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A long time ago, in a warehouse far (not that far) away, we didn’t have the best lighting. This was fine, for the most part but, in winter particularly, it made seeing the difference between navy and black stupidly difficult. I mean, one is black, the other is blue, right? Well, it depends on the supplier and the fiber.
Navy has some special something that differentiates it from plain ol’ blue, even though it’s just a shade (adding black to) of the same. We go back and forth about adding “Navy” as an option in our Search By Colour, but once you start deciding which popular colour variants are worthy of singular attention things can get complicated. For now, your navy needs can be met by simply searching for “navy” and then limiting the results to Blue.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define navy. If you want more in-depth detail on the shade, Wikipedia is a good place to go and the Color Sorting Wiki is always a great resource for poem-like names of shades and hues. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t. Now, let’s dive into those deep blue waters!
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
We only really have two versions of navy, nylon and our cotton reclaimed fiber blend. And the Navy N40s are a dark dream next to the lighter, more blue, cotton blends.
Because B.Ella tends to go for the dark hues as their basics, they rock the heck out of navy, bringing the widest range of what the shade can do.
Though they play around with navy in their heathers, EG’s solid navy doesn’t stray. It’s a very dark and pure blue, with no reds warming it up.
Like EG Smith, Foot Traffic’s navy is strong, dark and pure. Like a really good cup of coffee, only with the colour blue.
As they often do, Tabbisocks’ colours are imbued with depths of hue. I think they make the richest navy of the lot, though their tights go more the dim and dark route in shade.
For everyone else, their Navy varies across the board, from perfectly neutral to basically blue.
How much variety within a simple shade like navy can there be anyway? A surprising amount, considering the range of navy is from “basically black” to “still darker than dark blue.”
I’m going to be comparing these various subsets of navy against a pair of Simone’s Sleeves in Black. It’s a nice, true black that does well at showing the hidden blue in even the darkest navy.
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.
Pastels are pretty straightforward. The fancy words for them are “high value and low to intermediate saturation”, which just means “bright, but not, like, vivid.” They’re all your basic colours, but tinted with a heavy dose of white.
What’s interesting about pastel tints are that some things, like beige, are technically pastels of something else (brown, in this case), but we don’t always consider them that. Pastels can be terribly contextual, but we know ‘em when we see ‘em. Some of the colours we’re going to look at have been touched on in other colour posts, but they all qualify (for us, anyway) as a pastel.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define pastels. If you want to go down the learning rabbit-hole, Wikipedia is a good source. The Color Sorting Wiki actually barely touches on pastels, saying only “Think pastel when you think spring. Although not all spring colors are pastels and not all pastels are spring colors, the frequency of spring colors matching pastel colors is quite large.”
I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t. Since it’s sorta a subjective colour, to some degree, we’re just going to look at the pastel-iest of what we’ve got classed as “Pastel” in our colour search. That said, let’s get down to it!
Did you know, back in The Day, the O Basics were split up, with “O Pastels” on their own product page? As yarns changed over the years, we lost some of our favourite pastels for a while and, along with site changes, it just made sense to consolidate them.
And, of course, the O Lovelies are the prima donnas of the pastel, soft little shades that are whispers of colour. I tried my darndest to show that Lichen O Rayons are a soft colour, but they look so dark next to the other pastel Dream Stocking yarns!
Always more of a “winter”, in colours as well as fibers, B.Ella doesn’t have that many true pastels. But what they do have are classics. The cotton Bastia best exemplifies pastels for this brand. Though the Kimi, Erin and Sophia all have colours that we’ve classed as pastel, when you put them next to these Pima cotton pretties, they glower with tone (which is when you mix a colour with grey) rather than shine with tint.
Their soft heather styles give EG Smith an advantage in the pastel game, though really only their heather pink qualifies. Other than that, EG only represents pastel via the classics.
Though denim heathers and soft browns and beiges could be considered pastels (and we have Foot Traffic’s versions classed as such) for pastel purists only two colours really fit—their singular Mint and their thigh high in Pink.
As usual, Tabbisocks brings colour to the table, with a perfect pastel offering in several tints.
Here in Portland, spring has only officially just started, but the cherry blossoms that were perfectly timed last year are so over it and already drifiting down in the only snow we saw this year. But a few weeks earlier, we were sure we’d be seeing one last icy slap for us to remember the winter by.
These transitional seasons are tricky, man. You’ve gotta sock smart when you’re unsure if the afternoon will greet you with a foot of snow or the sneaking tendrils of summer. I mention transitional seasons a lot, but heck, Autumn and Spring are half the year!
Because spring is different everywhere, with the only constant being its inconsistency, I thought it might be good to round up all the various posts and categories beyond just our “Spring” section that can help you lock down your transitional season trajectory!
It’s kinda just a list, but it’s a good one to keep bookmarked and I’ve put pictures in there for you, don’t worry. 😉
Layering & Warmth
How we layer is as individual as ourselves and our environments! But there are some basic tips to ride the freezing-too warm-chilly arc of Spring days.
