Why Soccer Players Wear Long Socks

Post title over image of soccer player in long socks

If you’re new to soccer, you may have noticed that soccer players always wear long socks when playing in a game. And you are probably wondering why this is the case. Well, I have the answer for you.

The primary reason soccer players wear long socks is to cover their shin guards. They also wear long socks to keep their shin guards in place throughout a game and to keep their legs warm while playing in cold weather. 

This article will discuss the three reasons soccer players wear long socks and how it can give them a significant advantage over not wearing long socks. You may be surprised what you discover!

So keep reading to get the inside scoop on all of this.

The 3 Reasons Soccer Players Wear Long Socks

Just like any other sport, soccer has changed dramatically over time.

When the game was first invented, it was a simple sport with regards to the necessary equipment. All you needed in the past to play soccer was a ball and shoes ( although sometimes shoes weren’t even necessary).

Well, that has changed. Today professional soccer is played in an organized manner with all kinds of additional equipment.

I remember being confused the first time I saw male soccer players wearing what looked like sports bras, but then appreciating the importance of them once I found out what they were for!

Even if you have spent very little time watching soccer, you are probably aware of some of the basic clothing necessary for soccer players.

Items such as:

  • A jersey,
  • shorts,
  • soccer cleats
  • and even socks

But one thing most of us have wondered about at some point is why soccer players wear long socks instead of short ones.

Is it really necessary?

Well, there are three reasons for this, and I want to look at each one of them now.

If you want to know more about wearing soccer socks, check out my article –How to wear soccer socks.

1. Soccer Players Wear Long Socks to Cover Their Shin Guards

The most important reason soccer players wear long socks is to keep their shin guards covered throughout a game.

It is a rule in soccer that players must wear shin guards.

Shin guards are thick pieces of hard material that comfortably sit on top of the front part of a player’s lower leg. The shin guards protect a player’s shin and ankle from any contact during a soccer game.

Soccer is a contact sport. Throughout a game, players are regularly being kicked in the foot, ankle, and shin.

So to protect a player’s leg, shin guards have become a necessity for all soccer players. And not wearing shin guards could get a soccer player seriously injured.

I remember playing a spontaneous soccer game with friends multiple times where I did not have any shin guards with me.

There was more than once during those games where I received a kick to the shin so hard that I almost had to stop playing. Believe me when I say it hurts! But if I had been wearing shin guards, this would not have hurt nearly as much!

But the requirement for soccer players to wear shin guards created the need for another requirement.

The rules of soccer require soccer players to keep their shin guards covered by socks at all times.

Law 4 in the rules of soccer states that a soccer player’s shin guards must:

“be made of a suitable material to provide reasonable protection and covered by the socks

Laws of the game of soccer

Interestingly there is no specific requirement within the rules of soccer that says a player must wear long socks.

The rules say that a player must wear shin guards and that the player’s socks must cover these.

A soccer player wears long socks to comply with the rules of soccer concerning shin guards.

There is no option for players to wear short socks because they wouldn’t cover a player’s shin guards.

The top of most shin guards sits a few inches below a player’s knee. To cover them, a player’s socks must stretch all the way to a player’s knee.

If a soccer player is wearing appropriate size shin guards, then the only way they can comply with the rules of soccer is to wear long socks.

2. Player’s Wear Long Socks to Keep Their Shin Guards in Place

The second reason why soccer players wear long socks is so that their shin guards stay where they are meant to be. Keeping the shin guards in place is an essential part of safety during a football game.

As I mentioned above, shin guards are required pieces of equipment in soccer for the safety of all the players.

To ensure they stay in the most protective position on a player’s leg, it helps to wear long socks over the top of them.

There are various shin guards available to soccer players, and you can see a selection of the best ones available here on Amazon.

Many of these shin guards are secured around a player’s leg by a strap that goes around the back of the calf.

Although this is effective most of the time, I can tell you from experience that the shin guards sometimes slip up or down the leg, or occasionally around the leg.

To minimize the amount this happens, the players like to wear long, tight socks to hold the shin guards firmly in place.

It makes such a difference during a game when you are not constantly worrying about your shin guards and trying to stop them from moving around your leg!

3. Players Wear Long Socks to Keep Their Legs Warm

The last reason soccer players wear long socks is to keep their legs warm during a game.

Soccer is played around the world year-round. The soccer seasons often take place in the spring and fall, which can be cold seasons.

In addition to this, soccer players wear shorts while they are playing.

So frequently, soccer players are relying on their long socks to keep them warm. Especially when you first come out of the warm changing room in the depths of winter!

Although being warm is great and makes anyone feel more comfortable, there is more to it than just comfort.

Before a game, every player on a team will have been through an intense warm-up session.

The benefits of an effective warm-up before a soccer game are extensive, but it’s safe to say that once the player’s muscles are warmed up and ready to go, they don’t want them cooling down again while they wait for the game to start.

One of the best ways to keep a player’s muscles warm is to keep them covered up and insulated. Long socks are the perfect way to do this for a player’s lower leg.

They keep the warmth in, and, similar to the reasons that soccer players wear gloves, staying warm can make a player more effective on the soccer field.

My Recommendations

Soccer is a fantastic sport with so many positive things to be said about it. But it there are also things that can be confusing about it. That is why I wrote this article and have written others such as:

If you want to get hold of a pair of long soccer socks for yourself or someone else then be sure to check out the extensive range of high-quality socks available on soccer.com.

There’s nothing like using a soccer-specific retailer to get hold of high-quality soccer products.

Or for other soccer gear recommendations check out my recommended soccer equipment pages.

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

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