I don’t know the history of socks, but I can probably guess that a high percentage of all of the socks that have ever been manufactured on this earth through the ages were made of 100% cotton. I would also guess that a high percentage of weekend warrior outdoor enthusiasts still wear 100% cotton socks as their staple for outdoor comfort on their outdoor adventures. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself “Hey, that sounds like me” then let me enlighten you a little bit on what a real outdoor sock is. Your first hint is that it is not made out of 100% cotton. No, when it comes to taking care of your feet so you can enjoy hiking, backpacking, or any other outdoor activity longer, merino wool is the name of the game.
Cotton socks are super soft and for the most part warm. But one big problem with cotton that you’ve surely noticed is
that cotton absorbs lots of water. When talking about socks we’re referring to sweat. Your feet have around 3000 sweat glands per inch. Your athletic socks have to be able to manage moisture well in order to keep your feet comfortable. Cotton socks soak up all of that sweat keeping your feet soggy and cold. Cotton socks also lose their form easily causing them to bunch creating pressure points and making blisters inevitable. Wool socks have been around as long as sheep have. Wool is great at managing moisture and keeping your feet at a nice temperature, but wool socks have a bad reputation for being too itchy or scratchy for the average person. This is where merino wool comes in. Merino wool comes from Merino Sheep. Merino sheep produce wool that is extra fine and soft so it does not feel itchy to a persons skin, yet it has all of the excellent qualities of regular wool.
So, merino wool socks are your best choice for pretty much all outdoor activities. They are nice and soft next to your skin, they don’t itch, they have superior moisture management properties and they keep you feet warm even when the socks get wet. They also do a great job keeping your feet warm. In fact, some of the warmest socks you’ll find for winter use are made from merino wool. Now, one down side to wool or merino wool is that it is not quite as rugged as you might like them to be. So, in order to make a pair of merino wool socks last longer, the manufacturer adds a blend of other materials that help them to wear better and last longer. These materials only serve to improve the performance of the merino wool