Journal

Original Rockford Red Heel Sock

The Original Rockford Red Heel Sock 6851

by Fox River Mills

We really like these Rockford Red Heel Socks for lots of reasons. Firstly, they are made here in the US, secondly the company has been around since 1900, thirdly they have a commitment to environmental practices and lastly the price is on point.

Fox River Mills was founded in 1900 and operates a hosiery mill in Osage, Iowa. In 1992, they purchased the Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford, Illinois, and acquired the Red Heel sock trademark.

John Nelson, a Swedish immigrant to the United States, patented the sock-knitting machine in 1868, and began knitting socks on an automatic machine in Rockford as early as 1870. On September 15, 1880, the Nelson Knitting Company formed, producing "Celebrated Rockford Seamless Hosiery," and selling them under the name of the "Nelson Sock."

John Nelson's son, Franklin, created a machine that knitted a sock without seams in the heel. The original machine required workers to sew every seam at the heel. The seamless sock saved time and labor costs and it became so popular, companies began to imitate his idea. These seamless work socks were so popular that the market was soon flooded with imitators, and socks of this type were known under the generic term "Rockfords".

Original Rockford Red Heel Sock

The iconic sock monkeys (people used to stuff socks to make this famous toy) made from red-heeled socks, emerged at the earliest in 1932, the year the Nelson Knitting Company added the trademark red heel to its product. In 1932, advertising executive Howard Monk came up with an idea to change the heel of the brown sock from white to red. The red heeled sock was marketed as "de-tec-tip. "Nelson Knitting added the red heel "De-Tec-Tip" to assure its customers that they were buying "original Rockfords" as opposed to the generic "Rockfords". This red heel gave the monkeys their distinctive mouth and during the Great Depression American crafters first made sock monkeys out of worn-out Rockford Red Heel Socks.

Today, Fox Sox boast some impressive sustainability practices, besides only using US fibers, including; a 35% reduction in energy consumption, 50% reduction of annual waste, 400 tons of recycling instead of adding to landfill, 55'000 cubic feet of air reclaimed per minute from machinery and Fox River is WRAP certified.

Check them out and try a pair of these iconic, comfortable, durable, made in America socks here.