Part 10 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. Bacteria causes stinky foot funk. Pure silver is one of nature's most powerful anti-bacterial agents. Noble Biomaterials produces silver-coated X-STATIC fibers, which are incorporated into socks (and other apparel) to kill the bacteria and fight the funk. In my experience—and I've got some potent testing grounds in my hiking boots—it works.
Noble Biomaterials' X-STATIC product line, manufactured at a facility in Scranton, Pennsylvania, are used in a wide range of medical and apparel applications. (Silver was used for wound care and prevention of bacterial infection long before the advent of antibiotics and remains common in today's medical world.)
In the outdoor world, a range of sock manufacturers incorporate X-STATIC fibers into their product lines, including Fox River and Thorlo (all Thorlo socks are also made in the USA). I'm a particular fan of the Fox River X-STATIC liner sock, which not only helps combat the stink but is a warm and comfortable liner to boot (hah).
Silver is also an excellent conductor and radiant heat reflector, both qualities that make it a great addition to insulation layers. Here's a good page showing all of the various features and qualities of X-STATIC. A range of outdoor apparel makers use it in their products—here's a partial list from the Noble Biomaterials site.
Support your Northeast gear companies! Here are the nine others I've profiled to date:
Delorme (Yarmouth, Maine)
Ibex Outdoor Clothing (White River Junction, Vt.)
Jetboil (Manchester, N.H.)
New England Ropes (Fall River, Mass.)
Nemo Equipment (Manchester, N.H.)
Orion Signal and Survival Products (Easton, Md.)
Dermatone Sunscreen (Windsor, Ct.)
Darn Tough Socks (Northfield, Vt.)
STABILicers (Biddeford, Maine)
Have a suggestion for a Northeast-based gear company to profile? Please let me know!
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.