Introducing: The Upside Down Inside Out Sock®

Introducing: The Upside Down Inside Out Sock®

For those who don’t know, Gentle Grip has been established for over 25 years now, and during that time the team have received thousands of comments on their range of socks, including the IOMI FootNurse range of health and medical socks.

There was one customer in particular that stood out for the Gentle Grip team – his comments highlighted the fact that due to his incredibly sensitive feet, even the Cushion Foot Diabetic Socks range with smooth toe seams still irritated his toes. That set the team off on a journey to develop and make what they now believe are the most comfortable socks you can buy.

Feet that are overly sensitive to touch (hyperesthesia) are also described as having varying degrees of burning pain which can range from mild to disabling. The main cause of this is neuropathy, where damaged nerve fibres become overactive and misfire – so the damaged nerves send pain signals to the brain even though there is no wound. Diabetes is one of the most common causes for this, though other conditions such as kidney disease, Lyme disease, HIV and alcohol abuse can also cause extreme sensitivity to the feet.

We asked Shane Doughty, Director at Gentle Grip to tell us more about this new and innovative product:

Question: We know that it was a specific customer that inspired the creation of your new socks, but who came up with the idea for the unique design?

We first heard from Eric two years ago, when he got in touch with Alok Ruia, Director of SOCKSHOP, parent company to Gentle Grip. Eric suffers from diabetes and sadly already had a number of his toes amputated. He expressed to Alok that what really didn’t help, were the socks he had been wearing and since then had been on a mission to find comfortable, suitable socks as his sensitive feet meant wearing normal socks were out of the question.

He found that our IOMI FootNurse socks were the most comfortable, but no matter how fine the hand linked toe seam was, as it is found on the inside of the sock, he still found this uncomfortable.

Up until now, all socks are made this way, a seam is necessary and cannot be cut because it would cause the sock to unravel and cause a hole. From conversations with Eric, he told us that he found it more comfortable to wear his socks inside out to solve this problem, this instead put the seam on the outside with his feet being protected by the cushioning underneath.

In addition, why can’t the seams be put under the toes where they bend, where you’d be much less likely to feel them?

So an idea was born, to make a sock inside out, with seams on the outside and upside down with the seams under the knuckle of the toes.

Question: What steps did you have to take to develop the Upside Down, Inside Out Sock®? Did you need to find a new factory to work with?

We discussed this with a number of factories who tried to sample this sock for us, but the technology is difficult so we had to find a more specialised factory. After more research we discovered a high quality technical factory in Italy.

We approached them with the problem and after many months of sampling, yarn qualities and properties we finally came up with today’s solution.

Question: What are the other benefits of the Upside Down, Inside Out Sock®?

In addition to the invisible toe seam, we use a high quality bamboo, which is very soft to the touch and has hydroscopic properties to wick moisture away, as sweat is a breeding ground for bacteria.

The socks also have a full cushion foot for protection and to avoid nicks and cuts, especially essential if a small stone gets into the shoe, since often people with diabetes cannot feel these things.

The leg is non-binding so holds the leg gently but without constriction and we’ve also added an antibacterial treatment to kill harmful bacteria, which can cause foot infection.

Not only is it the perfect sock for people with sensitive feet but is also perfect for anyone suffering with diabetes or simply loves supreme comfort.

Question: Have many people tried the new socks, what does Eric think, and what has the initial feedback been on the socks?

So far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with initial wearers stating that the socks are incredibly comfortable, and like nothing else they've worn before! Eric is very happy - we've kept him updated in every step of this journey and he's overjoyed that we've been able to work together to create these socks.   

Question: What plans do you have for the future in terms of developing new products and ranges of socks?

Here at Gentle Grip, we specialise in creating functional socks that not only solve genuine problems, but offer “the best in the world” solutions.

We look for issues and problems with socks where we believe we can do better and make the world a slightly better place for the end wearer.

Socks can often be overlooked but we call them the unsung hero of the wardrobe. Think how important your feet are and what we ask them to do on a day by day basis. They deserve the best of care which includes the best socks for that individual person and the activity or occasion they're undertaking.

As Eric’s case highlights, bad things can happen to your feet and toes and these real life problems inspire us to keep creating and inventing better solutions.

Over our 20 years, we've received many heart warming messages from people all around the world, telling us their stories and how we have made a difference in their lives through our socks.

It is so rewarding to receive confirmation we are a force for good in the world which gives us a sense of pride and mission to keep doing what we do, to provide the best socks in the world!

“Fingers crossed we now have a sock that will keep the most sensitive feet, in the diabetic world, happy.” Alok Ruia, Director at SOCKSHOP

Buy your Upside Down Inside Out Socks here.