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Why Do Some Footballers Cut Holes In Their Socks?

Why Do Some Footballers Cut Holes In Their Socks?

Football is a sport unlike any other. It has a mass appeal that draws people from all walks of life, uniting us through our shared passion. Whether we play or merely spectate, there’s one thing we’d all agree on: the pros make it look easy.

Sometimes, though, the things they do baffle us, leaving us scratching our heads and looking on in consternation. Case in point: certain footballers who’ve recently been spotted with holes cut into their socks.

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So, is this a bizarre fashion statement, or is there a method behind their sartorial madness?

An odd choice of attire

In 2022, it will come as no surprise to learn that football is the most streamed sport in the UK, ahead of golf, rugby, and cricket. Certain teams, in particular, boast a popular pull, with both Manchester-based teams, Liverpool, and Chelsea topping these rankings.

With the World Cup well underway, it’s not just our local teams we’re supporting at the moment, and two of the tournament’s standout stars have been attracting attention due to their choice of hosiery as much as their goal-scoring abilities. We’re talking about Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka.

The England teammates, who both scored in their opening match against Iran, had noticeable holes in their expensive hosiery – and it turns out there’s a good reason why: to reduce their chances of suffering calf injuries.

The two young players, aged 19 and 21 respectively, were among England’s most impressive performers in their World Cup opener, demonstrating both technical quality and leadership. Helping the team to a decisive 6-2 victory, they were on top form as they ran rings around their opponents.

Brilliant Bellingham hit it into the net with an impressive header, while Saka scored two of England’s roster of goals. And they did so with gaping holes cut in the backs of their socks.

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Avoiding injury

It’s not the first time Premier League players have been spotted modeling this peculiar attire. It’s been a regular feature of Saka’s appearances since he first premiered with Arsenal. Teammates Nick Pope and Kyle Walker have also trialed the trend.

It’s not a mere fashion fad. As we mentioned earlier, the intention is to prevent injury – specifically, to the players’ calves. The reason this is a concern is that football socks are crafted from nylon, which not only heats up quickly but is very tightly fitted.

As players are given a fresh pair of socks before each match, these don’t have time to loosen before they take to the pitch, leaving many fearing the injuries that might be caused to tightly constricted muscles once they heat up.

There’s also a concern that the socks could lead to muscle cramping and tightness, which could potentially prevent players from performing as well as they might.

If you’re wondering how these holes are created, it’s simple: players take a pair of scissors and typically create an opening across the widest point in their calves. This instantly relieves pressure and ensures better airflow too.

Whether it has any impact on playing ability is still up for debate, but given both Bellingham and Saka made a big difference to England’s opening performance, we’d say it’s a trend every player should be embracing.

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