OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Restock your sock collection with a new, comfy styling option co-created by national not-for-profit Outdoor Afro and global sock and apparel brand Smartwool: the Outdoor Afro Hike Light Cushion Print Crew Socks. Launched July 2022 and designed by Outdoor Afro volunteer leader and artist Leandra Taylor, this colorful print speaks to Black joy, healing, and unity in nature.
On the heels of Outdoor Afro’s second annual Juneteenth commemoration, “I wanted to be intentional about what this sock represents,” said Taylor. “It’s universal. Different versions of Blackness to identify with because we’re not a monolith – even in our outdoor experiences.” Within a matter of weeks, Taylor’s creative process of scribbling, coloring, and sketching morphed into a collage of skin tones.
The Merino wool socks also feature a Virtually Seamless™ Toe to prevent chafing; 4 Degree™ Elite Fit System to stop bunching, blisters, or sock slippage; Indestructawool™ for unmatched durability; and mesh venting for maximum breathability and moisture management. The joint project marks the second time the two brands have partnered on a sock product.
Taylor also created Outdoor Afro’s 2020 “Slice of Nature” socks to illustrate the network’s love for the outdoors despite entering COVID times. That performance hike sock emphasized joy and community in the outdoors while standing together to protect local areas and wild places – even while quarantining. “This new sock involved more than the patterns I typically create,” Taylor said. “The faces flow and wrap around the foot, showing every angle of our Black beauty.”
ABOUT OUTDOOR AFRO: Outdoor Afro is a national not-for-profit organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. What started as a kitchen table blog by Founder and CEO Rue Mapp in 2009 has since grown into a cutting-edge nationwide network with 100-plus volunteer leaders in 60 cities with network participation reaching 60,000 people. Outdoor Afro reconnects Black people with the outdoors through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation. Follow Outdoor Afro at outdoorafro.org and @outdoorafro today.
ABOUT SMARTWOOL: Based in Denver, Colorado, Smartwool® is a sock and apparel brand whose products are designed to get the most out of the inherent benefits of Merino wool to bring comfort, confidence, and community to a life lived outside. For information on the full range of Smartwool® products or to find a dealer near you, please visit Smartwool.com. Smartwool, a division of VF Outdoor, LLC, is a brand of VF Corporation.