Fox River acquired the landmark Original Rockford Red Heel® sock brand, when Nelson Knitting Mills closed its doors in 1992. The Original Rockford Red Heel is a significant part of America’s industrial past. John Nelson of Rockford, Illinois developed the first seamless sock-knitting machine in 1869 that started the sock boom and Nelson Knitting Mills in 1880. Nelson added the iconic red heel to his socks in 1932 to stand out in the sea of imitators of his seamless Rockfords. A genuine sock monkey still can only be made from the trademarked Original Rockford Red Heel, the only sock with a knit-in red heel. Along with the Original Rockford Red Heel brand came the responsibility and joy of sharing the sock monkey and sock toys with new generations.
We have taken this responsibility seriously by expanding the well-known sock line with new colors such as Blue Heather in 2009 and Pink Heather in 2010. We have also helped proliferate the sock monkey phenomenon by creating a new sock monkey and friends pattern book in 2010.