Angelika Goncalves DaSilva of Calgary, Canada, is the founder and CEO of Sockology Inc. Snowshoe Magazine interviewed her about her approach to keeping our feet warm while snowshoeing.
Snowshoe: What are the origins of compression socks?
DaSilva: For a very long period of time, compression socks have been used medically to help facilitate blood circulation. Often, patients use them after surgery.
Snowshoe: How do compression socks affect the body?
DaSilva: Each time our heart beats, the blood valves in our legs open. The elastic fibers in compression socks support our veins and support our valves so they keep their shape. This pushes non-oxygenated blood up from the base of our feet – up to our heart and back again.
Snowshoe: What are the benefits of compression socks?
DaSilva: It’s like giving your leg a hug. It keeps our legs healthy. It reduces the feeling of fatigue. And it facilitates quick recovery from strenuous activity.
Snowshoe: How did you get personally involved with compression socks?
DaSilva: Several years ago I had a blood-clotting issue, and I had a second episode three years ago. A blood clot in our leg can cause a pulmonary embolism. Since I was a very active person, I didn’t want blood-thinning drugs. I looked at therapeutic options for reducing the likelihood of blood clots.
Snowshoe: So Sockology Inc. came out of your investigations?
DaSilva: Yes. It took some real work to find compression socks that are aligned with our outdoor lifestyle. I ski and bike and snowshoe, and there was nowhere for me to find the right compression socks for me. I started Sockology Inc. to fill that need.
Snowshoe: How does one choose between compression socks that are light or heavy?
DaSilva: Light socks are for healthy people, especially healthy people who sit too much each day and need to counteract the effects of gravity. Heavy socks are for people whose system is under stress from diabetes, thrombosis and blood clots, or recovery from surgery.
DaSilva: When blood in our feet does not move into the core of our body, our blood cools and our feet get cold. When we are snowshoeing, compression socks can keep our feet warmer.
Snowshoe: By keeping our blood flowing?
DaSilva: Yes, and also by wicking sweat and snow away from our body rather than absorbing it. With a fiber like Alpaca or Merino wool or with a water-repellant manufactured fiber like Eurosock’s silver-ion patented fiber, your feet stay drier and so they stay warmer. Wicking patterns are partly a result of knitting, so that’s also an important factor to examine.
DaSilva: Out there on a beautiful day on a trail, you want to be comfortable in your socks. To avoid blisters and discomfort, you want socks with a good fit.
Snowshoe: What can we expect in the future from Sockology Inc.?
DaSilva: This is a new adventure, less than a year old. We are getting great feedback from people. We are becoming a community of people who share our experiences with socks. With all of this feedback, in time we’ll have our own sock designs.
You can visit the Sockology Inc. website at http://sockology.ca.