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We use “t-shirt like” to describe the texture of several styles. It’s difficult, over the internet, to properly convey the texture and weight of something, so we use a lot of similes. A sock isn’t going to feel 100% the same as a t-shirt, but there’s a tangible difference between your average sock and one that feels quite a lot like your favourite tee.
First, let’s start on the opposite end of t-shirt texture and remember what “halo” is when it comes to socks. We talked about it a while ago on the Sock Journal, and it’s basically the fuzzy or hairy texture wool and wool-like fibers have.
The fuzzies of the Este Luxe Crew Sock
Styles that we compare to t-shirts are on the opposite end of the fuzzy scale. They’re cotton blends that are smooth to the touch and lack any real discernible surface texture. If you look at the socks below, you can see the difference between a wool style with a halo, a pretty socky sock and something “t-shirt like”.
As comparatively smooth as they are, t-shirt styles aren’t the smoothest thing out there. Socks and tights that have that total stocking smoothness make the gauge of t-shirt textures look rustic in comparison.
So, we’re looking for this middle ground of smoothness. Essentially, when we touch the sock, it feels like touching a t-shirt. And it’s surprising how narrow that cut-off point is. A style that is pretty smooth, like the Cotton Anklet, is still rougher than the Socklings.
Mind you, this is all how we use the term. It’s rather subjective, and one of those “know it when you see it” situations. Believe you me, I tried counting the knitting gauge, but without knowing the yarn gauge, needle size, tension, or any of the other factors that give a texture its texture, I can’t give you a real set of rules that define what “t-shirt like” is.
To compound that difficulty, there’re a lot of different kinds of t-shirts out there. There’s the thinner, finer kind with more snap and stretch to it; or the thick, “beefy” tees that take lots of washes to get a good drape; the vintage and faux vintage styles that you’ve got to layer for modesty.
But here’s what all these sock styles do have in common:
• high cotton content •
• smooth texture •
• soft drape •
• lightweight •
• feels like a t-shirt •
There aren’t a lot of sock styles that meet those rough requirements. Two brands, though, Una and EG Smith, have the largest representation in the t-shirt texture field. Both offer lots of styles that are the smoothest you can get from a sock with it still being a sock and not a nylon stocking.
For the rest, you’ll need to search “t-shirt like” and see what styles spring up! Remember, they’re just socks (and arm warmers, and tights, and, and) that are pretending to be your favourite tee. Give them a little benefit of the doubt, we think you’ll find them pretty smooth. 😉
It’s been a couple of years since we last looked at what all makes up our Eco Friendly section. Overall, a lot of the themes remain the same, but we now have more brands that are a go-to for eco-conscious fiber options and our robust Advanced Search helps you narrow down your eco-friendly field, so let’s refresh!
Several more brands are offering styles in organic cotton. Did you know Turkey is one of the largest producers of organic cotton? They’ve got a long and storied history with textiles and some of the nicest cotton blends we’ve encountered are made there. That’s where ToeSox gets their organic cotton and although Sweet Marcel’s organic blends are made in the USA, the rest of their cotton is from Turkey.
As great as organic is, recycling and reusing fiber that would have otherwise become waste can be even friendlier to the ecosystem! All those scraps and bits leftover from making clothes get processed and spun into fresh new yarn! Most of our Dream Stockings are made with a recycled cotton yarn and our Dreamer Socks use an 85% regenerated mix of cotton, acrylic and polyester. Both are beautiful blends that make good use (or re-use?!) of an eco-friendly resource.
More brands and styles are joining the recycled and regenerated fiber train too! It’s been fun seeing styles like B.Ella get in on the recycled cotton action. And, of course, brands that use our socks as a base, like Love Lite Precision Tie Dye have the privilege of being of recycled and regenerated fiber too!
Three brands profiled in the last eco-friendly post that are beautifully focused on offering great styles with smart fiber choices are Una, QT Feet and EG Smith’s ECO line. Their fiber and value choices ring as true and clear as ever!
Zkano is not only made in the USA with certified organic cotton, they have a fiber recycling program! We can vouch for how difficult it can be to find good fiber recycling options. Their strong beliefs and sweet styles make them a favourite of ours.
