As a result of voluminous running miles, Seth’s toes are frequently missing toenails or donned by black and blue nails which form into armored talons—as they have been lovingly referred to by his fellow ultrarunners, family and friends. His “talon toes” or “eagle claws” meant that there wasn’t a single pair of socks on the market that stood a chance to Seth’s talons—until our product design team took on the challenge of reimagining durability and utilizing Seth’s extremely complex feet as their tester.
“I received a pair of pre-production socks from Smartwool and after slipping into them, I knew they were going to be something special,” Seth tells.
“They were thin enough to not be overly sweaty or cause bunching and hot spots, but had just enough reinforcement where they were needed most—in the toes. Knowing I had something special, I largely reserved these for races as those long hours and distances tend to demand extra support. Typically, a 100-mile race would require a single-use sock as they would be destroyed by the finish. In 2017 alone, I ran nearly 400 miles of races in that single pair of socks without the slightest chink in the armor. No blisters, no holes.”