Wool vs. Cotton Socks

Why Everyone Should Be Wearing Wool Socks This Winter

by Dennis Greene

If you haven't experienced the magic of wearing wool socks in the wintertime, now is the time to change that.

In cold, wet weather, cotton athletic socks just won't cut it. When it gets wet, cotton loses all insulating properties, so you may as well not be wearing anything on your feet at all, according to outdoor enthusiasts website Big Sky Fishing.

And it doesn't matter how warm your winter boots are. If you're wearing cotton socks, your feet will perspire, and you will end up with cold, damp feet.

The solution is to invest in some quality wool socks. Wool, especially super-soft merino wool, offers several unique advantages over cotton that make it the fabric of choice for winter wear.

According to traveling blog Snarky Nomad, these include:

  • Unlike cotton, wool is an great insulator. When it's cold out your feet will be toasty and warm in your wool socks.

  • Wool can absorb a high amount of moisture — much more than cotton. Wool can actually hold a third of its weight in moisture before it even starts to feel "wet."

  • Wool keeps its insulating properties while wet, which is perfect for sweaty feet.

  • Not only that, but wool also dries much more quickly than cotton or other synthetics.

  • Because of their physical nature, wool fibers naturally have anti-bacterial properties and are, therefore, odor resistant....

However, the world of wool is not all unicorns, rainbows, and warm, toasty feet. There are some downsides to wool.

They're not super convenient to wear all the time. Most manufacturers advise against machine washing their socks, so hand washing and laying flat to dry is most often recommended. This is tiresome and annoying, even if you don't have to do it every single time the socks are worn. (Some companies use wool blends that enable the socks to take the beating of the machine, however. Check the label before purchase.) 

Content provided by: Business Insider