Nike has now unveiled much of the attire they’ll be rolling out this season as the NBA’s new exclusive on-court uniform and apparel provider.
While the uniforms got plenty of attention, no piece of apparel was overlooked during the design process. Case in point—the new NBA socks.
You might think a sock is just a sock, but Nike sought out the opinion of several current and former NBA stars during their design process. As it turns out, NBA players take socks very seriously. “Socks are the first line of defense,” Kobe Bryant said in a press release. “You’ve got to take care of your feet.”
Nike has created two sock options for NBA players—the NBA NikeGrip Power Crew sock and the NBA NikeGrip Quick Crew sock. The Power Crew sock is the most-cushioned performance sock Nike has ever created, while the Quick Crew is thinner and more lightweight.
Kevin Durant—who in the past has worn two pairs of socks during games because he enjoys the extra cushioning—had extensive input in the design of the Power Crew sock. He challenged the design team to make a sock that had extra cushioning but still allowed a player to “feel the court.”
LeBron James, meanwhile, didn’t want the socks to skimp on traction. “It’s important that I don’t slide in my shoes,” James said. “I need traction for cutting and jumping.” James helped designers decided where to put NikeGrip yarns—which are “ultra-fine polyester fibers twisted with traditional fibers to increase the sock’s surface area”—on both the Power Crew and the Quick Crew.
Members of Team USA basketball got a first-hand experience with both designs during the 2016 Rio Olympics and provided “crucial insights” for their development. The company also used thermal mapping to decide where to strategically place a series of mesh “vents” that ensure the product is still breathable.
The amount of research and development Nike put into the new NBA socks is mind-boggling, but it sounds like the players will certainly appreciate it. If you want to get your hands on some of the most high-tech socks on the market, the Quick Crew and the Power Crew will both be available on October 1st at Nike.com/NBA.
Photo Credit: Nike