Hockey has an irreplaceable place in the hearts of many Montrealers, but safety is paramount when deciding to enrol your children in the Canadian pastime.
It’s almost hard to believe today, but helmets have only been mandatory in NHL games for 35 years. To play hockey without a helmet makes as much sense as playing the sport without a puck or a stick. It’s so intrinsic to the game that no one questions a helmet’s need or efficacy today.
Why then have similar revolutions not been made to prevent other hockey injuries, namely the high risk of a serious injury to the leg caused by skate blades?
Enter the Gladiator Sock, a locally manufactured hockey sock that offers full leg coverage (ankle to thigh) and is stronger and more cut-resistant than regular knit hockey socks. The secret is in the Gladiator Sock’s shell casing, an outer layer made of polyester, and its inner layer made of Dyneema, a very strong fibre manufactured in the Netherlands. More than 75,000 units of the Gladiator Sock have been sold since 2012, with the product having been featured on CBC and RDS.
Eric Engels, the national sales manager for Gladiator Socks, said that with trial and error and rigorous testing by Do-Gree Fashions, which manufactures Gladiator Socks, it was “found that Dyneema could provide something comfortable, washable, and breathable without a chance of the fibre’s resistance degrading.”
Dyneema doesn’t absorb or retain water and provides better air circulation than cotton. It is important to remember and make the distinction that a Gladiator Sock is not cut-proof, simply stronger and more cut-resistant. “The Gladiator Sock aims to turn a major cut into a minor one, a minor one into a surface scratch, or a surface scratch into nothing,” Engels explained.
The Gladiator Sock is available in kid and adult sizes and in a variety of colours, from NHL teams’ patterns to solids. They are sold at hockeymonkey.com and Hockey Experts and retail for $29.99.