Wool socks in hot weather?

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by ReallyBigMonkey1, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    Georgia U.S.A.
    To start with, I threw away ALL my cotton socks years ago . I learned my lesson with sweat stink and rot. Lol. Now for hot weather I wear polyester or poly nylon acrylic blend. I wear wool in the winter . I'm hearing of some folks wearing wool socks in hot weather. Is this tolerable only? Is there an actual advantage to this? Has anyone here ever tested this or have any experience with wool in hot weather? Now I'm talking lace up boots, not sneakers.
     
    ManyHammers, isme, Red Wing and 7 others like this.
  2. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,735
    Likes Received:
    7,398
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    It's 110 degrees here. No way I'm wearing anything wool.
     
  3. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    16,560
    Location:
    Upper Great Lakes
    I wear wool socks all year. Granted, I live in a cooler climate than you but it still reaches into the 80's and 90's in my area in the summer. If I'm wearing shoes on those days I have thin low cut wool socks. Now on to your actual question...They never make my feet feel gross and wet when wearing them in my army boots. When in the woods during summer I still wear mid-weight wool socks and my feet have never felt too warm and usually wear calf high wool socks with them.

    Advantages: They dry fast over a fire and are less apt to burn than a synthetic sock.
    They are naturally antimicrobial...no, or very little stink during extended wear.

    These are my experiences, yours may vary.

    I suggest you try one pair out on a hot day and see how they feel for you.
     
  4. theDuck

    theDuck Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    189
    I'll wear wool socks year round. Yes my feet sweat big time but they sweat in the winter too. It doesn't bother me. I wear insulated work boots year round too. I don't have any disadvantages or advantages. But that is just me.
     
  5. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    16,560
    Location:
    Upper Great Lakes
    Edit: I suggest trying modern wool merino socks. I use Farm To Feet and SmartWool.
     
  6. Swineflu

    Swineflu Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    357
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    I wear lightweight warm weather wool socks in Texas in the summer. I look online and try and pick up what military folks in hot areas use.
     
  7. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,588
    Likes Received:
    17,975
    I wear them all year. Wearing them right now with my Whites jumpers, it's 94° and I'm happy.

    On firelines, it's much hotter, and that's the standard.

    If it's hot and you're working, sweat and heat can't be avoided. Wool is as or more comfortable to me, and causes the least long term problems so I use it.
     
  8. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    3,410
    Location:
    Columbus, GA
    Summer time, I occasionally wear Smart Wool liners. They are 60% wool but about half the thickness of their lightweight hikers. Winter time, I wear them with the medium weight ones.
     
  9. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    Georgia U.S.A.
    I did recently buy three pairs of military wool socks in coyote color. That's what made me start this post. After seeing the modern coyote color I was shocked to think the military wore them in the desert.
     
  10. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    Georgia U.S.A.
    You make an excellent point. If you're gonna sweat anyway then sweating in wool is better than sweating in cotton.
     
  11. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    4,432
    Likes Received:
    13,602
    Location:
    Trinity, TX
    Yep. I wear wool socks and boots every day. They’re so much better than cotton or anything else I’ve tried. You’re only as happy as your feet and wool socks keep my feet happy no matter how hot it gets.

    JohnP
     
  12. DuctTape

    DuctTape Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    935
    Location:
    western NY
    Same as others, wool year-round. Only different weights. Wool also is naturally cooling as it wicks and evaporates moisture.
     
  13. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,399
    Likes Received:
    3,839
    Location:
    CT
    My son wears Smart wool all summer on the job and I switch from them to polyester blend in the summer.
     
  14. crewhead05

    crewhead05 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    10,736
    Location:
    NW Montana
    Wool with a liner all year round when hiking. Winter time wool is thicker than summer.

