Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Outdoor, Lifestyle, Ski/Snowboard, Hike, Run Socks: Part I

Outdoor Retailer/SLC

Technical features, task and weather specific-designs/padding/construction/heights/weights, and on trend fashion tones/patterns...an Outdoor Retailer performance wear theme---has always been true for the hosiery brands we've covered at this tradeshow- these past few years.

What is constantly evolving is the composition of foot coverings as advances in knitting machinery and textiles (and blends)--re-boot --in a way, what is available product-wise.

The socks are often the most colorful part of any ensemble...so much so, we ---and no doubt, like everyone, wear different socks for many occasions, not task specific per se- but for fit/feel.

AND-another trend- the lighter weight options for those going even faster...and wanting more foot feel.

DARN TOUGH-made in Vermont, family owned (3 generations...),  and guaranteed for life (wow)...always delivers on its core values of fit, comfort and durability...as well as producing finely knit (densely patterned-@1441 per square inch on proprietary knitting machines-also located in Vermont), "True Seamless" toes-no chafing ---in aesthetically pleasing colors that'll grab eyeballs of both genders.

Choices for the fshion minded abound---and literally, were hanging from the rafters!
New for Fall 2013-a bunch of selections INCLUDING-the F5 (Function 5) cushioned ski/ride sock-ultra-light with perfect placement of pads (specialized metatarsal, navicular, ankle, Achilles and shin and on the foot-first and fifth metatarsals, navicular bone, ankle and upper Achilles) to diminish reassure points. Plus "true seamless" toe, superior wicking, antimicrobial merino wool-warmth without the bulk.$27

love the packaging-vintage flavor-nice graphics

so pretty we show it 3x---the Edelweiss Over -The-Calf, Padded Cushion Ski/Ride designed with outdoor apparel designer Poppy Gail. Fine Gauge 21.5 micron Merin Wool-finely knit

Fine gauge Merino wool, with padding to reduce shin bang annoyances- and a cushioned foot bottom, re-inforced heel+toe


Women's Light Cushion Lifestyle-also designed by Poppy Gail-now in a weight that'll better fit into dress shoes/boots imo...STILL with all comfort, fit and durability too.12 color waves- $21
Men's Light Cushion Hike/Trek-half the yarn weight than the traditional Cushion sock-using a lighter weight wool w/high density knitting---still, wicking, comfy+durable with a terrific fit/flex...good for those on the move,  FAST! 17.5-micron Merino Wool-finely knit ---thin and tough! $19




Knee High Bouquets
Different heights, splashy and more reined in designs...no wonder that Darn Tough lifestyle foot coverings are selling very very well!
Merino Wool/Nylon/Lycra® Spandex---no sees-crews-shorty-over the calfs-knee highs...

F5-new ski/ride-in two color waves $27 each


FITS socks---that we reviewed last season...is delivering on the lifestyle socks inspired by the great outdoors-and our National Parks...
Lorpen - hails from a small town of Etxalar in the mountains of Navarra-is a sock brand that offers a slew of task specific socks-for outdoor, mountaineering, trail running, multi and wintersports, lifestyle, hunting---and now ABC (anatomically balanced compression)  Compression calf sleeves-pictured below. $34.99

Lorpen's entry into this huge category-we see people race in triathlons-wearing these -one way to hide one's age....is to guarantee a graduated compression level that is medically certified (30mmHg in the ankle, and 20mmHg in the calf as a base). We agree that calf sleeves def help with recovery by  lessening muscle vibrations and increasing blood circulation/oxygen levels to that area...available in S.M.L.XL-72% Nylon, 28% LYCRA®.

The compression sleeves are designed to work in conjunction with the "T3" socks line-of advanced performance available for cold weather pursuits-where there's a critical need to stay dry/warm- (with Primaloft polyester, merino wool and nylon in high friction areas)...and warm weather activities-with socks made from a mix of Coolmax® a super moisture management textile---Tencel® and nylon...for maximum airflow and moisture management.

ABC Sleeve with trail running  light sock with Coolmax®

Family owned Dahlgren is known for its Aplaca and merino wool combo (Aplaca Plus™) that provides sock-wise, excellent durability, hot spot free, machine washable socks---with from toe to heel----patented Wicking Channels™ and Wicking Rings™ that absorb moisture up and out through absorption zones (Dri-Stride™)...and then, from heel to top- leaving the sock via evaporation zone (Therma-Dri™).

LuckySocks-cushion free with Dr-Stride® System, Therma-Dri™ in transfer zones...

SNO-with a cushioned shin for comfort in ski boots, cusioned heel to give gals a better heel fit, flat knit everywhere else for optimal fit

Metro-cushion free lifestyle w/ roll top
Other attributes-targeted cushioning in areas that need it-including underfoot---and nice color waves and bright accents-like strips- for technical and lifestyle options.
Light Hiking-crew with mesh ventilation panels in footstep to keep feet cool, cushion under foot, flat knit elsewhere, snug arch support to reduce fatigue

Ultra Light Trail -left, center-for women---cushion free, with mesh ventilation panels in footstep to keep feet cool, snug arch support

men's Ultra Light Trail-cushion free, with mesh ventilation panels in footstep to keep feet cool, snug arch support