I first noticed this brand around the time of the tragic Orlando club shooting in the States. They had a wonderful message of positivity and love and just so happened to have a rainbow sock for purchase to show support for LGBT communities everywhere. But that’s not all they are. They are exploration-positive, outdoor-positive and on point with their message of “finding your own north” whatever that may be for you.
Welcome to Ursa Minor.
What is the history behind your brand? Ursa Minor also feels more exploration and adventure and perhaps less cycling, so how/why cycling socks?
We started Ursa Minor in late 2015 with the ultimate purpose is to make products in the US for exploration and adventure. One of the main focuses of the brand is cycling and socks were a natural fit for us. Most of our explorations and adventuring have been on bikes however we want to build products that are functional as much on a bike or trail as they are going out to a restaurant.
What is your favorite Ursa Minor sock/shoe combo?
I don’t really have a favorite sock/shoe combo. We try to keep our designs functional by using a color palettes that will not prohibit you from wearing our products with a shoe, kit or any garment.
Do you adhere to cycling sock height rules or answer demand or function instead?
We don’t really follow of any height rules. We just want people to just be happy wearing our products.
Do you make your own socks or do you use another company to manufacture your designs?
Our socks are all US made by Defeet. I have to give a shout out to Shane, Hope, Brad, Scott and Rob. They have really been extremely supportive and have worked with us on product development and have been instrumental in developing products that perform well for men and women equally.
Why do you think cycling socks are so much fun to wear/design?
Socks are awesome in the fact that there are so many players in the sock game. It seems like there are more and more options and companies showing up each month offering really unique designs and people seem really dig them. I personally love designing socks and garments that perform extremely well and look good to boot. The beautiful thing about cycling socks is the fact that they can complete a kit and can be a focal point which can really express what you are feeling during that ride, hike or just simply hanging out.
Do you really make a woman’s sock or simply market different colors and designs to women? Oftentimes, especially for smaller footed women the design is off when worn and there may be rubbing inside a shoe from seams that are not quite right.
We run unisex sizing and colorways right now at Ursa. One really great thing we have noticed in the market is we see men and women are wearing the same color ways and styles. If the design is solid it works for anyone. We also try to keep in mind how the design will be represented on multiple sizes and foot profiles.
Do you consider mixed materials in your socks for specific purposes – warmer weather, cooler weather, wet weather, road versus CX, etc? Do materials make a beneficial difference to athletes?
Absolutely! Our Hi-Vis Oso is engineered with COOLMAX® Ecomade in the body for moisture control and Cordura in the heels and toes for padding and enhanced durability. For colder weather we have a Thermolite East to West color-block sock which performs like wool in terms of warmth and has a lightweight feel with less bulk in the shoe and we have some time tested classic Wool designs coming down the pipe. Our Against the Grain and Sky Bear are thinner designs built on Defeet’s Aireator profile.
Anything new for 2016 we should look out for? Any expansion of products to come?
In addition to new sock styles coming in 2016, we are working on some exciting stuff in the base layer arena as well as some riding apparel.