The TSA have been called many names, but for Shelby Mason, the creator of Bootights and founder of Leg Up, it was the kicking off point for her foray into hoisery. As a road warrior for Disney traveling from one chilly city to the next, the exec grew tired of layering socks over tights to stay warm. The final straw was when she took off her boots in Chicago’s O’Hare and revealed an embarassing pair of “man socks.”
From there Bootights was born. The legwear combines performance socks with premium tights in solids and prints. “Women put up with a lot from their hoisery,” Mason says, adding that her line prevents uncomfortable bunches around the toe, ensures warmth and keeps the foot from sliding inside the boot. The built-in sock also prevents snags and runs from boots’ zippers and hardware.
Now in its third season, the line has expanded from black and brown basics to a mix of subtle prints, open knits and bold multi-color Chevron stripes. For Fall ’13 the company is spicing up its selection with jewel tone ink blue, purple and teal, and added a range of cotton poly tights with a wool sock for extra warmth, which have caught the eye of REI. The company is also bowing knee highs in lace, floral and cheetah prints to peek from tall boots.
The American-made line retails for $30 to $46. “Our customer is a little more mature and is willing to pay more for comfort,” Mason explains. Each sock is outfitted with selective cushioning in the toe and heel and features support in the arch. “We’re a self-financed company, so we’ve been very mindful of how we grow and what trends we key into, but we’ve have an amazing start and response,” Mason reports.
Bootights have been scooped up by the likes of Chicago’s Lori’s Shoes and Harry’s Shoes in New York. Neiman Marcus plans to add the line, too.