Soccer players have a limited amount of the equipment they’re mandated to wear. No matter what age, or league, soccer players can be seen wearing long socks.
Soccer players wear long socks to prevent shin guards from shifting during the game. Soccer players are consistently running and sliding, which can cause the shinguard to become dislodged.
In this article, we’re going to examine why soccer players wear long socks and why every player has them.
Why Soccer Players Wear Long Socks
Secure The Shin Guard
Soccer players wear shin guards underneath their long socks.
The shin guard is a thick piece of plastic that comfortably sits on top of the front part of the leg. The plastic will protect the tibia (also known as the shin) and the high ankle from any contact.
Soccer is a leg contact sport, as players are consistently being kicked in the foot, ankle, and shin. In order to protect the lower body parts, shin guards became a staple for all soccer players.
Shin guards have been around for centuries. Dating back to the ancient Greek and Roman days, warriors wore shin guards to protect themselves in battle.
The first sport that was introduced to shin guards was cricket. Soon after, they were first seen in soccer by a man named Sam Weller Widdowson, who was a former cricket player.
Initially, Sam was criticized and ridiculed for wearing shin guards, as players made fun of him. In today’s game, every player is wearing shin guards, as it’s the most important piece of equipment.
Shin guards are the only piece of equipment a soccer player needs to wear during a soccer game. Aggressive opponents will often slide tackle players, in order to turnover ball possession. Slide tackling has many advantages.
The first reason being it helps to disengage the player from dribbling the ball. Fast players who knife through the defense, past midfield, pose a threat to the goalkeeper. In order to effectively slow down a player, its advantageous for a midfielder to slide tackle and dislodged the ball from the player’s dribble.
The second reason is to slow down that player throughout the rest of the game. When slide tackling, players will aim to kick the ball away from the dribbler. However, there’s often contact made to the ankle and shin area. This contact is met with the spikes of the cleats, as well as the force of the leg.
Not having shin guards could seriously injure this part of the leg, and will severely reduce the playing limitations for the soccer player.
We recommend always wearing shin guards during practice as well as games. The long socks that soccer players wear will help secure the shin guards in place for the remainder of the game.
Long Socks Match Team Colors
Aside from securing the shin guards in place underneath the long sock, players will also wear these long socks to match their team colors.
These long socks that soccer players wear, can be worn as high as the knee. These socks are typically worn in favor of the team’s colors. In rec and amateur leagues, players typically wear long socks that match the color of their team’s t-shirt.
Rarely will you see teams have different colored socks on the field. Picture the socks being an extension of the uniform, and they will color coordinate with the team’s secondary or third colors.
Keeping Warm & Staying Comfortable With Long Socks
Often times, players will wear long socks in order to keep warm. Soccer is played around the globe year-round, oftentimes in the spring and fall. In order to stay warm, soccer players will wear longer socks, instead of pants.
Players are required to wear team uniforms, which is the jersey, pair of shorts, and long socks. For players that are comfortable in just the shorts and don’t want to wear long spandex, they may just elect to wear longer socks.
Staying comfortable is another element of why soccer players wear long socks. Players need to be able to stop on a dime and transition the ball downfield. Having your foot slide around inside the sock and shoe can cause discomfort and also injury if the cleat doesn’t fit properly.
The sock plays a major role in making sure the foot doesn’t slide around the cleat and that maximum pressure can be put on all sides of the cleat.
Soccer players wear long socks so they can secure and protect their shin guards, match team colors, and ultimately keep their legs warm and comfortable throughout the match.
It’s important the shin guards be covered up so they aren’t consistently slipping back and forth as the player covers miles of running throughout the match.
Team colors are represented by the team socks, which all color coordinate together.
Soccer is often played in the fall, which inhibits cold weather. It’s important the legs not cramp up from the drastic temperature changes. The socks add a layer of comfort and warmth to the lower part of the body in this situation.
Last, these socks that the soccer players wear are typically made of cotton material. These socks will absorb any sweat that comes off the leg. We highly recommend taking care of these socks, as if you wash them infrequently, they will harden and smell.
After every game, wash your socks in the washer and have a fresh pair of each game. Throwing them into a gym bag and wearing them later can accumulate bacteria if not washed properly.
Why do you wear long socks for soccer? Did we miss anything that you want to add? Let us know in the comment section below and we can add it to our list.