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Wanted: Athletes feet for sock that’s a cut above

Young entrepreneur Chuck Slogrove and apparel business veteran Craig Dalton’s Seeker sock isn’t your average piece of footwear. Made from merino wool, bamboo and the fibre-based system Coolmax, the creators see markets in range of global sports and have launched a Kickstarter campaign to test that theory.

“The vision behind a specialist sport sock is we can spend a lot of time really understanding what ahtletes need and that really does vary between sports,” says Slogrove. “We hope to extend into sports with global appeal. Kickstarter gives us that opportunity to get feedback from niche audiences all around the world.”

The idea of a sock that lived up to the demands of activities like hiking, trail running, Ironman events and triathlons aptly came to the pair during a hike. Dalton has been joint managing director at apparel company Lyfestile Procurements for nearly seven years, while Slogrove has wanted to start his own business since completing a business degree at the University of Auckland last year. The two are family friends.

They’ve spent the past year assessing materials and chose merino for comfort and as a temperature regulator, bamboo for strength and moisture wicking (drawing sweat away from the skin) and Coolmax for moisture management and lower drying time.

The merino is sourced from Australia and New Zealand, and the Coolmax from Europe, with the socks made in China.

A hiking, running and general performance ankle sock will be launched during the Kickstarter campaign which has a funding target of $30,000.

That will be used to fund production of an initial order, which will be larger than most as it fulfils individual size requests, Slogrove says. As well as market validation, the pair hopes to use Kickstarter to build a strong case to get their socks into speciality sports retailers.

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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