KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It's said that you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. But what about their socks? Slip into a pair of Swiftwick Socks, and you'll get a story.
It's likely you've never given much thought to the socks you put on your feet. Some may just put on anything, others nothing at all. But at Swiftwick Socks in Chattanooga, Tennessee, socks are all they know. And they aren't afraid to speak out about them.
"The primary thing about a Swiftwick is that we unapologetically make the best socks that you'll ever wear," said Swiftwick's president, Chuck Smith.
The Swiftwick brand could still be deemed an infant in the world of manufacturing. It started in 2006 by a group of cyclists who wanted a sock that was better than anything else that was currently available on the market. Smith describes it by saying the sock is just as much a part of the cyclist's gear as the tires on the bike.
"We needed things that would wick moisture better, would fit better, wouldn't bunch in your shoes over the course of a long mountain bike race," he explained.
But what the company lacks in age, it more than makes up for in quality and engineering. Every one of the million or so pairs the company makes in a year is made with nothing but the highest quality fibers available. They are made with a synthetic fiber called Olefin, a product that won the noble prize for its ability to be lightweight, durable, and most importantly, whisk moisture away from the skin.
Smith said the sock is the foundation to a healthier life, but it's something most people don't realize is so important.
"People who've never worn a good sock don't think about it too terribly much. But once they put on a Swiftwick for the first time, there's a bit of a eureka moment where they realize the difference a good sock can make in their day to day comfort and in their performance and doing their favorite activity," he said.
Another part of Swiftwick's claim to fame is its ability to support the muscles in the feet. Every pair is what's called a compression sock, which means the sock will fit snugly like a second pair of skin. They're designed in a way to not bunch up in the shoe, yet still allow the skin to breathe so moisture doesn't build up on the foot. And if all that still isn't enough to impress, Swiftwick has made a commitment to stay local with everything it does and buys nothing but thread and fibers that are produced in the United States.
For Swiftwick, quality control is priority number one.
"We're more concerned about quality and less about quantity. We want to be the first and foremost premiere sock brand in the world and that starts with a few pairs at a time and we grow from there," Smith explained.
Even though Swiftwick was created for the athlete, and some of the world's best have put them on, Smith says their socks are good for anyone. Sure they've been on the feet of elite athletes who have won the Tour de France, the Masters, or the Olympics, but it's the average person who can also benefit from the superior sock.
"We broadly define the definition of an athlete. It can be someone who is running a 100k trail race, or it can be someone who is competing in their first 5k, or it can be a nurse who's working a 12 hour shift," he said.
Swiftwick also brags on its ability to recycle its unused product. The company reduced waste in the landfill by finding a way to give back to the Chattanooga community through an effort of helping those who need it most. Swiftwick has partnered with a local group that makes blankets that are given to the local homeless community to help keep them warm.
So the next time you're looking for a new pair of socks that you can rely on to provide comfort and quality, look for the Swiftwick logo that proudly displays Made in USA.