Apparel Team Socks

Simple Socks

OS1st’s Nekkid Comfort Socks.

Designed for track spike and golf shoes, OS1st’s Nekkid Comfort Socks are an invisible performance sock that doesn’t slip down into athletes’ shoe. OS1st’s oval silicone heel grips to comfortably prevent slipping and has a specially constructed heel and light compression around the arch to prevent rubbing and blisters.

“Socks are a performance opportunity, the same as shoes. Athletes can gain a competitive edge with socks that are made for their specific needs. For example, if an athlete suffers from heel pain they could be given a sock with targeted compression, or, if they tend to sweat on the court, a cushion sock with ventilation, etc.” 

— Josh Higgins, President 

Supply chain issues have disrupted the team sports industry during the past three years with gaps in stock, incomplete orders and difficulty finding the right colors to properly outfit an entire team. This year, as those same supply chain issues begin to ease, the trend for team socks is plain and simple — as long as athletes can pull up their socks and play ball with the proper colors to match their uniforms, then it’s fair game. 

With options being so limited during the past few years, teams have been more likely to play it safe and not overcomplicate their sock orders to ensure they have a smoother experience outfitting their players than they did during the pandemic.

“Teams are staying with stock socks. They’re choosing easy colors and are scared off from doing custom because of the last few years,” reports Betsy Frey, owner of Holyoke Sporting Goods, Holyoke, MA.

Although custom might be out of the equation, some dealers have seen teams order simple stock socks with a small level of detail.

“We’ve been doing stock socks,” says Teresa Martini, owner of Yours and Mine Sports, Modesto, CA. “Teams are not ordering as many custom socks, but are getting stock socks with stripes.”

However, in Michigan teams are more likely to stick to their reliable solid-colored socks for sports year-round.

“We really only sell solid color tube socks for baseball, softball, soccer and football. These orders would be placed from the athletic director or coach at the time they are ordering equipment,” says Jeff Reynolds, owner of Reynolds & Sons, Grand Rapids, MI.

Suppliers Catch Up

Where last year shipping delays caused inventory nightmares for team dealers everywhere, this year it seems that suppliers have been able to catch up and fulfill most orders on schedule. Yet even with those improvements this year, dealers are still cautioning their teams to order early to ensure there are no last-minute delays. Teams that don’t order on time may still experience issues with completing uniforms for their players.

“It has been difficult to get stock in some inventory, especially if schools don’t order early,” says,” says Todd Dunaway, owner of Sport & Cycle, Fortuna, CA.

Often times newer coaches are the last ones to place their orders, which is why team dealers try to encourage them to place orders early so they can give themselves a buffer of two-to- three additional weeks.

“We tell teams to place orders four weeks out to be on the safe side,” says Martini. “Theoretically, delivery should be smooth.” 

Additionally, sometimes coaches forget about socks or treat them as an afterthought when ordering uniforms. With strict budgets from the school board, it’s important for team dealers to recognize this to guarantee that teams are not left without one of the most important pieces of their uniforms. 

“If we quote baseball uniforms, we just include socks on the quote,” says Dunaway, who points out that this is common practice. Rather than waiting for coaches to add socks on later, he quotes them with the uniform to help mitigate any delays or issues with fulfilling an entire order.

Rediscovering the Brands

Being trendy may not be top of mind for coaches and players this year, but the affinity towards name brand recognition has resurfaced as options become less limited.

Last year, brands that were capable of delivering their socks on time became favorites for stressed-out coaches and dealers. Now, big-name brands seem to be top of mind for some of the newer coaches who are more interested in having their desired logo paired up with their uniforms.

“Newer coaches are sometimes focused on the bigger name brands,” admits Dunaway, who tries to steer them away from focusing solely on name brands, especially when it isn’t feasible budget- or inventory-wise. 

Budgets should remain important when choosing which vendors to order from as price increases have affected nearly every industry between 2022 and 2023, including team socks. 

“Prices have to be raised because inventory has jumped in price,” says Frey, who noted that price jumps have been shocking to both her and her customers during the past year. 

So, while name brands might be attractive, Dunaway emphasizes that they might not always be the most effective option. For him, sticking with the vendors that are reliable and have what his teams are looking for are the ones he will choose to work with every single time.

Drymax Team Socks have a top-of-foot venting system to help feet breathe better. The white Player Patch is designed with quick sorting on laundry day in mind and it provides an area for jersey numbers to be written with indelible ink markers. 

“To sell more socks, sell different socks. Get away from fashion trends — you won’t win that battle against big-box stores. Provide a functional solution to fix blisters and other foot issues. Don’t sell the cheapest socks, as they may not last a season and your customer won’t be satisfied and won’t buy from you again.” 

— Bob MacGillivray, Executive
Vice President 

PearSox Custom Crew is a fully customizable, high-performance knit crew sock with performance features such as a padded footbed, ventilated footbridge for increased breathability, arch support, seamless toe and welt top finish for durability. 

“The best way to sell socks is to keep them in your daily sales engagements and conversations. Socks are an absolutely essential part of almost all on-field and on-court sport uniforms. In many instances, the only reason an end user leaves their local sporting goods dealer without a new pair of socks to start their season is because they simply forgot. So keep socks in your everyday dialogue and, more often than not, necessity alone will close this sale for you.” 

— Jesse Baldwin, National Sales Manager

Wilson Brown’s Pro Feet Spectator Crew is made with a soft acrylic body and is completely customizable and knit for players’ school, team, club, or group’s logo, name and/or mascot. The Spectator Crew was designed with fundraising in mind.

“To put it bluntly, focus on selling. We find the most successful team dealers are the ones that focus on providing great service to their customers. The lure of chasing price is enticing, because a cheaper price may lead to an immediate impact to the bottom line, but lost opportunity costs need to be recognized, too. All of us only have so many hours in our day and now more than ever it’s important to focus on what will be most impactful to our businesses.” 

— Callum Brown, President

Twin City’s new Over-Knee Dugout sock has all the same design and features of its dugout series, but now designed to fit over the knee.

“Selling more socks is as simple as presenting them with every uniform presentation. It’s an easy add-on and an inexpensive item for the coach or club to include. I would also encourage dealers to sell-up. Once the additional benefits are shared, it’s a no-brainer.” 

— Brad Davis, VP of Sales