Product Review: Sock Stop
Last winter I happened to be in an art supply store, and spotted a shelf of colourful little bottles labeled "Sock Stop". It's a German liquid latex product designed to be applied to the bottoms of socks or slippers to give them extra grip. I didn't have an immediate use for it, but thought it might come in useful someday and bought a bottle on impulse. It now seems to be fairly widely available, and I've seen it since then at several local yarn shops.
I had the perfect opportunity to try it out last fall when I made a pair of booties for Elizabeth's new little baby. Of course they didn't need any extra grip (since she'll have grown out of the booties long before she learns to walk) but I also made a pair of matching slippers for her big brother, and they were the perfect candidate to try out this new product.
Since I hadn't used it before and didn't want to ruin the slippers accidentally, I knit a little swatch to test it out on. I would highly recommend doing this, as it gave me a good feel for the consistency and the application possibilities. I tried out a few variations of lines and blobs and decided that it worked best when I used fairly small dots.
I did have a bit of an issue with the original hole in the tip of the bottle seeming too small - so I tried opening it up with a pin, and then eventually used scissors to carefully cut it back. After which I realized that there was a large glob of semi-hardened latex stuck in the tip that was causing all my problems... Definitely something to check for first next time if it's not flowing freely.
The instructions on the bottle say to line your socks with cardboard prior to application. This seems like it's probably a good idea for thinner socks or if you're applying a very thick layer or intricate design, but I decided it wasn't necessary for these thick worsted-weight slippers.
I did follow the instructions to do the application in several thin coats rather than one thick one though. This stuff dries pretty fast, so there wasn't a long waiting time in between, and it allowed the first layer to soak into the wool a bit and adhere better.
This is how the first coat looked, as you can see it's almost hidden by the garter stitch ridges, and probably wouldn't be enough to provide much extra grip.
In this photo you can see that I made the second coat a little thicker to be sure there would be enough grip. You can also tell that the colour of the latex is several shades darker after it dries - a good thing to keep in mind if you are purchasing a colour for a specific project.
Here's the finished final layer, before it dried. As you can see I had a bit of an issue with an extra-large blob on the top one... It was much less noticeable once it dried to the darker colour.
All in all, I would use this again but maybe think about using a smoother stitch pattern for the soles, since I think that would allow for neater application. Elizabeth says it's doing its job in preventing too much slipping and sliding, although I may need to reapply it at some point since the slippers are getting a lot of wear.
Another thing to note, the clean-up from this is quite easy (it washes off tools and hands with soap and water) but it does have a bit of a smell, so I would recommend using it in a well-ventilated area.
Have you used this or any other similar products? We'd love to know how they worked out for you!
Update January 2021
Terry has kindly updated us with her tests using Sock Stop in the dryer. Here are her results:
"As I suspected, the sock stop cannot be dried in the dryer. I put a knitted test swatch with dots of the stuff into the dryer with an old towel. (I had let the sock stop dots dry overnight, probably a good 16 or 17 hours). The dots melted into the fabric and some of it rubbed off in the dryer. The towel also had a few splotches on it. Disappointing, but it's good to know, right?"
Thank you Terry for sharing your experiences with us!
I’m liking the chamois idea! Thanks so much for sharing:)
And thank you Debbie and everyone else for your Intel on the Sock Stop product.
I haven’t actually tried this product in the dryer, because the slippers I’ve used it on have been 100% wool (non-superwash) and putting them in the dryer would risk felting them. It does dry quite hard, so I’d be surprised it it rubbed off on other clothing, but you never know… You could always try putting some Sock Stop on a test swatch and running it through the dryer with some rags to test it out.
Hope that helps!
I have some of this but I noticed the washing instructions say not to machine dry items.. Have you dried the slippers in the dryer? I am worried that the sock stop will melt and rub off on other clothing. As I am giving the slippers as gifts, it would be nice to know if someone has tried to dry the in the dryer.
Thanks for reading our blog! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to respond to your question right away.
I don’t know if you’re still trying to solve the problem with your sock stop, but I would first try seeing if there’s anything blocking the opening. (My bottle had a bit of dried-up stuff blocking the tip even when I first bought it.) If that’s not the issue I would either try thinning it with water (adding just a few drops at a time) or try cutting the tip off the bottle to widen the opening slightly. I haven’t actually used this product again since I wrote the post (I just haven’t made any other slippers since then), so I’m definitely not an expert, and if you have further issues you may want to contact the manufacturer.
I hope that helps!
Sock stop – my bottle will not pour out the spout. Is there a way to thin it out?
I think it might be a different product you’re thinking of, because there was nothing like that on the label (and I read through it quite carefully), but I’ll double check before I use it again just in case. And the chamois is also an excellent idea for those that might prefer sewing to messing around with this stuff. Thanks for the head’s up!
If it’s the same product I am thinking of, please read the label carefully. It is to be disposed of as hazardous material because it is toxic to aquatic life. I prefer sewing a chamois onto the bottom.
I also purchased this product, but have not used it yet.
Thanks for the run through!
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