I Love to Hate You – Autism & Socks

Socks.

It is more of a Sensory Processing Disorder problem than an Autism problem, but maybe it’s an Autism problem because we don’t explain the discomfort to the people around us.

We don’t know you don’t feel the same way we do about socks. We think that our behavior should be self explanatory because socks just suck that much. I have very early memories regarding the unpleasantness of socks. They felt like fiberglass burning into my ankles and the seam was a large lizard wiggling around on my toes.

When I was a baby my mother liked to dress me in socks with lace trim. I hated lace more than anything. Thinking about those socks makes me itch. Nothing could ever make them feel right. Looking around me everyone had socks. I thought you all were crazy. Why on earth would anyone put up with this much pain?

My mother said it was to protect my shoes, because shoes are expensive. It was a logical enough explanation, but as I got older I remember rubbing my feet and ankles raw by pawing at my socks.

Wet socks and wet clothing have always been impossible for me. My mother once asked me to put on wet socks. I can’t remember very clearly what happened after she asked that question (perhaps I had a meltdown) but I feel like the situation ended with vomit.

As I got older I started picking my own socks at the store. Ankle socks with no seam in the toe were my favorite when I could find them on sale. I had expensive taste in socks. If I could not find socks without a seam, I prefer ankle socks with a seam on top but they have to be soft.

I tried wearing shoes without socks, most of the time I ended up with blisters on my tinder feet.My balance is not the best and I am a bit of a klutz. I imagine my feet take quite a beating when not protected by socks.

Flats were great until my feet began to sweat. Pools of sweat feel like oceans in my shoes – it is ALMOST as bad as wet socks.

I try to stock up when I find a type of sock that I like. If a company changes their socks it will take me a while to get used to them.

Nothing is more annoying than a sock problem. The distraction is so intense it becomes hard to think about anything else without stimming. Maybe that is why I went barefooted so much as a child. I loved the feel of warm dry grass and hot asphalt on my feet.

I don’t run around with my shoes off any more. Now that I’ve found socks that feel nice I prefer not to feel small things under my feet. (As an adult, at 125 lbs, your feet hurt more when stepping on objects than they did when you only were closer to 60lbs.)

Even now there are some sensory days that I just can’t handle socks. If that happens I don’t wear them. It’s that easy. It is not fair that I put myself through the torture.

Itchy socks take away my valuable spoons. I need those they are mine!

I’ve been wearing socks for over 30 years now. It has taken me a long time to go from hating socks to loving socks.

Baby steps, progress is progress no matter how long it takes.

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51 thoughts on “I Love to Hate You – Autism & Socks”

  1. I don’t have autism, and I am no fan of the sock. Mostly I found I could find socks bearable by getting certain brands and wearing them inside out. But then Nike changed something, (I used have 50 black and 50 white pairs identical).

    Interestingly since I got nerve damage to my spine and sciatic nerve at the root the problem of razor seams went away.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My son has them, the hardest one to get used to was that if you held his wrist lightly like you would naturally a young child he would scream in agony and was obviously pained.
        But if you used a death grip, no reaction, it was great. As he has got older its easier. And holding hands at school was a whole world of NO!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not autistic but I share your loathing for socks. For me, they feel suffocating. My feet need to breathe. I have found year-round shoes that don’t need socks in them (right now I have Danish clogs).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 I am so glad others know about the spoon theory. It really helped me better understand my limited reserves with clinical depression and anxiety. Just curious – how did you hear about the spoon theory?

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes thank you for sharing the original link!

          I had to look it back up to link it for that post but I think the first time I heard about it was in a YouTube video over a year ago. (This was before the blog so I don’t have it saved anywhere.) 😉

