Best Wool Socks Reviewed & Rated for Quality
As adventurers, hunters, and athletes we often focus on the quality of our gear for survival, performance and – let’s be honest here – for how we look, too. How often, though, do we pay attention to the seemingly “lesser” pieces of our gear? Here, specifically, we are targeting socks. That’s right, socks. How often do you consider the socks that you pop onto your feet? When it comes to hunting, hiking, or chilling out around your campfire, chances are that your socks are a second thought before any other gear that you need. In this guide, we are going to cover why it is crucial to pay attention to your socks, especially when it comes to keeping warm while hunting or hiking in the cooler temperatures.
- People Socks
- Premium Merino Wool
- Carhartt Extremes
- FastDry Technology
- ROCKAY Accelerate
- 100% Organic Merino Wool
When it comes to keeping warm and comfortable, wool is the perfect material to use for staying warm during these adventurous outdoor tasks. Whether it’s laying low until some big game comes around, having to haul your winnings back towards your truck or camp, or simply trekking through the chilled environment for fun, making sure that your feet are covered properly will only enhance your performance and sanity.
Nothing can keep your body warm better than wool. (Okay, there’s some competition. But in this guide, the discussion is focused on wool.) Wool socks are no different than choosing a wool sweater to keep you warm.
Having a great pair of wool socks on your side will keep your feet warm, protected and keep you a (literal) happy camper. Check out the best options that we pulled together in our list below. They talk about important factors like durability, absorbency, and material.
10 Best Wool Socks
1. People Socks Crew Hiking
People Socks is based on the promise made by the owner of the company: To sell to the customer wool socks that keep you warm and in a price reasonably low enough to turn you into a returning customer.
Only the best Australian sheep had been used for this sock's wool. About 71% of this sock is made of Australian Merino wool. (The rest is 21% nylon, 7% polymers, and 1% spandex.) If you're wondering why the company's owner didn't use American Merino sheep wool, the truth is that it can't compare Australian sheep's wool.
Made In The USA
People Socks' owner had insured us that the socks have been manufactured in the good ol' US of A; threading the wool with nylon, poly, and spandex in local mills.
Cost And Value
These wool socks are still a bit of an expense. But you WILL get what you pay for. And what you'll get is a pair of socks that will keep your feet warm. No longer will you be that guy who nearly froze to death in New York City.
- Reinforced Toe And Heal
- Medium Thickness
- High Quality Wool
- Great For Use In Armed Forces
- Large Is Only Size Available
- Falls Apart After A While
2. Carhartt Extremes
Carhartt's Extreme Cold Weather Boot Socks have been made to work as well and as long as the boots you wear over them. They're the standard for the industry to follow. And they're also reasonably priced.
They wouldn't be called cold weather socks if they didn't have what's called insulation. Thick padding within the socks keeps your feet warm when it's too cold.
Smelly feet shouldn't have to be an issue. Carhartt utilized their very own technology in order to keep your feet from smelling horrible after wearing their socks.
Cost And Value
Carhartt's Extremes Cold Weather Boot Socks are surprisingly purchasable. You can go to their store online and be amazed at the wide range of colors and choices. Those in the Armed Forces can also take advantage of the company's military discounts.
- 70% Acrylic / 15% Wool / 14% Nylon / 1% Lycra Spandex
- Made In The USA
- Machine Washable
- Sweat-Removing FastDry Tech
- Issues With Breaking Apart After Use
3. ROCKAY Accelerate
Each sock from this brand is made from 100% organic Merino Wool. In specifics, the material is actually from South America and 100% Mulesing free. So, if you are looking for quality, comfort, and durability, this pair is for you.
Comfortable and Breathable
What really makes these socks shine is how comfortable and breathable they are. While they may be made of wool, the company cleverly designed the sock with padding in the heel and toe, alongside intentional ventilation to prevent any build-up of sweat. Our favorite part about these socks is the higher heel tab, which keeps the sock in place when running or walking.
Cost and Value
As far as cost and value are concerned, these socks are considered one of the most costly items on today’s list. Now, before you are quick to judge the price - we want to reiterate how important it is to look at the value embedded in the product. In other words, look at this purchase as far as an investment - what do you get in return? Consumers get performance enhancement features, comfortability, breathability, and even numerous color options. Now, if you look at the competition, can you say the same?
This sock has a higher tab than traditional wool no-show socks, which helps with sock slipping.
Consumers can pick from a wide spectrum of different colors and designs.
These might be the most durable socks on the market today.
Made from 100% Organic Merino Wool material.
Users will find that these are slightly more costly than other products.
4. Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew
36% is nylon, 3% is lycra spandex; all of it naturally treated against odor-causing microbs and bacteria. Mainly focused on the feet's breathability and sweat-wicking, as well as under-feet cushioning.
Darn Tough goes out of the way to avoid that type of mistake made by most sock makers; leaving a few strings of thread sticking out. Said strings will usually get caught on something and end up pulling the sock apart. True Seamless means that something like this will never happen to the socks you purchased from this company.
