The Sock Review | Where Legwear Gets The Attention It Deserves
The Sock Review is a fashion & design blog initiated by industrial designer Jess Doutrich. This blog aims to highlight established and emerging sock brands, innovative thinkers, and sometimes, just some really cool legwear. The Sock Review is the place to go for sock reviews and sock-product features.
Sockabu socks are just the coolest 'convertible' type style out there! - Image Credit: The Sock Review
Happy Tuesday, readers! It is our pleasure to introduce our featured brand for the week! Meet Sockabu, the cutest toddler socks...but there's more than meets the eye here. Sockabu socks boast both a fashion and function-focus, and are versatile in their use, as they can be worn in an open or closed position to either 'free' or 'cover' your little one's toes! With the ease of a simple flip of the toe-cover, your young one can be more comfortable; whether it's play time or nap time, who doesn't love being able to choose?
These soft and seamless styles are currently available in unisex designs for ages 1-4, and include a non-skid logo on the bottom of the foot for some traction while moving around. We also love that these are made in America! (In North Carolina more specifically). Knitting mills are extraordinarily fascinating to us, and we love seeing brands support their local economies. If you check out the Sockabu site, you can watch a video of how Sockabu came to be, and 'meet' the creator, Abbie - she's got such an amazing energy for the product, and it's always quite lovely to hear about the inspiration behind the product. You can learn all about the brand here.
The Sockabu logo is printed as a non-skid on the bottom of the foot of the sock, helping to aid in slip-resistance. - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Pictured here are the two styles currently available for purchase. Pali Stripes (left) and Cali Stripes (right.)
Something else that is really unique about the Sockabu product is that, unlike traditional sock-knitting, which is done on a circular sock knitting machine, the Sockabu styles are actually knit on a flat-bed machine to achieve their patented design. Have you ever watched a knitting machine work? It's pretty awesome, so we suggest taking some time out to watch a video or two! :)
We've certainly concluded how cute and fashionable the gender-neutral stripes are...Now, let's take a closer look at how the product functions - The Sockabu style comes flat in the open-toe position, where your toddler can explore their world of activity without toe restriction. Toe seams and loose yarns (or floats as we call them) inside some socks can be restricting and bothersome for small children, especially when they cannot communicate their discomfort. The Sockabu styles allow for exposure of the toe area, allowing children to explore their own natural balance and tactile awareness. However, there are times when you might want to cover those sweet little toes, like for sleeping, or wearing with shoes...in which case, simply pull the little cover over and essentially you will have created what resembles a traditional sock. It's easy, it's cute, and it's comfortable - and that is what makes Sockabu feature-worthy!
Sockabu styles offer choices while wearing; the left pair features the "open-toe" position, and the pair on the right shows off the "closed-toe" view when you flip over the seamless cover. P.S. that little jaguar toy is a prototype of mine from my art school days - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
We wanted to be sure to show off all the fun colors used in these neat little knits, so we constructed a little bit of a fun "playground-inspired" photo shoot for the socks, since we didn't have any little ones of our own running around the studio. From a design standpoint, the use of primary colors is brilliant, and including a playful, yet simplistic and modern logo pairs perfectly with the branding. We really enjoy the use of color, especially when the Sockabu styles are in their different modes. When the toe area is open, you see most of the stripes, but then when the toe is closed, you get a surprise pop of color (red or green in the styles above). Love the design, love the coloration; we even think that touch of black in there is appropriate, as it adds a bit of sophistication to the palette.
There you have it, readers - another lovely addition to our featured brand write-ups. We hope you enjoyed reading a bit about Sockabu, and that you'll share your interest and curiosity with your friends and fellow sock-enthusiasts! Until next time, keep up your sock game!
These Sockabu toddler styles are made in the USA - we would love to see a big resurgence of American-made hosiery in the future. - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Disclaimer: The Sock Review was provided with free product in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates, in any way.
