Get your socks on – fresh, functional and colourful

New sock models premiering at OutDoor in Friedrichshafen

Bold, colourful socks are in according to 2018 fashion trends. This is also reflected at the OutDoor show. What was once frowned upon is now the next big thing. Socks are more than purely functional, consumers want them in pop colours and with eye-catching patterns. Discover a whole new world of hiking, sport and leisure socks at Lake Constance during the leading industry trade show in Friedrichshafen from 17 – 20 June.

Hiking used to mean leather boots and knee-high woolly socks. The best ones were hand made – you could wear them for days on end and they still didn’t smell. The downside was that they used to get sweaty and expand. This caused rubbing at the heel or toes, resulting in painful blisters. In this era of high-performance microfibres, such problems should be a thing of the past. And yet many sports socks still have a long way to go. For years, manufacturers have been experimenting with new fibre combinations to improve fit and functionality.

Running Socks in action

Some manufacturers now rely solely on modern high-tech yarns, while others mix them with merino wool or other natural fibres. They all have a common objective: to make the new generation of hiking, sport and leisure socks lightweight, breathable and fast drying. Offering a perfect second-skin like fit, they often inhibit odours too. When it comes to running, knee high socks are in vogue, while for trekking and hiking, shorter cuffs continue to set the tone.

F-Lite socks by Germany’s Pro Feet Functional Wear, for example, are showcasing two new versions of their TA 300 trekking sock at OutDoor. It comes as an insulating Heat and a cooling Breeze model. “Our TA 300 remains in straightforward colours such as red, back or grey, but uses technical fibres like Nilit that makes the socks pleasantly cool or wonderfully warm, according to requirements,” explains Product and Marketing Manager Sebastian Reuthal. F-Lite also offer the trendy RA 100 Athletic sneaker sock for fitness, running and biking. “The new pink and black woven fabric creates an interesting look,” adds Sebastian Reuthal. For a blister-free fit, F-Lite is also offering a new compression sock made with very fine Microlon fibres.

Talking of blisters, Cep by medi GmbH make a wide range of socks with integrated compression both with and without merino wool – in particular as knee-high stockings. “They stabilize the foot arch and ankle, promote better circulation and faster recovery of the calf muscles and the close-fitting anatomical fit prevents blisters,” says Marketing Manager Steffen Vierrether. Eye-catching colours and reflector dots provide better visibility for night running. For trekking and hiking, colourways are more muted, but still include two fresh, bright tones. New at OutDoor 2018, the Run Sock 3.0 for runners and endurance athletes is a further development of the successful 2.0 knee-high compression sock.

Compression sock by CEP

Wrightsock from the United States are the only sock manufacturer that has been using a double layer anti blister system for years. The smooth inner layer is made from a breathable, moisture wicking fabric, while the outer layer is made of modern microfibres that are often combined with merino wool. “Wrightsock products don’t chafe your feet, instead Interaction between inner and outer sock layers absorbs friction that is normally transferred to the skin. This prevents friction heat, leading to less moisture. And less moisture means no blisters,” says Günter Klein, managing director at distributor Sourceplan. The brand new black and grey striped pilgrims’ way sock also has a distinctive scallop shell in yellow stitching.

Less trekking and more leisure orientated is the new technical summer sock from North American brand Lorpen. The T3 Light hiker merino no show was designed specifically to be worn with lightweight sports shoes. “The combination of polyester yarns, Tencel cellulose fibres and merino wool keeps your feet pleasantly dry even in warmer temperatures,” says PR spokesperson Nora Garay from agency Ternuagroup. New at Lorpen: bold colourways that mix turquoise with black or grey with plum. Socks are now far more than just functional items, they are bright, eye-catching products in their own right.

The 25th OutDoor jubilee edition show takes place from Sunday June 17 to Wednesday June 20, 2018 and is open to trade visitors only (with the exception of the German Bouldering Championships on 16/17 June in Hall B5 and the Midsummer Festival at the lakeside promenade).