Why Wear Wool Socks For Hiking? What’s not to love about having an adventure in the great outdoors? The fresh air, campfires, and of course, hiking.
Regarding your hiking adventure, some things are essential not to forget. Like, socks, of course.
One of the many hiking socks options is not to be overlooked: the wool sock. In this article, we will examine why wear wool socks for hiking.
Table of Contents
- 1. What to look for in hiking socks?
- 2. Choosing the right blend?
- 3. Are merino wool socks good for summer?
- 4. FAQs
1. What to look for in hiking socks?
The fabric you choose will always be essential when choosing your hiking socks. Of course, comfort is important, but there are other factors that you must consider. Such as warmth, cooling, and odor control, especially if it will be a long trek. The best option for this is merino wool.
Regarding sock height, there is no “correct” size. There are a variety of measurements, and it all comes down to what height is right for you. These are the five most common sizes for hiking socks.
The shortest of all the options, this is an excellent choice for things like trail running or lighter hiking.
Another short option is coming up just a little over your ankle. It would help if you went longer than this when using athletic footwear.
An option that is great for your running shoes, mid to high-top shoes, and low-cut hiking boots
Boot Socks / Mid-Calf
These come from the middle of your calf and are designed for warmth and comfort. These socks are a great option when hiking (particularly a long hike).
Over the Calf / Knee High.
Perfect for long treks and or backpacking in the winter. The Knee High length is your best option for maximum protection and warmth.
Of the many functions to look for when selecting your socks, padding (or cushion) is one of the most important. For hiking socks, there are four levels of hiking cushion: Ultralight, Light, Mid, and Heavyweight.
Ultra and Lights work well for shoes, and Mid and Heavy weights are great for Hiking boots.
Fit and compression
You want as little wiggle room as possible for an excellent-fitting sock. A nice, snug fit is an excellent choice to avoid slipping and bunching while hiking.
On the other hand, you want to prevent swelling by not going too tight a fit. Compression socks are a good option if you are prone to injury or sore calves, as they can aid in discomfort.
An exposed seam inside your sock will create space, and your toes will rub against it and cause irritation or blisters. The seamless design leaves no inside seam, causing no irritation and maximum comfort.
This is an essential factor for the most optimal fit of your wool socks. Your left and right feet are different, and an anatomical shape is explicitly designed for both feet.
2. Choosing the right blend?
(Hiking boots and socks)
This option is all about balance. Using blends of 50% to 65% super-fine merino wool, 30% to 50% nylon, and 2% to 5% of stretchy spandex material together is not only about Combining these materials’ strengths but reducing their weaknesses.
For example, Wool socks are great, but you don’t want something too thick and don’t breathe. Choosing synthetic blended materials gives you the best of both worlds.
100% synthetic socks are lighter and dryer than the Wool/Synthetic blend. Making this a popular option for summer hikers. It is also helpful that this option comes at a lower price point.
A full synthetic blend usually consists of Polyester, Nylon, and Spandex.
3. Are merino wool socks good for summer?
(Sun shining on the mountains)
Warm and cool
Merino wool is a truly versatile fabric. It keeps you warm by keeping more pockets of air inside, insulating against the cold, and keeping you cool by storing moisture. Then, when that trapped moisture evaporates, it begins cooling your skin.
A unique moisture-managing material, Merino Wool is. It is breathable, which allows sweat to escape. It also wicks excess moisture away from your skin, protecting you from irritation.
They dry quickly, and the wax-like coating on the outside repels water from soaking your sock.
Naturally anti-microbial and odor-resistant
Due to all the moisture-regulating benefits, merino wool naturally resists solid and unpleasant odors. Merino wool is also hypoallergenic, making it an excellent option for asthma or a dust allergy.
Because of the larger diameter fibers of traditional wool’s design, it can give an itchy and uncomfortable texture. Merino wool’s structure has small-diameter fibers that are soft, flexible, and itch-free.
Why Wear Wool Socks For Hiking: Durable
The merino sheep is one of the oldest breeds of sheep. So, their wools aim is to protect them from many different weather conditions. As a result, Merino wool socks are not only comfortable but stand the test of time.
Why Wear Wool Socks For Hiking: Lightweight
The fine fibers of merino wool’s design are to make them comfortable and lighter in weight compared to other wool socks. The lighter weight makes for a much more efficient choice for hiking.
Why Wear Wool Socks For Hiking: Don’t sag or stretch.
The last thing you want on a long, physically demanding trek is for your socks to start sagging.
Because of merino wool’s fine fiber and elasticity, you won’t experience any sagging or stretching—another reason why merino wool socks are great for hiking.
Men’s vs. Women’s socks
There are, of course, some differences in men’s and women’s feet. For example, men typically have wider feet, so men’s socks tend to have a more comprehensive profile.
On the other hand, women tend to have a slimmer foot size, so the sock profile is narrower. Women’s socks also come in a variety of fun colored options, as men’s options are usually more solid colors.
Many options accommodate both sexes.
(Bright colored socks)
What kind of socks to wear hiking in the winter?
Your first thought is to go as thick as possible; yes, thickness is essential. There are many thicknesses and heights to choose from, and consider whether you are going into cold, windy weather or snow.
A good starting point is 70-80 % merino and 20-30% synthetics (nylon, polyester, acrylic, spandex). A knee-high option is also a good choice in this situation.
There you go! A guide to “why wear wool socks for hiking?”. Whether that’s playing sports, trying to keep warm, or full-on mountain climbing.
You can be sure that the merino wool socks are comfortable, durable, and reliable. Merino wool socks are an excellent choice for your next adventure!