    I used to love smartwool, then found darn tough which I liked better. Just this year I bought some bridgedale socks and like those the best thus far. Here is a link to the bridgedale 4 season sock system which thus far I am loving. https://lathropandsons.com/4-seasons-bridgedale-sock-package.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    NWPrimate, JohnP, central joe and 6 others like this.
  15. JAY

    JAY Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,406
    Likes Received:
    2,320
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mt's.
    I wear the heavier wool socks in my snake boots. Warm-yes, Sweat-yes, But a lot more comfort.
     
  16. Oakenhart

    Oakenhart Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    383
    Location:
    Ozark Foothills
    Wool year round for me, darn tough wool crew hiking socks. I pretty much live in full leather work boots and my feet stay much healthier than they did when I wore cotton.
     
    NWPrimate, JohnP, Muleman77 and 3 others like this.
  17. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    10,208
    Likes Received:
    31,361
    Location:
    Kansas
    I wear wool socks every day. Way better than cotton.
     
  18. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    4,983
    Likes Received:
    23,593
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I hiked 22 km of road in steel toes and woolies midsummer. You get soupy sock either way. It stunk less and snugger fit, in thick wool. My companion was wearing thinner socks and complained of blisters halfway.
    Cheers Jim
     
  19. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    2,296
    Likes Received:
    6,054
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    This, exactly. Thin wool in the summer, thick in the winter. 91 deg today, and I'm doing fine.
     
  20. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Messages:
    10,053
    Likes Received:
    30,653
    Location:
    TN
    Wool (merino) year round for me too, I do need to get some thinner weight ones though for the summer. I started wearing wool all the time last year and they're just more comfortable to me. Tried to go back to cotton for the summer but hated them.
     
  21. wizard

    wizard Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,733
    Likes Received:
    692
    Where I live it is hot,, today it is 107F. I cannot, at anytime of the year wear any polyester socks, or any blend of poly and cotton. I do wear light merino wool socks in summer and heavier merino wool socks in winter. Polyester makes my feet feel like they are on fire. That's with any type of shoe or boots.
     
  22. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Messages:
    2,234
    Likes Received:
    11,244
    Location:
    Milner Georgia
    I wear wool year round. In the summer I wear those low socks instead of ones that come above the ankle.
     
  23. carpenter

    carpenter Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    2,618
    Location:
    NW GA
    Merino wool year round for me. They just work.
     
  24. MisterE

    MisterE Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    352
    Location:
    MT
    I choose to wear wool socks with lace up boots all year mostly because I prefer the feel of wool socks on my feet. I only wear lightweight wool socks in the summer months though. The only time I notice my feet getting too warm is when I sit down and kick my feet up at the end of the day and then they feel like they are on fire for whatever reason. Throughout the day I don't notice my feet getting uncomfortably warm.
     
  25. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,063
    Likes Received:
    3,132
    Location:
    LITH Illinois
    Darn Tough year round, don’t own any other socks.
     
  26. azmike9

    azmike9 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Red Rock Country, Arizona
    I wear wool socks all year. I drive Jeep tours and I am out side all day year round. Wool works best.
     
  27. Lode

    Lode hull down Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    545
    Location:
    Boiling Springs, PA
    I'm a fan of Darn Toughs, personally, and wear them all year long. Now if I could just convince my wife that cold water and no machine drying heat means... don't put it on warm to wash and low heat to dry!!!
    They're a little salty for socks ($15-$25/pair) but they're comfortable with decent cushion, they dry quickly and don't hold stink/funk like other socks... Lifetime warranty for exchanges, made in America
    darn toughs.jpg
     
  28. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    Georgia U.S.A.
    I hear ya! About half the wool socks I've ever owned got ruined during washing or drying. Everyone keeps mentioning Darn Tough so it's time I try a pair
     
    T. Pollock, Lode and Primordial like this.
  29. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    16,560
    Location:
    Upper Great Lakes
    Farm to Feet, and wool socks sold under the Bass Pro/ Redhead brands also contain a lifetime warranty. I know that with the Redhead/Bass Pro ones, if you ever wear a pair out they will send a new pair too. You just need to keep your order slip/receipt in your sock drawer and mail in with the socks to get a new pair. Both brands are also made in the USA.
     
