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Ben Ainslie sailing in spat socks


New Member
I was reading Ainslie's Laser Campaign Manual yesterday and noticed in an image of his downwind position he's wearing what looks like football spat socks over his boots. Anyone know why he would do this or what advantage it might be giving? I googled for a while to try to find mention of it. But the only thing I could think is the simple explanation of keeping the shoes as tight to his feet as possible. But the cotton/nylon sock seems like an odd choice around water.



Well-Known Member
You can see him both with and without them in many other pictures in the same book. But this is what he says himself on page 80 (first edition):

"Boots are also very important. You need plenty of padding so that when you hike out your feet do not get bruised and sore. You also need to be able to feel the toestrap and feel steady on your feet while in the boat. I have tried many different makes of boot but always found that they slipped of my feet while I was hiking. In the end I selected a lightweight slipper with a grippe sole, like windsurfers use. Over the top of that I wear an ankle support, which you can buy from any sports shop. This gives you a good firm sole and plenty of padding against the toestrap as well as being lightweight."

(Emphasis mine :rolleyes: )