Nov 28 2012
It is that time of year when the days become shorter, nights are longer, and the temperature drops drastically with the winter weather. A commodity that I have found to be very useful is the SmartWool Hiking Medium Crew cut sock. It is a sock that is made out mainly wool, with some spandex and elastic for comfort. The sock for me is both very comfortable and keeps my feet very warm throughout the day. I prefer the medium crew cut because I like to wear boots, and the socks come up and cover the bottom half of my leg.
SmartWool is a company that is based out of Colorado, situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. There mission statement states that the company produces products so that the buyer can have a more comfortable and longer experience outdoors during the colder months of the year. SmartWool strives to bring the best product to table, that is why they use wool from Merino sheep that live in New Zealand. The wool provided by these sheep passes the IWTO (International Wool Textile Organization) for superior wool, both in pure white color and strength of the fibers. SmartWool has many products for both women and men, but the socks are one of the most comfortable things I own. SmartWool pre-washes all of their socks before they are put out into the market. This guarantees the customer will have a clean sock at the time of purchase.
The SmartWool website directly sells their socks to the customer. They are listed as: “This all-purpose three-season outdoor sock was designed for rugged day hikes or moderate backpacking. Arch brace holds the sock in place and adds additional support. Flat-knit toe seam keeps you comfortable” The price is 18.95 and you can pick from gray, sage, navy, or dark brown. They are offered in three sizes, M, L, and XL.
On the Gander Mountain website the same sock is listed for 17.99, almost a dollar cheaper than the SmartWool website. You can buy the same sizes on this website, but you can not buy the sage color. These socks are advertised as “Backpacker Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award” and “Resists odor-causing bacteria”. This is a good advertising scheme because wool does have a tendency to become foul smelling.
On the Cabela’s website the sock is available for 18.99, which is almost the same price as the SmartWool website. You can still get the sock in all three sizes, but you can not get them in sage or gray. Cabela’s does give a different description about the sock, “a hydrophobic interior and hydrophyllic surface that transfer and repel moisture away from the skin…let the fabric regulate your temperature, whether it’s hot or cold.” I can tell you this, if you wear these socks in the summer, the wool does not keep them cool.
In conclusion, if your feet are cold during the winter months then you should buy some SmartWool socks. You can wear them under your boots when you go out, and use them as slippers when you return home. For a modest $20 you can have a pair of socks that are made in the USA, keep your feet warm, and are stylish. And if you do not like your socks you may return them for your money back, that is the SmartWool guarantee. (Regular wear and tear does not apply)