SmartWool® Adds Smarts to its 2011 Spring Performance Sock Line

As the original pioneers of Merino wool in the outdoor industry, Smartwool continues to pair their mastery of Merino fibers with innovative designs. The 2011 Performance sock collection is the newest testament to that revolutionary combination.
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As the original pioneers of Merino wool in the outdoor industry, Smartwool continues to pair their mastery of Merino fibers with innovative designs. The 2011 Performance sock collection is the newest testament to that revolutionary combination. Taking cues from the latest performance footwear trends while answering the demands from core consumers SmartWool grows its legendary Hiking and PhD Outdoor sock lines and introduces a toe sock specifically for Vibram FiveFingers® wearers.

With double digit increases in sock sales last year consumers are proving their understanding of a great fitting pair of socks' place in the technical gear line up. Leisure Trends Group Outdoor Retail TRAK also reported a surge in sales within the hiking boot and trail running shoe categories. This specific gear sales boost indicates that outdoor enthusiasts have eliminated their extensive outdoor outings with fast, light and more fiscally conservative escapades. SmartWool's Product Development team analyzed the growth areas within footwear categories and answered the demand where expansion and additions were needed.

The answers came within the Performance sock line starting with the introduction of Hiking Ultra Light socks.
With two new silhouettes, mini and crew, these styles are a natural expansion of the renowned sock line. The Hiking Ultra Light socks are designed to provide the performance characteristic of wool without bulk and are ideal for warm weather use. SmartWool's Hiking Ultra Lights are ultra light cushioned meaning they have a fine loop cushion in the sole. The finer cushion loop aids in temperature and moisture management that keep blisters off wearer's feet while maintaining comfort and durability.

“The Ultra Light Hikers complement the greater hiking footwear trend of, lightweight boots and hiking shoes. We saw a consumer need, and the new Ultra Light construction fills it,” states, Zach Taylor, SmartWool Performance sock product line manager.

Another category expansion is within the PhD Outdoor line with the addition of the PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Micro. By offering a lighter version of the micro sock height, SmartWool made the perfect sock to wear with lighter shorter profile hiking and trail running shoes in warm weather. The micro height socks are designed for wearers who want a low profile sock that follows the contour of their shoe. These socks provide a protective layer of merino wool between the foot and shoe without adding bulk. With mesh venting zones and lighter cushioning in the high impact zones of the heel and toe, these socks are light on wearer's feet and light on the trail. Do you want to mention the 4 Degree fit system? It's a differentiating feature that gives our PhD micros better fit that our competition. That exceptional fit keeps the socks in place so they don't slide around in the shoe causing blisters.

“The PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Micro delivers an extraordinarily comfortable sock so people can do what they love to do longer and socks and feet are the last thing on their mind. The trend toward lower and lighter shoes is reflected in the recent growth of micro sock sales. They are by far our most popular silhouette in the running category and growing in the outdoor arena,” Zach Taylor, SmartWool Performance sock product line manager.

Created specifically for Vibram FiveFingers® wearers, the SmartWool Toe Sock complements the colors of the Vibram FiveFingers® line, while embodying the fit, comfort, and breathability that make them classically SmartWool. SmartWool saw an opportunity to deliver an innovation within this niche, after retailer and consumer requests to create a Merino toe sock that fits seamlessly with Vibram FiveFingers®footwear.

2011 PhD socks are designed to maximize comfort and performance. The benefits of the highest-grade Merino wool coupled with SmartWool's design in new sock styles. An ideal year round fiber, is a natural ventilator keeping you cool when it's warm and warm when it's cool.

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