When it comes to playing ball, those Sox players don't kid around -- not even when it comes to, well, their socks. Popularized by our new Japanese pitchers, the 5-toed sock has allegedly been worn by more than one Sox player (including Mike Lowell, Alex Cora and Doug Mirabelli who claim to wear them regularly.) Although the clubhouse has it's own supply of classic red sox, the 5-toed socks are custom made and shipped to their main distributor (Matsuzaka.)
Why wear these odd-looking (and potentially uncomfortable) socks on your feet? Apparently it helps with grip. The socks are covered with tiny rubbery beads to improve balance and traction. “At first they feel kind of weird,” Mirabelli said. “They got some sticky things on the bottom, like little kids would have on the bottom of their socks. But you get used to them.”
Of course, not everyone is so into the new-toe-fangled fad. Jason Varitek has never worn the 5-toed socks and sees no reason to start now. “I don’t know why,” Varitek said with a shrug. “I just don’t like the toes separated.”
Not quite ready to have all 5 toes separated? Japanese tabi style, or split-toed socks might be the next best thing. In Tokyo and other cities, the tabi socks are becoming increasing popular. You can even wear them with flip-flops! Now there's a fashion statement...
Read more about the 5-toed sock and the Boston Sox at Boston.com.