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Cal Barnes from Farndon, Nottinghamshire has started a new sporting sock company named One Step Ahead that uses the latest in gripping technology

An innovative entrepreneur has launched his own sporting sock line after seeing a demand for the product and a gap in the market.

Cal Barnes who lives in Farndon started developing the socks earlier in the year.

One Step Ahead is the name of Cal's brand and the socks are specifically designed for playing sport.

Cal Barnes started the company because he wanted to make a higher quality product.
Cal Barnes started the company because he wanted to make a higher quality product.

"We have some professional footballers who are wearing the socks including Junior Tchamadeu who has recently signed with Stoke and some others who play for Colchester United," said company owner, Cal Barnes.

"John Akinde from Colchester said they were the most comfortable socks he has worn.

"Adam Phillips from Barnsley is another professional footballer who wears my socks."

The socks use grip technology that cuts down on players slipping and sliding.

Cal said that the socks help with reducing injuries and blisters.

"Basically, there are a lot of rubber pads on the bottom of the sock which sticks to the footwear," said Cal.

"It cuts down the sock moving around in the boot.

"This reduces blisters and also assists players to not roll their ankles.

"Sweat doesn't affect the socks and the technology still works even after periods of activity.

"It provides more stable footing for players and it stops your foot going all over the place.

"At the moment these are really popular in football, I'd say probably around 75% of players wear these types of socks."

Cal used to play football and loves the game.

He is currently the manager of Rose and Crown — one of the most successful Sunday Football teams in the area — who compete in the Newark Alliance.

"The technology can also be used in other sports," added Cal.

"I used to wear these types of socks, I used another brand but I'd wash them for three or four games, and had to go buy another pair because they would tear.

"I'd get frustrated when I would have to go out and buy more.

"What sets us apart is the quality and the durability of our product."

Cal said that it had been a tedious journey getting the socks up to scratch.

The rubber dots grip the footwear. Photos: Rob Currell.
The rubber dots grip the footwear. Photos: Rob Currell.

"I literally have sent them back to the factory about 18 times to get them the way I wanted," he said.

"I did a lot of research into this and was pedantic with the process.

"Getting the socks right was the biggest challenge for me.

"It was highly important that we produce a high-quality product.

"I know what players are looking for and they want something that lasts.

"We have achieved that and now we are looking at growing the brand."

You can find out more at www.onestepahead.uk

The company is also on Instagram here.

The socks have proven to be very popular.
The socks have proven to be very popular.

The socks are one pair for £7.99 or four pairs for £20.

"We are moving into other sports from rugby to boxing," said Cal.

"The next step ahead will be looking at other ways to branch out potentially into other equipment.

"Any equipment that will give someone an edge and enhance an athlete's performance in any kind of sport could potentially fall under our brand's umbrella.

"I will do discounts on big orders so if teams want to order in bulk, send me a message on my website."

The socks have proven to be very popular on a local level.

"Every team in Newark and the area has at least one player wearing them," said Cal.

“These include Newark Town, Newark and Sherwood United, as well as teams near Grantham such as Harrowby United.”

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