An athlete’s stinky feet, and the socks that cover them, are to be feared.

Jordan Edwards, a sophomore at Texas Christian University and member of the swim and dive team, said one thing has helped prevent that recently — a sock that eliminates odor-causing bacteria made by family friend Matthew Tesvich, a student at the University of Georgia.

“My parents ordered a couple of his socks as Christmas gifts. And they really liked them. And then he reached out to me and asked if he could send me, like a couple of pairs to try out,” Edwards said. “I wore them like to our latest meet that we went to and I really thought they were good products. They don’t make your feet smell or anything, which is really nice when you’re traveling for 12 hours in one day.”

OX SOX, the odorless socks created by Tesvich, competed against 42 other college student business teams March 24-25 at TCU’s Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Competition.

OX SOX, a sock that eliminates odor-causing bacteria, sits on a curb March 28 at Texas Christian University. The product, created by Matthew Tesvich, a University of Georgia student, hopes to solve stinky feet in locker rooms. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

The socks won $25,000 for placing second in the competition, and first place in the investor challenge.

The competition and prize “validates our idea and shows that we are solving a real problem out there,” Tesvich said. “It is great to see that we are making a positive impact.”

OX SOX came to fruition after COVID-19 derailed Tesvich’s plans to play baseball at Howard College. He tried to walk on at the University of Georgia, but a torn labrum in his shoulder and an ACL injury ended his baseball dream.

“So, I had two (injuries) and I was like, ‘Oh, wow.’ I kind of knew the door closed there,” Tesvich said. “Around that same time, my roommate came home with this towel that lets you wash your hands without soap. I was like, ‘No way.’”

He began researching the technology, wondering if it could kill odor-causing bacteria. It did. 

Hundreds of designs and manufacturers later, Tesvich planted his feet in his current design — a sleek, ankle-sock that eliminates odor.

“I’m studying management information systems, which has nothing to do with socks or fashion,” Tesvich said. “Chemistry is actually one of my weakest subjects.”

The foot sweats more than any other part of the body, he said. “Naturally, that creates moisture and bacteria, which causes odor.”

A typical sock traps the bacteria, but his sock neutralizes the bacteria and kills it immediately, he said. He found that necessary among athletes.

“I was always an athlete growing up, and I always knew I wanted to start a business. My dream was to run a business during the day and play professional baseball at night,” he said. “After COVID-19, I think the hardest part was the amount of effort that I put in because I’ve been trained my whole life, my identity was in baseball, and trying to find a solution when it seemed like there was nothing else I could do with stuff.”

Tesvich put his worries into a sock and pivoted his life to designing OX SOX.

With the $25,000 prize, Tesvich plans to get his socks on as many feet as possible. 

“This is huge in unlocking our next major stage of growth,” he said.

For Edwards, the socks help reduce the chances of athlete’s feet as swimmers go straight from swimming to lifting weights during practice. 

She will continue to help her family friend spread his product among swimmers as they travel to swim meets in a bus.

“I would say the smell is not the best, so I gave like a couple of pairs to my roommates and then one pair to one of the guys on the team,” Edwards said. “Our whole roster for men’s and women’s swimming and diving is about 50 people. They help.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSotoCommunity Engagement Journalist

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...