Merino Wool Hiking Socks

Ever wondered what hiking socks are the best for hiking all year round in every kind of condition?
The answer is Merino Wool Hiking Socks.

Read further for more information on what merino wool is, why merino socks make the best hiking socks, as well as some of the best hiking socks, and features to look out for!

Reviews: Best Merino Wool Hiking Socks

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What is Merino Wool?

Merino wool is a specialized yarn made from the planet’s finest wool fibers. These fibers are roughly a 5th of the thickness of human hair.

The name comes from the sheep the wool originates from, Merino sheep. Merino sheep came from Spain and integrated across Europe over the centuries until, eventually, settlers brought the first Merino sheep to Australia and New Zealand. Another name for the Merino sheep is the Jackson sheep.

To this day, the best merino wool is still crafted in Australia. The harsher climate allowed the sheep to adapt, increase the wool’s quality, and produce an even finer merino fiber.

If the merino wool comes from Australia, you know it is very high quality! The climate also induces a response in the sheep conducive to higher production and wool yields, as they will suffer from heatstroke if they are not shaved 1-2 times annually (unlike other sheep species).

Why Makes Merino Wool Hiking Socks the Best?

Merino wool is so fine that it makes for the most luxurious hiking socks. In general, the properties of wool are beneficial for hiking. However, most wools are too rough to wear socks. Aside from being the finest wool available, Merino wool also happens to be the softest wool and is added to other wool fibers to reduce scratchiness and increase softness. The fineness of merino wool allows it to have a much higher thread count while still retaining the best wool properties. These characteristics include:

  1. Temperature Regulating – as is the case with merino sheep, merino wool has adapted to handle very high or low temperatures with ease. The wool will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
  2. Breathability – since the fibers are thinner than human hair even, they allow your skin to breathe very easily through near-microscopic holes in the fabric.
  3. Moisture Wicking – Wool absorbs moisture incredibly well, and due to its breathability, it also disperses moisture very well. Wool socks are perfect summer hiking socks for hot weather which keeps your feet feeling fresh and dry for a long day.
  4. Flame Resistant – an added bonus of all wool, including merino wool, is that it is naturally flame resistant. You never know when that will come in handy!

Characteristics That Every Hiking Sock Needs

On top of all the great benefits merino wool confers to a hiking sock, these additional features are worthwhile to look for to complete the ultimate hiking experience.

  • Seamless – Sock seams are the number one cause of foot and toe blisters. Ensure your socks fit you correctly and that they are seamless to avoid possibly painful friction.
  • Length – This feature is important for those who are hiking in rough terrain to protect their feet and legs from the elements. If you plan to hike in snow or across rivers or in a very muddy or dusty location, it’s advisable to wear knee-high hiking socks.
  • Ventilation – airflow is essential for hiking socks and all other outdoor activities to help reduce moisture and keep your feet fresh. In cold climates, ventilation is still a requirement because, without it, you will sweat excessively, which can become dangerous when cooled to the outside temperature. Many hiking socks have a specialized top layer mesh vent for this purpose.
  • Odour Elimination – Especially if you sweat a lot or do not like the smell of yourself, hiking socks with an odor elimination system can be very useful. Infusions of natural scents or activated charcoal can help to remove the smell from your socks.
  • Underfoot Padding – Modern hiking socks have advanced to the point of having comfortable underfoot padding to help cushion and protect your feet.

Comparison Table: Top-Rated Merino Wool Hiking Socks

About the Author

Eliza Ward

Eliza Ward is a running enthusiast, nature lover, and full-time mother for three lovely kids in South Africa. She has always had a fetish for socks and has the best product recommendations for all her friends and family. So she turned what she loved into her full-time job - by testing and recommending the best socks for our online readers. Eliza is more than happy with the thank you notes she receives from her readers.