This project's funding goal was not reached on September 18, 2014.
About this project
Increased Size Range: Seeker Socks are sold by your shoe size, rather than a generic size range. This reduces the variance between sock sizes, which dramatically improves fit.
Left and Right Orientation: You have a left and a right foot and a left and a right shoe. Having a left and a right sock that moulds the shape of your feet is essential in ensuring the correct fit.
Heel and Arch Support: Reinforced arch support, combined with extra shape through the heel locks the sock in place. This reduces friction and movement within the shoe, and all importantly for you, it reduces blisters.
Hand linked Toes: Although modern machine linking is ten times faster, it creates a ribbed seam that causes serious irritation around the toes. Hand linking the toe of the socks creates a perfectly flat seam and eliminates this issue for athletes.
Breathable Meshing: Mesh ventilation matches the corresponding ventilation found in most sport shoes, running parallel with the side of the foot and complimenting the design for added breathability.
Odor Free: Everyone has “that one friend” who suffers from extremely sweaty and smelly feet. We’ve tackled this issue head-on by treating all our socks with Silpure. Silpure is an antibacterial product that releases silver ions to control odor, but only when the conditions for bacterial growth exist.
Cotton-based socks dominate the footwear market and are a huge problem for the modern day athlete. Twenty years ago cotton was said to be the best sock material, but now we know better. Cotton based socks have a high shear factor. This increases the amount of wear your foot will face and provides very little in the way of support and cushioning. This creates a range of problems for people with an active lifestyle. Issues using cotton in socks:
- High shear factor creates friction between your foot and shoe that can lead to painful blisters.
- Cotton is a poor moisture wicking agent, holding sweat against your feet, making your feet and socks smelly.
- It provides little support and cushioning for your foot, increasing movement and wear in the shoe.
- Cotton doesn’t hold up well to washing and easily loses its shape. Cotton fibres are light and tend to break easily which leads to holes, usually in the heel and toe of the sock.
Technically speaking, blisters and related issues are caused by shear stress and friction. It is the shear stress that we want to focus on; we found that the more moisture that was trapped between the foot and the sock (usually cotton and cotton/polyester, wool and wool/nylon blends or polyester blends) the higher the likelihood that heat would build up through friction, with blisters being the immediate result.
So we looked at the properties that we must have in a sock to reduce shear stress; we also realised that in finding a solution to this one issue we would also dramatically improve other issues caused by ill-fitting socks/shoes.
The next consideration was the combination of yarns that gave us the best sock for the rugged New Zealand outdoor market; if we could develop this sock we knew we could refine it for other uses. So we looked at the properties of a variety of materials used in socks and then developed socks to test their ability in the following areas:
- Moisture Retention
- Temperature Regulation in both Summer and Winter
- Durability and Strength
In this process we tested our material blend against a range of synthetic fibres (polyester, nylon, polypropylene) and the one natural fibre we thought would form the base for some of our socks; COTTON. We found that cotton not only retained moisture it provided little temperature regulation and durability. There was also a high degree of slippage in the shoe and it was a major contributor to shear stress.
100% New Zealand Merino Wool is very high quality, and provides added warmth and comfort to the sock. It is also an excellent temperature regulator, keeping your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The graph above compares the amount of time it takes for athletes to begin sweating in hot and cold environments. It is evident Merino Wool performs better than it's synthetic counterpart across a range of temperatures. In both cases, the Merino Wool base layer kept athletes at a comfortable temperature for longer, before the onset of sweating.
Bamboo is 100% organic and a more sustainable alternative to cotton. It is also a great moisture wicking agent, and is extremely durable and resilient.
Testing revealed bamboo to be a much stronger material than cotton and polyester. The graph above compares the average breaking tenacity of the individual material fibres.
Coolmax is an effective fibre-based moisture management system. The material moves perspiration away from the body, and through the fabric, where it can evaporate quickly, allowing the foot to feel cooler and more comfortable.
Coolmax is a much better moisture wicking agent than other synthetic materials. Tests revealed the material dried 14 minutes quicker than polyester, the next best alternative. What's even more interesting is how much better it is than cotton, taking half an hour less time to dry!
Unlike Henry Ford, our reasoning behind a range of predominantly black product is much more sound.
In order to create a light, or white sock, Merino Wool first needs to be bleached before a colour dye is added to the yarn. This process damages the wool, removing it’s natural moisture wicking and odor neutralizing properties. Black socks don’t need to undergo this process, retaining all of these great natural properties.
We have, however been able to add splashes of stylish colors to certain areas of the sock that don’t include our Merino blend.
A couple of decades ago some retailers decided that socks were taking up too much floor space. They thought that space could be used more effectively to make more profit with other products so they did something very clever, they used loads of elastic and created 3 sizes; 2-6, 7-11 and 12-15. Most people would never notice the difference. We’re conditioned to think that this is just the way it is, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s not what’s best for your feet. We want socks that fit your feet, not that fit some pre-determined floor space in a retail outlet. We need your help to make this happen and help everyone find the perfect sized sock!
Tell us what your shoe size is, in whatever format is easiest for you (US, UK, NZ) or however else you size them and we will send you a sock that's sized to match.
Craig: Over the years, I’ve completed Ironman, numerous short course triathlons, and a range of ultra long distance running and cycling events. I started out my career as an officer in the New Zealand Army. I have jumped out of planes, had the thrill of being taught how to dive by the Navy and have done my share of forced marches! When I was given my first pair of Army issue leather boots and wool blend socks I was marched into the local creek so that the boots would mold to my feet! I always wondered how much better off my feet could have been if the membrane between skin and boot had been given a little more thought.
Chuck: Craig and I have been family friends for years and both had the good fortune of growing up in New Zealand. While out hiking one day, we got onto the subject of socks. Why do we spend so little time thinking about a product we use every day, and that can be the cause of so much pain and discomfort?
Craig: I have noticed a number of trends in the market over the years; it is common knowledge that accessories generate significant cash for suppliers. In order to make these products commercially viable, the fabric or design is compromised. So your expectations are created by price rather than great design and clever use of fabric; we want to change your expectations.
Chuck: I have a passion for the outdoors and spend a lot of time hiking, cycling, horse riding and trail running. We’ve spent countless hours in the outdoors, and have always had trouble with blisters, sore and aching feet. This obviously isn’t an isolated issue, and we decided this could be the perfect project to launch with the help of the Kickstarter community. So the idea for Seeker Socks was born.We would both love to share our journey with you and get the feedback we need to bring quality, durability, and comfort to outdoor sport socks.
- Thank you for your support! Craig & Chuck
Risks and challenges
We have spent the last year working tirelessly to iron out the creases in our distribution plan and minimize any possible risks and challenges we might face along the way.
Working with international manufacturers often poses a risk to new startups. We have had the good fortune to be working with one of Craig’s long time contacts in the business that has helped us along every step of the way.
Our prototypes are completed and we have a manufacturer waiting for our order. He’s also ready to scale if demand requires.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (38 days)