          Like

  4. I have a greater issue with shoes than socks. I wear Reebok Dynamax size 9 4E, which thankfully are available on Amazon since there are no Reebok outlets near where I live. My feet aren’t really that wide, but narrower shoes feel like live boa constrictors wrapped around my feet. As for socks, I don’t wear knee-hi’s or crew length because that is way too much fabric touching my legs. The only really bad thing about socks is that I hate to invest a lot of money in items that don’t last all that long, but cheap socks do a terrible job of hiding the toe seam or conforming to the shape of my foot. FYI: toe socks (the ones that are like gloves for the feet) may seem like a brilliant idea, but, for me anyway, they’re more like medieval torture devices than innovative footwear. Walking barefoot outside is a risk I try not to take as stepping on anything much larger than a grain of sand is excruciating.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loathe having to wear socks and always have (though as I’m told I also hated the feel of fresh grass underfoot from an early age as well) but I live in a climate where they are a necessity most of the year. It took a long time to find socks I am comfortable with and having no feel-able seam or cuff is definitely a must. It’s quite the opposite for my son though, he NEEDS his socks. We have him well stocked so he has fresh ones for the evening and night instead of wearing his dirty school day ones. He likes having the cuff at the ankle and they have to be ‘just so’ all around. He is incredibly agitated and more uncomfortable than usual when he’s stuck barefoot (at the beach/pool party or after bathing before getting dressed). Using water shoes has helped a little for longer periods but he doesn’t like the feeling of wet material either. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t have autism or anything but I do hate socks and its been years. It feels like I can’t breathe if I wear them. I really can’t understand people when they go to bed wearing socks! I mean really.

    I just bought uggs for the first time and I don’t need socks for them and when it feels suffocating, I just take them off and rest my feet.

    What’s also funny is that I mentioned hating socks a couple of blog posts ago lol https://kernerangelina.live/2016/10/14/the-versatile-blogger-award/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Note to self: track down the socks that my son can cope with. The new ones I bought him aren’t cutting it, as evidenced by the fact that they’re all over the house, whipped off as soon as he has the chance.
    Don’t you just want to cry when retailers change something perfect for the sake of it though?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t do socks cuz my SPD or shoes for that matter, I wear flip flops, year around. Even in the rain. Only time I ever wear tennis shoes is when required for pe class and when training for a half marathon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like socks; they keep my feet warm. But I hate shoes. Always have. My parents couldn’t get me to wear any before the age of 4; I’d scream bloody murder if you put them on my feet. Unfortunately for me, I have to wear orthopedic shoes now. But I still prefer to run around the house in just my socks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. When I was little I wouldn’t ware socks unless my mum or dad turned them inside out because I hate feeling seams rubbing on my feet. Mostly I would run around bare foot cause I’m not a huge fan of anything on my feet. My biggest creep out is anything between my toes so I can’t handle thongs (flip-flops) or those creepy toe socks.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can relate to the wet sock issue, when I had a job I used to walk around my office in bare feet while my socks dried, because nothing on earth was going to get me to wear wet socks any longer than was absolutely necessary, and I didn’t care what people thought.
    I can also relate on the annoying seams and socks having to be right. I’m not as bad as I used to be about the type of socks I buy, but I have been known to take my footwear off 50,000 times a day because for some reason my socks need adjusting – now I think about it, I think I see a connection between my bad days and my sock issue; the worse my mood the more likely I am to need to fiddle with my socks, hmmm! not noticed that before.
    I guess that’s something else your wonderful blog has made me realise about myself.

    All of that said, I find there’s nothing better than a pair of cosy socks that fit right and keep my feet warm, they’re like a hug that makes everything better, temporarily at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Heh. The way you feel about socks is the same way I feel about cargo shorts and other long styles that they try to force us guys into. They just don’t cut it for me. Nah, it’s short shorts or bust for me.

    Yeah, I get made fun of for it and others don’t seem to get it but whatever. Maybe it is an autism thing? Socks never bothered me but those sure do.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Socks. They don’t bother me, most days. When socks get to be unbearable, is when they are wet. The feeling of wet socks is absolutly the worst tactile feeling for me. Hangnails, yea they are bad, but the wet sock just makes me so uncomfortable. I can’t stand them. I feel like i have to cast them off my feet. I actually like rainy weather, but most the time the way my shoes are made make my socks get wet if there is a puddle i have to step through. I have big feet and these type of shoe specifically work for me. So because of that, i get to deal with a feeling that is just… ugh so bothersome. Wet clothes in general bother me as well, but socks the most.

    Liked by 1 person

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