Cotton, Wool or Cashmere: What's the Best Material for Socks?
How many months of socks do you go through in a year? If it’s more than three, you probably don’t have enough socks. When you find the right fit, socks really can make your day better, so it’s worth paying attention to which material is best for your sock needs. We sat down with a few experts to learn about all three materials and came up with our top three recommendations, depending on how often you wear your socks and what the activity level of your day is.
Why Materials Matter
The best sock material depends on a number of factors like your climate, where you live and what you need from your socks. Cotton is a great year-round option because it absorbs moisture well and dries quickly. You may want to try wool if you live in a cold climate and need socks that don't shrink when they get wet. And cashmere socks are perfect for those who want something soft to wear around their feet all day long!
Is Wool Good For Feet?
Wool is a natural fiber that is made from the hair of sheep and it has many benefits. It is naturally flame resistant and doesn't trap heat like some synthetic fabrics so it will keep your feet cool in summer and warm in winter. Because wool is a natural fabric it will breathe which means moisture won't get trapped as easily as with other materials such as cotton. This can help prevent blisters because socks will stay dryer than they would if they were made out of cotton. Plus, wool has natural odor-fighting properties which means you can wear these socks longer before needing to wash them.
Are cotton socks good enough?
Cotton socks are still a popular choice for many men. Cotton is soft and breathable so it won't make your feet sweat too much. However, cotton socks can be uncomfortable because they don't provide as much cushioning as wool or cashmere. Many people also find cotton socks to be less durable than wool or cashmere. So while they might start out feeling good on your feet, you'll likely need to replace them after a few months of wear and tear.
If you're looking for a quick fix to your sock wardrobe woes, then take advantage of one of many sock subscription services that will provide you with fresh pairs every month!
Comparing Merino Wool vs. Polyester vs. Nylon
Merino wool is soft and doesn't itch like other materials. It also comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Polyester is cheaper than merino wool but not as durable. It does come in some really fun patterns and has good breathability. Nylon is also cheaper than wool and more durable than polyester. It isn't as breathable as polyester though which can lead to odor issues.
Merino wool is softer than any other material out there which means it won't itch like cotton will if you have sensitive skin. Plus, it comes in a variety of different colors and patterns so you can always match your socks to your outfit!
The Performance of Athletic Socks
Athletic socks are typically made from a blend of synthetic fibers and natural materials such as cotton and wool. For example, Nike says its Dri-Fit socks are made with 83% nylon/polyester, 12% spandex and 5% cotton. When it comes to durability and comfort in athletic wear, performance is key. Cotton may be comfortable but won't wick moisture away from your skin as quickly as some other material types. Synthetic fibers like nylon can help regulate your temperature better than natural materials like cotton because they keep you cool when you're hot and warm when you're cold.
When to Wear Full-Cushion Running Socks vs. Minimalist Running Socks
The type of socks you wear will depend on your running style. Full-cushion socks are best if you're running a longer distance and need more support. They also offer more protection from stones and debris. If you're running shorter distances, minimalist socks may be better because they won't make your feet as hot.
Keeping Your Feet Warm in Winter with SmartWool Socks
SmartWool socks are a great option to keep your feet warm in winter. Not only do they come in a range of colors, but they also have different weights and thicknesses to keep you comfortable all day long. Smartwool offers fun dress socks with crazy color options as well as cool men's ankle socks to keep your feet happy and warm. For those who need some extra warmth on their feet this winter, try out one of SmartWool's crew socks--they're perfect for keeping your toes bundled up!
More Affordable/Less Expensive Options for SmartWool Socks
So, what should you do if you're looking for a quality pair of socks and don't have a ton of money to spend on them? Well, there are two great options to consider. The first is SmartWool. This company makes high-quality socks with fancy designs that will last forever. They also happen to be one of the more expensive sock brands out there so they might not be a good choice if you're looking to save some cash. The second option is Costco. Costco sells really nice pairs of men's ankle socks in bulk packages for about $7 per pair. If that sounds like something up your alley then it might be time to head on over to your local Costco and see what they have available today!
How To Wash Your Running Sock
You should wash your running sock every two to three wears. You can do this in a normal washer and dryer. Put one sock in at a time and turn it inside out. Use cold water if you want it to last longer. Do not use bleach or fabric softener as it will weaken the fabric and make them more prone to holes.