From Swiss Protection Socks:
(SPS) provides a true “barefoot feeling” with cut protection. There are shoes which claim a barefoot feeling. Shoes cannot usually provide this as a sole separates the foot from the ground and may provide limited protection against cuts. The TÜV, (German Association for Technical Inspection) tested Swiss Protection Sock can provide both a barefoot sensation as well as improved cut protection. They have been developed to be used by off road joggers, climbers, surfers, windsurfers, divers and in combat sports, SUP, yoga and still more.
The Swiss Protection Sock, $80 USD
Safety guru and founder of fksa.org Rick Iossi told us about the Swiss Protection Sock after a trip he took where the product really helped him out of a sticky situation. Following is Rick’s review.
I was provided two pairs of the first generation socks to try out, including both a high sock and low rise “socket.” Putting the socks on took care to work in each toe properly. The ease of this improved with practice and repetition. The socks fit snuggly with a feeling of support. If they sagged or were loose they wouldn’t work well in the water and sand. To develop the properties of cut resistance, snug fit and elasticity for putting them on and off it was necessary to combine different fibers with those properties. The socks are a weave of 50% Kevlar (as in bulletproof vests) for cut resistance, 30%, polyester, 10% Spandex and 10% cotton. The polyester nubs on the bottoms aid grip.
They provide limited warmth and are suggested for use in 60 F (15 C) temperatures or warmer. The independent toes sewn into the socks allow a snugger fit and better balance in some applications. I found the socks allowed my foot to slide further into my board straps allowing a better fit while still permitting them to be slipped out before bad jump landings.
I took to wearing them every time I went kiting as you may not know in advance when you will need cut resistance. One day I looked at the bottom of the socks and saw two holes. What, with Kevlar, how is that possible?! Well, you may have bulletproof Kevlar but there are the other weaker fibers that are needed to make the product functional. I understand such problems have happened in a small percentage of all socks which have been sold. Despite this, the SBC has offered an extended 12 month replacement warranty on the first generation socks. I was rapidly shipped a replacement as a result. The folks at SBC are hard at work developing new and different products for use in various applications and sports.
Prior to getting the replacement socks, I switched to the sockettes when walking over sharp shells and rock and sea urchins in the Keys. In the Bahamas, more of the same adding in tons of discarded conch shells with hard pointy bits. Again, you don’t want to stomp hard pointy bits even if they won’t cut you. Still I came through without any foot cuts or injury which never would have happened if I had been barefoot. There were at least two guys in the Bahamas who came away with painful cuts from shell slices in the turtle grass. The sockettes are still performing strong without any issues despite going over a lot of demanding terrain.Many folks go out kiteboarding barefoot and risk cutting which happens with some frequency. Sometimes foot cuts are serious requiring medical treatment, time out of the water along with substantial costs and inconvenience, not to mention the associated pain. These socks could help to save a lot of grief; in short, just put them on and forget they are there. I did have problems with one sock but the SBC provided a warranty replacement of both socks in no time and will do so out to a year from your date of purchase. In short they get my vote and I will plan on wearing them when I go kiting and diving. They are thin enough to work with some closed heel dive fins which often force you to use them without any foot protection. I have had too many foot cuts including some bad ones requiring stitches and even surgery over the years to pass something like this up.
The Swiss Protection Sock was featured in ‘Wish List’ in the 2014 Tkb Summer Issue.