A pair of socks is a pair of socks is a pair of socks. Right? Not anymore. Even a pair of socks have technology that can improve athletic performance now.
If you're not familiar with Nike Elite Basketball socks, the socks specify which foot each sock is for. It's like a basketball shoe now; the socks have strategically cushioned zones for the left and right foot to provide support and comfort. It's a little sick and twisted to think that your right sock doesn't work with your left foot, huh? I know. But you can tell the difference.
You can see the extra padding in the sock's design; there's cushioning where basketball players cut and slide their foot; extra padding around the ankle and Achilles so shoes don't beat 'em up and the ribbing across the mid-foot gives for a larger range of motion. In other words, it looks like a sock—specialised.
And because Nike is Nike, once they find something athletes want (basketball player Deron Williams calls the socks "incredible" and that he wears them "all the time", never mind that he gets paid to say that), they blast it with the power of a 1000 designs. I like these galaxy socks:
I can't believe I just said I like a pair of socks. [Nike]