7 Best Merino Wool Socks For Sweaty Feet
Gone were the days when if you had sweaty feet, wool socks were a no-no. Traditional wool socks tend to be bulky and they don’t regulate temperature well so they are only suitable for extremely cold weather. Plus, they can cause odor, sweat, and itchiness to the skin.
Merino wool socks, on the other hand, have cooling, odor-resistant, and moisture-wicking properties, which makes them an ideal option for men and women with sweaty feet. Merino wool is also a super soft fabric similar to silk and cashmere.
Whether you need a good quality wool sock for hiking, running, working on your feet, traveling, or casual wear, there are many available merino wool options out there. You just need to find the right style, height, and thickness, plus some additional features if necessary.
Need a little help to decide? Here are the best merino wool socks for sweaty feet. But, first:
What Is Merino Wool?
Merino wool is a special type of wool that comes from Merino sheep. These sheep breeds have been bred in Spain since the 12th century and were brought to Australia in the 18th century. Today, the leading countries in providing the world with merino wool are New Zealand and Australia.
Merino wool is a natural luxurious wool made from super-fine fibers that keep your feet comfortable and dry in most weather conditions. How about finding more about why this specialty wool is great for sweating feet as well as various other issues.
Merino Wool Socks Benefits
- It keeps your feet dry: Unlike some synthetic fibers, Merino wool doesn’t wick sweat when it´s a liquid already, but the moisture is transported away from the skin while it is still a vapor. Plus, it gets quickly absorbed by the pores of the fabric so you don’t end up with sweaty cold feet in cold weather or after your workout. Merino wool’s moisture-wicking properties make it ideal for people wearing work boots as well as walkers, runners, and hikers.
- Retains your body temperature stable: The natural wavy fibers of the wool trap air, which keeps you warm in cold temperatures, but at the same time, they are breathable. Wool can absorb 30% of its weight in water before it starts feeling wet. As the sweat evaporates, it creates a cooling mechanism that helps regulate body temperature. This is one of the reasons why merino is suitable both for winter and summer wear.
- Resists odor: Since merino wool absorbs moisture well, there is no wet environment to promote the growth of odor-causing bacteria or toenail fungus which thrives in those humid environments. It also contains lanolin, a natural substance that is said to have anti-odor, anti-microbial, and other properties beneficial for the skin. This means you can use merino wool socks for long hours of wear such as working on your feet, traveling, and even for backpacking without having to worry about clammy feet and unpleasant smell.
- It’s Soft and durable: The diameter of a Merino wool fiber is smaller than an average sheep wool fiber. That’s what makes the wool of the merino breed really soft and super-fine, which is great in terms of preventing skin irritation and blisters. It is also inherently super strong and its natural crimps add elasticity and durability. Plus, it holds its shape and size well even after multiple washes.
- Provides UPF protection: Merino wool is a great material for the summer not only for the reasons we have explained above but because it also features UPF protection. Its ability to block out ultraviolet rays is higher than most synthetic fabrics and cotton. As the sun normally causes more damage if you’re trekking in the mountains, merino clothing is a good option for mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- It Biodegrades: The eco-friendly apparel trend is growing fast. According to New Zealand researchers, merino wool biodegrades after 9 months in the soil. On the other hand, synthetic materials such as polyester are not biodegradable at all.
- It’s fire-resistant: Due to its natural flame and fire-resistant properties, merino doesn´t melt, so it’s a good material for firefighters and campfire enthusiasts.
Top Merino Wool Socks For Feet That Sweat
PEOPLE SOCKS Merino Wool Crew Socks For Men & Women – Best For Work Boots
Working long hours under high heat and moisture conditions is no joke. Keeping your feet dry, cool, and odor-free under these harsh conditions can be challenging. PEOPLE merino wool crew socks are up to the challenge. That’s why they are perfect heavy-duty work socks which you can wear inside your work boots.
