October 30, 2012


This may be hard to believe, but I hate shopping in brick and mortar stores. I especially hate driving and walking around in search of something specific, only to return home empty handed. Window shopping? I hate the concept. On the other hand, I'm more than happy to make online purchases after I've determined exactly what I want, exactly where to go (have I mentioned that Amazon Prime is the Devil?), and exactly how much I'm willing to spend. In fact, most of the items showcased in this blog were purchased online. One exception is shown in the picture. Socks. More specifically: New Balance Enhanced Dry Low Cut socks in medium size. My pathetic, ridiculous, and disturbing story continues after the jump. [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?


  1. Haha. "Galvanized Motorolan." You need some Kevlar socks, c.f.: http://www.thisiswhyimbroke.com/kevlar-socks

  2. Or better yet: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/713023302/socrates-the-most-clever-socks-ever?ref=live

  3. Those kickstarter socks look pretty sick. Too bad they are crew length lol.