"Sublime Lou Dog" style, from the MERGE4 Men's Sock Collection - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
View of back detail on "Sublime Lou Dog" style - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
"The wheels of creativity begin to churn, as an idea began to take shape" - MERGE4
Hey, readers! It's Tuesday, and I hope you had a spectacular weekend & holiday. Maybe you hit the beach, like we did over here at The Sock Review. A trip to the sand and surf wouldn't be complete without some cool socks to go with. This week's featured socks are from a skate/surf lifestyle-inspired brand called MERGE4, based out of California. The brand collaborates with artists and musicians to produce exceptionally-neat graphics on their crew socks, available in men's and women's sizing. The two particular styles that we received to review, tastefully highlight an admiration for the American ska punk band, Sublime - I'm sure you've heard a few of their songs ;) - cue radio, "What I Got." Coincidentally enough, the process used to create the imagery on the socks is called 'sublimation' - thought I'd just throw that out there.
Aside from the vivid colors and imagery, these socks feature a padded sole (yes, we usually flip all of our sock samples inside out to see what they're made of), arch support, ribbed leg, and Y-heel stitch on the heel, that helps for proper fit. One interesting feature that stood out was the "hidden message" or "Fortune Cookie Quotes" right inside the the welt/cuff, which you get a sneak peek of when you put on the sock. The Sock Review always appreciates products that promote a sense of curiosity.
"Sublime Sun" style, from the Music Collab collection, available online & select shops - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Okay, so we took these out on the beach to give off the good vibes. Let's talk about the design a little more; again, such attention to detail, as you'll notice on the toe area, the formation of two arrows coming together (a tie-back to the brand logo elements), but I thought that was interesting, as I've seen straight lines done before, but not a particular shape. What's neat is that the printed design on the body of the sock is select, so while the graphics on the front are printed, you'll find a knit-in logo on the sole of the sock. The Sock Review absolutely loves the mixing of technologies; I wonder how far it could go?
Two styles from the Music-inspired collection, focused on Sublime, the band. - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
All in the details..."I Love My Dog" as a hidden message. Photo Credit: TSR
So, we talked about the hidden message, pictured here on the left, and now we'll talk about the good things that MERGE4 does for its community and its impact on the planet. MERGE4 is a certified B corporation, which is really a cool thing; it essentially means they respect and adhere to a responsibility to their community and the environment through a set of standards. You can check out some of the things this particular company does to strive for those standards, here on their "Corporate Responsibility" page. You can also learn more about B Corps, here.
As social media and video presence is simply 'the norm,' for brands - it's always interesting to see sock products/brands with their own YouTube channel. I believe the videos help to connect more the digital and "human" part of a product. With so much shopping done online, isn't it good to know a little about the who/what/wear of the products you purchase? Definitely check out their 'videos' page on their site - you can find that here (or search MERGE4 on YouTube.) It's always nice to see the people and inspiration behind the action. All in all, love the energy of the sock designs and appreciation for art and music culture, built right into the socks.
A dramatic shot for some very studio-worthy socks. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Hope you all enjoyed this Tuesday feature, we'll be back with more next week! Check out the links below where you can find out more about MERGE4 products and lifestyle.
Sizing Available: Large – Men’s 9-12 / Medium – Men’s 6-8.5 / Women’s 5.5 – 9.5
Social Media Links: Find MERGE4 on Instagram: @merge4socks, Facebook: @merge4 & their YouTube channel
Disclaimer: The Sock Review was provided with free product in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates, in any way. The Sock Review encourages all readers to conduct their own, thoughtful research on any product they are considering purchasing.
Feetures socks in packaging, highlighting the variety in designs available. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Good day, readers! This week's sock blog feature is Feetures, a sock company that is focused on bringing performance into everyday wear with their Everyday sock collection.