They contain 71% merino wool and comes in sizes suitable for men and women. They are of medium thickness and they feature shape cushioning in the footbed for additional comfort.
Users love how they keep their skin free from rashes and irritation. They keep feet cool in hot weather and warm in very cold weather (that’s a great benefit of Merino, remember?) They are also very comfortable and durable (no signs of thinning heels even after multiple washes.)
They stay up with boots so they are ideal for work boots, but they are also great for outdoor activities such as walking or riding a bike. Nothing can beat the price of this 4-pair pack.
Darn Tough Merino Wool Boot Socks Full Cushion – Best For Cold Weather
If you are looking for the warmest wool socks for Winter that won’t make your feet sweat, give Darn Tough Merino wool socks a try. They are great socks for extreme cold weather, providing relief to aching feet due to the cold.
Hikers also love these socks because they are breathable, very comfortable, and fully cushioned for longer hikes and blister prevention. They don’t slip, keep the shape, and fit snug. The seamless toe provides extra comfort when running or hiking. This high-density midweight sock is well-made, durable, and worth the money.
Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Crew Cushion Socks-Best For Hiking
This Darn Tough Hiker Sock is one of the most popular merino wool hiking socks out there. It consists of 61% Merino wool, Nylon, and Lycra Spandex. It features medium cushion density and seamless construction that feels ultra-smooth and can prevent blisters.
The height of this crew sock is shorter than the common crew height, but it still peeks above the top of your standard hike boots. Also, there are other available heights for you to choose from. This Darn Tough sock is great for hikers due to the breathability of its fabrics and its ability to wick moisture away quickly, so no more stinky, sweaty socks.
It is also thermoregulating so it feels warm in winter and cool in the summer. It is fast drying and has a very dense weave that prevents problems with pilling and bunching. It fits well and holds up excellent in the long run.
Darn Tough No Show Ultra-Light Cushion Sock – Best Low Cut Merino Wool Socks For Running
There are many reasons to love these low cut running socks. Firstly, they do not get smelly or crusty even if they are worn for a very long time. Secondly, they are very comfortable with just the right amount of extra cushion in the areas of the foot where it’s needed while still being lightweight and thin enough.
Besides, they fit well without slipping or bunching, and, due to the merino wool and the seamless toe, they feel soft, prevent blisters, and don’t stifle your feel of the road. They are moisture-wicking, breathable, and fast-drying. Another nice feature is that the collar of the sock is cushioned and eliminates chafing from shoes.
Users love how comfortable and high quality these Darn Tough no show merino wool socks are. They also think that the Darn Tough warranty is the best one in the market.
Smartwool Hiking Crew Socks
The story of Smartwool socks started back in the ’90s when the company’s founders wanted to be able to make socks that would allow them to ski longer and not get cold toes. During that time, they discovered the amazing benefits of Merino wool.
These Smartwool hiking merino wool socks feature a lightly cushioned bottom which makes them suitable for various outdoor activities such as hiking, running, biking, skiing, or hunting. However, they can also be your top choice for everything from walking the dog to backpacking, to hanging around the city.
The merino wool blend keeps your feet dry due to its odor-neutralizing and thermo-regulating properties while the mesh fabric adds to the breathability of the product. It also comes with a seamless toe and a flex ankle zone.
Users like the comfort these odor-resistant socks provide but several users have reviewed that over the years the quality of the product has changed and it is not as durable as it used to be.
Enerwear-Coolmax Women’s Merino Wool Outdoor Hiking Trail Crew Sock
These Enerwear-Coolmax merino wool socks for women contain a high amount of merino wool – 86% to be exact. The blend also includes Polyester, Nylon, and Spandex. These socks are designed for cold weather conditions but they’re also great for sweating feet due to the moisture-wicking and odor-neutralizing properties of Merino wool.
Besides, they are cushioned in high impact areas such as the heel and the toes. The ankle arch keeps them in place when you’re engaging in sports activities. The top of the sock keeps it from falling without causing discomfort.
