Athletic Socks Becoming Booming Business, With Sales Up 28% In The U.S.
SportsOneSource retail analyst Matt Powell said that athletic socks, once the "most forgettable item of clothing, have become hugely coveted and a huge, nearly" $3B business, according to Courtney Rubin of the N.Y. TIMES. Powell said that after years of "near-static demand," sales grew by 34% in '12 over '11, and are up 28% year to date. The figures "don’t include flourishing newcomers like Stance," whose cityscape designs "have been worn by" Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch. The biggest consumers of athletic socks are "middle- and high-school boys, fledgling sneakerheads." The ascent of athletic sock sales "began with Nike’s introduction of its Elite basketball crew socks" to the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team in '07 and to other teams in '08, "followed by sales of the socks to the public" in '09. The socks, which "go for about $14 a pair, feature an anatomically correct design for each foot and a logo practically visible from the cheap seats" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/29).