Flat lay photo of Feetures socks - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Who else loves to wake up early enough each morning to take a brisk walk, or even just a short loop around your building at work in the afternoon? Maybe you're looking for a sock that you can feel comfortable lounging around in, or that you can even dress up for the evening. The Sock Review would like to introduce a great 'everyday' sock that utilizes moisture-wicking fibers and targeted compression to make your everyday activities like walking or lounging, even better. Feetures is known for its superb running socks, but we love these patterned styles that are available for less-demanding activity. Styles pictured here are available in different options on the Feetures website. If you're curious to see more patterns, or their other sock collections, we encourage you to check them out!
Feetures assorted crew sock styles, left two are women's, right two are men's - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
As is in the tradition of all the samples that arrive here at The Sock Review, we always try them out for ourselves, and, if weather permits, we love to take them outdoors! Since I'm a fan of a walk on a bright, sunny morning, I chose to try out the women's Horizon Cushion Crew (in navy) with my favorite walking shoes. At first, I didn't realize the socks were left/right-specific, which I quickly discovered when I placed them on the opposite feet (it's great, they have an "L" and "R" by the toe), and realized that the support features of the sock were designed to fit its designated foot better. Once on, I could feel the cushioned foot bottom in this pair immediately, as I began to walk. I would definitely choose this style again for another everyday look. If you're someone that works in a traditional-office work setting, these would be great to pair with a casual outfit, since they are comfortable when sitting as well (I'm wearing the women's Sante Fe Ultra Light crew in Oatmeal right now as I write).
The Sock Review takes Feetures socks outdoors for a wear test - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
The widening lines visible on the sole of the foot area are called out as a targeted compression area. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
So what are some of the different features that are available in the Feetures Everyday socks? One notable call-out called 'targeted compression,' shown below, helps to add to the comfort and support while wearing. I also really like the fit of the heel of the sock; it didn't feel like it was going to slide around on me. This is due to the Y-heel construction (if you look closely at some socks, you may notice what looks like a "Y" stitch on the heel, which helps the sock to hug the foot heel better than a straight stitch.) I mentioned previously about the L/R specific fit of the socks, which is one of my favorite attributes. Another great feature of the Feetures socks pictured here is the seamless toe - the thought of an itchy or bothersome toe seam being in the way is eliminated here, with the placement of the high-quality hand-linked seamless toe construction.
Want to learn more about all of the features mentioned here? Be sure to check out the Feetures website for more, or simply conduct your own set of sock construction research online; I promise, there's quite a lot to learn and know about socks!
I hope you all enjoyed today's "Feetures feature" - as it is always a pleasure to represent quality sock brands and products out there on the market. Please comment below if you have tried out a pair for yourself, or if you have any questions about this post. Happy start to the new week!
Social Media: You can stay updated with the latest on Facebook @FeeturesBrand or Instagram @feeturessocks - Be sure to follow The Sock Review too! @thesockreview
Disclaimer: The Sock Review was provided with free product in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates, in any way.
A choice selection of just a few of the 18 sock styles available through the collaboration between Able Made x The Met, currently available in-store. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Make it a fashionable Friday with these simply exquisite 'works of art' for your feet any art collector would be proud to wear.
A choice selection of some of the 18 styles from the collection; a sampling of the variety of styles available at The Met Fifth Avenue. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Happy Friday, readers! Today's featured sock collection is a brand new collaboration between active lifestyle brand Able Made and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, both organizations I admire each for their accomplishments in their respective fields of product design, fashion and art. The Able Made x The Met sock collection of 18 styles offers soft, high quality cotton socks for women and men, inspired directly from pieces that can be found in the museum's own art collection. From the hieroglyphically-patterned 'Egyptian Eyes Socks,' to the sophisticated 'Degas Dancer Socks,' inspired by one of my very own favorite pieces by Edgar Degas, there is sure to be a style that fits everyone's taste in art, and socks. You can view the entire collection (and other gift-able goodies) in person at The Met Fifth Avenue, where they are available for purchase. You can also learn more about the pieces that have inspired the socks by clicking on the images (or better yet, take a trip to The Met, which I absolutely encourage). Art is just one of those things you have to experience for yourself, don't you think?
