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.”