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From chilly hikes to shoveling a path to your garage, you can’t step outside this winter without a pair of durable wool socks on your feet. If you’re shopping for a new pair to last you through colder months, you have no shortage of options to consider. But there are a few key features all the best wool socks should have. Here’s everything you should know before buying a new warm pair, as well as our favorites you can find online.
What Are the Best Wool Socks You Can Buy Online?
For starters, the greatest, warmest wool socks should feel thick enough for your needs but still wearable with your footwear. Plus, the top choices are often made with a blend of soft merino and tough nylon and, most importantly, offer extra warmth to keep your feet comfortable for hours. Read on for our guide to finding your next pair.
Material: Unlike cotton, wool is naturally insulating and moisture-wicking, meaning wool socks will help keep your feet warm and dry even if you start to sweat. We like merino wool for being soft, easy to keep dry, and breathable. Keep an eye out for a blend of stronger fibers like nylon or spandex, which toughens up the yarn and resulting fabric, making the sock more durable and a better fit.
Height: We prefer longer wool socks for added coverage. Long socks are more versatile, and can be worn with hiking shoes and boots. Plus, they add another layer of warmth you’ll be glad to have when temps start to seriously drop.
Fit: Thick wool socks should be designed to fit close to the body of your foot, which is why some come in more than one size. We also look for additional cushioning and support, especially around the heels and ankles, which should keep your feet comfy for long periods of time. Ribbing either at the cuff or throughout the length of the ankle helps ensure a snug fit that stays in place and won’t slide down your calf.
1. Darn Tough Merino Wool Boot Sock
We love how Darn Tough’s merino wool socks feel on our feet, no matter where we’re wearing them. Made in Vermont, these cozy socks feature a merino wool and nylon blend, which helps wick away moisture to keep your feet insulated and dry during serious hikes, long, cold morning commutes and more. We especially like the brand’s products for how comfortable and durable they are. Ultimately, Darn Tough’s gear is just how it sounds, keeping you and your feet at an ideal temperature, even on the coldest of days.
2. Farm to Feet Damascus Merino Wool Socks
Another favorite pair our editors have tested and recommend: Farm to Feet’s Damascus merino wool socks. While you can’t go wrong with the brand’s other merino wool options, these socks are built with hikers in mind and come in both a midweight and lightweight version. They offer comfort for all-season hikes, casual runs and everyday wear. We like the lightweight version, which includes a blend of merino wool and nylon, if you plan to wear them with extra-insulated boots. Bonus: You can even wear these on warmer days.
3. Alvada Merino Wool Hiking Socks
You’ll be amazed at how simultaneously cozy and sweat-free your feet stay in these socks, which the brand designed with 80 percent merino wool. Though merino is soft on its own, these socks up the ante with a brushed lining for additional softness. They’re a great fit for longer strolls and include plenty of padding, arch support, and a reinforced heel and toe.
4. Carhartt Men’s Cold Weather Boot Sock
If stinky feet is your main concern, the Carhartt hiking socks go out of their way to encourage breathability and improve your time out on the trail. These are midweight, wool blend socks with a full bottom cushion, but also made with ankle vents and anti-odor tech. Of course, they’re well-insulated to protect against cold temps, with a ribbed cuff that keeps them from sliding.