There is the barefoot crowd and the shoe wearing crowd. “I had always been a bit of both” said Doug Weibel, creator of Leatherback Design Deck Socks. “I generally wore shoes when the wind was up and we were sailing hard, but went barefoot other times. My feet always seemed to take a beating when barefoot. I’d end up stepping on things and getting cuts, like when hauling the dinghy up on the beach.
On the boat I’d slip and slide my toe into something on deck. Or I’d just forget to put sunscreen on below my ankles and end up with sunburn.” Weibel’s nephew is a chef and while discussing some new knives the conversation turned to cut resistant gloves. “That got me thinking about cut resistant socks, but I just couldn’t find any on the market.”
Cut resistant apparel, primarily gloves, is produced from either Aramid (e.g. Kevlar®️), ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE, e.g. Dyneema®️) or steel mesh. Weibel launched Leatherback Design to produce “Deck Socks” knit with UHMWPE to provide high cut resistance and a silicone pattern for anti-slip on the sole. “Manufacturers have to really tune their equipment to be able to knit UHMWPE and we had a hard time finding a manufacturer that could do that and also do the anti-slip.
We did eventually find a manufacturer to work with and after a few iterations we are really excited about the product”. The upper sock is knit from environmentally friendly bamboo fiber. Distribution is initially through Amazon in the US and the company is looking for a European distribution channel. Check them out at www.leatherbackdesign.com soon while introductory pricing lasts.