SmartWool Expedition Trekking Sock
Materials: merino wool/synthetic blend
Use: heavy hiking
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $16
My standard, go-to hiking sock the past several years. I use these with ankle-high, all-leather boots, sometimes on their own, sometimes with a thin wicking liner. i also occasionally wear this sock under a mountaineering sock when I'm wearing plastic mountaineering boots in sub-zero weather.
these socks are very warm, but I have found they are fine for the summer too because they do such a good job wicking. they provide a lot of cushioning and are very soft. They have a higher wool content than most merino socks. it is a very comfortable, durable sock - i haven't ripped a toe or observed any meaningful wear in the heel or toe areas in any pairs of these. It is also a fairly thick sock, so it's worth trying them out with your boots/shoes to make sure they fit.
because this sock has a relatively high wool content, it can lose its shape a little between washing. i haven't had a "bunching" problem with them, but they can get stretched out somewhat over the course of longer trips. also, this sock doesn't do particularly well in the clothes dryer. though smartwool says this sock can be machine-dried, i have found the sock gets somewhat tighter and slightly less elastic over time if you use the dryer. i nearly always line-dry them now.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Recommended for hard-core backpacking on rough terrain, SmartWool Expedition Trekking Socks now feature wool on wool (WOW) technology for greater durability.
These thick, natural wool socks provide extra dense cushioning for warmth and comfort in cool weather. High-density knit sole and instep guard against abrasion, shock, lace pressure and blisters. Made of 77% super-soft Merino wool for no-itch comfort and warmth, 22% nylon for durability and 1% spandex for dependable stretch. Merino wool naturally wicks moisture for dry comfort. *Discount will be applied when you check out. Offer not valid for sale-price items ending in $._3 or $._9.
Cushion and support your feet while reducing compression from laces with the SmartWool Expedition Trekking Sock that provides padding against shock, blisters, and abrasion. Sturdy rib welt top nearly eliminates slippage with a snug fit over the shins.
- Mountain Gear
Unequalled in comfort and performance made with hollow core Merino wool terry loop cushioned construction. Natural Merino wool provides great moisture control and temperature range. 3x1 rib welt top with nylon, holds the sock up. Maximum cushioning. 75% merino wool, 24% nylon, 1% elastic.