[Edit: jumps are silly; removed it]
I should explain a couple of things. First, my feet like to be comfortable. They don't like thin, cheap, and generic socks. They don't like socks that have a huge protruding seam that interferes with the digits, and they don't like ill-fitting socks that tend to clump, bunch, and fold near the digits. Second, I've always favored crew length socks for some reason. Maybe because I wear pants to work, or because I'm punk rock and don't give a damn, or because I'm getting old, or because I'm clueless. Whatever: I like comfortable crew socks that fit. Sue me.
Although I admit to a certain level of cluelessness, I'm aware enough to realize that long socks + shorts at the gym = kook. I don't want to look like a 73 year old Galvinized Motorolan at the company exercise facility. Instead, I want to wear venue-appropriate footwear when I'm at the gym and when I'm wearing shorts. Fair enough, let's go buy some socks at the mall. A simple task.
Some time ago I picked up some "quarter length" New Balance socks at the local sporting goods store, and my feet were happy. Naturally, I went back to the same store with a focused and targeted plan of attack: (1) go to the store; (2) head directly to the sock department; (3) find the same socks; and (4) buy them. I even wore a pair of the old quarter length socks to help me with item (3). A simple task, right? Not really. I couldn't find the same socks, and, trust me, I conducted an extensive search for them. No big deal, I found a suitable equivalent (New Balance "No-Show" socks) and picked up eight pairs. I returned home, tried them on, "decided" that I liked them, and then MARKED THEM with a thick black permanent ink pen (this is a necessity in my household). That was a mistake.
Day One with the no-show socks was a little stressful, perhaps because I wore jeans before going to the gym, and my tender ankles were exposed to the chafing denim. That was definitely a contributing factor. The primary reason, however, was the automatic retraction feature of the socks. They kept sliding down my heel to the point where I said "those socks need to be pulled up a bit." With crew length socks this is a non-issue - just yank the ends of the socks up to your knees and you are golden. With no-show socks? Not a simple task. In fact, I had to remove my shoes to gain access to my trendy no-show socks. What a hassle.
Day One ended with the realization that returning the PERMANENTLY MARKED yet sill brand new socks was out of the question. A setback for sure. No big deal, I merely had to continue my quest for socks (soquest?) the following weekend. Back to the store, where I found some low-length socks by New Balance. This time I only got a few pairs because I wasn't completely sold on them. Long story short, I liked them and they didn't slip off of my feet, so I returned to the store the following weekend to pick up additional pairs. Sold out. At this point I was ready to buy any generic, ill-fitting, product with protruding seams just to complete the task, but I forged ahead. I finally settled on a few pairs of the socks you see in the picture. These are pretty good, too; I'll keep them. That said, I still haven't marked them up yet.
All this for socks. Socks?