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For Everyone Who Was Wondering Why Rio Gymnasts Are Wearing Socks

Finally, an answer.

If you've been watching gymnastics this year, you may have noticed something...

Harry How / Getty Images

Some of the Olympic gymnasts wear socks!

Quinn Rooney / Getty Images
Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Yeah, socks! During their floor routines!

Thomas Coex / AFP / Getty Images

"Why?" you might ask, and "Isn't that slippery?" you might wonder.

Thomas Coex / AFP / Getty Images

People are perplexed.

Why the Chinese Team weating socks in gymnastics? Of course theyre gonna fall

Frustrated, even.

I am extremely frustrated right now by the fact that China wears SOCKS while competing in gymnastics......WHY?!

As it turns out, the slipperiness is kind of the point: It helps some gymnasts with turning elements in their routines. Chinese, Russian, and Brazilian gymnasts, among others, have worn them during the last week.

Antonin Thuillier / AFP / Getty Images

"The half socks the gymnasts wear help reduce friction and protect feet while practicing and performing these turning elements," University of Arizona gymnastics coach Tabitha Yim told INSIDER. "Some gymnasts don’t need the socks because they do not perform any major turning elements while others feel the socks are distracting during their other skills."

So if someone has a crazy-difficult turn in their routine, like this one from Aliya Mustafina at the World Championships in 2014, it helps a bit.

No socks here, though. Just sayin'.

David Ramos / Getty Images

Watch the women's gymnastics individual all-around final featuring Simone Biles tonight in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.


Aliya Mustafina competed in the World Championships in 2014, not 2004. Because she would have been like, 10 years old in 2004. Which would've been impressive.

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