Egyptian Eyes Socks - inspired by Coffin of Khnumnakht piece featuring the hieroglyphic artwork of the eyes. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Something about those eyes...something about eyes on socks in general is very mesmerizing in my opinion (and trendy!). This particular pair, called "Egyptian Eyes," is available in a very wearable-yellow body with knit-in decorative detail. I chose the sandy-yellow version because it's such a fun color, and made me think of the sands of Egypt. This "eye" motif is pulled from the artistic detailing on the Coffin of Khnumnakht, a piece currently on view at The Met Fifth Avenue. (Click the photo above to learn more.) I absolutely loved shooting this photo by the sand, just as sunset approached; gathering a dramatic image, which I thought was appropriate for the style. The deep red heel, toe & cuff accent the bold colors elegantly. I think this would make an excellent addition to a suited style if you want to dress up at the office.
A lovely knit-in graphic on very soft, quality cotton socks, featuring the Dancer by Edgar Degas. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Now, on to one of my personal favorite styles from the collection; the "Degas Dancer Socks" - inspired by a drawing titled, Dancer, created by Edgar Degas, featuring a ballerina. It's really the bold blue bow that resonates with me when I viewed the original artwork, and is translated nicely in the sock pictured above. I love the light heathered-blue accents on the design, and the simplified silhouette of the dancer still being very recognizable and familiar; a lovely translation of the artwork, and very wardrobe-friendly. You could easily style these with a summery knit top and some denim, or even dress them up with a look to parallel the dancer's. Either way, this is a great way to not only show off your unique style, but also a way to show your support of The Met's dedication to art and design.
A bit of Mondrian in your step. Geometric knit-in design based off the painting called Composition by Piet Mondrian. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
A perfect pair for the art-enthusiast is this men's 'Mondrian Socks' style. Show off your art appreciation. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
If it's abstraction you need more of in your life, then I suggest taking a chance on these Mondrian-inspired socks for your outfit of the day. The geometric pattern and bold colors inspired by a piece called Composition, by Piet Mondrian, will brighten up any mood and add a grid of sophistication to your look. Who could resist showing off their socks when they look as good as this? Pair them with dress shoes, or if you're doing a bit more walking, dare I say these would make even a pair of sneakers look amazing!
For the last pair I'm highlighting, I wanted to capture the simple beauty of the dragonfly pattern in this women's sock style. The dragonfly graphic is inspired by a jewelry/hair piece designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, which looks very delicately constructed, being made out of precious metals and jewels. The dragonflies in the sock are quite nicely placed in a neat repeat pattern, which makes me think of Spring, hence, the floral arrangement in the background. I love the way the sun set slowly as I captured this image and highlighted the delicate colors of the sock itself. The "Dragonfly" style is a soft, comfortable addition to your warm-weather style, offering a light, tonal look.
Dragonfly Socks feature a knit-in graphic of the dragonflies from Louis Comfort Tiffany's hair ornament piece. Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Just a sampling of the vivid assortment of socks from the Able Made x The Met collection - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
I hope you sincerely enjoyed reading about these colorful and uniquely fashioned sock styles. It's an 'art' in itself to get designs to look good on a sock/knit surface, and I believe this collection of artistically-inspired socks has done this successfully and uniquely. If you would like to shop for a pair of your own, or learn more about The Met and Able Made and their missions, please check out the links below and most of all, show off your socks this Spring!
Special thanks to The Met for sending The Sock Review some of these amazing sock styles to check out; I'll definitely be wearing them all!
Where to purchase: 18 styles currently available in-store at The Met Fifth Avenue. Your purchase supports the Metropolitan Museum of Art's efforts in art collection, study, conservation and presentation.
Sock Composition: Styles shown here are 74% Cotton, 24% Nylon, 2% Spandex, Made in USA
*The Sock Review was provided with free product in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates, in any way.
