Coming to grips with football socks

One of the most useful advances in football gear in recent times has been the arrival of the grip sock.

Tape Design Grip Socks, available from Soccer United Football supplies at 137 Alexandra St Hamilton, are designed to enhance performance by keeping the foot locked-in in one position when changing direction and making swift turns.

They have been engineered with strategically placed rubber on the sole to maximise grip, while the material is extremely soft and super elastic to deliver comfort.
The “grippy” material reduces internal slippage and creates a "locked" feel in boots. As a result they have increased both comfort and performance when playing.
Today more and more players have embraced grip socks, from top-level players to golden oldies and juniors. 
With the fraction of a second gain in responsiveness from grip socks enhancing performance, grip socks are very popular at elite level, while at golden oldie level the extra stability they provide helps prevent injury.
At $55 a pair grip socks are not cheap, but players who wear them swear by them.
Luke Searle, a veteran of over 100 northern league matches for Melville United, has been wearing grip socks for 4-5 years.
“Now I wouldn’t play a game without them,” Searle said. “For me there is a difference in performance with grip socks. You can change direction with more certainty, you get a firmer grip to push off the ground, and there is a greater sense of security in knowing you foot is not going to slip inside your boot.
The majority of his team mates also wear them, cutting off their team uniform socks at the ankle and instead wearing grip socks under their boots.
To facilitate this, team management have had team socks for these players professionally cut at the ankles and overlocked.
This is a service which Soccer United offers for free, if you purchase your Tape Design Grip Socks from Soccer United.  
Simply take in your designated game-day socks, they will get them overlocked so that they don’t fray after having been cut. The store recently celebrated its 500th pair of overlocked socks. 
At masters level, Lance Bauerfeind – who in his prime with Waikato United in 1988 won the Chatham Cup as one of the goalscorers - is a huge fan.
“Leather boots tend to stretch and a lot of socks these days are really slippery, which means your feet move around,” Lance said.
“At my age feet moving inside my boots means injuries. Grip socks puts a stop to that.
“I no longer have sore ankles and knees thanks to the grip socks, and not having my feet moving around inside my boots gives me confidence to move faster and sharper.
“Imagine what I could have done if I’d had grip socks back in the 80s - I probably would have scored more.”
Melville first team fullback Raheem Hunter has been wearing grip sock for two years.
“The fit of my boots feels better and there is no internal sliding. Ordinary socks feel baggy and yukky by comparison.”
Grip Socks are also catching on with younger players.
Melville U-14 girls player Erin Orchard started wearing them six weeks ago and already feels they have improved her game.
“My feet used to slip and these socks have really helped, especially when shooting at goal.
Her brother Jacob (Melville U-14s) agreed.
“They are very good and do make a difference,” he said. “Even passing the ball is easier.”


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