Users with cold sweaty feet in winter have found that these Enerwear-Coolmax socks are perfect for their feet keeping them warm, dry, and odor-free. They also like how soft and nicely padded in the sole they are without being bulky.
In addition, they are stretchy and suitable for thick calves as well. They stay up and the arch support is a nice additional feature.
Kirkland Signature Men’s Outdoor Merino Wool Socks
Kirkland Merino wool socks come in a pack of 4. They are cushioned from heel to toe and feature a seamless toe for a better fit and extra comfort. The vented panels in the bottom add to the breathability.
Users find these socks adequate for the price and cheaper than the more costly wool brands. The cushioned construction and soft fabric are good for blister prevention and it doesn’t cause skin irritation. It also feels lightweight and works well both in the cold and in the Summer.
People use Kirkland socks for sweat control and say that they are warm enough for camping but not so warm that they become uncomfortable during hiking. Finally, they stay up and wash well.
How To Choose The Best Merino Wool Socks
For sweat-free feet and the rest of the benefits Merino wool is well known for, look for the following features:
Odor Resistance & Sweat Absorption
Merino wool is naturally odor-resistant and moisture-absorbent but there has to be enough of it in your socks blend to be effective. Generally, the higher the amount of Merino, the better. Most quality merino wool socks contain more than 60% Merino wool.
An adequate amount is a good sign for providing you with all the benefits of this specialty wool including moisture control, softness, and comfort.
Many people wonder if there are 100% Merino wool socks. My answer is that I have yet to find such a product. The reason is that including synthetic materials in the blend improves the performance of these socks.
For example, synthetic materials make the socks more stretchable and elastic. They also help them stay up and make them more durable and fast-drying. An adequate percentage of Merino wool combined with at least 20% or more of synthetic fibers is the best sock blend for sweaty feet or other foot needs.
There are several criteria to choose the right height socks for your needs. Often, people choose the height of their socks according to the height of their shoes.
For example, if you are buying socks for your work boots or hiker boots, it’s good to choose the right height so you can prevent skin abrasion from the boot tops and achieve longer performance. Taller socks also provide a good fit around your calves and reduce the pressure of working boots. If your boots are high- or mid-cut, you will need at least quarter or crew socks.
Another factor to consider is the weather. If the weather is warm, you don’t need to buy a very tall sock. Finally, choosing the right height socks is also a matter of style preference.
Padding on the areas of the foot that it’s more needed such as the heel and the ball is an excellent feature to go for if you are looking for a good pair of running Merino socks. Cushioning provides relief to the feet especially during those long trips over tough terrain and it can prevent skin irritation and blisters.
To achieve a better fit so your shoe doesn’t feel too tight, choose less padding. Or choose extra cushioning if you think that you need it.
Some brands offer socks with a tighter weave in the area of the arch to promote support. This can be helpful for people with regular arches but even more useful for people with foot issues such as flat feet, high arches, or plantar fasciitis. It can also help to prevent foot arch blisters.
However, keep in mind that a sock with arch reinforcement is not going to work as a replacement for a supportive slipper or any other type of footwear with arch support.
Choose the right size so your sock is neither too long nor too short. When you try on the sock, pay attention to how it feels in the heel and the toe. Also, tight weave socks stretch less over time and provide a better fit. They also hold up better after repeated washings. Plus, if the weave is too loose, it can cause problems with pilling and bunching.
Extra padded socks can make your shoes feel too tight, so you should try them on with shoes before buying or make sure that the weave is not too thick if you are buying online.
The Bottom Line
Merino wool fibers are perfect for transporting sweat away from the skin and canceling out odors. They are comfortable, soft, and great for every season and activity. If you are wondering whether merino wool socks are worth it, remember: once you try out one of the best Merino wool socks for sweaty feet in the review above, you will never want to go back to your cotton socks again.