How's Your "Sock Game?"Mar 18th, 2015
It’s the start of a new season. You’ve ordered new apparel and gear. Your association has met and you’ve gotten smart about all the new rules. You’ve sent your assignor a gift basket with all his favorite things. It seems you are all together and ready for that first game. But wait! If you are like most sports officials, you have forgotten to completely outfit your most important tool on the field or court- your feet!
Together, your two feet contain more than 50 bones, about 1/4 of all the bones in your body. In those two feet you have more than 60 joints and 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold them together and help them move. When those bones and ligaments are compromised or your skin is blistered or hot and sweaty, officiating is miserable. Along with good shoes, a well made sock can be one of your most important tools- a tool that can prolong your career and help you stay focused on your job. How’s your “sock game?”
Socks have come a long way since their early days. In ancient times people wore animal skins tied around their ankles. With the evolution of footwear and a better understanding of our feet, socks have been re-designed in various ways to offer better protection, aid in preventing common foot problems, and simply provide more comfort and warmth. “Sock game” is big business and has grown to a $12 billion industry worldwide with all kinds of fabrics and performance properties to meet the needs of the wearer.
Here are some tips from our experts here at Ump-Attire.com and elsewhere about picking out the best sock to up your “sock game” and protect all your skin, bones and ligaments for the new season:
- Dress socks are not good for officiating. Neither are tube socks. Never. You need an "officials specific" sock with cushioning and performance properties to protect and wick moisture away.
- Don’t settle for cheaply made socks because in the long run, they could cause more harm than good. Cheaply made socks can also be very uncomfortable and bulge up in unwanted places within the shoe causing pain and blisters.
- Be skeptical about really expensive socks. Some manufacturers are producing cheaply made, but costly, socks to meet consumer demands of fashionable kids who wear/collect expensive basketball shoes. These “status socks” with no substance are not for officials.
- Look for socks with quality fibers and yarns like silver technology, synthetics like polypropylene and polyester and nylon that wick moisture away and keep your feet dry, and cotton.
- Search out new technologies like thermodynamic, moisture wicking, odor control, antimicrobial. Sock engineering is no simple “feat” and good companies are in their labs working hard every day to make advances.
- Demand important features like leg support, welted tops to stop aggravating slippage, ankle support zone, ventilation, arch support zone, and appropriate length.
Remember, the right type of socks can play an important role in gaining and maintaining healthy feet. The right sock keeps you in the game. You could certainly go to the local department store and buy the cheapest pair of socks available, but is that really the smart thing to do? Chances are you’ll experience common foot problems such as athlete’s foot, bad foot odor, foot strain or irritation because of the poor materials used when manufacturing the socks.
Officiating is tough. Why should your sock make it tougher for you? Is it time to up your “sock game?” Here are our top rated customer picks:
Pro-Feet Socks combine peak performance with superior comfort, high performance fibers and silver anti-microbial treatment!
Force 3 Ultimate Referee and Umpire Sock is designed with CoolMax to move moisture quickly away from the skin to the outer layer of the fabric. With triple padding and special compression point supports, it's a high performance sock engineered for sports officials!
The Shock Doctor SVR Compression and Recovery Sock features gradient compression down the calf, shin and Achilles for extra support and increased circulation to speed recovery. Seamless construction, breathability and engineered foot, heel and toes provides comfort during officiating.
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About the Author
Brand Manager/Marketing Liaison Lori Kirk
New to the Ump-Attire.com Crew, Lori brings a background of educational leadership and writing to the marketing department. As Jim's wife, she has the "inside scoop" on new products and company news. Like Jim, she's an avid sports fan and supporter of officials! When she's not writing blogs or content for our website, you'll most likely find her at a youth baseball/high school softball field cheering on her kids, traveling, reading, volunteering or exercising in the great outdoors.