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Pro Cycling Team History With Custom DeFeet Socks
One year into our business, DeFeet was asked to make socks for the Chevrolet LA Sheriff's team pictured above with DeFeet Founder, Shane Cooper. These socks were the first ever custom socks in cycling. We used our new sensation, the Aireator® as the platform to custom make socks for the team. That year the Sheriffs wore that yellow cuffed 3 inch sock into the Yellow Jersey in the Tour DuPont.
Greg LeMond called DeFeet and asked that we make him some 5 inch tall black Gan custom socks. He wanted them for the Spring Classics. That was back when grand tour winners still raced all the Spring Classics to get in shape. His teammate Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle had won in Roubaix the prior year. Greg wanted the custom sock to keep the dirt at bay. So we did the worlds first cycling specific black 5 inch tall sock for Roubaix. That year Chris Boardman wore the white version of the team Gan sock into the Maillot Jaune at the Tour de France. We customized each rider on team Gan with personalized socks.
Johan Museeuw won the professional world championship road race wearing the DeFeet Custom Mapei socks. He asked that we make a special World Champion sock that would use the rainbow stripes. This was a task that was asking the knitting machine to do something with color stripes that was very difficult. At the time knitting machines did not have enough yarn feeds to accomplish so many colors. So we used some good ol' NASCAR tricks and rigged our machines to accomplish the World Class mission.
Tom Boonen hit the scene with incredible power. A spring classics man and world champion. He asked that we make him some World Champion socks with the Transformers logo and make the socks 6 inches tall….we accommodated his request and these socks are still one of the most sought after collectable socks ever made.
Paolo Bettini was struggling with foot bed pain due to smaller pedal platforms. He asked that we create a pad over the pedal, Freddie Rodrigues had the same request. As we were the official custom sock for QuickStep and Domo we created a sock that was worn by these legendary riders called the Cyclismo. It incorporated a slight pad under the metatarsals to provide more comfort over the new, smaller pedal platforms. These were also customized when Paolo won the Olympics that year. So, yet again we were using the World Champion stripes, but now with the Olympic rings.
Mark Cavendish blasted through the peloton winning more races than anyone before him. Mark had a keen eye for sock thickness and could feel the slightest mm of difference. Mark had lots of fun with our custom program. At one point, Mark had a sponsor that requested that the DeFeet logo not be on his socks. So he asked us to do a white logo on a white background, we did that in our custom program and he won more races with that sock than any other sock he ever wore.
We were the official Custom Sock of team Mapei QuickStep. The champions all got to customize their National wins with custom socks. Every year they had a lot of National champions.
We are now the official Custom Sock for Lotto Soudal. In January 2020 at the Tour Down Under, we created a special custom sock for wires.org.au, an Australian charity. Through our Sockfunding platform, we raised and donated $10,000 to Wires that goes toward Australian outback animals in need.