Why Do Basketball Players Wear Long Socks?

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Basketball is a way of life. What was once a simple sport created for college students has now become one of the most celebrated games in the world. Today, everything about the sport can be a topic of conversation — including the things players wear.

One article of clothing that surprisingly caught the attention of many is the type of socks basketball players wear. As trivial as they may seem, even the length of a player’s socks can affect how they play. So why do basketball players wear long socks? Let’s talk about that here.

What Socks Do NBA Players Wear?What Socks Do NBA Players Wear?

Before the eccentric dive into the world of long socks, it’s important to understand the types of socks worn in the NBA first. As you may know, the NBA is the world’s most popular league, and it is also a hub for the most advanced apparel choices today. The league is known to partner up with the biggest sports brands in the world.

As the official partner, brands such as Adidas sponsored the NBA’s jerseys at one point, while Nike and Jordan are staples in providing the NBA teams with their uniforms since 2017.

The NBA also has the world’s best players who have the most particular choices and preferences for what they wear to games, including socks.

So, what socks do NBA players wear?

In the league, moisture-wicking materials are preferred because of their ability to keep the feet dry. NBA players play three times a week the whole year, so wearing something that will prevent blisters and possible infections is critical. In addition to that, compression technology is often incorporated into socks in order to provide support and improve blood circulation. All these demands from NBA players pushed sports brands to create socks that are both comfortable and beneficial.

Why Do Some Players Wear Long SocksWhy Do Some Players Wear Long Socks?

At the end of the day, it’s up to the players themselves to decide whether to wear long socks or not. Here are some reasons why players who wear long socks do so:

Better Compression

Compression and support are two very important things for basketball players. Compressing muscles has been proven to prevent early fatigue by improving circulation. Compared to low socks, long socks compress a bigger area which means that the socks benefit more of your legs and provide a more compressed feeling overall.

Muscle Warmth

There’s a good reason why basketball players warm up for hours before games. Warming up improves flexibility and loosens up what needs to be loosened up in order to avoid injuries. A proper warm-up also gives you the momentum to perform better during games. Long socks can prolong the effects of your warm-up by locking in that heat inside your legs and keeping you hot and ready to play at any given time.

Personal Reasons

Of course, some players choose to wear long socks for other reasons outside of the physical benefits. For one, some players wear long socks purely for style and expression. If it looks good on them, why not wear it, right? Meanwhile, some players wear long socks to hide scars on their knees and legs — take NBA Champion Shaun Livingston as an example. Sometimes, there really is more than meets the eye.

Benefits of Wearing Long Socks in BasketballBenefits of Wearing Long Socks in Basketball

Long Socks aren’t just worn for style and comfort because they can also be extremely helpful to you during games. Here are some of the benefits of wearing long socks:

Improved Blood Circulation and Warmth

Long socks’ compression contributes to enhanced blood circulation in the legs. In fact, according to the NHS of UK, compression stockings can be worn daily to improve circulation. Compared to shorter socks, long socks have higher tension, thus tighter compression. By squeezing the legs and the veins, long socks can slow down and regulate the blood flow in the area and keep oxygen-rich blood within it.

Additionally, long socks also provide much-needed warmth to keep your legs nice and ready. With improved blod circulation and warmth comes reduced muscle fatigue, quicker recovery, and lower risk of in-game cramps.

Muscle Support

Long socks also provide compression to support your muscles, specifically your calves. Stable muscles move more efficiently, which lessens muscle soreness after playing. Additional support to your muscles also lessens the chances of muscle tears and injuries.

Preventing Scratches or Abrasions

Basketball is a physical sport where players can get all sorts of injuries — including abrasions or wounds. Long socks provide an additional layer of protection for your legs, so you don’t have to worry about getting floor burns or other scratches. More so, players who have existing wounds on their legs may opt to wear long socks to provide cover and prevent getting hurt even more.

Psychological Advantage

If you’ve ever heard of the saying “dress for the occasion,” you may know that wearing a simple article of clothing can spell the difference in your mental game in sports. Wearing long socks can make people feel more serious and confident during games compared to wearing casual playing clothes. Any little thing that might contribute to making you perform better is always welcome, so why not try it out yourself?

Other Types of Basketball SocksOther Types of Basketball Socks

Long socks aren’t the only options when playing basketball. While a fraction of players wear long socks, other players have opted to wear the other options as well.

Perhaps one of the most popular choices are mid-cut socks. Mid-cut socks provide coverage until above the ankle and just a little lower than the calves. They provide better ankle support than low socks while giving more freedom and ventilation than long socks.

Low-cut socks are also an option but haven’t been preferred by majority of players during games. Back in the 90s, these socks had their time in the NBA but have since fallen out because of their lack of ankle support. However, these socks are popular for casual play and outdoor play because of the ventilation and flexibility they give.

Popular Basketball Socks NBA Players WearPopular Basketball Socks NBA Players Wear

Through the years, certain athletic brands have gained popularity in the NBA for providing great socks. However, it is also worth noting that the NBA has specific rules for socks to be worn, so players — even from rival athletic brands — have no choice but to wear the prescribed socks during official games.

Nonetheless, socks today aren’t just visually appealing — they’re also filled with features that can enhance performance and comfort. Let’s go over some of the best basketball socks today:

Nike Elite Crew

Nike is the official sock partner of the NBA which gives them exclusivity across the league. This means that every NBA player who steps on the court for official games must wear Nike socks, or else that player will get fined. Fortunately, the Nike Elite socks are perhaps the best in the market today and remain to be the golden standard of basketball performance socks.

These socks feature soft fabric with sweat-wicking tech that keeps your feet dry and comfortable. Paddings on the socks are also strategically located on the heel and knuckle areas to absorb impact from running and jumping. Finally, these socks feature an arch band that keeps the socks snug in the midfoot area.

Under Armour Drive Basketball Crew Socks

Under Armour has been one of the most successful athletic brands in recent memory, particularly due to the rise of Steph Curry, who has been synonymous with the brand. The brand has also been busy developing its basketball line, which resulted in products like the UA Drive Basketball socks.

These socks are strategically cushioned for basketball players and are even ergonomically contoured to provide better anatomical fit to your left and right foot. Other features include HeatGear, which keeps the feet cool and dry, and ArmourBlock, which prevents bacteria growth.

Adidas Creator 365

Of course, Adidas also had to come up with a response to Nike’s successful Elite socks and it came in the form of the Creator 365. The Adidas Creator 365 provides 360 degrees of cushioning, compressions, and ankle protection. More specifically, polypropylene is added to the heel and toe areas to reduce moisture and lessen the chances of blister reduction. They also have Adidas’ Traxion technology added in certain areas of the foot to increase grip and give you a more stable feel when playing.

Wrapping Things Up: Why Do Basketball Players Wear Long Socks?

Basketball has truly evolved to become a lifestyle more than a sport. Because of this, every little thing about the game has gone through many changes, including the socks that players wear today. Specifically, wearing long socks has been a thing inside and outside the NBA because of its many benefits.

Long socks provide great support, warmth, compression, and overall protection. While there are many NBA players who prefer long socks today, crew socks have ruled the NBA in recent years, particularly in the form of the Nike Elite Socks. At the end of the day, socks are essential to the game, and the decision on what socks to wear is up to the player, so wear whatever makes you feel the best.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

> Why Do Basketball Players Only Wear One Leg Sleeve?

> Why Do Basketball Players Wear Rubber Bands on Their Knees?

> Do Basketball Players Wear Cups?

Why Do Basketball Players Tap Their Heads?

> Why Do Basketball Players Chew Gum?

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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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