The use of machines to knit socks was prevalent during the WWI period. Many examples exist of socks that were mass produced using machines. The Doughboys of WWI also benefitted from considerable support from the home front which included packages from home and support from the American Red Cross. Hand knit socks were an item that was frequently sent from the home front or distributed by the American Red Cross and other benevolent societies.
Most existing examples of WWI socks are made from shades of olive, mustard, gray or brown wool. Other popular colors included navy and other shades of blue.
Hand knit socks created for the Civil War re-enactors are totally acceptable for WWI use if made from the correct colors.
For our impression, we have two options for footwear that is to be worn in the trenches. The theory is that our Doughboys were issued the 1917 trench boot prior to setting sail for France. Once in France, when the original issue boots wore out, and when the Ebony Doughboy was under French command, they were reissued the French trench boot.
Author Tom Bond does a great analysis of the trench boots worn by Doughboys. It can be accessed by clicking the READ MORE button below:
For info on the model 1917 French Trench Boot, click the READ MORE button below:
Garrison Shoes and Marching Shoes were characterized by having smooth (usually calfskin) uppers that could be polished. Some of these shoes made it to the trenches but for our impression, these shoes should only be used for garrison, parades or 'walking out.'
1904 Garrison Shoe Also Came in Black. The Russet Color Shoes Were the Only Acceptable Color for Doughboys