I'm Norwegian and trolls are a supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. As a complete aside, I enjoyed your tongue in cheeks banter at your blog. I'm not just kissing assholeclimbers.com either!
I originally thought about 10d climbers and below, but I've received some really positive feedback from advanced climbers who've tried them.
I will admit that one of the more advanced climbers at Planet Granite tried them and he said he wouldn't wear them because he lost a tiny bit of sensitivity. He's a 5.13 level climber so I'm ok with that even though he was my original climbing instructor.
I'm interested in acorneau's review as he's a climbing instructor.
I think you'll have a hard time convincing experienced climbers that this is something they need. Few of us have perceived the need for socks in the past, and thus far you haven't provided any convincing reasons to change our thinking.
However, this is not to say that there is no market for your product. I see loads of crap at REI and other stores that could only be intended for unwitting noobs: crack gloves, hand strengthening gimmicks, etc. It comes down to knowing your target customer and marketing accordingly. Hell, for all I know you could have the next PAS on your hands.
Well, your timing couldn't have been better. I just received a review on the blog of a competition level climber who I sent a few pairs to earlier in the week. You can take a look at it here: http://climberina.blogspot.com/.
I was talking to a friend of mine about the socks and she mentioned that her daughter had a friend who is a competitive climber and gave me her email address, which is how I was introduced to Galina: http://www.youtube.com/missjambalaya.
I was preparing a snarky comment about promoting products on RC.com, when I remembered back a couple of years. I was discussing a solo leading device that I was developing. I never put it on the market, so I was not using the site for advertising, but I did get excellent feedback on my progress, with suggestions, etc.
Good luck, Breezy. The market will make or break you, but I wish you luck. I don't wear socks while climbing, because I never have and don't feel like I am suffering from the lack.
I received two pair of socks in the mail form Jeff and my first thought was ďHey, he never asked for my shoe size to get the right fit.Ē The socks are actually designed as ďone size fits mostĒ, supposedly covering womenís 7 to menís 13. Iím a size 9 in most shoes so they fit me just fine. The socks are very thin and stretchy with a decently soft feel on the feet.
Before going any further I should mention I have very sweaty hands and feet and I live in Houston where we usually have 60% humidity indoors with the AC running, so keep that in mind.
I took the first pair to the gym with me the same night they arrived. I wore the socks with my usual starter shoes, a pair of La Sportiva Arcos (the Velcro version of the ubiquitous Nago). Usually I wear these shoes for the first four or five warm-up climbs and then have to switch to my other shoes (Evolve Chaos) because the Arcos get too sloppy from the stretch of the soggy leather. The Chaos are synthetic, much tighter, and Iíve never felt the need for anything more secure so I put these on for all my harder climbs.
At first I could tell I was wearing a thin sock in my shoe but after a little while they melded into the foot/shoe interface and kind of disappeared. I had no problem keeping on the socks with what would be my ďsloppy shoesĒ for the whole evening. I even felt very confident on small-footwork intensive climbs and a few 11d/12a projects, something I would normally only do in my Chaos.
Tonight I took the second pair up to the gym, this time wearing them with the Arcos for a few warm-ups and then switching over to the Chaos. The thin socks didnít feel that big under the already tight fitting shoes but I could tell they were there. While I donít think I got any performance boost wearing the socks with my Chaos they werenít a nuisance either.
So hereís my findings...
If your feet donít sweat or you only wear really tight shoes then you probably donít need these socks at all.
If your feet sweat a lot and/or you wear shoes that arenít so tight then these socks might help you keep better traction between your feet and the shoes once they get sweaty and slimy.
I donít know if I would have ever tried socks with my climbing shoes and I probably would not have bought some solely for that purpose, but Iím glad I had a chance to try them out.
One suggestion to Jeff concerning, of all things, color... Nothing is more geeky than wearing black socks with shorts. Well, maybe black socks with sandals. Anyway, I highly recommend making some lighter colors available that arenít so dorky looking and potentially cooler (temperature-wise) when climbing outside.
Thanks acorneau for taking the time to test them in two different shoes and on different days and coming back and offering your very thorough review.
It's very fair and I definitely understand your request regarding the colors. As I mentioned before, I had originally created these to wear with nice shorts and leather sandals and most of those came in black or brown. I was trying to get them to blend in, instead of standing out. Now that the usage is much more defined towards rock climbing, I will definitely consider lighter colors. Thanks again!
The sock buyer for Metolius is currently evaluating Breezy Socks. I sent him samples on December 5th per his request and as you can imagine, I'm extremely curious as to what he has to say. I don't have any idea how they evaluate new products/vendors, but it's a start, right?
Thanks for pointing out the link as I had looked at those before contacting Metolius and those appear to be double knit like all other athletic socks.
No matter what Metolius says, I'll post their comments here once I receive them.
I was out a few days back thinking of you. As I was sitting my ass on the freezing rock, my pants rode up. I was happy that my socks went up 7-8 inches as the wind that was whipping wasn't too bad on the ankles.
All the wet spots were frozen into ice, the wind always seems to be working hard in this area. No way in hell I'd buy a sock that didn't ride up my ankle a bit for this, my most used application for a climbing sock. I literally have a larger pair of shoes which I only use in the winter with socks. I use the Wigwam Gobi polypropylene liner socks. Love em.
(This post was edited by billcoe_ on Jan 7, 2013, 4:59 PM)