19th Century

Those crazy Victorians – take 3: Sanitary toe socks

Remember toe socks?  Those 70’s monstrosities that became a fad again in the 1990s?  It turns out they weren’t a new invention!

Dr Jaeger's Sanitary Woollen System, digital socks, 1880s

Click on the image to learn more than you ever wanted to know about weird Victorian health regimens.

I now must find a way to incorporate toe socks into a steampunk ensemble.  I wonder if you could have steampunk-esque slippers?  Or sandals?  In an awful way, I’m liking the idea of ‘crunchy’ steampunk.  Enter the steampunk hippies!

* If you are wondering what ‘Take 1’ and ‘Take 2’ were, check out these posts.


  1. I have a great use for Toe Socks.
    Cut them up and make chicken or rooster pin cushons for little kids that are learning to sew. They go down a treat and get giggles from everyone who sees them.
    Toe socks with bold Red and white stripes scream country charm.
    Blue and white look great with Cornish wear cups and plates.
    and every Kid I know loves my rainbow one.

  2. I had a pair of stripy ones in the late 70s when I was a child. They were probably the most uncomfortable pointless things ever. Think I wore them once.

  3. jackiead says

    I loved my toe socks and hated it when holes developed on the the bottoms. They worked great as feet warms on Iowa’s cold winter nights.

  4. Don’t forget the Japanese Tabi socks, made to wear with the traditional Japanese sandal, one of the earlier Japanese designers made these creepy shoes with toes, inspired by the socks, can’t remember which designer. Did you know that the word jandal came from an amalgamation of Japanese sandals? Havianas, the Brazillian jandal company have also released a sock with toes to be worn with their jandals.

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