About this project
We love the sockless look. Whether it's shorts with a pair of boat shoes or jeans with a pair of leather slip-on drivers, it's a classic look that will never go out of style. But we hate the consequences - sweaty, smelly feet and a pair of shoes you eventually need to throw away. Gekks allow you to keep your casual style while avoiding these negative side effects. Now is your chance to be one of the first to own Gekks and sport the sockless look with freedom.
Gekks are ultra-thin liner socks that are inserted into a loafer-type shoe, and they remain firmly in place until you want to take Gekks out to wash them, or move them to another pair of shoes. Our patented design allows Gekks to be firmly but temporarily adhered to the inside of your shoes using a combination of garment design, knitting techniques, and a thin adhesive gel on the outside of the liner. You keep the convenience of slipping in and out of your shoes barefoot, but you also get the benefit of a thin, breathable liner that wicks moisture away from your foot.
Gekks are built with powerful antimicrobial silver yarns designed to eliminate odor causing bacteria. To test these yarns, we wore a prototype daily for a month straight during humid summer days and encountered little to no odor. This same technology is used by NASA and the US Special Forces to keep gear fresh and bacteria free during long missions. So no need to wash after every wear, keep Gekks in your shoes as long as you like before machine washing. You'll be amazed at the performance of the antimicrobial silver yarns.
How Do Gekks Work?
Gekks have a thin, adhesive gel strategically located on the outside of the liner, allowing it to grip the inside of your shoe in such a way that it becomes locked in place. The gel measures less than 0.5 mm in thickness, which makes it so thin that it does not alter the way your shoe fits or feels.
The gel has a pressure sensitive tack on the surface, however it will not leave any residue in the shoe after being removed. Installing the liner is as easy as inserting Gekks into the shoe and applying firm pressure to the tongue and heel where the gel is located.
Green color represents the location of the adhesive gel
Gel is tacky enough to stick to your shoe but doesn't leave any residue
Existing products attempt to mitigate the consequences of going sockless. The downfall of these remedies is that they are either ineffective, or, they don't align with the way you execute the sockless look. You may be familiar with:
- Low Cut Loafer Socks - Are these more comfortable than going barefoot? Sure, how could they not be. But not all loafer designs are the same, causing the sock to show when wearing certain loafers...which as most of us know is completely unacceptable. Whether you back our project or not, try not to be this guy!
- Medicated Powder - Dumping powder in your shoe to control moisture can be effective, but you're still dumping powder in your shoe. It's not exactly pleasant when the powder turns into clumps that resemble gooey cake batter. Most importantly, it doesn't align with the way you execute the sockless look. You want to slip on your boat shoes and go, not head to the powder room (no pun intended) to apply medicated powder every time you wear your boat shoes.
- Ultra Low Cut Loafer Socks - To avoid the unacceptable look in the photo above, you can wear ultra low cut loafer socks that hide below the top of your shoe. But because they don't go above the ankle, they tend to slip off your heel. And, most importantly, they don't align with the way you execute the sockless look. In a given day, you may slip in and out of a pair of nice loafers two or three times. Do you really want to go digging through your sock drawer every time you head out the door?
Where each of these solutions fall short, Gekks excel. Built on three key principals of Comfort, Convenience, and Odor Control, Gekks are a one-stop solution for the sockless look.
The feeling of wearing a thin sock gives you comfort, and having it firmly adhered to the shoe gives you convenience, but we know that is only part of the issue. If we made Gekks out of a standard nylon or polyester sock, it wouldn't do anything to combat the bacteria that causes that terrible sockless stench we all unfortunately know.
To take Gekks to the next level, we partnered with the leader in antimicrobial technologies, X-STATIC® to deliver the best-in-class Antimicrobial & Anti-odor protection. X-STATIC® is made by permanently bonding 99.9% pure silver to the surface of the fiber. Proven by United States Special Forces, NASA, and Olympic athletes, X-STATIC® has a rich heritage of delivering superior performance.
Silver Vs. Odor Causing Bacteria - Silver Wins by TKO!
While sweat is virtually odorless, naturally occurring bacteria on your body consume the sweat. This process is what causes the odor.
The moisture in the sweat combined with air causes the Silver in X-STATIC® to oxidize. This process releases a positively charged ion from the X-STATIC® fiber.
The positively-charged silver ions are attracted to the negatively-charged bacteria. The positively-charged ions enter the cell membrane attacking the bacteria’s DNA. Ultimately, the silver ions drastically inhibit the bacteria on the garment, preventing mutation and reproduction.
Sizing and Colors
Below is the color offering for our first production run, which includes Black, Wyoming Brown, Navy and Holly:
Design and Production Process
Last summer, we got tired of smelly and uncomfortable feet when going sockless so we set out to solve this problem once and for all. In that time, we have had Gekks samples made in China, Korea, and Turkey, however ultimately settled on a mill right here in the good ole USA! With many of the hosiery jobs in the USA going overseas, we are proud to be making our liners at home. After months of prototyping, the garment design is complete.
We tried to find an "off the shelf" adhesive gel that would fit our needs, but quickly realized it was a custom job. We needed a gel that was tacky enough to keep the liner in place, but not so tacky that it left a sticky residue in the shoe. It also needed to be sturdy enough to give the liner shape, but so thin that you can't tell it's there when wearing the liner. And it needed to be washable. Along came gel Q363. Yes, the 363 represents about the number of iterations we tried to get the chemistry just right! The gel is also produced in the USA.
Figuring out how to apply the gel to the liner in a mass production, automated fashion was an extremely challenging part of the process. All of the prototypes we have made to date include gel that is hand applied, which is not practical for production. After meeting with a select group of automated coating and dispensing companies, we have designed an efficient proprietary system to apply the gel to the liner. However, the setup of this system requires a significant upfront cost which is why we are soliciting your help!
We have invested a significant amount of our own capital in Gekks thus far for prototyping and design, but need your help for the final component. So if you want to keep your casual, but lose the consequences, pre-order a pair of Gekks now and help us bring it to you! Thank you for your time and support.
Risks and challenges
We have spent the last 18-months overcoming obstacles in prototyping and production design. At this point, the garment design is complete and the gel adhesive mixture is finalized. The challenge in getting Gekks to market lies in production. We have designed an efficient proprietary system and been quoted a time frame of approximately eight weeks to get the system up and running. We will then be able to use automation to mass produce Gekks and fulfill our commitment by shipping out your rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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