Sockwell and Goodhew are sister brands, so it’s difficult to speak of one without mentioning the other. Both brands are (like we say in their Additional Info) committed to products and yarns made in the USA and they focus on natural and renewable options to minimize their environmental footprint. You can see more at their “Why Goodhew” page under the “Good Practice” header (Sockwell’s version of the page adorably says “Well-Considered Practices”). One thing we really loved when we were first introduced to these brands—beyond their fabulous fit and good looks—was that they grow their sheep at home, so all the fibers in their socks are made in the USA!
Sock Dreams strives to make our impact on the environment as gentle as we can. From our polymailers made of 100% recycled material to the minimal packaging of our house brands, we’re always working to soften the blow. We even make sure that things like our plastic gift cards are made from recycled (and recyclable) ABS plastic (though the truly green option is an e-card).
So let’s celebrate earth day and find all those little ways we can be more conscious of how we affect the environment! ♥
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
For everyone else, their Navy varies across the board, from perfectly neutral to basically blue.
We’re a month into spring marathon and running season, and it seems like April really is where things kick off. Looking at all the big running lists, there are twice as many runs happening in April as in March, and then May has twice as many as April!
We know that we’re not folks’ first stop for technical running socks. That’s super understandable! There are awesome (often local to you brick & mortar shops) places that specialise in running gear and have more brands and options than we do. However, if you are checking out what we got for running (and running-like activities), we do have some sweet options for your sporty feet.
I’ve mentioned the wide variety of styles that live in our Sports Socks section before, but “sports” is pretty general and the needs all those styles fulfil go well beyond just running. Luckily, socks designed with runners in mind like to say so, and searching for “running” then limiting the search to just our Sports Socks gives you some awesome options. Whether you’re looking for compression, padding, toed styles, or something for more casual use, we have some solid options that may be just the thing!
There’s been some debate, and now studies (enjoy this dry abstract of a compression sleeve study over at PubMed.gov) about the effectiveness of compression garments in improving a runner’s performance. What can be agreed on is that if you think they’ll help you, they probably will and they are a great help in muscle recovery, especially if you put them on correctly.
The CEP styles we carry are designed for runners, with a slightly higher graduated compression of 20-25mmHg than the 15-20mmHg of the “casual” compression styles. We also particularly love the neon and reflective safety aspects of the Night Running Compression!
Padding & Wicking
Having smartly placed cushioning that doesn’t smother your toes in sweat is an ideal situation for running feet. And we’ve got a couple little anklets that know just how to treat you.
The only difference in basics between the Trainer Running Anklets and the Inspire Micro Anklets is that the Trainers have a “dual-tab” cuff to protect the front and back of your ankle from abrasion and the Inspire have just a back tab for that delicate Achilles tendon. Sure, the Inspire are merino blended with bamboo instead of merino blended with alpaca, like the Trainers, but those fiber blends do the same thing: working with a smart wicking system to keep sweat from hanging out in gross places while you run. Both styles have a linked toe, venting at the top of the foot, built-in arch support and feel awesome.
One of the interesting benefits of toe socks is an increase in balance. Letting your toes do their thing and spread as you step can do wonders—particularly if you’re pairing toe socks with shoes that have a smart amount of room in the toe box for just that.
Injinji has some great toed options for runners, and they’re the kind of thing you see in toe socks a lot. Liner-style with no real padding (though the Lightweight Running No-Show Toe Sock has a tab in the back to protect your Achilles), their focus is being “barely-there” and being your feet’s fairy godmother, wicking away sweat to some magic elsewhere. With an option in Coolmax® and another in Nüwool, you’ll find your match!
Leggings & More
It’s still a bit chill in places, so pairing leggings under your running shorts can be a great way to keep those muscles warm during morning jogs. We have several styles that stand up well to sporty use, but the Bamboo Leggings, with their great breathable and wicking bamboo blend, may be our favourite.
And if your involvement in spring running season is more in the themed fun-run vein, the athletic style Gumball Poodle knee highs, with their terry lined feet and clear themes are a great match to whatever you and your team have signed up for (there are doughnut runs, right? Don’t tell me if I’m wrong, let me live the dream.)
No matter how fun your run, don’t forget to keep hydrated! Our logo waterbottles have a sturdy cap that needs only a quarter turn to open and close and are easy to sip from on the go!
Whether you’re fun-running, marathon-ing, or just briskly enjoying a park trail, we’re happy to keep you and your toes comfy and supported. Drop us a line if you have any questions and remember, fun run and 5K teams, generally we only offer group discounts on 48 pairs or more so check out our FAQ for all the deets.
As usual, Tabbisocks brings colour to the table, with a perfect pastel offering in several tints.
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