sock – an item of clothing worn on the feet and often covering the ankle or some part of the calf. Some type of shoe or boot is typically worn over socks. In ancient times, socks were made from leather or matted animal hair. In the late 16th century, machine-knit socks were first produced. Until 1800 both hand knitting and machine knitting were used to produce socks, but after 1800, machine knitting became the predominant method.
Socks – In the winter months, socks help to keep your feet nice and warm. All the rest of the time, socks help to prevent your shoes from chafing your feet and causing blisters.

  • Ask – Shoes provide protection from the outside, but what protects feet from the shoes?
  • Imagine – What can you put inside a shoe between the shoe and your foot? What would be comfortable and strong?
  • Design, Build – How will the sock stay in place inside the shoe? How can socks be made in large quantities so there are enough for everyone?
  • Improve – Socks used to just be long tubes – tube socks are still available. What improvements have been made to the design of socks? Why were these improvements important?

Engineering ideas

  • shoes, knitting