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Original Issue

The prosy athletic sock takes on a splash of color and a dash of style

Because sportsmen like to wear "sweat"or crew socks for almost everything, these once-humble garments have traveled a long way from the locker room. For the tender-footed sportsman of the Western world, seldom blessed with feet like Abebe Bikila, the Ethiopian distance runner who, barefoot, won the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics, the modern socks provide protection and comfort through a variety of synthetic fibers blended with wool and cotton. Many tennis, golf and bowling socks now feature cushion soles, and they usually combine wool for comfort and softness, cotton for additional absorbency and stretch nylon for sure fit and longer wear. The cushion sole resembles terry cloth and is worn on the inside of the sock to help protect the balls of the feet from soreness and burns.

A color trend

The sweat sock, like the sweat shirt (SI, May 21, 1962), has become a style item. For men the trend in sweat socks (for sports other than track and field or tennis) is brilliant color—the brighter the better. Burlington's sweat socks come in 30 colors. They are made of 75% Orion acrylic and 25% stretch nylon and cost $1.50. Custom-made, cable-stitched golf socks from Schur's in Palm Beach are being ordered in bright, offbeat colors. Kelly green was recently requested by President Kennedy; pale pink, lavender, purple and teal blue are listed as popular colors this year (75 colors are offered). Schur's socks take about three weeks to knit and cost $11.50. Supp-hose for men are now available and Kayser-Roth makes these all-nylon socks in knee length in black, navy, cordovan and charcoal gray for $5.

Women seem to favor the "no-sock" look—shorter socks that barely touch the ankle-bone. Bonnie Doon's Sunettes are made of 70% wool and 30% stretch nylon. With a cushion sole and small pompons at the back of the sock to keep it from sliding down inside the shoe, they cost $1.25. Adler makes a cuffless ribbed stretch sock of 75% worsted wool and 25% nylon. A similar version for men is called the Scull sock; it has a cushion sole. Both cost $1. A bulky sock, quick-drying, is called the Sportlon, made by Interwoven. For close fit on the leg, the top is 96% Orion and 4% stretch nylon; cost, $1. For cold weather there are silk sock liners that are worn under wool socks for additional warmth. Beconta imports them from Italy for $4. This year's new Polar ski sock made of absorbent reversed terry is also being made in white for tennis and summer wear. It is imported from West Germany by Iselin and costs $2.75.