Fiber Facts: Coolmax®
Coolmax® is a synthetic fiber, constructed to provide more breathability than cotton while also encouraging moisture to wick away, keeping you cool and fresh. And yes, Coolmax® is a registered trademark, so you’ll see that little “R” after we use it. There’s another confession Coolmax® has to make to you—it’s a kind of polyester. But don’t panic! Polyester and other synthetic fibers have come a long way from those sweaty, shiny fabrics some of you may know from thrift stores and some of us may remember from when they were the next big thing in fabric.
You’ll find our Coolmax® selections gathered together in our Sport Socks collection. Though fantastic for everyday use, Coolmax®’s unique properties make it especially good for sports. Not only does it wick moisture away from the skin, it spreads it throughout the sock, which helps speed up evaporation. And while it does this, the fabric stays breathable, allowing air to move and keep you cool and dry. A beautiful (okay, nerdy to call it that, but it is!) example of this are the Injinji Performance Liner Crew Toe Sock and Performance Liner Anklet Toe Sock.
As a friend of mine found out recently, those five-toe running shoes don’t always breathe that well and sweat plus friction equals painful chafing and blisters. But that kind of shoe fits snugly so there can’t be too much sock. The Injinji Performance Liners are super thin and 75% Coolmax® fiber, just enough to fit between foot and shoe so they can wick away that trouble-causing sweat.
If you are trying to be eco-conscious in your fiber choice, then there’s a Coolmax® for you and another fiber and sport sock style you might be interested in. Don’t sweat it, we’ll tell you after the jump!
Hesitation about using synthetic fiber is understandable. But you can be eco-friendly and wear Coolmax® if you choose a style that uses Coolmax® EcoMade fiber. The Injinji Eco Performance Rainbow Quarter Crew Toe Socks may be a mouthful, but they’re also 70% Coolmax® EcoMade, which is made from 97% post-consumer recycled material!
But what recycled material? Plastic bottles! After they’re sorted at the recycler’s, bottles are chopped up, melted and extruded into a polyester fiber that’s as strong as it is eco-conscious. A really pretty graphic explaining the process is available here at Eco Fi, producers of a non-Coolmax® recycled polyester fiber.
If we’re talking sports socks, moisture control and recycled fiber, then I’ve got to mention Dahlgren. Knit out of a blend of wonderful alpaca, merino wool and Eco-fi; instead of relying on fiber to wick away moisture, Dahlgren uses a “network of wicking rings and channels” to move moisture up and away from the foot, keeping you dry. That’s what makes the distinctive pattern on the foot of their socks. It’s science!
Science and socks! Keeping your toes comfy through brainpower and technology, so your feet can live in the future. Do you use any of the Coolmax® styles we carry?