How two Eastside childhood friends started Strideline Socks

SEATTLE — If you want to know how childhood friends Jake Director and Riley Goodman founded Strideline, one of the most successful sock companies in the country, you have to go back to the beginning. The very Beginning.

“We were born six hours apart in the same hospital, Overlake, and went to the same elementary school, middle school, high school and college,” said Jake Director, co-founder of Strideline. “And really, for as long as we can remember, we’ve wanted to sell something.”

After trying their hand at t-shirts when they were 10, the two turned to socks while attending Issaquah High School and University of Washington College.

“No one wanted to make colorful crew socks. So, you know, we had our beginnings,” Director said. “We said we’d find someone who could do that and found a guy in Istanbul and we were off.”

They might have gone, but they admit they didn’t quite know how to get there.

“We really didn’t know anything, but our attitude has always been that if someone can find out, we can find out.”

As the two learned their craft at work, a few people took notice.

“One time we woke up and Snoop Dogg tweeted a picture of our socks. And we were like, oh my god, we did it. So, you know, stuff like that happens on the side,” Goodman said. “I think the most notable thing is that we watched the Seahawks playoff game. There was a close-up of Marshawn Lynch going into the end zone and it zoomed in on him and he was wearing our strideline socks in a game. And we had no idea. We didn’t pay him to do it on purpose. He just did it of his own accord. And it was awesome. I think it really puts Strideline on the map.”

Marshawn is later voiced by Stridleine. That’s just one of many changes they’ve made since launching in 2009.

“We started with a really bad sock, it was really thin, lots of holes. If anyone has another pair out there, they are definitely vintage. And we improved the sock with every single order. And over time I think we started to develop a really, really high quality premium sock.”

Your commitment to quality has paid off. Strideline now has licensing agreements with everything from corporations to the NCAA and most recently the NFL.

“I think we sold about 42 pairs, give or take, in our first year,” Goodman said. “And now we sell over 5 million pairs a year.”

“It’s a small company, it still is, and we want to keep it where it’s only very close,” the director said. “And we are close to the product.”

Despite all of Director and Goodman’s accomplishments, the two lifelong friends take their sock success at every turn.

“We’re obsessed with making the best socks in the world,” said Director. How two Eastside childhood friends started Strideline Socks

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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