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No Socks Day – May 8, 2023

No Socks Day is celebrated worldwide on May 8 of every year. Let’s be honest, socks can be pretty annoying, especially on a particularly hot spring day. No Socks Day is a day when you can finally relax and take them off. Set your feet free and feel the cool floor, the fresh and soft blades of grass, the coarse sand, and the tranquil waters of the beach. Take a break — and not just from wearing socks, take a break from work or studying if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Take time to truly feel the world that surrounds you.

History of No Socks Day

In the eighth century B.C., the ancient Greeks wore socks made from matted animal hair. Quite a scratchy, furry affair! This is the earliest written account of socks in history. The Romans would wrap their feet with leather or woven fabrics, and around the second century A.D., they started sewing the fabrics together. By the fifth century A.D., socks were worn by holy people in Europe to symbolize purity. They were a piece of fabric wound spirally around the leg.

In the Middle Ages, socks became a single, tight, brightly colored cloth, and since they did not have an elastic band, garters were placed over the top of the stockings to prevent them from falling down. When breeches became shorter, socks began to get longer and more expensive. By 1000 A.D., socks became a symbol of wealth among the nobility. The poor still wore foot wraps, simple cloths wrapped around their feet.

In 1589, the knitting machine was invented by William Lee, which meant socks could be knitted six times faster than before. Queen Elizabeth I, declined to grant him a patent for his invention, but King Henri IV, from France, saw the potential and offered financial support. Thanks to this, socks were finally made for the lower classes using wool, while those made for noblemen were made of colored silk.

Once socks were established as everyday wear, people started wearing them most of the time, and by the 2000s, workers, scholars and even housewives tend to wear their feet covered. Socks became a quirky style thing, with patterns and colors and even photos of our pets on them. Ruth and Thomas Roy created No Socks Day to set the feet free and bring them into contact with the earth for one day.

No Socks Day timeline

8th Century B.C.
The Earliest Account of Socks in History

As mentioned in a Greek poem by Hesiod, ancient Greeks wear socks called ‘piloi,’ made from matted animal hair.

300—500 A.D.
Earliest Known Surviving Pair of Socks

They are found in the city of Oxyrhynchus on the Nile in Egypt and have split toes designed to use with sandals.

1000 A.D.
Socks are a Symbol of Wealth

Poor people continue to wear foot wraps as the wealthy wore socks.

1589
William Lee Invents the Knitting Machine

King Henri IV, from France, offers financial support, and socks are finally made for the lower classes using wool, while the noblemens’ are made of colored silk.

No Socks Day FAQs

Is there a National Socks Day?

Yes, National Socks Day is celebrated on December 4.

Does wearing no socks make you sick?

Studies show that cooling the body, wearing wet clothes, or having soaked hair does not increase the risk of infection, even if you’ve injected the cold virus directly into your nose.

What happens if you wear socks for too long?

Socks worn for too long absorb the sweat from your feet, which can expose them to bacteria and fungus. There’s another reason to take them off on this day.

No Socks Day Activities

  1. Take them off

    If it’s May 8, and you’ve made it this far into the article with your socks on, that’s enough history and appreciation of them. It’s time to discard them. For one day, allow your feet to breathe.

  2. Enjoy a pedicure

    Now that your socks are off, it’s time to take proper care of your feet. Go to a specialist and ask for treatment. They’ll take care of your nails and skin up to the knee with moisturizing, exfoliation (removal of dead cells), and a well-deserved massage. You’ll feel brand new!

  3. Throw a sock puppet show

    This day is a great day to be a little silly and do something creative with your children. Gather their socks and draw eyes on them, or decorate them with yarn or paper. Finally, make a hole in an old cardboard box to set the stage. Let them take care of the story and performances, while you just sit and watch.

5 Fun Facts About No Socks Day

  1. It was created by an actor

    Thomas Roy (and his wife Ruth) were the creators — he had a minor role in the famous science fiction movie “Twelve Monkeys.”

  2. It helps the environment

    Thomas and Ruth have said that if we give up wearing socks for a day, that means less laundry, which is good for the environment, and we’re all about that intention!

  3. It was published in a popular annual

    “Chase's Calendar of Events” is an annual book that since 1957 has collected many weird and funny holidays.

  4. Going sockless is good for your health

    Walking without socks trains the vestibular system, stimulates nerve endings that reduce the risk of inflammations, strengthens overlooked groups of muscles, and improves blood flow to the legs and feet.

  5. National Lost Sock Memorial Day also exists

    By what is probably no coincidence, it takes place on the following day, May 9.

Why We Love No Socks Day

  1. It’s liberating

    How often are you told not to wear socks? Never, right? Take advantage of this day to try walking barefoot. It can improve your eyesight as certain nerves under your feet are stimulated.

  2. It’s a chance to love your feet

    Many people aren’t fond of their feet — partly because we’re too used to hiding them away, and this could make us develop insecurities. We’ve already mentioned it’s a good day to have a pedicure. Appreciate your feet — they work hard.

  3. It’s environmentally friendly

    Every time you wash your clothes, synthetic fabrics shed up to 700,000 microplastics, which are released into the environment. This is harmful to ocean life and eventually comes back to us. We’re not saying you shouldn’t do the laundry, but spending a day wearing a little less clothing reduces our need for washing.

No Socks Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 8Monday
2024May 8Wednesday
2025May 8Thursday
2026May 8Friday
2027May 8Saturday

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