Olympic hockey team to sport socks from Brentwood company


Olympic hockey team to sport socks from Brentwood company

The U.S. Olympic menes hockey team is set for competition in Sochi, Russia next month, and when theyere loading up suitcases, theyell be packing socks from Brentwood athletic sock company Swiftwick.

The U.S. Olympic menes hockey team is set for competition in Sochi, Russia next month, and when theyere loading up suitcases, theyell be packing socks from Brentwood athletic sock company Swiftwick.

Mark Cleveland, President and CEO of Swiftwick, began developing a cut-resistant hockey sock in 2012 after Pete Rogers, the Nashville Predators equipment manager and president of the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers, challenged Cleveland to make more protective hockey sock.

eThe inspiration for the sock really came from my conversations with Pete. He said eMark, youere a smart guy, canet you solve this problem?e At the time, there were no comfortable yet strong socks to protect players. So Pete and I sat down and tried to figure this thing out,e Cleveland said.

According to Cleveland, with the support from NHL teams he was able to create a material called Fiber HG designed to protect players from Achilles tendon injuries while at the same time managing moisture and comfort.

eOur socks are made out of a ballistic material similar to Kevlar, but way better,e Cleveland said. eThe goal was to make a sock resistant to impact and slashes yet still be comfortable for athletic performance.e

The knee-high compression socks first gained attention after Ottawa Senators star defensemen Erik Karlsson suffered a sliced Achilles tendon from a hockey blade. Teams and players around the league looked for protection against similar injuries.

Related story: Swiftwick unveils cut-resistant hockey sock in wake of player’s injury.

eYou canet require the players to wear anything, and a lot of them donet wear any socks at all. But teams and managers are really pushing this sock to avoid major injuries that are otherwise preventable,e Cleveland said.

Cleveland is quick to note his company does not advertise, and instead works on word of mouth endorsements. Since the creation of the Swiftwick sock, major NHL teams such as the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings and of course the Predators have picked up use of the sock.

eWhates cool is some Division 1 college teams are starting to make the sock mandatory. Like Notre Dame, Michigan State and Boston. The teams that play real hockey.e

Cleveland also takes pride in the fact that 100 percent of the Swiftwick sock, from raw material to the final product, is American made.

eEverything from that sock is made in the US,e he said. eMost socks on the market come from Asia, and the whole supply chain with it. By embracing US companies I was able to make the best sock out there. Ites truly a testament to the technology still here in America.e

However, Clevelandes ambition doesnet stop there. Along with the honor of equipping the US and Latvian Olympic teams, Swiftwick is also marketing a protective sleeve.

eWe were trying to put protection on otherwise exposed areas of skin, and the region from the end of the glove to the forearm sees a lot movement and is vulnerable. This 7-inch sleeve is designed specifically to guard that.e

For now Cleveland will sit back and enjoy his role in this winteres Olympic Games. The USes first match is scheduled for Thursday, Feb 13. against Slovakia.

eYou know, I have never played hockey before. Ieve never even been on the ice,e Cleveland admitted. eBut Iem a huge fan of the sport.e

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