Sunday, April 7, 2019

Socks and Stripes—Going, Going, Gone?

By John Turney

In 2018 only about one-fourth of the NFL teams had stripes on their hose (socks), not counting throwback unis. A few of those only had them when they wore dark pants and a couple were solid hose with one contrasting stripe at the bottom of the solid hose, so we are not sure it counts as a stripe but we will include them.

So, with uniforms able to be filled with features, stripes and other design features the technology of today doesn't allow uniform designers at Nike or elsewhere to have uniform hose with appropriate striping? We say 'appropriate' because not all teams have a tradition of stripes on their socks and wouldn't look good with them. The general rule is that the sleeves and the socks should match, i.e. if you had Northwestern stripes on the sleeve then have Northwestern stripes on the socks (early 1960s Vikings) or if you had Utah stripes on the sleeves, have Utah Stripes on the hose (mid-to-late 1960s Buffalo Bills) and so on.

But, are we can do is whine for days gone past when most teams had striping on their hose that often matched the striping on their sleeves. Since sleeves are gone, that, we suppose, is one contributing factor about the disappearance of sock striping.

So, all we can say is 'we miss those days' and post some shots of the glorious sock stripe. See if you can name them—


  1. John, great article! love those 'old school' unis.....classic Lombardi Packers....the 69 redskins adapted the Packer hose when Lombardi moved there to coach....Vikings matching their "northwestern sleeves with the white northwestern socks on their road unis....Saints replete with calf-striping on their early issues....all classic....but mention (or illustration) of the Denver Broncos 1960-61 vertical stripes? hmmmmmmm? surely the most distinctive fashion statement since the Redskins' 'feather in the back' helmets

    1. plenty has been written about the vertical stripe socks. Those are one set I don't miss.

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