The Wigwam Blog

Find stories from our athletes, our customers, our athletes and the latest from Wigwam HQ!

Runners are gearing up for the 8th annual NYC Half-Marathon!  If you’re preparing to run on March 16th, here are a few ways to prepare your feet for the 13.1 miles.

Sweat – Running any race, your feet are bound to sweat. Your goal should be to evaporate that sweat as quickly as possible. Socks are key in this process, serving as a barrier between your feet and your shoes. When selecting your race day socks, look for wicking fabrics like those with dri-relase technology that moves moisture up and out of the socks. X20 Acrylic is another advanced synthetic fiber that is engineered to absorb. Dry feet are happy feet.

Blisters – 13.1 miles can cause blisters. First, make sure your running shoes fitNyc -half -marathon -training comfortably - you should have about a thumb's width between your big toe and the end of the shoe. Socks are also fundamental in blister-prevention. Look for styles with a seamless toe closure and those with moisture control. Good moisture control systems combine hydrophobic (moisture-rejecting) and hydrophilic (moisture-absorbing and transporting) fibers to move moisture out of your shoe and keep your feet dry and blister free.

Impact – The NYC Half-Marathon runners should expect a hilly first half of the race. The route starts with a scenic 6 miles through Central Park. Luckily, you can look forward to a downhill push at mile 7 into the heart of Times Square. To keep your feet cozy through the ups and downs, make sure to break in your shoes prior to race day and choose a style with a roomy toebox so your toes have room to splay. As for socks, look for a foot hugging fit and cushioned soles.

Warmth –New York in March is rarely a balmy 70 degrees, but NYC Half-Marathon runners should expect lower temperatures than normal at this year’s race. Past temperature averages fall between 32-48 degrees. Plan for cold weather running conditions and choose fabrics that will wick away moisture quickly so you stay warm through the finish line.

Odor – When it’s all said and done, you’ll have to take off your shoes. No one likes smelly feet, so choose footwear with odor-defense technology. Chitosan, found in X20 Acrylic has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial characteristics. Your cheering support team on the sidelines will thank you.

Have other questions about the NYC Half-Marathon race prep? Let us know here, Facebook, or Twitter! Best of luck to everyone participating!

Written by Wigwam at 00:00

Ironman Pro


"I have been an avid endurance athlete over the past 20 years. From cycling and triathlons to completing my fourth marathon this past weekend in Chicago. I typically don't rave about equipment, but I can honestly say your Ironman Pro socks are simply in a league of their own. Never have I trained for a long-distance running event without having my foot covered with blisters. I just completed 4 months of training and a marathon without one blister! Nothing short of a miracle. My feet sweat profusely and these socks can handle the load. Thanks again for a quality product."   - Doug

Written by Wigwam at 00:00

The Fruits of our Loom

There is a great article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Allen Edmonds and their focus a high quality American made apparel. As the article mentions Wigwam as a supplier of high quality dress socks for them. A nuance that was mistated was the acquisition of a finer guage loom. Loom's are used by weavers.

Don't get us wrong we love weavers.

We love this weaver.

220px -Sigourney _Weaver _by _David _Shankbone

and this weaver

But we are knitters. We are not going to call for a retraction, but just wanted to clarify about our socks.

We did bring in some new machinery for this, and in addition to making fablous socks for Allen Edmonds, it has allowed us to produce some of the best quality sport socks ever such as Featherlite, and some great men's casual like Byron.

In the world of textiles there are weavers and their are knitters. It is much like when someone says they are from New York. There are people who live in NYC and there are people who live in Buffalo. Neither one is better, but people from Buffalo will say Buffalo and not want to be confused with someone from NYC, and vice versa.


Written by Wigwam at 00:00

Support US Textiles


Trade is the engine for textile jobs in the United States. Without access to foreign markets, the U.S. textile industry could not survive. However, when trade agreements do not protect our markets from artificially low-priced imports or allow governments to subsidize their textile exporters, American textile companies, their workers and their communities all suffer.

The U.S. textile industry and its workers are fighting for trade agreements that provide new access for our textile products. We oppose trade agreements that allow subsidized producers greater access to the U.S. market or give countries like China a back door to bring goods into our country. Click here to learn more.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)... What is it?

The TPP is an international free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Once finalized, the agreement will allow member countries to export their goods with lower tariffs, duties and other reduced trade barriers within TPP member countries.


When bad trade deals lead to closed textile plants, the impact on local communities where textile mills are located can be devastating, with long-lasting, negative repercussions.

When a textile mill closes in a rural community, there are rarely new manufacturing jobs to take their place. Even when jobs are available, they are almost always at lower wages, with less benefits. And that is not all. Retail stores, restaurants, charities and churches all suffer and the local government often has to either raise taxes or reduce spending on roads, police and education. In addition, many U.S. textile companies provide important services to their communities, including funding for college scholarships, local athletics and recreational activities, and holiday and seasonal community events. Click here to learn more.

Existing textile mills in rural communities are the cornerstone of some small towns. Watch this video on what Mount Vernon Mills means to Trion, GA.

Protecting American textile and apparel manufacturing jobs starts with you! Tell Congress and the Administration to support a strong Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that protects the U.S. textile industry, American jobs and communities across America. Click here to contact your elected official in support of American jobs.

Written by Wigwam at 00:00

April was a busy month, just the way I like it. My plan included 3 races, all with one purpose, training and building miles towards the 24-hour race I plan to do in May.

