No answers, but a related question:
Did the US Bureau of Clothing, Sock Size Division, revise the Official Guidelines for the Sizing of Socks (Athletic) within the last couple of years?
I used to buy a bag of white athletic socks, take them home, and wear them. They would fit, and would be easily and readily distinguishable from my wife’s socks and my son’s socks, both of which were noticeably smaller (though my son’s have gotten bigger in recent years, and I now have to rely on secondary characteristics such as color or various folderol on the ribbing to distinguish between his and my wife’s).
To the best of my knowledge I did not used to specifically seek out extra-large socks or giganto-socks; I got whatever socks they had in the Men’s department, and they worked fine.
However, twice in the past year I have attempted to do this, and wound up with socks that are just on the edge of being too small for me. I can wear them, but they’re REALLY short (I feel like they’re barely covering my ankles) and they’re fairly tight. I cannot easily tell these new socklets from my wife’s or my son’s socks, leading to arguments about who owns the last clean pair of socks in the laundry basket. The sizes on the package indicate that they should work for me.
My feet have not grown to monstrous proportions (any more than they already were; I usually wear size 11 or 12 shoes) over the last few years. I still have, and still wear, a couple of pairs of shoes that I bought five years ago. They’re not noticeably tighter now. I also do not have the same problem with newly-purchased dress socks, which continue to fit the same way they always have.