Ever walked five miles with one wet sock from losing your footing crossing a stream? The first mile or so was likely a squishy, slippery nightmare. Sweaty feet or wet conditions equal wet socks, and wet socks suck. They’re gross and uncomfortable, and more likely to stink. On long hikes, they mean blisters and the chance of fungus among us, and if you have a cut on your foot it’ll take twice as long to heal. It would be great if your socks feared water as much as you did, like 5 Water Socks, the first water-resistant athletic socks.
Jaspreet Singh has this brilliant idea up on Kickstarter. To the naked eye his 5 Water Socks look like any other athletic socks, but there is a secret to their fine cotton blend. The fibers are blended with RainArmor, a proprietary hydrophobic formulation. In essence, 5Water socks resist water instead of absorbing it like traditional cotton socks. But since they are woven like traditional socks, they’re still porous and therefore washable and breathable (and comfortable).
Cotton is one of those fabrics that feel great, but backpackers know can be dangerous because it holds water instead of drying quickly. 5 Water Socks solve the problem of comfy, fast-drying footwear in instances where you can’t avoid getting wet. Since the cotton fibers are treated before they are woven into yarn, and that yarn into socks, and since they’re not trying to be waterproof, they manage to stay comfortably breathable and fast-drying at the same time. Water beads off of them.
Yes, there are other socks out there that claim to be waterproof, but they’re usually made of something uncomfortable or thin like neoprene or polyester. Those things feel like you’re wearing some kind of booty, or stocking, and are equally uncomfortable for different reasons. The 5 Water Socks, on the other hand, are cotton with a little nylon and spandex for stretch. Otherwise they’re well-made athletic socks in both ankle and mid-calf lengths, with mesh tops, reinforced heel and toe, and arch support.
Inherent usefulness is obviously key to any successful product, but a socially story helps. 5 Water Socks gets its name from Detroit and Punjab, the two homes of its inventor, Jaspreet Singh. Detroit is at the center of the five Great Lakes, and Punjab means “land of five waters.” He plans to help revitalize communities in both places by investing in Detroit and raising awareness about the dire economic situation in Punjab, where youth are plagued by drug addiction.
Socks that keep dry in half the time of the traditional sock are less likely to smell — bacteria that cause odors and give you the itchies grow faster in wet environments. No wetness, no stink; no wonder 5 Water Socks is doing so well on Kickstarter. It surpassed its $10,000 goal by nearly seven grand. Grab a pair for $20.
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