Global Market for Socks Gaining Popularity as Fashion Garment and in Medical Purposes

Although an integral part of the apparel industry, the socks market holds a slender part in the dynamics of the former. However, in recent times, owing to the transformation from being a traditional item into a luxury product, expansion of retail network, and promotional activities, the demand for socks has steadily increased. 

Market intelligence firm Transparency Market Research (TMR) estimates the global socks market to value US$11.6 bn by 2023, rising at a significant CAGR of 8.5%. The study states that almost 70% of men use socks every day. 

Q. What factors are driving the market for socks?

Socks are quickly growing beyond being a useful item to an apparel of fashion due to product developments, diversifications, and commercialization. The major opportunities for the global socks market lie in improved fashion trends driven by rising incomes of end-users. Application specific customized socks are also opening new opportunities in the market. For example, according to the TMR report, athletic socks are the largest product segment in the socks market as these can be used for sports and gym purposes as well as casual wear with formal footwear. The entry of large and small scale companies in the socks market is also urging end users to invest more on socks and in turn helping the market grow. 

Q. Which geographical region has the most significant demand for socks?

Developing economies such as China, Brazil, and India have witnessed rapid expansion of their retail network. Increasing population and disposable income in these regions is fueling the retail sector. According to the TMR report, Asia Pacific contributed the largest market share for socks in 2014. North America and Europe have always contributed a considerable share in the market for socks due to predominantly chilly weather. However, growth in these regions is mostly stagnant, approaching a stage of maturity, particularly in Europe. The regions of Asia Pacific and Rest of the World are expected to have better growth potential in the socks market due to the rise in population, a steadily increasing GDP, and favorable government policies. Here again, the most encouraging opportunities lie in improved fashion trends while application specific customized socks are gaining popularity too.

Q. Any noteworthy developments that are encouraging the future of the socks market?

Advanced socks are now being developed to address poor blood circulation in the veins, bacteria resistant socks that control foot odor, socks that help protect fragile skin that is at greater risk of tears and ulcers, as well as socks with seamless and cushioned toes to reduce friction, blistering, and pressure. Researchers have also developed socks for diabetic patients, which come with a specially designed top that keeps the sock up without restricting circulation. 


As socks progress from being an item of basic requirement to fashion apparel, and move beyond these applications as a device that can help in curing a disorder, the future of the global market for socks seems secured.


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