During team sports, players often use grip socks to reduce in-shoe foot slippage and improve agility performance. Grip socks contain material with increased frictional properties, such as rubber, and they are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate different types of footwear. Although grip socks are used by a wide range of team sports participants, little is known about how they affect in-shoe foot motion and how athletes subjectively perceive them.
Grip socks are a popular apparel item for those participating in physical activities such as yoga, pilates, and barre classes. They are typically used to prevent slipping and injury on hard surfaces such as yoga mats, wood floors, or exercise equipment. Despite their many benefits, they may also be a potential risk factor for injury if worn incorrectly. Grip socks should not be worn with tight-fitting shoes and must provide adequate flexibility to allow the wearer’s feet to move freely in the shoe.
A common mistake is to wear a too-big pair of grip socks that cause the foot to slip out of the shoe. This can result in the sock bunching and causing friction between the top of the foot and the shoe. In addition, the grip sock can also be pulled up too high and cause pressure points and discomfort in the ankle and arch.
Ideally, a grip sock should be worn with shoes that are a half size larger than the participant’s regular size to minimize slipping and prevent the sock from being pulled up too high. The sock should be snug enough that it cannot be pulled up or down, but loose enough to allow the foot to move freely within the shoe.
Before each trial, the participant completed a 10-minute warm-up including dynamic stretches and practice of the change of direction manoeuvres. Following this, five maximal effort 45deg and five 180deg change of direction steps were completed in each sock condition. Each change of direction step was measured by a force plate and recorded with timing gates (Brower Timing Systems, Draper, UT).
To test the hypothesis that the GS increases in-shoe frictional forces and enhances foot deceleration and change of direction performance, participants were required to fasten their shoe laces until marks were visible through the top eyelets. Participants were also instructed to complete all trials in their own shoes and to ensure that the same sock condition was used for each trial.
To confirm that the sock-insole interface of the GS had increased frictional properties compared with the sock-insole interface of a regular sock, a sledge and pulley system was fitted to the platform and sock specimens were attached to each. The sledge was then pulled horizontally against the insole and a coefficient of friction was measured. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted with participant group (regular sock vs grip sock) and gender as factors to determine if any statistically significant differences were found. All data were analysed using SPSS software. custom grip socks