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Great Socks Make All the Difference

Socks are an important part of a lacrosse / LAX uniform
I just got back from the US Lacrosse show in Baltimore, MD. It was really great. We talked to lots of coaches and had a blast to boot.

Lots of talk about lacrosse uniform innovations and, well, because we were "in the belly of the beast", lots of those conversations mentioned Under Armour (They are headquartered there.) Also not surprising because they have been at the forefront of a lot of these innovations, particularly those involving fabrication advancements.

One thing that almost never came up was the subject of socks. And/or their profound importance to the sports team uniform ensemble.

Let's be honest, unless there's a real problem with your socks, you almost never think about them. Maybe, like an offensive lineman in football, that anonymity is a good thing...but only to a degree.
Let's talk about socks, baby. Let's talk about you & me. Let's talk about it...

I brought up socks a couple of times at the LAX Show because I was standing in our booth for hours on end. It's a recipe for foot pain. And sure enough, by the end of the first day, my "dogs were barking!"

But not as much as they could have been. I did the first 6 hour stint pretty much straight on through. Sure, my back was killing me, too; but the feets were manageable. BECAUSE I was wearing a truly awesome pair of socks!(from Pearsox if you must know)

At one point I felt compelled to pull up my pant leg to show a coach that I was wearing these great socks. She agreed immediately & enthusiastically. Great socks rock! And added,
"You can never have too many pairs."

It's the kind of reaction you almost always get when you bring up the importance of great socks to almost any athlete. Basically, they'll gush about the last great pair of socks they wore and then proceed to "verbally limp" about the last time a pair of crappy socks ruined their day.

Whether it's because we feel somewhat silly broaching this subject or we only do so as an afterthought or whatever, the reality of the situation is pretty straightforward. Footwork is an absolute necessity for skillful participation in most team sports. really cool looking foot tattoo
Yes, I know there are exceptions so spare me the angry missives. Footwork is fundamental. But why is footWEAR(shoes, cleats, etc.)given SO much attention & consideration & yet talking about SOCKS is a rarity. The informed coach trods on this less traveled path. And does so more comfortably.

Let's talk about socks, baby. Let's talk about you & me. Let's talk about it...
Lets Talk About Socks!

My idea of happy feet

Sports Uniform Guy


Softball Uniforms - Style Over Substance...Or Not

As I'm sitting in the frozen tundra that is my office, I find it difficult to realize that spring's fastpitch softball season will be here before we know it. I may have to go through a massive thawing out period between now & then. But the latest styles in fastpitch unis...(with an homage to Paris Hilton)...They're HOT!

Fastpitch uniforms have undergone a dramatic stylistic surge in the past 5-6 years. Long gone are the days when female athletes were reduced to playing in what were essentially men's bar league-esque knock-offs or baseball unis with drawstring pants. Manufacturers have awakened from their "style slumber" to seriously address the unique needs & desires specific to fastpitch softball played by female athletes.

But have they sacrificed "substance" at the altar of style?
There's no denying the fact that female athlete's have --in general-- a greater interest in wearing stylish uniforms than their male counterparts. That's not to say that ALL female athlete's are so sartorially inclined, nor that there aren't many male, uniform divas. It's just an demographic assessment culled from my decade or so of seeing the unis for thousands of fastpitch teams.

I will admit that I have sat through more than one viewing of the movie "A League of Their Own". I can't say that it was because I was a huge fan of the WWII era uniforms featured therein. No, this was back when I still found Madonna mildly interesting and Rosie O'Donnell almost bearable. (That's so 1993!) My how timers have changed. (Did Geena Davis fall off the planet?) Any way...

The fastpitch unis of today (and certainly for this upcoming season) have performance fabric options, a broad swath of color options & honest to god attention to the needs & interests of the female athletes, both young and, er, older athletes who actually play the sport.

Example: Low-rise sliding shorts. These very popular items did not exist just 5 years ago. That's progress.

But is it style over substance? I think not.

Another case in point: Jerseys with a racer back cut. Granted, they look good on some players and, well, maybe not so good on others. But the intention of the design is to improve the athlete's performance. In others words, substance.

Kind of anti-intuitive but true is the fact that the biggest "stylistic" growth has been in stock uniforms. Many manufacturers now offer a wide selection of unis with trims, piping and braiding in their "off the shelf" styles. Again, 5 years ago, the words "stock softball uniform" were synonymous with "Plain Jane". That is simply not the case ---not at all-- these days. Again, that's progress.

Add to this the increased interest in & usage of sublimated unifoms. Here multi-colors abound. And team emblem designs are limited only by one's imagination.

That's a potent mix of style and substance.

Sports Uniform Guy