A recent newsletter has some great layering tips and tricks and we have some info on Polar Fleece and fleece-lined styles, which are a great layer for confirming coziness.
We also have tips on finding warm sock options, most of which are shorter and pair great with leggings (and footless tights)! Great transitional season layers, you can always drop the warmer sock in the afternoon for something shorter/lighter and they also let you start rocking the warmer weather wardrobe early.
Easy to bundle up in a bag when they get too warm to wear and just as easy to rock during chilly moments in addition to the day’s outfit, arm and leg warmers are a vital part of settling into Spring. Our Arm Warmer and Leg Warmer categories have lots to peruse, but here’s some good starting points of reference!
Arm warmers basically come in “mitt”, “sleeve” and “fingerless glove” and we go over the differences here. For your other half, our two most popular leg warmers are the Ribbed Knit and our Cuffable Scrunchables, they’re similar but also very different, which this post explains.
They may be a temporary layer but if you want to match your warmers to your socks or tights with minimal hassle, we’ve got some tips and favourite combos as a guide.
While I’ve got some lightweight faves for springtime layering, there are a couple of different categories of ours that are good starts for folks who live in places where it’s already heating up!
Crochet Look and Openwork styles let a little breeze through, and tend to “breathe” better, which is great when the day started out needing tights and ends up laughing at those foolish enough to be clad toe to waist.
A nice fiber for spring is Bamboo, which has good breathability and performs well under pressure, wicking away sweat. Another good option that is able to be folded down to warm afternoon-friendly knee highs, Over The Knee styles keep those patella sitting pretty until it’s time for them to bask in springtime sun.
And the Lightweight category combines all sorts of the warmer weather variables above, and more!
Spring is sneaky, but outwit its weather tricks with layers, warmers and lots of lightweight options!
This may have been the second warmest winter on record for Oregon, but it’s still in that late winter/early spring season that means ultra-cold mornings. And I know a lot of you elsewhere have been buried under snow so aggressive, you’d think you owed the weather money. When it’s cold, gloves are great, but sometimes they’re too much, especially if you’re just trying to take the edge off of chill while you’re inside.
So let’s look at arm warmers and the different finger styles and coverage ranges that all fall under the “arm warmer” umbrella! They fall into these basic styles: sleeve, mitt and fingerless. And there’s plain ol’ full fingered gloves, of course, but they’re a horse of a different, more straightforward, colour.
Let’s start with the simplest and most straightforward style. A sleeve is an arm warmer with no hole for the thumb. Some can play the legwarmer game too, though they tend to be a bit more snug than straight up leg warmers. And a couple styles you may think of as primarily leg warmers are wonderful sleeves.
Sleeves are often longer in style, most wanting to reach at least the elbows. That’s not a defining factor, however. Mostly, sleeves are perfect to pair with shorter shirt sleeves or for when you want a little more arm warmth (armth?) without having to add a whole ‘nother shirt to the mix.
They don’t do much for keeping hands warm though, so if you want to keep your top paws cozy, you might want . . .
Mitts care about your thumb and give it a special place to live. For some mitts, it’s just a hole in the side, but that’s enough to ensure that your knuckles stay covered consistently.
Some mitts are madly minimal, only a few stitches at the hand end keeping them from being sleeves. Wider hands aren’t often fans of this type of mitt.
The most indulgent mitt is the kind that have a separate thumb space that often goes as high as the thumb knuckle. Sometimes it’s just through smart use of a seam allowance (like on the Una), but sometimes it’s like a house knit or sewn just for those useful un-fingers.
And when your fingers get jealous of your thumb’s cozy house, there’s always . . .
As straightforward as sleeves, fingerless gloves are like gloves minus the fingertips. They’re the go-to for keeping hands cozy and a lot of us layer them under our mitts for maximum warmth that leaves us more dexterous than straight up gloves. We don’t have a lot fingerless glove options right now, but the styles we do have are solid and reliable basics!
We’ve found that it doesn’t matter that much if you have smaller or medium-larger hands, it doesn’t really change how high the finger bits go up on you. We did some extensive and goofy testing and hand comparisons and found that though the Basic Fingerless Gloves go up the highest, but still don’t cover the first joint on even teeny hands. Here’s the basic rundown:
The Basic Fingerless Gloves (below, left) are not only the base for our Tie Dyed Fingerless Gloves, but are popular with fire dancers for their great coverage and 90% cotton blend. For similar length in acrylic, the Acrylic Fingerless Gloves (also available in a shortie) go nicely up the arm, but are a little shorter in the finger coverage department:
At about the same finger coverage level, the unique Microfiber Chenille Fingerless Gloves (below, right) don’t go as far up most arms as the other two basic styles. They are wildly soft and fluffy though, which is pretty important in the scheme of cuddly coziness.
From straight-up sleeves to fingerless gloves, there are lots of ways to keep the warms on your arms as we make the cold and confusing transition to warmer months!