While the banality of receiving socks as a gift has been the punchline of many holiday jokes, there are many Atlantans for whom socks are not something to be taken for granted. In 2018, a little over 700 homeless Atlantans were without shelter on any given night, according to a recent Point-In-Time count from Atlanta nonprofit Partners for Home.
Addressing the challenge of homelessness can be a sobering experience, but the co-founders of Atlanta-based Whiz Socks have found a creative and colorful way to give back. The fledgling sock company pairs with artists to create uplifting sock designs to live up to their slogan, “Be Inspired.” For every pair bought, Whiz Socks donates a pair to a homeless person or shelter.
Co-founders Alex Miranda, Leo Rodriguez, and John Peña founded the company in August 2018. According to Peña, Whiz Socks grew out of a mutual desire to make a living doing something meaningful. The Whiz Socks team has donated socks to Atlanta Mission and also takes to the street to hand-deliver their donations to those who need them.
Their approach to community outreach has gained them collaborations with local artists Yoyo Ferro and Jake Llaurado, both of which have livened the walls of Atlanta with vibrant murals. Both artists have created their own lines of socks which are available on the Whiz Socks website. The playful lines and whimsical abstractions signature to Ferro’s work are matched by the colorful energy of Llaurado’s own wiggling banana leaves and signature “Funky Buddha.”
The humanitarian mission, comfort, and quality of the socks make the $13 price tag a little more bearable. I was doubtful of Whiz Socks’s one-size-fits-most sizing, but through a footwear miracle, they fit both my women’s size 7.5 feet and my significant other’s men’s size 10.5 feet, while also providing soft arch support and breathability. The mostly-cotton socks have a reinforced sole, giving them the durability and padding.