Cost And Value
Slightly more expensive. But this is the price to pay if you don't want quality to come from some other country. Darn Tough made sure that it's worth every penny you spend on their wool socks.
5. Wigwam Comfort Hiker
Wigwam Mills had gotten in touch with American wool spinners who get their wool from American shepherd. And their facilities are enviro-friendly and state of the art; working with utilities around the area to help cut down on the carbon footprint being left behind.
All of the above and you'll still get a comfortable pair of wool socks to wear. 67% Merino wool, 21% nylon, 7% rubber, and 5% acrylic; these mixtures of natural and synthetic fibers create socks that will last you as long as the care you give them.
Cost And Value
Wigwam Mills' website presents their socks in several colors and styles. And at reasonable prices. But their advice about the care for them shouldn't be discounted: Turn the socks inside out before you wash them. And avoid using bleach.
- Seamless Toe Area
- Elastic Arches
- Various Colors & Styles
- Works Well In Heat & Snow
Breaks Down After Prolonged Use
Issues With Tightness
6. DG Hill Thermal Hiking
So more wool is used for these socks. But they didn't say what the other 20% is made out of. (Someone else said that it's 17% nylon, 2% spandex, and 1% elastic.) The extra-small child's size socks are listed as 60% Merino wool.
The socks have been reinforced and cushioned at the heel to extend the wear. Arch support had also been added. This type of sock has been created to deal with extreme weather conditions, but they're also good for wearing around the house.
Cost And Value
A reasonably good pair of wool socks, at a reasonable price. And they're only sold via popular stores. I want to say "buyer beware." But the positive reviews are stating something different.
- More Wool
- Comfort Top
- Wicks Moisture Away
- Issues With Material Breaking Down
7. Kirkland Signature Outdoor
Kirkland Signature, and its parent company Costco as a matter of fact, started near Seattle, Washington. So the realization sets in that they can't sell wool socks that don't work in their own home state.
Breathable, light in weight, and ultra soft. It's 70% Merino wool, 29% nylon, and 1% spandex; able to wick away moisture and keep your feet warm and comfy in all types of weather.
Cost And Value
Reasonably priced. But get them while you can if you want them. They're not listed on Costco's main website. But there are other places and websites that sell them. So get them before they're gone.
- 70% Merino Wool
- Wicks Away Moisture
- Thin Seams
- Issues With Quality
8. Danish Endurance Hiking
DANISH ENDURANCE uses 33% Merino wool, 33% acrylic, 33% polyamide, and 1% elastane in their socks; the yarn being more man-made than natural. This helps with the dexterity and durability of the socks.
These socks have been designed with breathability in mind. Ventilation zones on the socks have been created to allow for constant air flow and evaporation of sweat. So your feet can stay dry while you're on the go. Plus there's extra cushioning to keep your feet from chafing.
Cost And Value
A little pricey but still reasonably priced for something that's made by Europeans. And if you don't believe that these socks are athlete-tested, Navy-approved, there's always that 100% risk-free guarantee.
- Unique Colors
- Unique Style
- Soft Yet Light On Feet
- Issues With Itching
- Issues With Blistering
9. PureAthlete High Performance
This unique blend of polypropylene and wool helps wick moisture away; keeping your feet and lower legs dry as you go skiing down the mountains. (54% nylon, 25% Merino wool, 16% polypropylene, and 5% spandex.)
Socks Stay Up
The elastic at the top of socks make sure they don't go sliding down when you're up on, and sliding down from, the slopes.
Cost And Value
Sharpezone / PureCompression's website has them reasonably priced. So the best thing to do is to take advantage of their deals while it's hot (in these cold times).
- Key Comfort Cushioning
- Arch Support
- Machine Washable
- Various Colors
- Issues With Sizing
10. EbMore Heavy Thick Winter
EBMORE's fashion wool socks can be worn everywhere; from taking hikes and being outdoors, to working in the office or at home. You can work, play, and relax in these socks.
Made of 35% wool, 24% cotton, 36% polyester, and 5% spandex. These socks are durable, breathable, and soft; with the capability to keep your feet comfortable and warm.
Cost And Value
Reasonably priced, but more quality comes with more care. Avoid ironing them, definitely hand-wash them. Treat them with the same care one would give to the #1 wool socks from this top ten.
- Come In Various Color Tones
- Also Comes In Solid Colors
- Issues With Materials
You know, the ancestors of humanity some 15,000 years ago had it right when they looked at all those woolly animals and said, “It would be great if we could be as comfy as those animals wearing all that wool.” So they domesticated them, managed to cut their wool off (amongst other things), and turned them into clothing. As you can see, the process continues to this day. For now, here’s the list of the best ten wool socks to wear.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Wool Socks
Wool that’s been under great care, freshly sheared off the sheep, and woven correctly can be bent twenty thousand times without breaking. It’s known for its natural elasticity. And with the extra amount of man-made textiles added to it, the wool can become stronger and more durable.
Wool can absorb 30% of liquid without feeling damp. It’s regarded as a natural “sweat picker-upper”, but it’s still a good idea to wash the wool socks every now and then.
