Sports Insight

Q4 - December 2018

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development of technological innovations to solve human- generated problems like pollution and textile waste with a mix of science and common sense. Natural fiber, bio-based and cradle-to-cradle sustainable materials are trending, and precision-engineered products are personalized to the consumer profiles and reduce post-industrial waste. Consumers are embracing micro-adventures as an affordable way to reconnect with the outdoors and friends; this is driving a philosophy of core products that are minimal and versatile that can shift from urban to outdoor spaces." — Lyn Feinson, VP–Design and Development Drymax Extra Protection Hyper Thin Running Sock, $23 Performance Athletic Why: Working with top runners, including Jim Walmsley, Drymax created a thin flat-knit dual-layer foot-hugging design with strategic ventilation on the top of the foot and around the arch and PTEE in the forefoot and heel to eliminate friction. What's Up: "Style and perceived environmental benefits of natural fibers continue to drive a large segment of the market. However, Drymax is choosing to focus on technical advances in synthetic fibers, fiber durability, blister protection, antimicrobials and advanced proprietary knitting techniques. Drymax makes socks for the feet; the eyes are of secondary concern." — Bob MacGillivray, Executive Vice President Falke 4 Grip, $55 Performance Athletic Why: Designed for fast-action athletes at professional and amateur levels, the sock features strategically positioned silicone nubs on the inside and outside of the footbed for more direct power transmission with every movement. A strategically engineered compression zone in the ankle area reduces the risk of twisting, an anatomical arch support ensures proper fit, a left toebox reduces unwanted bulk in the shoe and a three-layer structure and blend of performance fibers keeps the feet dry. What's Up: "The biggest trend is finding innovative ways to optimize the athlete's performance. We are focusing on continual innovation to reduce the risks of injury and enhance performance." — Tanya Pictor, Vice President of USA Sales and Marketing Farm to Feet Bozeman, $21 Outdoor/Trail Why: This three-quarter crew-height sock features ultra-soft 19.5-micron U.S. Merino wool knitted on a 200-needle machine and half-density cushioning throughout the foot bottom. What's Up: "Style continues to be a driver in the outdoor sock market. Customers are looking for technical socks with aesthetics that match their sense of style. Sock manufacturing is the original 3D printing because we take a 2D design and program a circular knitting machine to turn it into a 3D object using yarn as ink. Materials are where we see the most innovation, especially in the development of polyester yarns that echo the attributes of natural yarns. This could provide an opportunity to design and develop lighter socks with the same level of durability of socks that typically required reinforcement yarns." — David Petri, Vice President of Marketing Feetures! Elite Light Cushion No Show Tab, $15.99 Performance Athletic Why: A patented technology called targeted compression uses an anatomical fit, lifts and arch supports for comfort and support. What's Up: "Customization is prevalent in the market in the form of sublimation printing and 360 printing and it will continue to gain momentum. The next big thing will be incorporating smart textiles into socks, whether it's in the form of a topical treatment or inherent in the yarns. On the marketing side, we recently launched a sock to provide relief from plantar Fox River Basecamp NFZ, $18 Thorlo Express Yourself Calf, $15.99, and Crew, $14.99 Wigwam Dendrite Lightweight, $19 Falke 4 Grip, $55 CEP Run 2.0 Compression Sock, $59.99 Bob MacGillivray, Executive VP, Drymax David Petri, VP–Marketing, Farm To Feet Drymax is choosing to focus on technical advances in synthetic fibers, fiber & durability. Customers are looking for technical socks with aesthetics that match their sense of style. December 2018 ~ Sports Insight • 15

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