Why do footballers wear grip socks?

John Dennis

Socks are one of the most overlooked parts of a footballer’s kit. However, they are just as important as they are part of the uniform and offer athletes a stylish look.

They also have practical uses, such as preventing blisters and holding shin guards in place.

The importance of socks in football is also becoming more noticeable, especially after a recent trend of athletes wearing unique socks, like grip socks.

So, what are grip socks, and why are so many football players wearing them? Below is a detailed look at them, their benefits, top athletes who wear them, and other exciting facts.

What are grip socks?

Grip socks are simply socks with a grip at the bottom, providing extra friction between the feet and the shoes.

The friction helps prevent slipping and offers a locked-in feeling to the feet. Consequently, this increases stability and can help enhance footwork.

The grip material is usually located where the socks make contact with cleats. However, in some brands, the grip material may also be inside the socks, where they contact the feet.

The latter option helps to offer an extra layer of friction – preventing the feet from slipping against the socks when running.

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What are grip socks made from?

Grip socks for playing football

The fabric material of football socks varies from one brand to another. The most common materials include nylon, polyester, cotton, and synthetic fabric.

However, some socks also feature two or more materials, for example, cotton and nylon, combining the benefits of different fabrics.  

The grip in football grip socks is also made from different materials, varying from one brand to another. Common grip materials include PVC, silicon, fabric, or a combination of materials, such as PVC and silicon.

What are the benefits of grip socks?

Grip socks have several benefits, especially for footballers and other athletes. Below is a look at them:

  1. They provide friction between the feet and cleats, making them excellent anti-slip football socks.
  2. Grip socks are anti-blister socks, as the grip material prevents foot movement, reducing the likelihood of blisters.
  3. The reduced foot movement inside the cleats offers increased stability when running or moving with the ball.
  4. Grip socks can enhance a footballer’s footwork when performing actions such as running, passing, or kicking the ball and performing tackles.
  5. The grip material can provide a better and more secure fit when wearing soccer cleats.
  6. The increased stability of the grip socks can help prevent injuries.
  7. They can offer more comfort, especially when wearing new and tight-fitting soccer cleats.  

Disadvantages of grip socks

Grip socks have several benefits, but they also have disadvantages. Below is a look at some of them:

  1. The grip material can be uncomfortable when you first start wearing the socks.
  2. They can be more expensive than other regular socks.
  3. The material can wear off, reducing the benefits offered.
  4. Since grip socks are relatively new, they may have fewer material, size, colour, and style options.
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Do grip socks make you faster?

Given the popularity of grip socks, especially in professional sports, one can presume they are performance socks. However, they don’t directly enhance your performance.

The benefits of grip socks can, indirectly, make you faster. For example, the stability, comfort, and “locked-in” feeling in the feet can help athletes to run faster.

Additionally, the anti-blister feature can reduce foot discomfort, which would otherwise affect performance.

Do pro footballers use grip socks?

Raheem Sterling wearing grip socks
Raheem Sterling wearing grip socks during a match.

Several footballers use grip socks at a professional level. You can identify them through their socks’ distinctive “dot-like” markings around the heel area of the feet.

Some of the most famous footballers who wear grip socks include:

  1. Raheem Sterling – English international and Chelsea FC player.
  2. Luis Suarez – Uruguayan international player. 
  3. Gareth Bale – Former Welsh international and Los Angeles FC player. 
  4. Héctor Bellerín – Spanish international and FC Barcelona player.
  5. Megan Rapinoe – U.S Women’s soccer player who plays professionally for club OL Reign.

What is the rule for grip socks in football?

Football has no rules that ban grip socks, so players can wear them as they desire. However, the socks may be restricted by FIFA equipment regulation rules when a player is playing in FIFA competitions.

Some of the rules that may make wearing grip socks tricky in pro football competitions include:

  • Socks should be of a specific colour and part of a team’s official kit.
  • Players should only wear one pair of visible socks.

Some players try circumventing the first rule by wearing grip socks underneath the official ones.

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Besides the FIFA regulations, wearing grip socks can also violate the branding regulations. This is because teams often have sponsorship deals with sportswear brands that make socks for them in return for the promotion offered.

Therefore, wearing socks with different markings than those of the manufacturer can lead to sanctions by FIFA.

Best grip socks: What do the pros wear?

Professional footballers have helped to increase the popularity of grip socks, which have seen several brands enter the scene.

These are some of the best grip socks for footballers, which are a hit with professional athletes. 

1. Trusox

Trusox grip socks
Trusox grip socks

Trusox is one of the most popular football grip socks brands. The company has been at the centre of several branding rows with FIFA, which has seen players and football associations fined for wearing their socks.

Trusox socks feature a distinctive black or white square-shaped grip design on the socks’ inside and outer layers (sole and heel).

Their socks come in various colours and are available in ankle, mid-calf, and over-the-calf versions.

2. NikeGrip Socks

Grip socks by Nike
Grip socks by Nike

NikeGrip socks are designed by the famous sportswear brand Nike. They feature a fabric grip, which is made from ultrafine polyester nanofibers.

The Nike grip material covers the heel, sole, and top part of the foot area. In addition, the sole and top part of the socks feature a spiral grip design inspired by the gecko’s feet.

3. Tapedesign anti-slip socks

Tapedesign grip socks
Tapedesign grip socks

Tapedesign is another famous grip socks brand popular with professional football players.

The socks feature round rubber knobs on the sole part of the feet, which provides friction between the feet and shoes.

Have you ever worn grip socks during a workout or game? Let us know your experience with them.

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