 2010’s

Most people are definitely for this style. Knowing that there is no apprehension for rocking white, blue, high, low or even baggy socks, drives in some peace. To be honest, no one ever seems to get what took us so long to get here. With the introduction of Nike Elite socks for basketball, the game changed. No color was off limits and no design was no good design. The length of the socks was no longer important and yes, there has been total bedlam since. Creative basketball socks have rocked the scene with kids and teenagers alike not getting over the neon green or bright orange. The full-blown pictures of what to expect with the socks you buy have sent the creativity above the roof with the vendors.

Bottom line, we all need to marvel at how the trends have not only kept the sport exciting but also cool.

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