• Switzerland edition
 
Swiss and French men top European smelly sock league
Simon James

Swiss and French men top European smelly sock league

Published: 11 Oct 2011 17:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Oct 2011 17:58 GMT+02:00

When it comes to socks, one is more likely to find a French or Swiss man wearing a smelly pair than a German or a Brit.

A study by Swiss firm Blacksocks found that only 66 percent of Frenchmen changed their socks daily, while just seven in ten Swiss men put on a clean pair every day.

On the other end of the hygiene scale were German and British men, with 78 percent saying they put on fresh socks daily, according to the survey of 3,000 people across six European states.

Overall, 77 percent of women and men surveyed changed their socks daily, while 11 percent do so once every two days.

Four percent put on a fresh pair every three days, and one percent changed their socks only once a week.

The frequency of changing socks may be related to the number of pairs owned.

German men were found to be the biggest sock owners, with 24 pairs on average each. Austrians came just after with 23 pairs, followed by the Swiss with 22 pairs.

Frenchmen own the least pairs -- just 17 on average each, the survey said, adding that it could explain why they kept their socks on for a longer time than other nationalities.

Your comments about this article

2011-10-14 21:36:02 by Willi Es
Thank you sryan5597. Your history lesson was more informative than the news article itself. Someday the mystery may be solved, but until that occurs, we may find solace with the math involved in the scientific study mentioned in the article. To wit: 3000 people were telephoned across several European States. 1 percent said that they change their sock once each week, which amounts to 30 people who A: have a telephone, B: answered it, C:agreed to participate in this study, and D: had no shame in admitting their hygienic habits, or lack thereof. 30 is a small number, but perhaps there are more folks out there who did not participate due to any of the aforementioned conditions? Having a telephone may be correlative to having access to soap and water... In Other Words, if you can't afford soap, then keeping a telephone connected may be out of reach as well. Or perhaps those 30 had to choose between buying soap for a month or keeping their telephone connected for the same amount of time, and they chose the phone. In this case, then one would rather talk to them by phone anyway. The stink of dirty feet may be the least of their worries, without soap for a month...
2011-10-14 05:07:44 by sryan5597
This is not a surprise. It has long been true of the French men. It dates back to the Napoleonic Wars, especially to the 1812 campaign in Russia. In the long trek back from Moscow, French soldiers found it difficult to launder their socks. Some wore the same pair of socks throughout the retreat. Subsequently it became a matter of pride among the survivors of the campaign that they had gone so long with un-laundered socks. They adopted this feature as a symbol of their experience, which distinguished the veterans of the Russian campaign from other French men who had stayed home. These veterans prided themselves on never changing their socks. Whenever another Frenchman complained of the odor, the veteran would growl that if the complainer had been in the Russian campaign, he would not worry about a little thing like foot smell. That usually silenced the draft-dodger and in time it became a badge of honor to not change one's socks. Why the Swiss men followed the same practice, I do not know. Perhaps French-speaking Swiss men adopted the practice. Some say that the Swiss Guards who served the pre-Revolutionary French kings, brought the custom home but Swiss historians point out, after research, that the French Revolution took place before the Napoleonic period, so that could not be the answer. Others say that the Swiss Guards serving the Papacy in Rome brought home the custom. The Popes never changed their socks. Most other Italians of the day did not wear any socks at all. This question may never be resolved.
Today's headlines
Electrolux to close Swiss manufacturing plant
Photo: AFP

Electrolux to close Swiss manufacturing plant

Swedish home appliances maker Electrolux plans to close its production plant in Schwanden in the canton of Glarus, eliminating 120 full-time jobs, partly because of tighter rules about Swiss-made products. READ  

Three kids hospitalized in crossing car crash
Photo: Zurich cantonal police

Three kids hospitalized in crossing car crash

Three children are in hospital, including a six-month-old infant, after a car collided with a family walking across a pedestrian crossing in Oberglatt, a municipality near the Zurich airport, police said on Monday. READ  

