Editorial:Who Cares about Postal Socks? Your aching feet do….

By Michele Ward, the Uniform Girl – Michele Ward is the General Manager of Postal Uniform Discounters)

In a previous entry I wrote about postal shoes, including the care, history and styles. Now it is time to address another component of the postal uniforms that are important to your aching feet: the postal socks.

The USPS employee labor manual section on authorized uniform items does not offer too many clues on which socks can or can not be worn as part of the official uniform; it states “Calf-length, crew style, or quarter-length uniform blue-gray, black, or white with blue stripes” are approved socks. Each sock manufacturer must submit samples to the Natick Testing Facility of socks that they want approved to be sold on the postal allowance. I would imagine that they do some type of wear-test up there before certifying – I have a vision of a hamster running the wheel in blue striped postal socks but somehow think this might not be the method of testing! After contacting Natick, I have been told that socks are approved for the USPS based essentially on color and sizing, that they must be made domestically, and that they must be of commercial quality (any commercial type fiber is allowed). In recent years we have seen many new fabrics come into play for the comfort of your feet!

Traditionally, most of the postal approved socks are made of a mixture of cotton, nylon, and lycra, with cotton accounting for about 75% of fiber content. Breathable and comfortable due to the high cotton content, these “standard” socks are still the largest selling type of socks for postal workers.

Manufacturers have been coming out with an extra padded sock for years as well. Thorlo has been the market leader. Thorlo not only makes postal uniform socks but are also well known in the sporting goods, outdoor, and backpacking industries. The padded socks tend to concentrate extra cushioning, usually at the ball and heel of the foot. But unlike the “standard” postal sock, the extra cushioning socks are primarily made of acrylic, for its added durability and breathability. Most also have added nylon for increased wear.

Our newest offering is the X-static sock, which combines the comfort of mostly cotton with the addition of silver fiber. Naturally antimicrobial and anti static, the addition of the silver fiber helps these socks eliminate odor and move the moisture off of your feet and out through the fibers. And if you have handled as many returned worn postal shoes as I have, you would agree that many postal workers can benefit from these as they have stinky feet!

Another innovative sock is the Wright Anti-Blister socks. These double layered socks provide superior moisture management and protection from bacterial growth. The two layers of material move slightly to absorb friction, offering better comfort and helping to eliminate blisters. We have seen sales of these socks increase each year since we added them to our catalog, and we keep hearing good things about them. So I assume that they work, and work well!

About ten years ago a breathable waterproof sock was added to the product mix. When I first heard about the Sealskinz socks I didn’t believe that a waterproof sock would be breathable so I asked to wear-test a pair. I wore them while camping and hiking for about a week. Sure enough my feet stayed dry, cool, and blister free. After the wear test we at Postal Uniform Discounters (www.postaluniformdiscounters.com) started stocking this sock. It seems like we were onto something good, as nearly every postal uniform company copied us and started to sell this product as well. Sealskinz also now makes a waterproof breathable glove, and their products are used by various US military personnel here and overseas.

Up until a few years ago, postal approved socks only came in crew and over the calf lengths. The crew length comes up to the lower calf area, and the over the calf go up close to the knee. These two lengths did not incorporate what has been happening with sock wear in general, ankle and quarter lengths. So in 2005 the USPS added quarter length socks, which pull up to about the ankle. This has been a huge help to those who wanted to even out the tan on their legs down to their ankles!

So as you can see there are many new choices and options for socks that you can purchase with your USPS uniform allowance. We have even more choices on the sock page of our website, http://www.postaluniformdiscounters.com/postal-uniforms-footwear-socks.html. So come for a visit and do your aching, tired (and sometimes smelly) feet a favor!

To view all of the newest items please visit our website www.postaluniformdiscounters.com.


5 thoughts on “Editorial:Who Cares about Postal Socks? Your aching feet do….

