12 Best Wool Socks in 2017

Socks are a funny thing: to many, they seem relatively unimportant, since they’re essentially just foot coverings.

Those of us who spend much time outdoors, especially in the elements, would beg to differ: the wet-sock-and-boot combo is one of the least comfortable feelings in the world.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or just find yourself walking to work every day, keeping those tootsies warm, dry and aerated should be a priority.

Check out our list of the absolute best wool socks and give your feet the daily love they deserve.

Top 12 Wool Socks Ultimate Table

DesignNameStyle/Type% of WoolRating (1-5)
  1. Darn Tough Daphne Cushion 1/4 Sock ¼ style comfort sock58% Merino 4.9
  2. Hiking Socks 100% Merino Wool Hiking/outdoor 100% Merino 4.7
  3. Buttons & Pleats Premium Merino Wool Hiking Socks Crew/outdoor 75% Merino 4.7
  4. Kirkland Signature Womens Trail Sock Trail Merino Blend 4.6
  5. 4pairs 71% Merino Wool Ankle Socks Crew 71% Merino 4.6
6. Sockwell Women’s Chevron Moderate Compression Merino blend 4.6
7. Wigwam Unisex Merino Comfort Hiker Hiking/outdoors 67% Merino 4.6
8. Merino Wool Hiking & Trekking Socks Hiking/outdoors Merino blend 4.6
  9. Carhartt Men’s Arctic Wool Heavy Boot Socks Cold weather/work socks 68% Wool 4.6
  10. Yshare Women’s Crew Soft Wool Winter Comfortable Warm Socks Crew 5% Merino +25% Angora 4.5
  11. People Socks Unisex Merino Wool Antimicrobial Crew Socks Crew 71% Merino 4.5
  12. Super-wool Hiker GX Merino Wool Hiking Socks Hiking/outdoors 74% Merino 4.5

How to Find the Best Pair of Socks You’ve Ever Owned

No matter what your age or activity level, it’s important to pay daily attention to your feet. Let’s face it; our feet work hard for us, so we should treat them well every chance we get!

Obviously, when we’re outdoors, we want to keep our feet from getting wet, soggy and cold. Beyond that, we need to make sure our feet are cared for no matter where we’re taking them – or where they’re taking us.

Here are some tips on finding the most comfortable and long-lasting socks ever to hang out in your sock drawer.

Why Choose Wool?

Wool is one of the most popular choices for socks, and when you have a complete understanding of how versatile and comfortable it is, it’s easy to see why.

  • Wool Is Great for Wet Weather – Cotton absorbs moisture quickly. If you are wearing cotton socks in the winter, your feet will end up wet and cold as soon as your feet perspire (which they will, in almost any cold-weather boot).

But if you are wearing wool socks, your feet will be simultaneously moisture-free, dry and insulated, no matter what type of weather is getting into your boot. How cool is that?

  • Wool Dries Quickly – Wool does not retain moisture in the same way that cotton or synthetic fabrics do – it dries a lot faster; this means that it not only will keep your feet drier when it’s on, it will also dry quickly post-washing.
  • Wool Is Antibacterial – Sweaty feet are a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus; wool has natural properties that help to keep this to a minimum. Who can resist a natural fiber that actually prevents the discomfort of athlete’s foot?
  • Wool Is Super Durable – With the right care, a great pair of wool socks can last you years if you treat it right. The more delicate the fabric, the more likely it is that you should wash in cold water and hang to dry.

So the next time you buy a pair of wool socks, take a careful look at the label to see how it will fare in the long term.

What’s the Deal with Merino Wool?

Merino wool is probably the most popular fabric for outdoors clothing these days, and for a good reason: it is lightweight and breathable and is great for travel. Since both Merino and regular wool come from sheep, you may be wondering what the difference between them is.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Origin – Traditional sheep’s wool comes from sheep all over the world, but Merino wool comes from Merino sheep, a strain of sheep predominantly raised in New Zealand and Australia. These sheep are raised specifically for the sought-after quality of their wool: it’s known to be the finest and softest in the world.
  • Thickness and Durability – Regular sheep’s wool is very thick, warm and durable, but can also stretch out and lose its shape. Merino socks are super thin and light. They normally come shrink-treated, so they won’t stretch and lose their shape.
  • Best Uses – Regular wool socks are best for very cold weather, and daily wear. If you wear heavy work boots or hiking boots and spend much time in cold weather, it’s worth it to invest in a couple of pairs of thick wool socks.