Quarter of workers 'stressed out': survey
Photo: AFP

Quarter of workers 'stressed out': survey

More than 40 percent of employed people in Switzerland believe they suffer from overwork, while a quarter of them say they are stressed out, according to a new survey. READ  

Canadian Ebola vaccine headed for Geneva
Geneva's university hospital. Photo: Julien Gregario

Canadian Ebola vaccine headed for Geneva

Canada will start sending more than 1,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to Switzerland this week as part of the global fight against the deadly virus, a Geneva hospital says. READ  

Swiss mountains claim four weekend victims
View of Fluebrig mountain where the passenger of a tandem paragliding pair died in a crash. Photo: Roland zh/Wikimedia Commons

Swiss mountains claim four weekend victims

Swiss mountain accidents claimed the lives of four men at the weekend, including a 61-year-old man who died from injuries suffered while flying as a passenger with a paraglider in the canton of Schwyz. READ  

Federer and Nadal seek different goals in Basel
Federer at last year's Swiss Indoors. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Federer and Nadal seek different goals in Basel

Home hero Roger Federer and ailing Rafael Nadal will be working to completely different agendas when the Swiss Indoors begins on Monday. READ  

Neckwear exhibit set to tie Swiss into knots
A wall of album covers showing singers wearing ties or bow ties is photographed during the exhibition "The Tie: men fashion power" at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Neckwear exhibit set to tie Swiss into knots

From a symbol of power to a fashion statement, ties in all their guises are on show at a new exhibition dedicated to the neckwear at the Swiss National Museum. READ  

Survey: Swiss motor boat theft on the rise
Lake Constance has experienced 82 thefts this year so far. Photo: Stephane Batigne

Survey: Swiss motor boat theft on the rise

Motor boat theft is a growing problem in Switzerland according to a new survey which puts the number of boats stolen this year to date as more than in the whole of last year. READ  

Voodoo chicken killing ruffles Geneva feathers
The chicken was decapitated and disembowelled. Photo: Karen Jackson

Voodoo chicken killing ruffles Geneva feathers

Residents of Geneva’s Petit-Saconnex district are petitioning for surveillance cameras in their local park after finding a dead chicken that appeared to have been killed in a voodoo-style sacrificial ceremony. READ  

Avenches fends off rain with undercover solution
Avenches amphitheatre hosts an annual opera festival. Photo: Guille Moraleda

Avenches fends off rain with undercover solution

Following a rainy summer season, the open-air opera festival in the roman amphitheatre of Avenches will in future decamp to a different location in times of inclement weather, the Avenches Opera foundation announced on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Expat American professor disputes 'unjust' Swiss citizenship rejection
Features
Swiss-based English expat writer lauds immigrant 'brains and brawn'
International
Our survey: Switzerland third priciest for food and drink from back home
National
Zurich market gardener sets world 'record' for heaviest pumpkin
National
Report: Switzerland's residents richer than before economic crash
Features
Geneva lab sleuths use high tech to help art world uncover fakes
National
Father of Scot missing since early September fears Swiss trauma
National
Foreign women give birth to rising share of newborns: latest figures
National
'Giant's penis' bloom in Basel uni botanical garden bigger than ever
National
Switzerland's voters reject public health insurance proposal
National
Zooming foreign immigration continues to boost Swiss population
National
Scientific study rings alarm over wellbeing of Swiss cows with bells
National
Geneva MP seeks ban on charging for tap water in restaurants
Business & Money
Switzerland's residents top world financial wealth list: Allianz report
National
Saint Maurice abbey in Valais celebrates 1,500 years of history
National
Streaming movie video service Netflix arrives in Switzerland
National
Professional Chilean base jumper dives to death in Swiss Alps
Education
ETH Zurich remains top university in Europe: QS world rankings
National
Switzerland's housing vacancy rate jumps: new federal figures
National
Swiss football club fires team masseuse over explicit sex video
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
National
Two hundred passengers rescued after landslide derails Swiss train
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,264
jobs available