Smartwool Merino Wool
By now most people who have an interest in the outdoors will have heard of Merino Wool and how as a natural fiber it aids comfort and performance. Incase you haven’t however (your not alone), here is my little lowdown on all things Merino.
I first came across merino as a skier, like many, the age old issue of cold toes is something I used to struggle with, especially as I worked in Canada where the temperature could regularly reach -30 and below. I bought 3 pairs of Smartwool PHd ski socks and a baselayer and I haven’t changed since. I am a big merino fan, it’s kept me warm through very cold winters and cool exercising in the heat. As a fabric it costs slightly more than synthetic material but the cost is reflected in the benefits. So why buy it?
The key points to know about Merino Wool are-
- It’s really breathable, Merino has the ability to wick moisture away from the skin in it’s vapor form, maintaining an equilibrium between the inside and outside.
- It doesn’t smell. Merino wool is great at managing moisture; therefore odor-producing bacteria don’t have the moisture rich environment they need unlike some synthetic materials. Meening if you need to, you can wear merino wool for longer periods without the worry of washing so often.
- It’s not itchy, unlike traditional wool Merino fibers are much finer and sit comfortably against the skin without causing irritation.
- Merino is extremely durable, the fiber’s elastic properties mean that it doesn’t lose shape after washing (recommended at 30 degrees and don’t tumble dry).
It’s a myth that Merino is hot. You can buy many different weights of wool, in the summer a very lightweight pair of socks or a t-shirt will actually help keep you cooler, the exact same system that helps retain heat in the cold helps release it when the temperature rises.
I can definitely attest to Smartwool’s durability. I’ve had one pair of the light cushion mini socks for over a year now (I have washed them- a lot) and whilst they’re slightly Peak District Stained they’re still in pretty good shape, they fit exactly the same as they always have and have no holes in them.
In store we stock Smartwool socks and some Smartwool clothing. There are many companies using Merino wool however when it comes to making socks, Smartwool really know their stuff. They have an excellent track record regarding how they source the Wool, following fair trade principles. Together with all the natural benefits of the fiber, Smartwool’s PHd fit system in socks make them extremely comfortable, giving you a great fit and cushioning where you need it most.
Try them out yourself! Shop Smartwool