Today I finally noticed—or rather, finally admitted—that the tube sock has been fully replaced by the bootee. We drove past a cyclist this afternoon, and he was wearing bootees under his sneakers. What clinched it was that he looked nondescript, without any deliberate style. So bootees must now be standard.
I’m sure that there’s some name for them that’s more, um, vigorous than “bootee.” It’s because I don’t know it, perhaps, that I have resisted them for so long. I always thought it seemed a little overnice, to wear socks that ended just a few millimeters above the shoeline. Plus I feared that they would scrunch themselves up during exercise, wadding themselves further down into the shoe with every step, until they were lost beneath the heel. But some innovation in stretchy fibers must prevent this. Or else it has become the sort of thing that even straight athletes will put up with in order not to look dorky, and so there is no longer any choice. Except whether or not to wear the ones with pompoms.