Merino socks are the best wool socks for travel and all-season weather. People who do a lot of running and cycling outdoors often choose Merino socks for their super moisture-wicking capabilities – even for athletes running marathons on very hot days, good quality Merino will keep its promise of keeping feet very comfortable, cool and dry.

Top 5 Best Wool Socks Reviews

1. Darn Tough Daphne Cushion Women’s

The Daphne Darn Tough offers optimal performance and fit for women on the move. The ¼ height is perfect for even the hottest weather, but the weight of these socks is thick enough for no-blister hikes.

Made in the USA, these socks stay on your feet and hold their shape through the long term – not only through marathon hikes but also through several years of washing. They dry fast and are comfortable through almost any activity and weather type.

These come in at number 1 in part because of their lifetime guarantee. Plus, when it comes to traveling they are the fastest-drying option given their thickness. This particular blend is only 58% Merino – you’ll find that they make different blends according to activity preference.

Darn Tough Merino socks come in a huge range of colors, patterns, and styles, so there really is something here for everyone in this top-rated brand.

2. Kakuetta Trail Hiking Socks

Truth be told, we were shocked to find a pair of socks sold as 100% Merino wool – this is a rarity worth taking advantage of. Kakuetta trail hiking socks are a great gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your family or on your gift-list.

These socks are very warm and comfortable for regular wear throughout the winter. They are also wonderful therapeutic options for those with joint pain and circulation problems as they offer a nice combination of insulation and compression through the winter cold.

Kakuetta hiking socks have been happily rolled into our top 5 because they are specially designed for long-distance hiking. The wool is a little thicker than some of the other socks on our list, and these seem best suited for thick-boot activities and wetter weather.

These socks come with a 30-day money back guarantee which was worth trying them on for size and comfort! And the best part? They’re 100% machine washable and dryable.

3. Buttons & Pleats Premium Hiking Socks

We were completely impressed with the Buttons & Pleats brand because we felt they could be used anywhere and anytime. They are perfect for most winter activities including hiking, snowshoeing and skiing.

Slip your feet into some premium wool socks in the winter, and you will immediately feel the difference. These ones in particular offer very comfortable cushioning, kind of like slippers. The elastic top holds the heat in, preventing it from sneaking through on even the coldest winter mornings.

If you order these online, you can be certain that the sizing is right: they fit at first, and they keep their shape, even through multiple washings. Plus, these socks are unisex, so if you buy an extra pair, you can easily give them away.

The special design of these socks makes them ideal for ankle protection and foot comfort, padding that will go the distance with you. And best of all? No hand-washing! They are completely machine washable and dryable.

4. Kirkland Signature Womens Trail Sock

If you love a wool sock with extra cushioning to protect your delicate feet, the Kirkland might be the best option for you. They are so warm and comfortable that you’ll find yourself slipping them on whenever you can (we found it hard to take them off).

When it comes to wicking away moisture, these socks really go the distance. Take them on a long hike, and you will notice that there’s no rubbing and no blisters, even in wet weather. This set comes in a pack of 4, and we love that there’s a choice of fairly neutral colors and patterns.

In case you’re wondering, the men’s version of this line is just as comfortable and versatile; whether it’s for work or play, the extra padding on these wool socks goes a long way if you’re standing on your feet all day.

5. People Socks Merino Wool Ankle Socks Unisex

People Socks are among the best wool socks you will find anywhere. If you’re looking for an all-purpose active wear sock, these make a very high-quality option that won’t let you down.

Absolutely nothing beats the feel of high-quality Australian Merino wool on your body, especially if you’re in the middle of some adverse weather. At 71% Merino, this is a higher quantity than some of the others on this list – and you’ll notice the difference.

If you are looking for something heavy duty and durable for wearing through extensive outdoor adventures or daily work, you can count on these for high quality cushioning and stitching.

These little puppies hold your feet snugly in every temperature, in all weather, in big boots or smaller, long-distance hiking or just getting back and forth to work. If you want to make sure they last a long time, it’s them in cold water and hang them to dry.