Traditional dress socks are not always very gentle to the feet, what with all the heat and sweat they keep in. But new technology can provide new levels of comfort that were not previously possible. Ministry of Supply, makers of the Apollo Shirt, once again evokes ancient Greece to launch its latest sartorial innovation, Atlas, high tech socks that come with a promise of cool and comfortable feet thanks in part to coffee.
Atlas is made from a mix of cotton, recycled polyester and carbonized coffee, which filters and absorbs sweat and odor to keep feet cool. Carbonized coffee is MoS’s weapon against odor, attracting molecules (composed mostly of carbon) with its spongy structure. The molecules are eventually released when the socks are washed, ready for a whole new dose of foot odor.
The coffee is reclaimed from coffee roasters and shops and then subjected to a pharmaceutical process to remove coffee oils and its distinctive smell (since that wouldn't be everybody’s cup of tea). It is then infused into the company’s recycled polyester yarns. Atlas has undergone lab tests that MoS claims showed it to be three times more effective at absorbing odors than regular cotton.
MoS says it has used "strain analysis," which visualizes in 3D how the skin stretches and adjusts, so that the sock doesn’t have to bend and stretch to accommodate foot movements as conventional socks do. MoS also used pressure mapping to locate pressure points and add extra support, similar to technology used in custom orthotics. This technique was combined with thermal imaging to identify hot spots and improve ventilation.
Manufacturing will be outsourced to specialist textile mills that use techniques such as robotic knitting, which MoS says is like 3D printing but for knitwear.
The Kickstarter campaign has passed its goal (three times over). In order to get a couple of pairs, the lowest pledge is US$28 plus $20 for international shipping.