Socks and Innovation

As a self-proclaimed "sock-enthusiast," if you will...I try to stay in-tune with any hype surrounding the legwear arena. Lately, I've been asking myself, "Well, who will it be next?" With now, quite a few players in the sock world; some focused on active, some fashion, and some both; who will come up with the next best thing?

I've always had an admiration for Nike; their constant dedication to innovation and improving the athlete's experience makes me appreciate what they've accomplished in the realm of athletic socks (and not just socks, mind you). However, with the infusion of fashion into this category (now, we have Athleisure), a few other strong players have emerged, notably, Stance. Now, between the two, I admire different strategies, and it's great to see what comes out of either of these brands.

Most recently, I've been impressed by Nike's release of the NikeGRIP line; a soccer sock designed to improve the grip of the inside and outside of the sock to reduce slippage, but with careful design not to restrict the foot's movement. While I won't get into all the technicalities; it has to do with creating more surface area through the use of infused nanofiber and strategic placement on the sock. As any Industrial Designer like myself would appreciate, this came about from a little biomimicry; inspired by a gecko's excellent traction from it's feet. You can read more here.

Of course, I should get a pair and try these out for myself :)