When walking the floor at the Outdoor Retailer trade show, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of brands in the outdoor industry – an industry that produces $887 billion annually in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs in America alone. We are accustomed to seeing these products in wide open, peaceful environments, not in close quarters and inside.
Still, it couldn’t be a much more convenient venue to compare the products; In the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, none of them are more than a short walk away. MtnMeister Podcast took advantage of this convenience with it’s “King of the Socks” competition, where we pitted the dozens of sock brands against each other at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market + Snow Show.
The competition worked like this: We began the day wearing two socks from two different brands. After attending a meeting or two and walking around the trade show floor, we would visit the booth of a different sock brand. Of the socks that were on our feet, the sock which was liked less (all of them were impressive) was removed, and the new sock replaced it. King of the Socks lasted throughout the four-day show, with over 20 sock brands competing for the title. At the end, the last sock remaining was named King.
This year, the overall winner was le bent, an Australian company that uses a blend of merino wool and rayon from bamboo. We were blown away by the breathability and softness – two essential qualities inside the 70-degree Fahrenheit convention center. How the sock performs in the wilderness is still to be determined, but based on their team of athletes and trail running accolades, we’re optimistic!