Team Members: Eden Cabrera, Carrie Gray, Kristen Poole, Relynne Wolf
Project Description: Our team worked with Gildan to produce and enhance two areas of innovation in socks for the everyday athlete. Gildan aims to have socks with energy return and cushion resilience, properties only explored in shoes until now. Energy return and cushion resiliency are important due to reducing fatigue in athletes. Shoes on the market provide not just shock absorbency but storage and release of kinetic energy. Because socks provide important cushioning to the stride, cushion resilience is important so the sock can recover cushion height throughout running.
We researched biomechanics, sock construction, animal biomimicry, and innovative yarn cross sections to inform our sock design. Our team quickly realized that there were no test methods to collect the data our project needed, so our project also centered on developing an accurate test method for energy return in socks. The prototypes were made using two different polyester yarns and two different knit structures, terry and jersey, to compare all combinations and to determine the ideal material and construction for the second prototype. Our latest sock prototype uses a double layer construction to maximize energy return and cushion resilience.
In this project, we learned the importance of frequent communication with our sponsor and how to design test methods to collect the best data.