“Sock” it to Me

Athletes should strive to get the most effective cushion for their feet, wherever they are.

Published August 20, 2009 10:35


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Socks are an essential component of footwear to protect the feet and prevent injuries. Athletes strive to get the most effective cushion for their feet, no matter where the feet take them, both on and off the court. Consider the following information and go for a run on the Winning Street!

Foot Pathologies

Numerous researchers have demonstrated that ground reaction forces can approach or exceed three times the body weight in a running athlete! Stopping in a running forehand generates up to 4 times the athlete's body weight!
Shearing forces result from forward or sideways momentum of the athlete whether walking, jumping, running or lunging. These forces on the skin surface of the foot are exacerbated by the type of competition surface, shoes, insoles and sock material. The combination of abnormal pressure, shear force and moderate levels of moisture result in the formation of friction blisters, the most common result of wearing the wrong footwear.
A number of foot pathologies like friction blisters, toenail bruises, viral and bacterial infections and anatomical foot deformities can be directly affected by the material, size and thickness of socks. 

                                                                                                                                                      Fiber Technology
The ability of a sock to dissipate damaging forces on the surface of the foot rests partly on the fiber composition and more significantly on the construction technique of the manufacturer. To minimize moisture accumulation on the skin surface, the sock must set up a wicking gradient to the shoe, therefore the upper aspect of the shoe must be breathable (i.e. Nylon Mesh).

Hydrophilic Fibers: absorbing Moisture                                     
Hydrophobic Fibers: repelling Moisture

fibers retain three times the moisture of acrylic fibers and fourteen times the moisture of CoolMax®. They also retain moisture ten times longer than acrylic. Additionally, cotton fibers, which may swell up to 45% when wet, stretch out and lose their shape inside the shoe, causing friction which may result in friction blisters. The CoolMax®/Acrylic fibers swell less than 5 % when wet and with the four channels built into their cross-sectional geometry they provide 20% more wicking surface area than the traditional round fibers. Subsequently, CoolMax® or Acrylic fibers reduce the chance for friction blisters.


Proper Fit - Right Size

 A proper fitting of athletic footwear is critical for comfort, injury prevention and performance. Use this guideline for a professional fitting and the best comfort for your feet:

Socks Image

Various sock manufacturers make tennis-specific sock wear. For example, Thorlos® tennis socks made from acrylic are specially padded under the ball of the foot and heel to ensure maximum comfort and protection during all activities.

Tip from Reshma

The contents of the Game, Set, Health site, are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice.  The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.
Topics: doubles, singles, news, 2009
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