In Honor of Lost Socks Everywhere - Illustration Credit: Jess Doutrich
Why!? Where do all the lost socks go?
Do they live happily ever after, hidden away in the cozy crevices of the dryer? Did the dryer monster eat them as a snack? Or, did they just happen to fall out of the laundry basket on your way to wash? *Sigh* We may never solve the mysteries of the missing sock, but we can take a day to memorialize them; so today is that day. Take a moment, open your sock drawer, and be grateful for all the fully-matched pairs you still have. *Yes, I'm kidding with all of this, but who knew there was a day dedicated to such a common conundrum?
If nothing else, it's maybe a great day to organize your sock pairings, and see if you need to add any new ones to the collection!
It's a monochromatic day here at The Sock Review (and that's not a bad thing!) Socks on a cloudy day - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Good morning, readers - It's quite the cloudy day here at The Sock Review HQ, but I secretly enjoy an excuse to stay inside and focus on the blog! As I'm writing, the sunshine is peeking in, ever so slightly...but that won't change my mind about wearing these lovely socks to celebrate a monochromatic mood today.
I'm not entirely sure what brand or even where these socks came from, as these were a gift from my mom a bit ago (I'm not even sure if they were intended for men or women, but that matters least to me). They are quite interesting though, not being a typical pattern one might find on a dress sock - almost gives me the feeling of being a "modern argyle," I'll call it that. You can see inside the triangular shapes, that either an extra bit of texturing has been done, or a specialized yarn has been used to create a sort of spotted effect. I absolutely LOVE texture on socks; although it does take different machinery to accomplish. If you'd like to learn some sock-knitting machinery basics (with some neat video) I recommend taking a look at this article by cottonworks™, which you can find here.
Some of my favorite textures in socks (by season) are: cable knits for Fall, pointelle for Spring, a nice sheer with a swiss dot for Summer, and a fresh look at a rib for Winter. So many textures are available through socks, and I'd love to see some more experimentation like the pair featured above. I'd especially enjoy more mixed textures in shorter silhouette socks. Something I've been wanting to see in socks is a textured sock with the use of sublimation or DTG (direct to garment) printing on top - I think that could be really cool, and sort of create a 3D effect...if you know of any brand or sock that accomplishes this, please let me know - I'd love to check them out.
Anyway, back to Monday socks - I hope you've enjoyed this short read about my adoration for sock textures and experimentation. Comment below on any brands you think offer interesting solutions to my sock texture "treasure hunt!"
Happy Monday, all - enjoy the week. Wear good socks :)
Hi readers! Ever wonder 'how' and 'why' The Sock Review came to be? What started the discussion, and what set me on a path to promote and highlight excellency in sock design? I wanted to take this post to share with you my "origins" story! I hope you all enjoy, and I'd love to hear how you got interested in socks in the comment section, below.
It probably all subconsciously started in elementary school, when I had a fluffy grey cat named "BobbySocks" leap out of my arms and race through the slim halls, right into my English teacher's room - *ahem* on a show & tell day. Yes, I retrieved him, scratch-free. He had what looked like the sweetest little "fur socks" on his legs. Fast forward to high school, when I very proudly wore mismatched socks to accessorize my unique sense of style. Some days, I dressed in all "metallics" to pretend I was a robot, and some days, I just didn't care what people thought of my shocking lime green "boys" Nike tee and short set (I got it in the boys' department, but didn't care - they didn't have that color in girls'), with of course, matching lime green socks. Somehow, my interest of exploration of fashion concepts & a slight knack towards science led me to pursue a degree in Industrial Design.
