A new company in Naples seeks to change the way people wear their socks. Instead of pulling all the way up and past a person’s heel, their socks fit over just half of a foot.
Martha Bibby and Kathleen Fleming founded their company — called Toe’ds — online two years ago, and their half socks are already hot sellers, especially amongst golfers.
“It’s a real surprise to me that golfers like it, as it is more for after you golf, when you want to put your loafers back on,” said Martha Bibby, who developed the socks for both men and women, including golfers, sandal lovers, and any athlete who wants to try a pair on for size.
After looking for a pair of half socks for her boyfriend, Fleming could not find a pair that would meet her needs. So she paired up with her longtime friend, Bibby, to develop and ultimately trademark their own prototypes. After coming up with the design, the duo quickly named their socks Toe’ds.
To create their Toe’ds, Fleming and Bibby thought about a way of producing the socks that was gentle to the environment. They worked with different textiles, and finally discovered a final product that is a blend of bamboo and other fibers to wick away sweat and odor-causing bacteria from the toes.
“It’s an amazing textile, because it is antimicrobial, antifungal, and it fights odor,” Bibby explained of the bamboo in Toe’ds. “Bamboo is in the grass family, so it doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer to sustain it either.”
“When my son was at Florida State, he gave a pair of Toe’ds to a friend of his at the gym for use on the climbing wall. His friend would normally go barefooted in his climbing shoes. The Toe’ds kept his feet dry, and he was able to wear tight fitting shoes,” Bibby said, noting that athletes are quickly embracing Toe’ds concept.
There have also been many international orders for Toe’ds since its inception. “I shipped socks to Canada, England, the Netherlands, and I almost took an order from Japan, but their credit card didn’t go through,” Bibby said.
The Toe’ds socks are formfitting and snug, but not so tight they constrict the foot. The main feature of the sock is in the top, where the elasticity of the fiber prevents the sock from slipping and sliding during a golf game, walking, or during a high performance workout. Other socks tend to slip easily, but Toe’ds stay put no matter how intense a workout gets, the pair say.
For those who suffer from plantar hyperhidrosis, which is a lifelong health condition of excessive sweating on the feet, Toe’ds may also absorb sweat to help prevent embarrassing moments in sandals, and absorb odors in running shoes.
“A lot of hospital workers wear Crocs, and Toe’ds are also perfect to wear with those types of shoes. These socks can be worn with anything, where you don’t want to be barefoot,” said Bibby.
The company offers their Toe’ds online (www.toeds.us), in local golf club pro shops, and M & M Uniforms in the Green Tree Plaza in North Naples.