  1. my last comment….l. was in ww2 at the end and in Korea….I experineced a lot in my life….and I DON’T BEG FOR BUSINESS….I just do the best I can….

    and I was also a Post VFW Commader….and still raised four fine boys who are doing fine and married come august 59 years to the same woman…

    Times have changed….too much selfish stuff in the world….

    Keep up the good work….the customers appreciate good service and it will stop the traitore from within who wish to privitize us and do other harm…

  2. JFA,
    Thank you for your service to the PO, but there is a big wide world outside of the PO. The PO is a job, not a life. I appreciate you walking the line and while you were doing that, lots and lots of your brothers and a few sisters were walking in places like vietnam,etc, defending you rights and way of life. Now it looks as though we are becoming really close to being priced out of a job. Glad I am real close. Both of you provide a service, you just choose to do it different and a little antiquated. I would not be surprised to find out that some retired postal folks work for this company. There is nothing wrong with you using your car, gas and time earning a living, these folks do the exact same thing. i am sure they don’t walk to work. I too devote my working time to my job, 8 hours work for 8 hours pay, but I devote my life to my family and the rest of my life. When your life becomes your job or your job becomes your life, you need to consider another job. You will be a happier person when you realize there is a big wide world out there. No need to blow out another persons candle, so people can see your candle burning. If your candle burns bright enough, they will see both of them.

  3. lv….you are ;probably one of the carriers who enjoy all the benefits of being a carrier…I walked the picket line for you in 1970 so that u can have the benefits and freedom of choice…
    I only ask that carriers remember how we got what u enjoy today….
    Think about using a retired member in your future buying…any vendor, who takes the time to go to each station.

    Don’t buy from me…..just don’t give strangers your business, take care of YOUR brothers and sisters in the business.
    I agree with you about some disgraceful looking carriers….that’s the way they were apparently brought up…
    and probably too lazy to wash their uniforms or press them…

    I have devoted my entire life to the post office, much to the chagrin of my family at times….
    I care about all…..and will continue to fight for you all…
    All I say is think about your peers and company and don’t reward fly by night online companys…(many have gone out of business, did you know that).

    Sure their prices are less sometimes, but with no overhead and no retired carriers getting commissions they can do that….doesn’t make it right and u are spending the govt allowance, not your money….
    I use my gasoline, my car and my time to try to earn a dollar…what is wrong with that….do u know that 6% is given back to the usps and visa from all sales??

    Have a good day and enjoy the life in the p.o. that I and many other retirees fought for you….

  4. JFA, you cannot ‘TELL’ them what to do, you can ask or suggest. Those uniform allowances and how they are spent are the choice of the carrier in accordance with postal rules, not your rules. This website clearly states, union made items and they charge NO TAX on postal allowance items. While I don’t use this company, I do order online and have gotten great service for almost 20 years. I have never paid tax and never paid shipping and I can shop at the times I choose, not yours. I get way more for my money online. I see carriers all the time with 20 or more years of service with worn and dirty and stained uniform shirts and pants because they waste their money on overpriced so called convienence and have to deal with a limited wardrobe. There should be absolutely no reason for a carrier to have to wear dirty, stained or worn uniform items if they shop wisely. I never wear the same shirt more than one day. I get great service, great prices and PRIORITY shipping right to my door. I can shop in my PJs if I choose and am not rushed after a long day on the street. It is a free world, STILL, although some folks still think they OWN people and can ‘TELL’ them what to do. Not for me. By the way, JFA, how do you know the advertising was FREE? Are you assuming again? My closet is full of crisp shirts, pants and shorts. I have 6 pairs of shoes, that I rotate. I order 2 new pair every year. I get my moneys worth. I hear that “buy union” crap all the time, but drive through our parking lots and tell me what you see. To each his own. You run your business and stay out of mine.

  5. I am a vendor and visit all the stations…..I tell my customers NOT TO BUY FROM PEOPLE LIKE U ON LINE….

    I would like the same consideration as my company would…..

    Joe…selling to satisfied postal employees for over 20 years….in Las Vegas…
    They would never go online for your seconds and made out of the country items…

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