New Wool Tabi Socks for Sandals

Aimee Coustier1 comment

charcoal and green wool tabi socks

We are excited to announce our fourth generation custom wool tabi sock design! We have been designing tabi sandal socks for 5 year now and we are quite excited about the 4th gen developments we have come up with to make these wool tabi socks even better suited for wearing with Earth Runners sandals.

Unsatisfied with the durability of our previous sock design, we sampled and tested the top outdoor performance socks in some of the gnarliest conditions over the past few years to see what they were doing better. When studying their fiber composition we realized that the sweet spot for wicking, insulation and durability is at ~50% Merino wool. This blend balances amazing natural wool fiber–for wicking abilities and insulation–with enough synthetic fibers to preserve the sock from abrading and shearing from heavy use. 

green adventure wool tabi sock

Wool Tabi Sock

 After much testing, we created the perfect fiber composition recipe: 

  • 53% Merino Wool: Wicking and insulation when wearing tabi socks for sandals in cold or wet weather.
  • 30% Nylon: Just enough of the strongest fiber in the blend to achieve durability while avoiding rigidity.
  • 12% Acrylic: Stronger than wool yet softer and stretchier than nylon, this offers a balance of comfort + durability.
  • 5% Lycra Spandex: Establishes good tabi sock security when worn with sandals, and rebounds well over years of use.

Another change to our wool tabi socks is our logo. Previously, we had our "E" logo knitted into the sock, which was rather large. This was cool for branding but not everybody wants to rep Earth Runners in such a loud fashion all the time, so we figured we'd follow suit to other stylish subscriptions socks producers and settle for small embroidered "E" logo on the cuff. Based on the positive reception, we think we found our winner!

Lastly, one of the weakest points in any sock design is the finish of the knit, up at the cuff, where the edge of the sock folds over to be sewn into place. Many manufactures do light stitching to finish a sock, but this is not an acceptable oversight for wool tabi socks that are to be adventured to the tops of Earth's most pristine and unforgiving mountain tops! We insisted to our manufacture that our sock needs to be finished with a flawless heavy duty stitch which will hold up against the most wild of feet and adventures.

Here are a few winter pro insights for combining Wool Tabi Socks with Earth Runners sandals:

  • You can stay sufficiently warm in freezing environments if you stay moving. It is standing still in the freezing cold that gets you chilled.
  • Hang drying your socks will extend their life span.
  • Getting the sock saturated wet during use isn't all that bad:
    • It keeps your foot more comfortable than if your foot was wet with no wool tabi sock.
    • The wool tabi socks sticks to our Earth Grip footbed better after it is wet!

4 prototypes (and a year of heavy testing) later, and our fourth generation socks have been born to run! Enjoy the freedoms of barefoot offered by Earth Runners, while staying warm in colder environments.

 -mike 

Founder & Lead Designer

 

earth runners prototype broken arrow sky rae
Mike testing prototypes at Broken Arrow Sky Race

1 comment

Sheryl
Sheryl
Such a great read, amazing that you’ve thought of the smallest logistics and I am excited to buy my first pair of Earthrunners! Heard about you guys from Lauren, and I have had issues with shoes in the past so this is definitely something that I’ve been searching for a solution for. Congratulations on the new socks they look and sound amazing!

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