The first race was the Trail Breaker Half-marathon. Doesnt sound like it would be too helpful, but it was more than just the mileage I was looking at. The race was an attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record for most runners linked together. We tethered 103 runners, 68 women and 35 men and completed the task in 2 hours 58 minutes, including a short toilet break and broke the record.

The purpose for the group was to raise funds for Life Striders Therapeutic Riding Center and the hook was to get people to join the attempt at the GWR by asking them to commit to raising $250 each. We raised over $30,000.

Running a climbers rope through a climbers apparatus attached to our race belts, we strung out nearly 300 meters from start to finish. Along the route there was a road of pea gravel to which we diverted. In the distance I saw one portable toilet and thought, you have got to be kidding.

Once the final runner, Robin Gohsman, the organizer, cleared the running course, we made a gentle U-turn and then stopped. We were instructed to let out some slack in the rope, ladies step to the right, gents to the left, turn our backs to each other and take care of business. The road was then known to be one consisting of pee gravel. It was probably another GWR, but because it could not be documented, there would be no submission.

A week later, I participated in a few activities at the Boston Marathon Expo. I joined Wigwam and at their booth to draw the winning ticket for a gift basket of socks, a gift certificate and other goodies.

Just prior to that, my wife and I had our photo taken with Dick and Rick Hoyt of Team Hoyt and I had Dick sign the book his son wrote, One Letter at a Time which chronicles his life as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Told he would be a vegetable, by doctors at birth, his parents ignored their prediction and he went on to a life of accomplishments.

As I was leaving the Team Hoyt booth, I heard my name called and turned to see a familiar face, Brigette Sharp. We chatted and said I had to go to draw a ticket for the raffle. She said, draw my name and I told her I could not guarantee that. I then departed and worked my way over to the Wigwam booth.

While there, my host Dave Krueger, of Hopkinton, MA and my wife purchased several pair of socks. Dave also threw his ticket in the raffle box. Then the time came for the drawing. Two interns from Northeastern, helping at the booth, held the box of tickets. I jumbled the tickets and drew the name of Brigette Sharp, of Texas and Mary Gustafson, the Wigwam representative, announced the winner.

Brigette was injured and unable to run and would be cheering for her husband Jerry this year. Winning the prize took a bit of the sting away of not being able to participate. She thanked me and her smile beamed from ear to ear.

Monday morning, Patriots Day, I ran with a controlled pace. I decided to pick it up a little and run a bit faster over the final 10k. The Newton hills and Heartbreak behind, it felt good to run with the sun shining and a nice breeze on a warm day. Well, warmer than Wisconsin had been for training.

Finishing, I made my way to meet Dave and my wife Chris and Kathie and Bob Norman who both finished and had traveled with us. I saw Dave sitting outside soaking up the sun and waiting for me. He took me inside the atrium of the Westin Hotel and Chris had my warm-ups ready for me. I changed and was making up a drink of Life Shotz when there was an explosion.

I was on the second floor overlooking Copley Square and the Boston Marathon finish line medical tents, when the second one exploded. I looked out and saw people running from the finish line area. Because the hotel had shaken, we thought the explosions might have been in the building, and went outside.

It was there we learned more, from spectators that were fleeing the scene. A well-orchestrated team of first responders took action. We then were told to clear the streets and went back into the hotel where we met the Normans. Now, all reunited, we got the car from the parking garage and attempted to make it back to Hopkinton, where the race starts, to gather our luggage and head for the airport.

It took 2 hours to negotiate the blocked streets and the traffic congestion, as the police locked down the area. We had time to pack our things and leave for the flight that was scheduled to go off on time. Until we got home we had not seen anything of what happened on Boylston Street, near the finish line. We watched for an hour once we got home and were saddened by the useless loss of life and the injuries to innocent bystanders, those there to cheer for us.

The following Saturday, I was in Madison, WI, to participate in the Mad City 100k USATF National Championship and WI-USATF State Championship. I brought along an object I picked up at this venue on April 7, 2007, when it first hosted the championships.

In 2007, I was going after the 55-59 American age group record for my wife, who was dying of cancer and did not have long to live. I was doing what she wanted me to do. I felt uneasy out there, nervous too. I noticed a soccer ball floating along the shore of Lake Wingra, on my left. The ball was pushed by a wave and I saw the name Wilson on it and thought of the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks.

Each lap I was talking to Wilson and telling him I would be back to get him. I remembered Hanks character had lost him, not recalling it was a volleyball, at sea and I had found him and would not let him go. Following the race and breaking the record, I went back and got Wilson and he has been with me since.

Honoring my wifes memory, I have returned to the Boston Marathon each year. She passed away on April 19, 2007, two days after I returned from Boston and many times I spoke to Wilson to help clear my head. This year I wanted to honor the Boston Marathon victims and decided to bring Wilson back to Lake Wingra to help me.

Timo Yanacheck asked for 26.2 seconds of silence before we started. He gave me the honor of starting the race, among those assembled and ready to race, as I had been in Boston on that tragic day.

My wife, Chris, crewed for me at the finish post. On top of the post she propped Wilson. It was good seeing her there on each of the ten laps of the 10k course, but also knowing Wilson was there, as he was the day I broke the record for Gail, my wife of 39 years.

I had a steady run at the pace I hope to maintain at the 24-hour run in Steenbergen, NED, and won the national title for my age group and for open and masters in the state championship.

We all will experience tragedy in our lives, but dwelling on the negative will not do any of us any good. Dwell on the positive and create better memories.

If you would like to help the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions, go to and make a positive difference.

See you in a few miles.roy

Written by Roy Pirrung at 00:00

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