The practical importance of correctly fitting socks to the infantryman can hardly be justly estimated as no matter how much care and judgment is exercised in fitting shoes all this work is for naught if the cloth foot covering is too large or too small. The inevitable conclusion is thus reached, that a sock too loose or tight in a correctly fitting shoe does as much damage and incapacitates the individual as much as a poorly fitting shoe.

The way to the ideal system of fitting sock sizes to the corresponding shoe sizes is partially obstructed by obstacles which must be overcome if complete success is to be attained. Essentially these obstacles to our progress consist of various differences which exist in socks of the same weight, size and material; namely, flexibility and shrink ability. This is applicable to both woolen and cotton socks. Further, there is to be considered the multiple variations in the relative length, width, and shape of, the feet. Although it is readily conceivable that a sock of elastic material will 13e conformed to the shape of the foot, yet there is to be considered the fact that the different materials after repeated washings do not sometimes do this. An ideal material whose definite CIA titi vii and drinkability is predetermined accurately, and reservations made for variations, will do much toward establishing some fundamental plan for letting socks accurately.

At the present time, a general plan consisting of a "Sock Size Scale" which correspond to different shoe size has been adopted to remedy as much as possible 1.1w existing evil of ill-fitting socks. This scale can be readily understood by reference to the plate in this Chapter

safety shoes

Acutely realizing the present situation, and endeavoring to obtain some definite information as to the degree of variation in socks of the same weight, size, and material after repeated washings a series of experiments was conducted at this Post (Quantico, Virginia). Standard Marine Corps socks (size Ii) of Heavy Woolen, Light Woolen, and Black Cotton were used. These experiments were made to determine:

1. The amount of shrinkage in cotton and woolen socks

2. The amount of flexibility lost in cotton and woolen socks;

3. The effect of temperature on the amount of shrinkage and loss of flexibility in cotton and woolen socks.

The material of the socks used was as follows:

1. Heavy woolen. Yarn. Gray worsted, made from not less than pure 3/8 blood wool;

2. Light woolen. Yarn. White. Commercially known as merino, composed of 50 per cent. wool and 5o per cent. cotton.

3. Cotton. Yarn. Black. Uniform quality of yarn, best "peeler" or equally long staple cotton free from impurities and full combed.

Tests were as follows:

safety shoes

Heavy woolen, light woolen, and cotton socks each washed three times at same temperature. Three temperatures were used 212, 200, and 75 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. Ivory soap was used.

The greatest amount of shrink ability and lost elasticity was found in the Heavy Woolen Sock. After the first wash-ing at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and immersion for fifteen min-utes, shrinkage of one inch in height, one inch in width and one and one-half inches in length were noted. Second and third washings at 212 degrees Fahrenheit caused a further shrinkage one inch in height, half an inch in width and half an inch in length. Total shrinkage after three items of washing at 212 degrees Fahrenheit as follows:

safety shoes

Washings and immersions in temperatures of 2 oo and 75 degrees Fahrenheit caused very little shrinkage and loss of elasticity. Boiling seems to play a great part in the production of shrinkage and lost elasticity. In the light woolen socks after three items of washing each in the different temperatures as given above there was a total shrinkage noted as follows:

The total amount of shrinkage and lost elasticity in the cotton socks after three- washings and immersions at each temperature were very inconsiderable and not worthy of note.