Wool will not melt to your skin like other fabrics or textiles. They have a high burning point. That’s why wool blankets are used to snuff out small flames. Interior designer would make use of wool for its ability to reduce the damage left by fires.
The high burning point is also why wool is worn by those who travel through the desert. They’re natural “temperature regulators,” keeping you from the heat during the day and from the cold during the night.
Percentage Of Materials
The wool used in socks is a mixture of wool from Merino sheep and synthetic fibers like nylon, acrylic fibers, spandex, and several versions of polymers. In some wool socks, more of the synthetic fibers are used than the wool itself.
Rest assured that the wool being used is the “first-time use” wool. If there’s any unused or recycled wool, they would be mixed in with the first time use wool; cutting down on waste but at the same time avoiding the creation of shoddy and useless wool products.
Location Of Sheep Wool
The Merino sheep of Australia and New Zealand had been considered the sheep with the most prized wool ever created. Every other state and country would grow, care for, and use wool from their flock of Merino sheep. But they’re considered low quality compared to the wool from Australian and New Zealand sheep. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the wool from other sheep can’t be used, though.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s A “Micron?”
A micron is the wool fibers’ diameter measurement. And Merino wool is about less than 24 micron. The smaller the micron; the less itchy it is, the softer and finer it is, and the more expensive yet durable it is.
Why The Percentages?
A: 100% wool sounds like “the best thing ever.” But let’s not forget that wool is still an object of nature that’s susceptible to decaying and bacteria. Mixing it with synthetic fibers can, in some way, keep the wool fibers lasting a bit longer.
Q: Why Just Merino Wool?
A: While other types and breed of sheep can give you a good supply of wool; the Merino sheep are the most widely spread and domesticated sheep breed known. In fact, wool must be sheared from them every year because they grow so fast. Merino sheep rely on us humans to give them a yearly wool cut for else it’ll cause blindness, lack of mobility, and high amounts of stick among them.
Q: How Is Acrylic Being Used?
A: Wool is great at getting sweat from off your feet, but it’s a better idea not to keep it in the wool. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that allows for moisture to move along it and evaporate within a show that has breathable mesh. That way, the sweat dries right off.
Q: How Is Nylon Being Used?
A: Nylon is another synthetic fiber that adds to the elasticity and durability to the wool socks. Nylon adds to the silkiness and bulkiness of the wool socks. It might even make them thinner.
Q: How Is Polypropylenes (Elastane, Spandex, & Lycra) Being Used?
A: Created by the DuPont company in 1959, polypropylenes replace the rubber that’s been used in socks. It helps with the elasticity of the wool socks; keeping its shape and form after being worn for several times.
Q: How Is Polyester Being Used?
A: Polyester, along with being elastic like nylon and the polypropylenes, is also water-resistant. When certain dyes are added to the wool, the polyester is colorfast; meaning that the color(s) dyed into the wool will not fade away after several washes.
Q: How To Wash Wool Socks?
A: Wool fabric is different from the rest of the clothes. The instructions tell you to turn them inside out, give them a good hand-washing in cold or warm water, and hang them out to dry in a well heated, well-ventilated place. Heat tends to shrink the wool fabric. So you don’t want to do that.
Q: Is Wool Better Than Cotton?
A: Cotton socks suck up the moisture from the feet, but it ends up being contained in the socks until it’s time to wash them. Cotton fibers are usually mixed with synthetic fibers, like nylon, to help with the moisture away. Plus they shrink in the hot wash (unless you wash the socks in the cold); so it’s best to buy socks that have been pre-shrunk.
Q: Do They Itch?
A: Low-quality wool tends to cause a lot of itching along the skin. That’s why there’s been this effort towards wool with higher quality.
Q: Can You Recycle Them?
A: Wool that has been unused after being produced can be recycled. But it must be used along the first-time use wool. Else, the resulting final material would be of low quality.
Q: How Long Do They Last?
A: Wool socks that have been taken care of tend to last for years. And that’s by following a simple set of advice:
- Clip off your toenails.
- Lay your socks flat when storing them.
- Avoid using fabric softener and bleach to clean them.
- Separate the whites and coloreds when washing.
- Avoid ironing the wool socks.
You may also be interested in the best thermal socks.
Q: Can I wash my wool socks?
A: Not all wool socks can be washed the same way, so it is important to look into this. A great way to tell is to look at the product tags. However, most can be washed. Some treated wools can even be washed in a washing machine. These types are designed differently than regular wool socks and are treated to withstand washing cycles. It is advised to wash in cool water, sometimes warm water. If you have doubts, check the product label tag for further washing directions.
Q: Can I put wool socks in the dryer?
A: Most wool socks will probably advise that you air dry your socks. They can shrink in the dryer if you are not careful, and since they are already designed to fit snuggly, there’s always that risk. However, if you have treated wool socks, these can sometimes succeed in the dryer. They should not shrink if you do this. They are designed to fit a little more snug than other materials, naturally, so that is something to keep in mind as well. When in doubt, check the product tags or choose to air dry them.