And with more than 40 percent of Special Olympics athletes wearing the wrong shoe size, it’s clear that there’s a need to ensure Special Olympics athletes are outfitted with the proper footwear to perform at their best in competition.
While improper shoe size is the most obvious culprit for poor footwear for competition, an often overlooked aspect is bad socks. According to Meggin van der Hilst, Special Olympics’ Senior Manager of Healthy Hearing and Fit Feet, athletes often come through Fit Feet clinics wearing socks that are in poor condition, made of the wrong fabric, or not moisture wicking, all of which can affect comfort and even athletic performance. Some athletes even show up to compete in heavy wool socks intended for harsh Wisconsin winters.
Thankfully, Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes who go through Fit Feet at the Outdoor Sports Tournament will once again receive free Bombas socks. According to Melina Morris of Bombas, their socks are well equipped to help athletes do their best.
“We know that when Special Olympics athletes have good foot care, they’re going to compete better.” – Meggin van der Hilst, Senior Manager of Healthy Hearing and Fit Feet
“Our socks are thoughtfully designed with moisture wicking fabric, reinforced seams, and a honeycomb arch support to ensure comfort for any activity,” Morris said.
But Bombas is not only a sock company with a passion for high performance socks. Their mission involves helping making the world a better place. In fact, for every pair of socks they sell, they donate a pair of socks to those in need. It’s a business model they devised after learning that socks were the most requested clothing item in homeless shelters.
Since 2017 Bombas has partnered with Special Olympics to make sure that plenty of athletes around the country get outfitted with high quality socks as well.
“Partners like Special Olympics ensure that we are serving multiple intersections of the homeless, at-risk, and in-need communities,” Morris said.
Due to the limited supply, Special Olympics isn’t able to provide the socks to all programs across the country. However, Special Olympics Wisconsin has been a recipient the last three years in large part thanks to its efforts in promoting the Bombas giveaway by sharing photos and stories with the Special Olympics office and spreading the word on social media.
“This incredible partnership wouldn’t be possible without programs like Special Olympics Wisconsin who share their stories of Bombas,” van der Hilst said.
Special Olympics Wisconsin is more than happy to continue to share the success stories of the Bombas giveaways. While people who have the luxury of regularly wearing nice socks might take it for granted, getting Bombas socks for free is something that means a lot to the athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin because they know it can make a big difference.
“We know that when Special Olympics athletes have good foot care, they’re going to compete better,” van der Hilst said.