Clever reason England players keep cutting holes in their socks during Euros 2024

England players
-Credit: (Image: Anadolu via Getty Images)

England supporters have been left scratching their heads over a peculiar trend among players' attire at Euros 2024 and it's not the football skills on display that's causing a stir, but rather the curious holes in their socks.

Are the England squad trying to save money on buying new socks? Or is it a quirky style choice? Eagle-eyed fans have noticed several of the Three Lions, including stars like Bukayo Saka, Conor Gallagher, and Jude Bellingham, rocking up to Euros 2024 matches sporting socks with conspicuous cut-outs at the back sparking a mix of bewilderment and amusement.

As Gareth Southgate's team prepares for a crucial semi-final clash against the Netherlands tonight with the victors set to face Spain in the finals for the coveted title of European champions the focus should be on the squad's tactics and performance. Yet, it seems the fashion faux pas has also caught the attention of the footie faithful in the run-up to the game.

England player
There's a clever reason for it -Credit:Getty Images

Social media has been going wild with comments from puzzled fans. One queried: "Can someone explain to me why some England players have holes in their socks? " Another pondered: "What's the holes in the socks about, noticed a few players with bits cut out of their socks." A fan quipped: "Can't England afford to buy the players new socks, they have holes in them."

Meanwhile, another supporter humorously suggested: "Please look for another sock supplier for the national team. These socks have holes in them." So, what's the deal?

As most footie fans will know, professional footballers wear long socks, typically pulled up over their calves, to keep their leg muscles warm and secure their shin guards. They're incredibly handy - but they can also be quite tight and restrictive - which can lead to issues with effective blood flow and circulation.

It appears that the missing sock fabric isn't a fashion faux pas - but a smart trick to help alleviate these problems. During matches, some players opt to cut holes in their socks to relieve pressure, thereby avoiding potential injury.

Bukayo Saka
It's not just a fashion statement -Credit:Anadolu via Getty Images

And some of the lads have been doing it for years. Back in 2021, the squad's senior member, Kyle Walker, revealed: "The socks were actually too tight so it was causing pressure on my calves. It was just to release my calves - or release the tension. I just cut holes in them and all of a sudden I had a few alright games, and I was like, 'Ok, I'm keeping this now! ".

Dr Stefaan Vossen, founder of Core Clinics, supported the scientific reason behind the sock cutting. Previously speaking to The Mirror, he clarified that footballers use new socks for every match, which can make them feel tight because they aren't worn in.

He added: "As the match goes on, footballers' calves will swell as they fill with blood due to exertion. This can cause the socks to feel tight."

"The last thing players want to do is restrict blood supply in their legs, so over-tight socks could be a real issue. On the other hand, a level of compression can improve performance by reducing muscle fatigue."

In an effort to address this, some footballers have taken to cutting holes in their socks in areas where they feel tightness or have experienced issues in past matches. Dr Vossen commented on the potential advantages, saying: "While there's likely to be genuine physical benefits of cutting customised holes in new socks there is also likely to be a psychological benefit."

"Footballers engage in extensive pre-match preparation rituals and whenever they find something that they feel improves their performance they'll want to repeat this."

Moreover, Dr Vossen noted: "The compression effect of socks can reduce fatigue during extended exercise and reduce post-exercise swelling. However, a badly fitted or over tight sock can reduce oxygen supply to the muscle, cause irritation during play, and increase the risk of thrombosis (the formation of a blood clot - a medical emergency)."

"By customising the sock with strategically placed holes footballers can achieve the ideal level of compression for their thighs throughout the match."