After graduation, I gained a lot of experience in the product design field, and eventually ended up with a very interesting focus in legwear & accessory development & design (which to this day, it all sort of makes sense.) At one point, I was interviewing with a prospective company for a position, which I didn't get, by the way - but one question they asked that stuck with me was, "Why do you want to work in sock design?" And my response was..."I pretty much wake up and fall asleep thinking of sock ideas" As silly as that may sound, it's true! I'm a sock geek! It's quite thrilling to have the constraint of a simple silhouette like the sock, and think of the many different ways you can alter it, or maximize within. I know, probably sounds a little Out There, but it's what made me begin writing about socks.
I needed an outlet where I could share my passion for the legwear industry; and thus, The Sock Review was born. With an unattended email account ( I never expected anyone to actually email me, and so, I think I missed out on a few early opportunities) but after a few experimental and personal posts with socks I purchased myself, I began receiving sock submission requests. The rest is of course, history. Now, I am happily overwhelmed by sock samples, and hope to continue to further the mission of The Sock Review as a blog and sharing platform. My future goals always involve improving content quality and perhaps a glimpse into some trend forecasting. I'd love to do more interviews with sock-related professions or things of that nature. What would you all like to see from The Sock Review in the future?
Thank you to all my readers and social media supporters!
Feed your soul, take care of Mother Earth - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
With the dedicated Earth Day behind us, I wanted to take a few moments to write a short post thanking everyone who took the time to do the smallest thing (or things) to help keep our planet healthy. I planted a few flowers of my own, and took a nice walk in the park - nothing extraordinary, I assure you, in terms of saving the world, but I think every little bit adds up. I also am a big fan of every day being Earth Day, so be sure to be kind to our big, bountiful Earth! <3
Hi readers, it's been a little while since The Sock Review's last feature, but rest assured, something excellent is cooking! We took a short hiatus to recharge, relax and review our year so far. Something we want to always be mindful of is providing our readers with valid, valuable and quality content about, well, nothing other than socks! Sometimes, moving forward actually requires a small step back to analyze; which we've done. Now, we've got a clearer vision as a result. Excited to continue onward and upwards with you all.
Keep an eye out for our next post - we're trying something a little different!
Camel Wool Socks featured in Alpine Fair's Winter Collection - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Happy Monday, sock enthusiasts! With winter days still upon us, we are excited to feature a very unique sock company - Alpine Fair socks by Ahmat - this Florida-based company sells socks made with camel wool. At The Sock Review, we are all about trying new socks and writing about what makes them unique; and these certainly caught our attention. The company was generous enough to send us a few pairs to try out. First and foremost, we absolutely love the simple, yet descriptive and decorative designs on both of the socks featured here. Not only do you get to show off that your socks are made with camel wool, but they are extremely warm and cozy. Perfect in case you just want to relax around the house, or if you are heading outdoors and need some extra protection on your feet.
A close-up of the beautiful detailing in the sock - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
What makes these socks so lovely, in our opinion, is not only the natural fibers that are used (we prefer natural over synthetic any day, except in performance socks), but the natural color choice as well; these socks could easily be wild colors, but the way they enhance the material and style is very appropriate. Wool has antibacterial and hygroscopic properties (meaning it likes to absorb moisture from the air, helping to keep your feet dry). These socks are definitely a favorite of ours, and will surely last in our sock drawer.
Showing off camel wool socks, featuring Camel Wool Socks with 'Camel' Pattern - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
We hope you are curious to read more about the variety of wool socks that you can find on the Alpine Fair website; for men, women and there are even some legwarmers for the dancers and fashionistas out there! These socks would make an excellent (and very unique) gift for anyone really, but especially for someone who likes to be active outdoors, or appreciates a good wool sock, or just happens to love camels, like us. :)
Two of the camel wool socks available to shop - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Well, that's a wrap, friends! We hope you enjoyed this little segment about camel wool socks, and just how comfortable and cozy they are. Be sure to read more about these particular styles and what makes them unique, on the Alpine Fair website. Think we'll wear them again today, on this perfectly rainy day. :)
Camel Wool Socks with Scandinavian Ornament - Photo Credit: The Sock Review
Disclaimer: The Sock Review was provided a free product in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates, in any way.