Reviewers Paid: $12.50
Comfort lives in the REI Merino Wool Hiking Socks!
- Good fit
- Cool when it's hot, warm when it's not
- Keep the feet dry during heavy hiking
- The tops have a tendency to tear easily
I've been through dozens of different types and brands of socks. I do heavy blue-collar work for a living, and I'm on my feet all day. Cotton athletic socks get wet and stay wet, generic wool socks from one of the big box stores are usually poorly made and don't last very long.
REI's wool hiking socks fill the bill very nicely! They're just thick enough to be warm in winter when I'm working in the rain and snow of the Sierras, and they're just thin enough to be cool when I'm enduring 100+ degree days in the Sacramento Valley. Typically they'll last about 2 years before thin spots show up, and when they get older it's pretty easy to tear the tops of the socks while pulling them up.
I machine wash the socks and never put them in the dryer. The elastic seems to last longer this way, and drying time is normally no more than a couple of hours. This is a nice feature on pack trips or long motorcycle trips, as I can take fewer pairs of socks, and let the freshly washed ones dry on the outside of my pack.
The fit is pretty true to the sizing on the package, and my only gripe is that REI doesn't offer up an over-the-calf or knee-high version for truly nasty winter use. They do offer a 10% discount when you buy 3 pair, which is a nice thing. At $12.50 a pair, they're not cheap, but the length of service and comfort make that a moot point.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $12.50/pair, 10% discount for 3 pair