10 to Watch Winner: Endur Apparel

Performance-apparel company Endūr invites everyone to up their “sock game” and use the oft-neglected accessory as a canvas for self-expression

Rob Fraser. Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet.

Remember how yoga pants evolved from workout attire to everyday wardrobe item? That’s what Endur aims to do with its performance socks.

“You can wear it to work and it looks stylish, but you can go straight to the gym — or for a cycle or run — with a product that provides support, moisture wicking and breathability,” says company founder Rob Fraser. “We provide products for an athletic life balance.”

It was during his years as a Canadian National Team cyclist that Fraser was introduced to the concept of “sock game.” In competitive cycling, team uniforms are mandatory, but socks are one area where one could express individual style.

“We find a lot of our customers use our socks to tell their own story,” he says, pointing to the variety in patterns and colours.

In addition to being in more than 150 stores across Canada, Endur has opened up a flagship store at Uptown. Current products include socks and underwear, with plans to release a line of compression socks in the near future.

A unique part of Endur’s business model is its ability to create custom socks for brand partnerships, such as their work with Red Bull.

“We’ve innovated the way in which people think about and use socks,” Fraser says.
“We’ve also innovated the custom sock business, and we reach hundreds of thousands of new customers at no cost, while providing a quality product for other companies.”

A Q& A with Rob Fraser of Endur Apparel

What was the best advice you received?
Be patient. A lot of people look at short-term results and draw conclusions from that, but many things rear their heads further into the process than you’d expect.

What was the scariest part of starting up?
Going all in and potentially giving up a good career opportunity.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Don’t be afraid of asking questions. Remove the ego — you don’t know what you don’t know. Ask as many questions as you can and read as much as you can.”

What book or podcast have you found inspirational?
The book The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, sparked a lot of ideas. And the StartUp podcast [by Gimlet Media] goes over a lot of the issues a new entrepreneur may face.

This article is from the April/May 2019 issue of Douglas.