In Which We Debate One of the Great Issues of Our Time

This is from Nerdcon:Stories, in which we debate the Very Important Topic of which is the correct way to put on foot apparel: “Sock, sock, shoe, shoe” or “Sock, shoe, sock, shoe.” Pay attention: What you learn here could save your life.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

41 replies on “In Which We Debate One of the Great Issues of Our Time”

Socks are upstairs with the rest of my laundry, so they go on just before shirt and pants.

Shoes are downstairs, near the door, so they go on just before I leave my home.

Sock-shoe-sock-shoe. If you spend any time in locker rooms, you cultivate this habit. Sock-sock-shoe-shoe means you may end up putting one socked foot down on the floor — and you never let your socks touch the locker-room floor. That way lies FUNGAL DEATH.

Like others say, it’s sock, sock, and shoes only when you’re about to walk out the door. We’re not as strict about shoes in the house as the Japanese (visitors are welcome to keep theirs on) but there are DAYS in which shoes aren’t deployed. Or even socks in the summer.

Regarding the first comment, I believe Mr. Johnson has returned to being besocked since the glory days.

A true story, somewhat related to the topic. About two years ago, at age 70, I got tired of having socks that would slide down during the day. As a possible remedy I decided to try calf-length socks and bought a couple of pairs. I was quite happy with the way that they stayed up. Then I went to the local YMCA for my daily swim. Put my cloths in the locker, swam, showered, dried off and returned to the locker to dress. To that point, my habitual dressing pattern had been to dress completely except for my socks and shoes, walk over to the mirror to comb my hair, then return to my locker and put on socks, then shoes (usually left foot first). The reason for this was that the mirror was located back in the drying room so walking there with shoes might track dirt into the room while walking in with socks on risked stepping into water on the floor. Rational. As I sat with no cloths on in front of my locker, I realized that following this habit could create a problem, namely on returning I would have to roll my pants all the way up to my knees to get the socks on. So I spend a few seconds contemplating the trade-off between the certain irritation of that against the unlikely but possible much greater irritation of stepping in some water. There was only one other guy in the locker room, late 30s in age at a guess. Seeing me sitting there in silent contemplation he commented: “Deep thoughts?” I answered automatically, “I’m trying to decide whether to put on my socks or my pants first.” He looked aghast, turned away, and I heard him mutter: “Is this what I have to look forward to?” Had I been a bit quicker on my feet I would have replied, “If you’re lucky.”

Hell, Dashiell Hammett had Sam Spade putting on his socks and shoes before his trousers. (Which for all I know might have been accurate for the era…having lived in a 1919-built Bay Area house with one tiny gas heater in the front hall, I know me own tootsies got cold before the rest of me did.)

I live in Japan. It is most definitely sock, sock, shoe, shoe. There is often a rather long period of time between the socks and shoes as well. To be fair, I have to say that I have well over 100 million people on my side.

I see lots of people running around in the house in socks in this debate.
That’s just … utterly … wrong.
Socks get worn only together with shoes. You can wear shoes without socks, but never socks without shoes. That’s just as silly as wearing your socks over your shoes, instead of inside.
Therefore, any civilized person will go sock, shoe, sock, shoe.

I’m like one of the other commenters in that I go left sock, right sock, left shoe, right shoe, although I always tie my right show first, then the left. Any differently then I suffer from bad ju-ju for the rest of the day.

Did someone just say Jew-Jew? Close enough.

According to Orthodox Ju-Ju-Judaism, a right-hander is supposed to put on his right shoe first, then left shoe, then laces up his left shoe, then laces up his right shoe. A left-hander shoes in the same order, but laces up in the reverse order.

Apparently, they did not have socks at Mount Sinai. I always thought they had slip-on sandals, or maybe buckle-up sandals, but I could be wrong.

I’m not sure, but the above may only apply to men. It has never, ever occurred to me to ask.

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