Convenience, design, and upscale products: Boardsports socks offer the full package, plus appealing margins for merchants. View the critical patterns in our 2019 Purchasers Guide by Boardsport SOURCE skateboarding editor Dirk Vogel.
PRICES & MARKET
Going into 2019, rate points remain steady with entry-level and enjoyable socks starting as low as EUR9.95 in retail, while Numerous Mornings offers kids and low-cut socks at EUR5.99. Advanced snowboard socks with longer cuts and intricate products take shape around a EUR19.95 cost point, while upscale materializations like Merino wool can run up to EUR29.95 per set.
Several Europe-based brand names are shaking up the category, including Polish brand name Many Mornings, American Socks based and produced in Barcelona, Spain along with Stinky Socks out of Bulgaria. “We are just producing socks, so we do concentrate on getting the best product out there,” said Stinky Socks owner Risto Petkov.
Here are 5 boardsports socks trends to see in 2019:
1. FULL-PRINT GRAPHICS
Next season’s boardsports socks crank up the volume with loud all-over prints applied using innovative digital printing. Standouts include ‘sticker label wars’ logos and Hawaiian flowers (HUF), Japanese-style kitties and kabuki masks (American Socks), monograms and animation icons (Stinky Socks), plus fluffy Alpacas and Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’- style skulls (Many Early mornings). “Our brand name project Reveal the Uncommon continues to commemorate human creativity across all boardsports,” stated Laura Fairweather, EMEA Marketing at Stance. Smartwool introduces art by Brian Iguchi as part of the ‘Art of the Outdoors’ collaboration. As the icing on the cake, the majority of brands now add their logo on the upper calf.
2. MASHUP FINISHES
Loud prints are only half of the story in 2019, as leading brand names mashup fabric treatments such as tie-dye or gradient-dye with layered graphics on top. The crew at HUF is taking their signature weed-pattern to a brand-new level by layering the ‘Plantlife’ theme over psychedelic dyes and aloha flower graphics. American Socks is playing the mashup trend with comic book line-art graphics by Australian artist Mulga on patterned fabric, while Smartwool layers mountain scapes over melange materials. For the ultimate mashup, Numerous Mornings makes mismatched socks 2 different socks in a pair their calling card.
3. LETTER PRINTS
The tennis shoe industry’s hot pattern for ubiquitous ‘LETTERING’ in vibrant type started by artist/designer Virgil Abloh is spilling into the socks section. Watch out for uni-coloured knit socks contrasted by mottos in white or black typeface by brand names such as HUF, Homeboy, Head, and Stinky. Smartwool became the very first brand name to master prints on a Merino wool-blend base in 2018 and announced plenty of lifestyle socks for 2019.
4. ATHLETIC DESIGNS
Performance-minded brands have reengineered building and constructions from the ground up. Simon at Smartwool is stirred on, “particular fits for men and females, body-mapped mesh ventilation zones, Indestructawool enhanced high-abrasion points, a Practically Seamless toe, and 4-Degree Elite Fit System that has elastic in 4 tactical areas to keep socks in place.” Smartwool also provides various fits in their PhD Snow Socks for ski and snowboard boots. All HEAD ski socks feature arch assistance to keep socks from slipping, plus a cushioned sole for shock absorption; technical models, offer the security of essential pressure points and air channels. Ortovox Merino Ski compression socks have an elasticated double stretch cuff for a non-slip fit plus some ventilation.
Socks provide the ideal canvas for creative brand name cooperations, and Smelly socks are upping the ante by partnering with Technique Magazine, Boreal Mountain, and snowboard icon Chris Bradshaw this coming season. The stance is coordinating with Disney and Star Wars. Smartwool continues the successful collab with Vans and also tapped snowboard legend Brian Iguchi and snowboard nomad Chris Benchetler for their PhD Snow socks collection. Stance works with mountain guy Jimmy Chin on the Ski Ultralight Merino and is spreading some love to core shops with the Expert sock for store staff only.