If you’re like us, you won’t let a little cold, or a little rain, or a little fog, or even a little snow keep you from enjoying the great outdoors. We’re Canadians, so we know a thing or two about exploring nature, and also about staying warm while we do it!
The secret to more comfortable hikes in the fall and winter is merino wool, especially merino wool socks. This unique wool has special properties that can keep you warm and blister-free, all year long.
So if you’re not ready to pack away your hiking boots just because the temperature's dropped, keep reading.
What makes merino wool so special?
Many people are familiar with traditional (and scratchy) wool, as well as with cashmere (whether or not they can afford to have it in their closet!). But you may not know that there’s an incredibly soft and comfy, eco-friendly and wallet-friendly alternative that comes from merino sheep. These sheep have been used since the 12th century to make soft and fine fleece that can withstand temperatures ranging from -20° C to +35° C (-4°F to 95°F).
Merino sheep make wool that is incredibly soft, breathable and temperature-regulating. As we’ll cover below, it also has many more properties that make it great for sports and activities, especially for socks, and especially during the fall and winter.
For those concerned with the wider impact of their clothing choices (like we are!), try to opt for ZQ certified merino wool, which is made from free range sheep in New Zealand, the Australian outback, South Africa, or South America. To get this important certification, the sheep must be humanely treated, which includes being well fed, living natural and healthy lives, and not being subjected to mulesing. Not only is this much better for the sheep, it also ensures you’re getting wool of the highest quality and performance.
What makes merino wool socks great for hiking?
Clearly, merino wool is a great, sustainable alternative to both fast fashion and uncomfortable, itchy wool. But what about when it comes to socks, especially for hiking during the winter?
There are two main enemies of hiking in the winter months: cold and blisters. Thankfully, merino wool can help with both these issues.
Specifically, here are the qualities that make merino wool socks the secret to more comfortable hikes:
- They will keep you warmer. No need to come in early because your toes are freezing. Merino wool is known as a fantastic temperature regulator. When it’s cold, microscopic air pockets will keep you much warmer.
- They’ll keep you warmer, without being clammy. Of course, even when it’s cold outside, when your body is moving, your body is sweating. Not only will merino wool socks keep you warmer, but they’ll also wick away sweat.
- Because you won’t be clammy, you’ll have fewer blisters. Blisters are the enemy of all hikers, every season of the year. By wicking away moisture, merino wool socks can help prevent blisters and other irritations, so it won’t be your feet that slow you down.
Moreover, merino wool is incredibly odor resistant, so much so that you can wash merino wool clothing much less than other materials. This makes it a great choice for hiking clothes of all varieties, not just socks.
Similarly, since it’s so durable, merino wool isn’t going to wear out like your other hiking clothes. In other words, it can keep you comfy all year long, year after year, hike after hike.We offer beautiful, ZQ certified merino wool socks for adults and children that are great for hiking and outdoor activities. They come in a variety of colors and styles - check them out here.