History of Baseball Stirrup Socks March 26 2020, 0 Comments

When Did It All Begin?

In 1868 the Cincinnati Red Stockings exposed their baseball socks by cuffing their pants to resemble cricketers. Soon, exposed colored stockings became all the rage, adding more color to baseball team uniforms. But it wasn’t until 1905, when Nap Lajoie’s injury from a cleat drove players to wear two layers of sock, that baseball stirrups were born. A white, washable underlining sanitary sock was worn under the colored uniform sock. Two layers were a tight fit for the cleats, so players cut the toe and ankle out of the colored over-sock, creating the first baseball stirrups

It was in the 1920s that stripes and ‘candy cane’ colors debuted, giving stirrup socks a decorative use that went past their sanitary purpose. Baseball stirrups, already a distinctive part of the uniform, became an even greater part of America’s Past Time. In the 1960s colorfast dyes allowed the sanitary socks to be colored other than white, creating combinations like the Athletics green-over-gold look.

Going Overboard?

The 1970s saw the loops of baseball stirrups climb higher and higher up the player’s lower leg. It became a fashion competition to try for the longest loop, leading to some interesting sock looks. Eventually, the trend overcorrected in the other direction and stirrup socks fell out of fashion.

You Can’t Keep A Good Sock Down

After decades of decline, the baseball stirrup is making a comeback. Tradition conscious players are taking advantage of Major League Baseball’s relaxed oversight of uniform rules to make their own personal statements regarding footwear. From sock hiding pants to knee-high stirrups under knicker-like cuffed pants, players are making their own choices -- even within the same team. An individual identifier in a team uniform that any player and fan can get behind, and stick their foot into!