Sock design and construction have had an increasing impact on the comfort and satisfaction of sock purchasers and on the long-term success of the companies producing them. As the marketplace becomes more informed and a premium is placed on quality and performance, sock construction techniques add real value.
Biomechanics and Sock Construction
The foot, of course, is subject to a multitude of motions and forces, making biomechanics a critical component of sock construction. These forces are divided into three general areas:
1. Tangential Shear Forces. When we walk, we produce friction force as we plant our feet and move them backward, and shear force when we lift them and step forward. These forces wear down the foot sole portion of a sock, and are magnified by moisture as the foot sweats. In addition, as this moisture is trapped between the sock material and the foot, it softens the sole of the foot itself, making it more vulnerable to injury.
2. Plantar Pressure Points. These points withstand the most pressure from the foot, most often the heel and forefoot areas. Heel-strike and toe-off strikes lead to the most discomfort like muscular fatigue, Achilles tendon bursitis, and plantar fasciitis.
3. Ground Reaction Forces. These are the vertical sources that impact the foot when jumping or running. These forces can result in shin splints and calcaneal stress fractures, a fracture of the heel bone.
These issues can be minimized by designs that include more padding in critical areas of the foot and through more anatomically precise construction.
Functional Features of Quality Sock Construction
Modern sock designs focus on five main areas:
1. Cushioned Soles. Cushioned soles usually have additional padding to help protect the heal and fore-foot areas.
2. Y-Heel Gore. Anatomically correct socks use a double gore line at the heel to provide a better fit at more of an L-shaped angle. This helps to divert the friction on the foot.
1. 3. Arch Support. This lifts the foots plantar surface while distributing pressure to keep socks from bunching.
4. Venting Panels. These help circulate air around the foot, generally using mesh panels.
5. Fit. The key piece to modern sock construction is an appropriate fit. This can be facilitated with more elastic, modern materials.
Better design and construction means higher quality socks. You can count on Solara Hosiery for the latest in modern innovation when it comes to sock design, materials and construction.