Before Neverquit Socks were created, I bought more than 30 pairs of socks from different brands with different material compositions and designs to find the best socks. I have tried silver, bamboo, coconut charcoal, coffee charcoal, and wool socks; but they all had disappointing results in my anti-bacterial and anti-odor expectations. When I was about to give up, I was given a pair of diabetic socks to try out by a friend. I was AMAZED by how it helped to reduce the foot odor from my military issued shoes. When I found out that it was the zinc oxide properties in there I did more research about the material that I have rarely heard of.

In medical applications, zinc oxide is widely used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including dermatitis, itching due to eczema, diaper rash and acne. It is used in products such as baby powder and barrier creams to treat diaper rashes, etc. It also is a component in tape (called “zinc oxide tape”) used by athletes as a bandage to prevent soft tissue damage during workouts. In the apparel application, zinc oxide possesses strong antibacterial properties, especially against odour-causing bacteria, which helps to make our socks stay fresh longer.

Compared to more popular materials (such as silver), zinc oxide is safe and eco-friendly. I have created a table below for a quick reference.

Comparison of Zinc & Silver Fiber

Although zinc is safe and is an essential element to our bodies, “nano zinc oxide” or zinc oxide in nanoparticle form has yet to be proven safe nor harmful. There are some research papers suggest human can overdose zinc oxide when it is in nanoparticle form and damage our health because it can be absorbed via skin surface. If this is your concern, our material is not made of nano zinc oxide. As long as you don’t eat your socks, you will be safe from having the zinc oxide particles getting into your system.

I don’t think the zinc oxide material should be limited to only diabetic socks but to all the socks. So by the time I was ready to create the Neverquit Socks, I have already decided to use this material — zinc oxide.

Fun chemistry fact though, zinc oxide can react violently with aluminum and magnesium powders, with chlorinated rubber and linseed oil on heating causing fire and explosion hazard. So please use your socks responsibility.