Photo courtesy of SockGuy.
In honor of the frontline health care workers battling coronavirus, SockGuy has designed “Thank You” socks.

Photo courtesy of SockGuy. In honor of the frontline health care workers battling coronavirus, SockGuy has designed “Thank You” socks.

Since 2010, through its “Operation Happy Feet” initiative, Carlsbad-based SockGuy has donated hundreds and thousands of socks to homeless shelters around the world.

Now, SockGuy president and CEO Michael Foley says he plans on giving his high-quality socks to another at-risk group: healthcare workers.

In honor of the doctors, nurses and other medical staff members and healthcare facility employees who are in the frontlines battling the coronavirus, Foley and his team of 14 designed three SGX compression socks: “Hugs for Scrubs”, “Thank You” and “The Beat Goes On”. Aside from donating socks to the likes of UC Davis Medical School of Medicine and Scripps Health in San Diego, the socks have also gone on sale via the SockGuy website, said Foley, and, for every time a pair of the socks is purchased, the company will donate a pair to a healthcare worker.

Thanking the Medical Community

“This whole thing started because the girlfriend of our national sales manager has friends at Scripps, and we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to donate our SGX socks to the staff’,” said Foley, who purchased the 1996-founded company, with a revenue growth of about 10% year-over-year, in 2001. “We can do that, we thought, but why not come up with some healthcare hero designs specifically thanking the medical community out there.”

And, from there, things took off.

For Foley, coming up with fun designs to put on high-quality socks is the name of the SockGuy game. When he acquired the company with personal money almost 20 years ago, he said the company was a custom private label manufacturer. He had the wit to launch the retail brand under the SockGuy name, which he says helps differentiate the company from other retail-line-only labels.

Retail Brand

Throughout the years, SockGuy has worked with the likes of American Express, McDonald’s and the YMCA on the custom side, and is sold at bike shops, running stores and all independent specialty retailers, including outdoor stores, on the retail side, he said. SockGuy also sells online, via sockguy.com and also through resellers on Amazon, said Foley.

Wicking Yarn

What makes the SockGuy product stand out, according to Foley, is that it uses performance yarns which cater to sports activities like running, cycling, snowboarding, skiing and hiking, and a higher percentage of wicking yarn, at 75%, compared to most others which use less than 50%.