  30. Red Wing

    Red Wing Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    5,428
    Location:
    Dublin, oh

    I noticed the same with cotton. I have a physical job and my feet sweat a bit. Noticed my wool didn't smell at all at the end of the day and kept my shoes fresh so I started wearing them all the time. Now its 80s and 90s and I've kept doing it with no issue. I have smartwool socks and the Terry wool socks and I prefer the smartwool but no issues with the Terry wool. G2g in my book.
     
  31. Prairiewolf

    Prairiewolf Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,507
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Illinois
    In the summertime, I don't wear socks a lot of the time, but I have found wool socks to be quite comfortable when I do wear socks. Combined with desert type boots with mainly nylon upper construction (or Palladium canvas boots), my feet remain dry and comfortable on days that are 90 to 100 degrees. I can wear them for 2 or 3 days and they don't smell bad either. And you can give them a good cold water bath with a bit of Woolite.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    ReallyBigMonkey1 likes this.
  32. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    Georgia U.S.A.
    I actually have a pair of OTB Desert lite boots so I need to try them on the hottest days with wool socks now.
     
    camp casey, T. Pollock and Primordial like this.
  33. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes Received:
    24,139
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Wool in my boots in Florida, year round.
     
  34. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,669
    Likes Received:
    7,641
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I also wear Bass Pro Redhead and Huntworth wool socks everyday year round. The only time I don't is if I'm going fishing and wearing my water shoes which I wear very thin liners with.
     
  35. LongAgoLEO

    LongAgoLEO Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    4,832
    Location:
    Central Minnesota
    I don't always wear socks, but when I do, they're wool or wool/blend. Year around.
     
  36. Scoman

    Scoman Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Perth, UK
    I wear Costco merino blend all year round.
     
  37. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    7,957
    Likes Received:
    8,579
    Location:
    Relocated to Salt Lake City from Nevada
    I buy lightweight merino wool socks at Walmart. They're fairly cheap. I wear them year round. My feet don't get any warmer than any other socks. Wool allows my feet to breathe and the moisture wicks away.

    Cotton socks get moist like a cute cheerleader in the back seat after the big game. The fibers get matted down and everything starts to smell bad. I don't have that problem with wool. I have medium and heavyweight wool socks for winter outdoors use.

    You really can't go wrong with wool socks. For those who have problems with wool, try merino wool. It's almost non-itchy. It comes from merino sheep, not your run of the mill mutton sweater wearing sheep.

    Steve
     
  38. Niagara

    Niagara Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    3,569
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I am fortunate enough to have a monster in law that knits me a pair every year for Christmas and if I ask nice and bring her wine and wool she will make me more on demand.
    I typically wear them then all year, camping, with my casual work shoes. Even last week I wore them for three days in the woods with my Keen sandals.
    no stink either.
    Niagara
     
    ManyHammers and ReallyBigMonkey1 like this.
  39. bobs1415

    bobs1415 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,089
    Likes Received:
    3,586
    As long as the shoes let some air circulate, medium weight wool socks work fine for me in hot weather.
     
  40. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    18,520
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Wool socks are all I wear outdoors, year round... I wear dress socks to work because I have to. I don't go out as much in the summer due to me living on the Sun, but when I do, wool's the way to go. Get it wet, especially with my canvas Palladiums, and your feet will stay cool all day. Up Norther, also during the summer, I wear them canoeing, hiking, backpacking, all over, on vacation.

    I started out with Wigwam Everlasts, and loved them. SmartWool also made some merino wool socks that I tried and liked. I then bought two pairs of DarnTough; one pair is a lighter weight with cushion sole/heel, and the other is cushion all over (same thickness throughout, no thinner top). They are both too tight and haven't loosened up, and I don't like them as much... they make my feet tired. Still good socks, but not my favorites... I go back to the Wigwams and SmartWools mostly.
     
  41. camp casey

    camp casey Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,269
    Likes Received:
    2,745
    Location:
    michigan
    Diabetic, can’t afford to have foot issues so it’s wool year round for me.
     
