Olympic athletes use Tennessee company's compression socks

Olympic athletes use Tennessee company's compression socks

Posted:
Golfer Scott Stallings is a Swiftwick sock celeb. Golfer Scott Stallings is a Swiftwick sock celeb.
The company makes hundreds of different kinds of socks. The company makes hundreds of different kinds of socks.
Some of the socks are even made-to-order custom products. Some of the socks are even made-to-order custom products.
The amputee sock will hit the market at the end of August. The amputee sock will hit the market at the end of August.
This is the sock the Olympic athletes are using. (source: Swiftwick) This is the sock the Olympic athletes are using. (source: Swiftwick)

By KRISTIN FARLEY 
6 News Anchor/Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WATE) - The U.S. cycling team and a Canadian runner are among the Olympic athletes using a product made in Chattanooga.

Made in Tennessee visited the Swiftwick factory where 200 needles, 300 computer instructions and endless spools of high quality thread are part of their hundreds of different kinds of socks.

Lance Armstrong and the Radio Shack team in the 2008 Tour de France used Swiftwick socks. Golfer Scott Stallings is another sock celeb.

"We actually received a call for the Olympic cycling team. They requested our socks," said Marketing Director Jillian Wagner. "That made our day!"

Wagner says other athletes in London are wearing their socks too, but they're not allowed to talk about specifics during the games because of the International Olympic Committee's Rule 40.

"We want to shout from the roof tops these are the athletes in our socks. It's just been tough not to say anything," she said.

But Wagner herself is a serious athlete, and she told us why Swiftwick's socks stand out. "I was a fan of the brand long before I came on here at Swiftwick. I am a runner and a tri-athlete and socks can make or break your race or even your training day."

There are many compression socks on the market that help with circulation, but Swiftwick co-founder Mark Cleveland says the science behind his socks uses a high quality, expensive fiber often associated with carpets called Olefin. Add to that a silver-based, anti-microbial technology that Cleveland says will stand up for the life of the socks.

In essence, it keep the odors out. "During the testing process, we got athletes together for a  stink challenge," Cleveland said.

And possibly the biggest difference in most of the Swiftwick socks is that they're made without a toe seam.

"The elimination of the toe seam is a revolution. It is an automated, mechanical process." Cleveland explained. "It is reliable, sustainable and repeatable. So we have a really high performance, long lasting product."

The linked toe technology is helping the company advance in another area as well.

With no seam and amazing moisture wicking ability, amputees may finally get the relief they wanted.

John Mabry lost his leg 11 years ago in a car accident. For the past few years, he has urged Swiftwick to make an amputee sock.

Mabry now works for Swiftwick in product development and an amputee sock will hit the market at the end of August.

"We had a quadruple amputee wearing the socks for a few month now. He broke a record in a Paralympic trial in Indiana. He is out pushing the limits, and we have been a part of him taking it to the next level," Mabry said.

Swiftwick has also made a special USA sock you can buy in the medal dash when the Olympic games are over. It will be offered at a discount based on the final U.S. medal count.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.