Review: SmartWool Socks – About a year ago, I was introduced to SmartWool socks. As a child growing up in New England, I spent many winters out in the snow and learned to appreciate a quality warm sock. The key to a great winter sock is one that will not only keep your feet warm, but also one that will keep your feet dry. SmartWool socks meet both these criteria with an added bonus: they don’t itch! Let us examine:
Comfort – SmartWool socks are made from New Zealand merino wool, known as the softest and strongest wool in the world, which also has the ability to control foot odor1. Unlike many wool socks, which are itchy and make your feet sweat, SmartWool socks are soft and itch-free as soon as you slide them onto your feet. SmartWool has developed a technology, known as their PhD technology, to allow your feet to breathe while staying warm. This technology allows for greater evaporation than synthetic fibers, keeping your feet dry in all seasons. SmartWool also markets that their socks regulate body temperature, keeping your feet warm in the winter but also cool in the summer. Believe it or not, they are correct. I have comfortably worn my SmartWool socks during the hottest days of the summer with no complaints.
Durability – SmartWool produces socks of varying thickness to be used in different environments. The catalog of socks includes: non-cushion, ultra-light, light, medium, heavy, and extra heavy. Most of the socks that I have tested range from ultra-light to medium cushion. Although the ultra-light cushion is a much thinner sock than say a medium, I have noticed no issues with durability. Having put several pairs of SmartWool through the wash at least fifty times each, I have noticed no wear and tear, or any loss of elasticity. The socks have remained in near new condition with absolutely no holes or thinning.
Warmth – Upon first glance, it would be fair to question how something so thin, relative to other wool socks, could keep your feet so warm. The only thing I can suggest is that you have to try them to believe for yourself. After further examination, you might notice that the socks are designed to constrict in certain areas of your foot, offering greater elasticity and keeping warmth inside of the sock. At the same time, other areas of the sock located near the arch of the foot are left thin which allows for flexibility and breathability.
Style – When compared to the traditional wool sock, SmartWool provides many alternatives to the fuzzy blacks, greys, and browns familiar to most wool sock wearers. They offer many original print socks, solids, and even argyle varieties which can be worn as business wear. The catalog of different style lengths includes: hidden, micro mini, micro crew, mini crew, ¾ crew, crew, mid-calf, knee-high, and tights.
Value – The one downside to SmartWool socks is that they can be pricey, especially if you are looking to wear them as everyday socks. Most varieties of SmartWool retail for under $20, but most dealers participate in a regular “Buy 3 get 1 free” sale. SmartWool are available at just about any outdoors equipment store, or can easily be found online. I will admit that at first I struggled when thinking about paying $60 for four pairs of socks, but in evaluating SmartWool’s comfort, performance, and durability, I am a believer that these socks are worth every penny.
If you are still on the fence about SmartWool socks, I encourage you to give them a try. According to SmartWool’s commitment to excellence, they will replace or refund any product that does not meet 100% customer satisfaction. SmartWool socks make a great holiday gift as well, providing year-round comfort for those suffering from cold feet. Go ahead and give them a try. Your feet will thank me.