  42. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Messages:
    10,053
    Likes Received:
    30,653
    Location:
    TN
    Hey Steve, you don't happen to remember the brand name do you? I've got to get some inexpensive light weight ones.
     
  43. Hawkcreek

    Hawkcreek Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2,759
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Location:
    Pacific N.W.
    I wear wool socks all year here in the desert, with heavy 10" leather boots. Granted it's a dry heat here but it does get hot. I've heard many stories of old timers that wore a wool union suit all year also, I guess it was early AC "evaporative cooling".
     
  44. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    10,209
    Likes Received:
    11,062
    Location:
    Northern In. On the river
    Back in the Nam we were issued wool socks for the jungle boots .
    Our big problem was jungle rot since our feet were wet much of the time .
    Not much time to dry our socks either in the triple canopy since we rarely ever stayed the same place two nights in a row .
    Myself I took great care to dry my wool
    Socks as much as possible because it was extremely hard to get medivacced and your feet would get so soft and that the slightest irritation could turn into a blister or jungle rot .
    We even went so far as to pop off the backs of our claymores and harvest little pieces of c4 to burn inside a little poncho teepee to dry our selves . I would always hang my socks from my shoulders to dry out over the c4 .
    I can’t remember for sure but I think we only had one pair of socks ,which seems stupid .
    Under normal circumstances the jungle boots pumped water out of the arch as you walked along and the socks would dry out on their own . Monsoon season changes all that .
     
  45. LFowler

    LFowler Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    638
    I've gone to thin wool socks year round, as thin as I can get them without my toe going through instantly. I've found that for me a thicker wool sock just means more sweat retention and colder feet in the winter. If its cold I either add vapor barrier socks or a pack boot liner rather then thicker socks.

    For summer use I do find wool to be far better then cotton, but I would like to try some pure synthetic blends like the DeFeet Aireator, I'm curious if they dry faster after creek crossings or last longer then wool (the later is almost assured).
     
  46. Dusty Tom

    Dusty Tom Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2016
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    525
    Location:
    Eastern Cascades
    I really like the lighter weight SmartWool socks, even in the summer. It often is in the 90s -100F here. For my work boots I buy the wool blend socks. Not as nice as SmartWool but better than cotton or full synthetic IMO.
     
    ManyHammers and ReallyBigMonkey1 like this.
  47. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    1,155
    Location:
    Redneck Rivera
    I like Darn Tough myself. I wore some of their lightweight running socks in a coolmax blend and a pair of wool in the same weight while being drug around Disney world for four days. I can say the wool socks were noticeably warmer than the coolmax. I stick with the coolmax for summer but the lightweight wool is perfect in winter here. Many people complete long distance hikes with just two pairs of these gems and I find no wear in mine after a year.
     
    ReallyBigMonkey1 likes this.
  48. EternalLove

    EternalLove Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,128
    Likes Received:
    3,444
    My wool socks stink. They also compress at the bottom and turn hard. I see them as having the same disadvantages as cotton they just go 2-3 times as long before getting to that point. Still, mine do stink and are almost unusable if worn for more then 4 days in a row. After 7 days I may as well not wear socks. That said, I was just wearing some thick wool socks in South East Asia and my feet were just fine. Through hot humid days and monsoon rains, my feet were fine. I also wear them in hot dry weather. I prefer wearing wool socks year round. But, mine do stink. And, they are difficult to really get clean when washing in a sink. They sometimes still stink and harden up after being washed. I have also done well with quality cotton athletic socks.
     
    ReallyBigMonkey1 and riverjoe like this.
  49. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    17,415
    Location:
    Montana
    wool socks year round; they vary in thickness and height depending on season

    Darn Tough convert here too
     
  50. Gruntinhusaybah

    Gruntinhusaybah Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,235
    Likes Received:
    3,622
    Location:
    North San Diego county
    lol I've worn wool socks in 135* beats cotton or synthetic any day
     

Share This Page